The Begram Hoard


Book Details

Author  St John Simpson
Publisher  British Museum Press
Publication Date   July 20, 2011
ISBN  0714111783
Pages  96

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A female figure pirouetting under a tree; a young woman with elaborate jewellery lounging sensuously in her private quarters; mythical beasts; musicians; wildlife and foliage: these are just a few of the themes and motifs that feature on these beautiful ivory inlays. Carved in the 1st century AD, they were discovered in the 1930s in the ancient city of Begram, north of Kabul. In two strong-rooms hidden at the heart of a palace in the capital of Kapisi lay a wealth of luxury goods: bronzes and glassware from Roman Egypt, lacquered bowls from China and over a thousand ivory and bone inlays that were originally attached to wooden furniture. This spectacular collection probably represents the hoarded treasure of the Kushan rulers and includes some of the most important antiquities ever discovered in Afghanistan. Feared lost for many years, the ivories have at last been recovered and restored to their former glory. This is their extraordinary story.

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