More touch cards sent by Paula, these are from Afghanistan, showing the Buddhas of Bamiyan, two of the properties of the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley and the Minaret of Jam.
Photo by Tsui
The Buddhas of Bamiyan were two 6th century monumental statues of standing buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, situated 230 km (140 mi) northwest of Kabul at an altitude of 2,500 meters (8,202 ft). Built in 507 CE, the larger in 554 CE, the statues represented the classic blended style of Gandhara art.
The main bodies were hewn directly from the sandstone cliffs, but details were modeled in mud mixed with straw, coated with stucco. This coating, practically all of which wore away long ago, was painted to enhance the expressions of the faces, hands and folds of the robes; the larger one was painted carmine red and the smaller one was painted multiple colors.
The lower parts of the statues' arms were constructed from the same mud-straw mix while supported on wooden armatures. It is believed that the upper parts of their faces were made from great wooden masks or casts. Rows of holes that can be seen in photographs were spaces that held wooden pegs that stabilized the outer stucco.
They were dynamited and destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban, on orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, after the Taliban government declared that they were idols. International opinion strongly condemned the destruction of the Buddhas, which was viewed as an example of the intolerance of the Taliban. Japan and Switzerland, among others, have pledged support for the rebuilding of the statues. - in: wikipedia
Photo by David Adamec
The Minaret of Jam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in western Afghanistan. It is located in the Shahrak District, Ghor Province, by the Hari River. The 65-metre high minaret, surrounded by mountains that reach up to 2400m, was built in the 1190s, entirely of baked-bricks. It is famous for its intricate brick, stucco and glazed tile decoration, which consists of alternating bands of kufic and naskhi calligraphy, geometric patterns, and verses from the Qur'an (the surat Maryam, relating to Mary, the mother of Jesus).
The archaeological site of Jam was successfully nominated as Afghanistan's first World Heritage site in 2002. It was also inscribed in UNESCO's list of World Heritage in Danger, due to the precarious state of preservation of the minaret, and results of looting at the site. - in: wikipedia