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Thursday, September 27, 2012

2,600-Year-Old Buddhist Site Will Soon Be Turned Into A Chinese Copper Mine

Mes Aynak is a 2,600-year-old Buddhist site in Logar province, Afghanistan, that is home to both an ancient archaeological site and one of the largest copper deposits in the world.

In 2007 a Chinese government-owned company paid $3 billion to lease the area for 30 years and plans to extract over $100 billion worth of copper from the area.

While preparing the land, laborers found a 100-acre monastery complex that holds a bunch of Buddhist temples, statues, relics and manuscripts.

In 2009 archaeologists were given three years to attempt to excavate the site, but they say it's a 30-year job and they currently have limited tools at their disposal.

"This is probably one of the most important points along the Silk Road," Philippe Marquis, a French archaeologist advising the Afghans, told the Daily Mail in 2010. "What we have at this site, already in excavation, should be enough to fill the (Afghan) national museum."

So now archaeologists from around the world are campaigning to save the site with the help of documentary filmmaker Brent Huffman.

Source: Business Insider


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