Buddhist remains found in Afghanistan
Standing Buddhas of Bamyan were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.
Afghan archaeologists have discovered remains of a Buddhist district in the Aynak region of the Logar Province south of the country's capital city of Kabul.
"There is a temple, stupas, beautiful rooms, big and small statues, two with the length of seven and nine meters, colorful frescos ornamented with gold and some coins," Reuters quoted head of the Afghan Archaeological Department Mohammad Nader Rasouli as saying.
"Some of the relics date back to the fifth century (CE),” he said. “We have come across signs that there are items maybe going back to the era before Christ or prehistory."
"We need foreign assistance to preserve these and their expertise to help us with further excavations."
Excavations began a year ago at the site where China is now mining copper ore as part of a multi-billion dollar investment in the war-ravaged country.
According to Rasouli, the mining project has not damaged the sites, but smugglers managed to take away and destroy some relics before excavations began.
Two 6th-century statues of standing Buddhas in the Bamyan Valley were also destroyed in 2001 by Taliban who said they were idols and against the Sharia law.
Rasouli said that the Afghan government did not have the resources to move the newly found Buddhist relics from the site, but he hoped that they could build a museum there instead.