Fears in Afghanistan that a financial jackpot from copper mining could threaten its cultural heritage
Archeologists are racing to save Afghanistan's cultural heritage at Mes Aynak, a mountainous, 9800-acre site studded with artifacts that archeologists believe are as significant as the Bamiyan Buddhas that were destroyed 11 years ago, as well as the remains of civilizations that stretch back to the time of Alexander the Great.
It's also the site of the second-largest copper deposit in the world, a resource the Afghanistan government is cashing in on through an estimated $3billion deal with a Chinese company to mine the the copper deposit over the next thirty years, starting in 2014. This leaves little time for the archeologists leading the excavations to extract as many treasures as possible before the drilling begins, raising fears that a financial jackpot for the poverty-stricken country could come at the price of Afghanistan's cultural heritage. Read more…
Image: remains of an ancient Buddhist monastery at Mes Aynek, Afghanistan