Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Afghanistan

Edited by Gil J. Stein, Michael T. Fisher, Abdul Hafiz Latify, Najibullah Popal, and Nancy Hatch Dupree

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The University of Chicago, the US Embassy Kabul, the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University, and the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture organized an international conference focused on “Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Afghanistan” (PCHA), held in Kabul from November 9 to 11, 2014. This volume comprises the revised and edited papers and summaries of the panel discussions held at the conference. We are pleased to present the conference proceedings in bilingual format — Dari and English — for maximum accessibility by international readers. Afghanistan has been called the “crossroads of Asia,” but perhaps this title is an over-simplification. Relegating Afghan's landscape to a thoroughfare fails to capture Afghanistan’s pivotal, active role in the emergence of new cultural forms and dynamics of interaction with its neighbors in Central Asia, Iran, South Asia, and China. 

Table of Contents

SECTION I: CULTURAL HERITAGE IN AFGHANISTAN
1. Speech of the Minister. Sayed Makhdoom Rahin
2. Speech of the Deputy Minister. Sayed Mosadeq Khalili
3. Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage. Omar Sultan
4. A Time for Action. Nancy Hatch Dupree

SECTION II: ORGANIZATIONAL FRAMEWORKS FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE PRESERVATION
5. Meeting the Challenges of the Past, Present, and Future toward Safeguarding the Cultural Heritage of Afghanistan. Paolo Fontani and Brendan Cassar
6. 6. Multi-Lateral Approaches to Cultural Heritage Preservation. Laura Tedesco
7. Discussion: Organizational Frameworks in Cultural Heritage Preservation. Kitab Khan Faizi, Charles C. Kolb, Ajmal Maiwandi, and Gil J. Stein

SECTION III: THE MUSEUM AS AN INSTITUTION OF CULTURAL HERITAGE PRESERVATION
8. The Role of Museums in Cultural Heritage Preservation. Omara Khan Massoudi
9. Partnership for Preservation: The Digital Inventory of the National Museum of Afghanistan. Michael T. Fisher
10. A Brief History of the National Museum Herat. Abdul Ghafur Shaikhzada
11. Discussion: The Roles of Museums in Preserving Cultural Heritage. Tuba Abawi, Susanne Annen, Abdul Hafiz Latify, Noor Agha Noori, and Michael T. Fisher

SECTION IV: PRESERVING AFGHANISTAN’S HISTORICAL MONUMENTS
12. A Brief History of Bagh-e Babur (Babur’s Garden). Amanullah Sahibzada
13. Restoration Projects in Bamiyan, Afghanistan: Courses of Action and Traditional Techniques and Materials. Bert Praxenthaler
14. Technology and Humanities: Some Reflections on the Future of Afghan Cultural Heritage. Anna Filigenzi
15. Discussion: Preserving the Historical Monuments of Afghanistan. Abdul Ahad Abassi, Abdul Wasay Najimi, Sayed Jawed, and Abdul Habib Noori
16. Surveying and Excavations of the Ancient site of Mes Aynak, Logar Province. Qadir Timuri
17. Archaeological Activity in Kabul. Zafar Paiman
18. Discussion: Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Preservation. Nazar Mohammad Azizi, Julio Bendezu-Sarmiento, Thomas Lorain, Mohammad Nader Rassouli, and Michael T. Fisher

SECTION VI: PRESERVING AFGHANISTAN’S HISTORICAL MONUMENTS
19. Conservation in Afghanistan. Laura D’Alessandro and Abdullah Hakimzada
20. The Turquoise Mountain Institute and the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Afghanista. Waheed Khalili
21. Discussion: Education and Intangible Heritage. Masoma Nazari, Sara Noshadi, Ahmad Zia Rafat, and Constance Wyndham

SECTION VII: LOOTING AND REPATRIATION OF CULTURAL OBJECTS
22. Stolen, Saved, Returned: Collaboration Between the National Museum of Afghanistan, the British Museum,
the UK Border Force, and Others in the Successful Return of Antiquities to Kabul. St John Simpson
23. International Legal Frameworks to Protect the Archeological Heritage of Afghanistan. Gil J. Stein

CONCLUDING REMARKS
24. Reflections on the Current Afghan Cultural Landscape. Jolyon Leslie

CHRONOLOGICAL CHARTS
BIBLIOGRAPHY
FIGURES
DARI TRANSLATION

  • Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Afghanistan: Proceedings of the International Conference Held at Kabul University, November 2014
  • Edited by Gil J. Stein, Michael T. Fisher, Abdul Hafiz Latify, Najibullah Popal, and Nancy Hatch Dupree 
  • Oriental Institute Miscellaneous Publications
  • Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2017 
  • ISBN: 978-1-61491-041-1
  • Pp. xvi + 168 pages English + 135 page Dari; 1 map, 113 figures in color 
  • Softcover, 9” x 11.75”
  • Available only online; printed book not for sale