Aynak_stupa_3d
Aynak_stupa_3d
Aynak_stupa_3d
Aynak_administrative centre_2d
Aynak_administrative centre_2d
Aynak_administrative centre_2d
Aynak_Buddha from Kafiriat Tepe monastery_2d
Aynak_Buddha from Kafiriat Tepe monastery_2d
Aynak_Buddha from Kafiriat Tepe monastery_2d
Aynak_Buddha-statue_3d
Aynak_Buddha-statue_3d
Aynak_Buddha-statue_3d
Aynak_Buddha-statues-in-Southern-Chapel-of-Kafiriat-Tepe_3d
Aynak_Buddha-statues-in-Southern-Chapel-of-Kafiriat-Tepe_3d
Aynak_Buddha-statues-in-Southern-Chapel-of-Kafiriat-Tepe_3d
Aynak_concealed-Buddha_3d
Aynak_concealed-Buddha_3d
Aynak_concealed-Buddha_3d
Aynak_corridor in administrative building_2d
Aynak_corridor in administrative building_2d
Aynak_corridor in administrative building_2d
Aynak_excavated-oil-lamps-from-monastery_3d
Aynak_excavated-oil-lamps-from-monastery_3d
Aynak_excavated-oil-lamps-from-monastery_3d
Aynak_excavated-stupa_3d
Aynak_excavated-stupa_3d
Aynak_excavated-stupa_3d
Aynak_Four-Buddhist-monasteries-viewed-from-side_3d
Aynak_Four-Buddhist-monasteries-viewed-from-side_3d
Aynak_Four-Buddhist-monasteries-viewed-from-side_3d
Aynak_interior-courtyard-of-Buddhist-monastery_3d
Aynak_interior-courtyard-of-Buddhist-monastery_3d
Aynak_interior-courtyard-of-Buddhist-monastery_3d
Aynak_Plaster with figures of men_2d
Aynak_Plaster with figures of men_2d
Aynak_Plaster with figures of men_2d
Aynak_1st-2nd-century-settlement_3d
Aynak_1st-2nd-century-settlement_3d
Aynak_1st-2nd-century-settlement_3d
Aynak_Pre-Islamic-pot_3d
Aynak_Pre-Islamic-pot_3d
Aynak_Pre-Islamic-pot_3d
Aynak_reclining Buddha with head missing southern chapel of th Kafiriat Tepe monastery complex_2D
Aynak_reclining Buddha with head missing southern chapel of th Kafiriat Tepe monastery complex_2D
Aynak_reclining Buddha with head missing southern chapel of th Kafiriat Tepe monastery complex_2D
Aynak_remains of fortification system_2d
Aynak_remains of fortification system_2d
Aynak_remains of fortification system_2d
Aynak_Seated-Buddha-statue_3d
Aynak_Seated-Buddha-statue_3d
Aynak_Seated-Buddha-statue_3d
Aynak_squinch-arch-from-late-Gandhara-period-in-Kafiriat-Tepe-Buddhist-monastery_3d
Aynak_squinch-arch-from-late-Gandhara-period-in-Kafiriat-Tepe-Buddhist-monastery_3d
Aynak_squinch-arch-from-late-Gandhara-period-in-Kafiriat-Tepe-Buddhist-monastery_3d
Aynak_stupa-detail_3d
Aynak_stupa-detail_3d
Aynak_stupa-detail_3d
Aynak_throne-like-structure_3d
Aynak_throne-like-structure_3d
Aynak_throne-like-structure_3d
Aynak_slag-heap-showing-metallurgical-activity-before-1000-BC_3d
Aynak_slag-heap-showing-metallurgical-activity-before-1000-BC_3d
Aynak_slag-heap-showing-metallurgical-activity-before-1000-BC_3d

 

Aynak, also called Mes Aynak or “little copper well” in Dari, is located 40 kilometers to the south of Kabul, Afghanistan.  Dating from c. 3,000 BC, it is thought to be an ancient Buddhist monastic city.  Nearly four hundred Buddha statues have been discovered at the site.  Some of these, when unearthed, still bore traces of the paint, or jewelry on the stone and were double-life-size.  While only 10% of the site has been excavated, reliquaries used for mediation and monastery complexes have also been uncovered.  Mes Aynak’s proximity to the Silk Road has also led to cross-cultural discoveries from other ancient civilizations.

Aynak’s location near a lucrative copper mine has led to concerns about the site’s preservation.  Scheduled for demolition in 2012, the plans were temporarily waylaid.  The settlement peaked between 500-700 AD, and it was finally abandoned c. 1000 AD.  It is thought to contain nineteen separate archeological sites and has been called one of the most important points on the Silk Road.

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