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The monuments of Afghanistan : history, archaeology and architecture

Author: Warwick Ball
Publisher: London ; New York : I.B. Tauris ; New York : Distributed in the USA by Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Afghanistan, a country which for generations has inspired writers, travellers and explorers, does not lend itself to easy categorization. Straddling Central Asia, and situated at the edges of the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East, Afghanistan distills elements and characteristics from all three of these regions. For Afghanistan is part of them all--and at the same time a part of none. And, as Warwick Ball  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Warwick Ball
ISBN: 1850434360 9781850434368
OCLC Number: 56459770
Description: xxiii, 298 pages : color illustrations, maps ; 28 cm
Contents: pt. 1. Introduction. --
The land --
The people --
pt. 2. The historical background. --
Prehistory and Bronze Age civilisations --
Iron Age and the Iranians --
Alexander and the establishment of Greek Bactria --
Nomad invasions and the Kushan empire --
The Turk empire and last flowering of Gandharan art --
The early Islamic period --
The later Islamic period --
pt. 3. The architectural background. --
Groundwork : Bronze Age beginnings --
Culminating traditions : Iron Age developments --
Convergent traditions : Hellenistism from the West, Buddhism from the East --
Greek, Roman, Buddhist : the art of Gandhara --
Formation of the new and transformation of the old : the architecture of Islam --
pt. 4. The discovery of Afghanistan. --
Greeks bearing gifts --
Pilgrims of the middle way --
Exotic imagery and the first Muslims --
The European re-awakening --
Arcadia found : the first Mogul --
Soldiers, charlatans and scholars --
Players in the great game --
Advance of the archaeologists --
Road to Katmandu and road to ruin --
pt. 5. Gazetteer of main sites and monuments.
Responsibility: Warwick Ball.
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Abstract:

Providing a general summary of the culture, history and architecture of the country, this guide features a gazetteer of the main monuments and archaeological sites.  Read more...

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"This work serves as a terrific introduction to Afghanistan's history and high architectural culture. . . In featuring monumental gems, archaeologist Ball provides a synoptic account of Afghan Read more...

 
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   schema:description "pt. 1. Introduction. -- The land -- The people -- pt. 2. The historical background. -- Prehistory and Bronze Age civilisations -- Iron Age and the Iranians -- Alexander and the establishment of Greek Bactria -- Nomad invasions and the Kushan empire -- The Turk empire and last flowering of Gandharan art -- The early Islamic period -- The later Islamic period -- pt. 3. The architectural background. -- Groundwork : Bronze Age beginnings -- Culminating traditions : Iron Age developments -- Convergent traditions : Hellenistism from the West, Buddhism from the East -- Greek, Roman, Buddhist : the art of Gandhara -- Formation of the new and transformation of the old : the architecture of Islam -- pt. 4. The discovery of Afghanistan. -- Greeks bearing gifts -- Pilgrims of the middle way -- Exotic imagery and the first Muslims -- The European re-awakening -- Arcadia found : the first Mogul -- Soldiers, charlatans and scholars -- Players in the great game -- Advance of the archaeologists -- Road to Katmandu and road to ruin -- pt. 5. Gazetteer of main sites and monuments."@en ;
   schema:description ""Afghanistan, a country which for generations has inspired writers, travellers and explorers, does not lend itself to easy categorization. Straddling Central Asia, and situated at the edges of the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East, Afghanistan distills elements and characteristics from all three of these regions. For Afghanistan is part of them all--and at the same time a part of none. And, as Warwick Ball shows in this richly illustrated and timely book, herein lies an explanation for Afghanistan's allure, its cultural wealth, and ultimately perhaps its tragedy. For it is a country whose complex essence is hard to define, a land which has always taken on aspects from outside, but which remains as stubbornly individualistic as its own mountainous landscape. That challenge posed by its distinct component parts looking in different directions has resulted in multi-layered and sometimes problematic questions of identity. -- Monuments of Afghanistan is a completely unique and meticulously researched guide to the history and background of this fascinating country. It provides broad summaries of the history, architecture and archaeology of the region, together with a gazetteer of the main monuments and archaeological sites. As Warwick Ball shows, no history of China, Persia, India or Russia can be understood without continual reference to the landlocked area at whose center lies the majestic deserts and sweeping mountain ranges. Afghanistan has always seemed to be the enigmatic key to the histories and destinies of others. Even today large tracts of this remarkable country remain unexplored and unknown. There is therefore a need for a book which describes and reveals its hidden treasures for the general reader and students. The Monuments of Afghanistan--which contains 150 color plates of such extraordinary artifacts as the 38 meter Bamiyan Buddha (notoriously destroyed by the Taliban), the Minaret of Mas'ud at Ghazni, the Iron Age citadel at Kandahar, the mausoleum at Kuhsan and the Minaret of Jam--meets that requirement. -- Yet there is a further reason why the appearance of this book is so significant. Twenty years of fighting and instability have taken their toll on the immense Afghan cultural legacy. Destruction of the Bamiyan statues was merely the most public casualty among many others. This book chronicles and illustrates all of the major (and many lesser known) monuments and buildings that have been lost or damaged. Based on this extraordinary collection of photographs taken before the destruction in Afghanistan, the book captures the memory of a heritage under threat. There is a pressing need for this record of all the buildings--whether now lost, or still surviving--in their entirety, and which testifies in photographic form to their dignity and beauty. The Monuments of Afghanistan represents, above all, an enduring and poignant memorial to a culture built in one of the most extraordinary and transporting landscapes on earth.""@en ;
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