Copper Mining Threatens Afghan Site

A recent article in the LA Times describes the threats faced by an ancient Afghan archaeological site, Mes Aynak. The threats include war, looting, and now bulldozing by a Chinese mining company searching for copper.

…a dozen archaeologists and 100 Afghan laborers are working like army ants to finish the dig. Many valuable relics were looted long ago, and the archaeologists won’t be able to save the ancient edifices from the mining company. But they can remove the statues, pottery and gold and silver coins still buried within the buildings.

“We don’t know exactly how much time we have to excavate the site. Sometimes the deadline is 14 months and sometimes it’s two years.”

Photographs of the excavation published online by the LA Times are available here.