At the heart of the Silk Road, Afghanistan linked the great trading routes of ancient Iran, Central Asia, India and China, and the more distant cultures of Greece and Rome.
The country’s unique location resulted in a legacy of extraordinarily rare objects, which reveal its rich and diverse past.
Nearly lost during the years of civil war and later Taliban rule, these precious objects were bravely hidden in 1989 by officials from the National Museum of Afghanistan to save them from destruction.
The surviving treasures date from 2000 BC to the 1st century AD and include opulent gold ornaments found at a burial site of a nomadic tribe, to limestone sculptures of a Greek city set up by a former commander of Alexander the Great.
The first exhibition of its kind to be seen in the UK in 40 years, this is a unique opportunity to discover the story of Afghanistan’s ancient culture, its immense fragility, and the remarkable dedication shown to its survival and protection.
By Larissa Woolf, VisitMuseums.com Arts Editorial Contributor
The British museum in London is hosting an unforgettable and unparalleled collection of priceless art and artefacts from Afghanistan. The exhibition, called “Crossroads of the Ancient World” which runs until the 3rd July 2011 reveals how a country that has been eclipsed by 30 years of chaos nonetheless holds a vast collection of art treasures that dates as far back as 4000 BC. Such a collection has only survived because of the heroic actions of the Afghan people themselves, who hid many of the precious artefacts during the war. Dynamic influences of Greek art and a huge mix of trends ranging from India, Rome, China and Persia combine together to create a cultural history that is teeming with priceless statues, objects of art and artefacts.
The British Museum in London has worked closely with the National museum of Afghanistan in Kabul and has created an awe inspiring, stunning and interesting show – it is not to be missed.