Mining and Archaeology: Afghanistan's Past, Present and Future
"Recent Work at Mes Aynak, and Future of Archaeology in Afghanistan"
Philippe Marquise, Director, Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan (DAFA)
Mes Aynak, the world's second largest copper mine and one of the most splendid Buddhist site ever discovered, came to the world's attention several years ago when plans for large scale mining began to be implemented. Philippe Marquise, director DAFA coordinator of the international archaeological team at the site, will report on the latest findings, the role of the National Museum of Afghanistan, and future plans (research and exhibition) for the preservation of the materials from the site. The talk will also touch upon larger questions of the future of archaeology in Afghanistan.
"Mining and Archaeology: the World Bank's Approach to Mes Aynak and other Mining sites in Afghanistan"
Noora Arfaa, Operations Analyst, Sustainable Energy - Oil, Gas, Mining (SEGOM), the World Bank
The discussion focuses on the role of the World Bank in cultural preservation, and the perceived tension between the safeguarding of cultural heritage resources and economic growth and development. The presentation uses Mes Aynak as a case study on the challenges and opportunities offered through partnerships to preserve Afghanistan's cultural heritage while at the same time move forward with mining activities in an environment where there enormous development needs.
"Afghanistan, an interface between India and Central Asia"
Xinru Liu, Associate Professor, The College of New Jersey
Since the third millennium BCE, the region we now call Afghanistan has been the interface between Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Political forces arose from the steppe and oases in Central Asia re-structured and refined their communities in terms of languages, attires, and etiquette etc. before crossing the Hindu Kush Mountains. Work at archaeological sites such as Mes Aynak in Afghanistan provides precious records of the transitions of the numerous groups of people who brought new cultural elements to South Asia.
Symposium sponsored by the Department of the History of Art and Penn Cultural Heritage Center.