Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul
Ancient Afghanistan—at the crossroads of major trade routes and the focus of invasions by great powers and nomadic migrations—was home to some of the most complex, rich, and original civilizations on the continent of Asia. This exhibition will celebrate the unique role of Afghanistan as a center for both the reception of diverse cultural elements and the creation of original styles of art that combine multiple stylistic materials—such as the Hellenized examples from the second-century B.C. city of Aï Khanum, the array of trade goods found in the first-century city of Begram, and the astonishing nomadic gold found in the hoard at Tillya Tepe, which also dates to the first century. It will also commemorate the heroic rescue of the heritage of one of the worlds great civilizations, whose precious treasures were thought to have been destroyed. Among the highlights of the exhibition will be gold vessels from the Tepe Fullol hoard; superb works and architectural elements from Aï Khanum; Indian-style sculptural masterpieces in ivory, plaster medallions, and Roman glass from Begram; and extraordinary turquoise-encrusted gold jewelry and ornaments from the tombs at Tillya Tepe.