The Tepe Narenj Buddhist Monastery at Kabul

IMG_1686

Stupa , H 2,80m , W of the base 2,06m

 

Scientific publication by Zafar Paiman, Director of excavations. Volume 1 , Collège de France Publications

Written primarily in French and Dari but with a good summary in English.

This is the final report of the Afghan excavations at Tepe Narenj , started and entirely directed by the author.

Tepe Narenj is the name given to a rocky spur located in the Southern part of Kabul. It was entirely covered by Islamic graves when the dig begun. The ancient remains hidden under  these graves are now entirely cleared and preserved. Two nearby places could also be excavated, smaller than the main dig, but yielding impressive results. All the excavated buildings belong to the latest period of a huge mahasanghika monastery dating back to the 2nd or 3rd  c. A.D., now entirely covered by multiple layers of graves belonging to one of the most important and revered Islamic cemeteries in Kabul, where it is now impossible to conduct archaeological excavations. They were filled with colossal clay statues.
The stratigraphic analysis and the coins demonstrate that most of these buildings and statues were made after 870 A.D., i.e. at after the first Arab raids against Kabul. This volume contains the description and the fullest possible illustration of the finds (buildings, sculptures, ceramics, coins). Volume II will contain the historical and art comments.

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