Lithuanian archeologists make discovery in Afghanistan

  • 2008-05-22
  • In cooperation with BNS

VILNIUS - After more than amonth of digging work in the Ghor province of Afghanistan, Lithuanianarcheologists collected large amounts of evidence about cultures that prosperedin the region centuries ago.

Four participants of the archeological-heritage mission ofthe Archeological Projects Center Antiqua continued their last year's missionin the Ghor in April and May in search of remains of historical, archeologicaland cultural heritage, said the head of the Lithuanian Special Mission to Afghanistan,Aleksandras Matonis.

The scientific leader of the expedition, Professor Aleksiejus Luchtanas of the VilniusUniversity's History Faculty, said thatthe scientists have discovered nine still unknown archeological and culturalobjects including remains of settlements that date back a few millenniums.

Other discoveries included the ruins of a few castles and other defensefortifications. One of the key findings was the remains of a Buddhist monasteryhand-carved in the bluff of the River Harirud. The artificial caves revealedtestimony of daily life of the Buddhist monks. Specialists believe themonastery could have existed in the first centuries of our era during theprevalence of Buddhism in the current territory of Afghanistan,which was later pushed back by Islam.

The Antiqua project was supported and sponsored by the Lithuanian ForeignMinistry. Just like in 2007, the Afghan Ministry of Culture and Informationdelegated two heritage protection and archeology specialists to the expedition.

The archeologists were accommodated and escorted by troops of theLithuanian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in the Ghor province.