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Priceless treasures from the sands of history
After a hugely successful season at Melbourne Museum timeless treasures from the sands of Afghanistan's history are coming to Brisbane. Afghanistan is so often portrayed in the media as a war-torn nation of strife and misery that we fail to appreciate it as an immensely interesting place replete with history and mystery. That balance will be redressed with Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the Museum of Kabul. It will take centre stage at Queensland Museum from Thursday 5 September 2013 to Monday 27 January 2014.
And what a stage it will be. This exhibition will present more than 230 priceless artefacts and treasures from the pages of Afghanistan's tumultuous history, most uncovered at the four most important of its 1500 archaeological sites ( Begram, Tillya Tepe, Tepe Fullol and Aļ Khanum) and representing the period between 2,000 BC and AD 200.
Some of history's greatest names have an association with Afghanistan. Think Marco Polo, Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great, and great tales of exotic adventure immediately spring to mind. But at its heart the story of Afghanistan is a story of contest over this ancient land.
Image from Queensland Museum website
Beginning with Alexander the Great's conquest of the Persian Empire in the 4th Century BC, Afghanistan has been at the centre of wars and political intrigue involving such diverse powers as Greece, India, Iran, Britain, Russia and the United States of America. It's also important to note Afghanistan's strategic significance as a lynchpin of the Silk Road, the trade route that linked the peoples of Asia and Europe.
While this is essentially an exhibition of great antiquity it also has a modern and heroic twist. If you thought the life of an archaelogist or mueum curator would be dull, dusty and uninteresting you'd be dead wrong. The exhibition tells the extraordinary tale of great modern bravery by curators of the Kabul Museum who hid huge numbers of these artefacts, firstly from invading Soviet forces in 1979 and then from the rampant Taliban in 1996. Their selfless actions prevented the destruction or sale of the relics on the antiquities black market, and preserved the country's unique cultural heritage.
Bronze Age goblet. Image from Queensland Museum website
Where: Queensland Museum, Corner of Grey & Melbourne Streets, South Bank.
When: From 5 September to 27 January 2014 (closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day)
Hours: Museum is open from 9.30 am to 5pm each day. Session times are available from 10 am to 3.30 pm admissions.
Ticket Prices: Adults $21.50, concession $19, children $12, family $59. there are also reduced price tickets for groups, school groups. MyMuseum members receive a 10% discount. All tickets include entry to the museum.
Purchase Tickets: You can book your tickets online here by choosing an available date and session time. These are timed tickets and you must attend at the time you have booked. The museum suggests arriving 10 minutes before your scheduled time to ensure your admission. Allow 60 minutes to view the exhibition.
Begram Excavation 1939. Image from Queensland Museum website