The hidden treasures of Afghanistan
At the heart of the Silk Road, Afghanistan linked the great trading routes of ancient Iran, Central Asia, India and China, and the more distant cultures of Greece and Rome.
The country’s unique location resulted in a legacy of extraordinarily rare objects, which reveal its rich and diverse past.
Nearly lost during the years of civil war and later Taliban rule, these precious objects were bravely hidden in 1989 by officials from the National Museum of Afghanistan to save them from destruction.
The surviving treasures date from 2000 BC to the 1st century AD and include opulent gold ornaments found at a burial site of a nomadic tribe, to limestone sculptures of a Greek city set up by a former commander of Alexander the Great.
The first exhibition of its kind to be seen in the UK in 40 years, this is a unique opportunity to discover the story of Afghanistan’s ancient culture, its immense fragility, and the remarkable dedication shown to its survival and protection.
The remarkable story of conservation and repatriation of the Begram Ivories.
Music of Afghanistan
Find out more about the diversity of regional music in Afghanistan and listen to excerpts played on traditional instruments.
Image: Inlaid gold pendant from Tillya Tepe, 1st century AD. National Museum of Afghanistan © Thierry Ollivier / Musée Guimet