Buddhist murals from Afghanistan's famed Bamian caves are the world's earliest known oil paintings, according to a new chemical analysis.
(See photos of the paintings and the cliffs that housed them.) The finds, dated to around the 7th century A.
Because of the cliff of the Buddhas, the ruins of the Monk's caves, Shar-i-Gholghola ('City of Sighs', the ruins of an ancient city destroyed by Genghis Khan during the 1221 siege of Bamiyan), and its local scenery, it is one of the most visited places in Afghanistan.
The Shar-i-Zohak mound ten miles south of the valley is the site of a citadel that guarded the city, and the ruins of an acropolis could be found there as recently as the 1990s.
February 6, 2008—A newly discovered mural is one of many in 12 of Afghanistan's famed Bamian caves that show evidence of an oil-based binder.
Bamyan's name is translated as ‘The Place of Shining Light’.Situated on the ancient Silk Route, the town was at the crossroads between the East and West when all trade between China and the Middle East passed through it.The Hunas made it their capital in the 5th century.It was the site of several Buddhist and Hindu monasteries, and a thriving center for religion, philosophy, and Indo-Greek art.It was a Buddhist religious site from the second century up to the time of the Islamic invasion in the ninth century.