Afghanistan show in Amsterdam

Jonathan Silk kauzeya at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 19 16:52:52 UTC 2008

Probably this is already well known to those who have an interest, but in
case it did not appear on your radar, and you have a chance to visit
Amsterdam before 20.4.08, the spectacular show "Hidden Afghanistan" is well
worth a visit.

This was apparently at Paris in the Guimet, subject of so much recent talk,
until April of last year. And based on the sponsor list, I'm guessing it
either was or will be in Spain as well.

Here's a description from the web site of the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam which
is hosting the show:

Four archaeological sites play a key role. The oldest, Tepe Fullol, dates
from the Bactrian Bronze Age (around 2000 BC). In the exhibition it is
followed by a larger section dealing with Ai Khanum, a city that was founded
by Greeks in the wake of Alexander the Great's campaign of conquest and that
bears witness to Hellenism on the edge of the steppes (4th to 2nd centuries
BC). The famous gold treasure of Tillya-tepe is renowned: jewellery and
other art objects from six graves from the 1st century AD which were
excavated in 1979 by a Soviet-Afghan team led by the Russian archaeologist
Sarianidi. They form a splendid mix of the art of the steppes, Graeco-Roman
iconography, Indian objects and Chinese mirrors. Finally, in Begram, also
from the 1st century AD, in 1937 and 1939 two sealed chambers were revealed
containing elaborate Indian furniture in ivory, glass, vases and plaster
emblemata of Hellenist origin.

There is also a superb catalogue, available in your choice of languages (one
seems to be in Pashtun, although all I can really say is that it seems to be
in Arabic [Persian?] script...)

Probably some colleague in Paris can provide more info. But anyway,
especially in light of the recent fiasco with the Bangladeshi show, this in
contrast must be seen as an amazing success. See it if you can!

J Silk
J. Silk
Instituut Kern / Universiteit Leiden
Postbus 9515
2300 RA Leiden

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