Hidden Treasures From the National Museum

Book - 2008
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Random House, Inc.
Almost 30 years ago, a precious trove of art was spirited away from the National Museum of Afghanistan by a small group of "keyholders" —museum guards, curators, and antiquities lovers who risked their lives to save the country’s cultural treasures. Their actions spared these magnificent pieces from the threat of destruction, first by the invading Soviets in 1979 and more recently by the Taliban. Exquisitely crafted in gold and ivory, the artifacts illustrate Afghanistan’s key place at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, at the center of the ancient Silk Road—a rich heritage to be displayed at four major U.S. museums through 2009. Crowning this headline-making exhibition is a famous hoard of Bactrian gold, considered to be one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century.

To help create the exhibit and book, archaeologist and National Geographic Society Fellow Fredrik T. Hiebert inventoried the artifacts at the request of the Afghan government. Gorgeously photographed and elegantly packaged, the collection shines in this official companion to the much anticipated and widely covered tour.

For the eager audiences who will visit, and for legions of art and history lovers across the United States, Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures provides a beautiful, affordable keepsake, a handsome gift, and a rare opportunity to appreciate this matchless tradition of artistry and the steadfast human spirit that preserved it.

Baker & Taylor
Features the cultural and historical treasures of Afghanistan that were smuggled out of the National Museum by guards, curators, and antiquities lovers, who protected them from destruction by the Soviets and the Taliban.

Book News
This is the catalogue for the traveling exhibition, "Hidden Treasures," organized jointly by the National Geographic Society and Afghanistan's National Museum. The exhibition displayed four collections from the National Museum: a Bronze Age collection of gold bowls from Fullol, artifacts from a Greek city in Northern Afghanistan, the artifacts from a merchant's storeroom unearthed after two millennia, and golden jewels from ancient Bactria. Items from the collection are displayed in 146 color figures and their cultural significance is discussed in textual essays. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

Presents a stunning array of cultural and historical treasures from Afghanistan, including a treasure trove of Bactrian gold objects, jewels, sculpture, and more, smuggled out of the National Museum of Afghanistan by museum guards, curators, and antiquities lovers who risked their lives to protect these remarkable objects from the destruction of the Soviets and the Taliban. 12,500 first printing.

Publisher: National Geographic Society, 2008. Washington, DC
ISBN: 9781426202957
Characteristics: 304 p. : col. ill. ; 26 cm


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