3 March – 3 July 2011 /
Room 35 / Admission charge, Members free
For centuries, Afghanistan has been the point where
civilisations have crossed paths,
a critical point for trade and where great powers met.
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At the heart of the Silk Road, Afghanistan was the historic link
between ancient Iran, Central Asia, India, China and the more
distant cultures of Greece and Rome.
The country’s unique location resulted in a legacy of
extraordinarily rare objects, prized both for their wonderful
craftsmanship and aesthetic beauty.
The exhibition features over 200 objects from 2000 BC to the 1st
century AD, from gold ornaments and glass vessels to ivory
furniture and limestone sculptures, all from the National Museum in
The objects were found between 1937 and 1978, but were thought
to have been lost following the Soviet invasion in 1979 and the
subsequent civil war when the National Museum was bombed.
Image: Gold crown. From Tillya Tepe,
Afghanistan, 1st century AD. National Museum of Afghanistan. ©
Musée Guimet/Thierry Ollivier.