Golden Buddha, Hidden Copper. "Twelve years after the Taliban blew up the world-famous Bamiyan Buddhas, a Chinese mining firm -- developing one of the world's largest copper deposits -- threatens to destroy another of Afghanistan's archeological treasures." Campaign to Save Mes Aynak.
Ancient Buddhist Paintings From Bamiyan Were Made Of Oil, Hundreds Of Years Before Technique Was 'Invented' In Europe. [Via MonkeyFilter.] [more inside]
Paintings of Buddha dating back at least to the 12th century have been discovered in a cave in Nepal. Tipped by a local shepherd, a team of international researchers climbed to some old caves where they found a mural with 55 panels depicting the life of Buddha, reminiscent of the artwork of the Ajanta Caves in India (possibly NSFW). There are probably many other forgotten caves in the Mustang area (previously discussed here,) but they may be threatened by a planned trans-Himalayan highway.
A restoration project has been underway since 1998 to restore the 15th-century Tibetan Buddhist monastery wall paintings of Lo Monthang, a city in the kingdom of Mustang in northwest Nepal. The results have been very impressive. Mustang is also home to some amazing cave temples.
The International Dunhuang Project, developed jointly by the British Library and the National Library of China, makes thousands manuscripts and paintings from ancient caves and temples along the Silk Road viewable to the public. The artifacts were found in the Dunhuang cave in China in 1900 and dispersed to museums around the world, but now they have been brought together on the web. And if you want some appropriate music to go with it, check out Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Project.
An Archaeological Find For Our Times? Indian archaeologists have uncovered two ancient statutes, believed to be representative of Ashoka, an emperor who, after a brutal climb to the throne, switched over to Buddhism and attempted to create a just society.