Afghanistan 1969-1974

Museum Kabul – 1

Museum Kabul – 2

Museum Kabul – 3

Hadda –
Tepe Shotur 1

Hadda –
Tepe Shotur 2

Tepe Shotur 3

Tepe Shotur 4

Bamiyan – 1

Ghandak, Stupa Mori, Museum Ghazni, Qarez-i Mir

Bamiyan, Shewaki Surkh Kotal
Minar-e Chakri

Haibak & Bamiyan

Landscape &c

Balkh – Masjid-i now gunbad

Minar-i Jam

Doab, Surkh Kotal, Balkh, Mazar-i Sharif, Herat, Bost

Kabul 1969 [1]

Kabul 1970 [1]

Kabul 1970 [2]


February 2001
Searching the internet at the beginning of the year 2001 for "Kabul & museum" or for "Bamiyan" displays alarming news. This is why I'd like to put my old photographs of Afghanistan of the years 1969, 1970, and 1974 into the WWW to preserve a vivid memory of the treasures collected in the museum in Darulaman and of an Afghanistan as it used to be years ago.
Satellite view of the devastated museum in GoogleEarth.

The news international press agencies have been spreading since February 26, 2001 about the Taleban planning to destroy the Buddhas in Bamiyan as well as sculptures and paintings in the Kabul Museum and other locations in Afghanistan are nurturing the desire to present a collection of (former) treasures of Afghanistan in the world wide web.

My professor and supervisor Klaus Fischer at the Department for Oriental Art History of the Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms University in Bonn succeeded many years ago in providing me a permission of the Director General Archaeology Afghanistan, Prof. Dr. Sh. Moustamindy, to take plenty of photos in the museum in Darulaman before we went out for our fieldwork in Sistan in 1969. In memory of Klaus Fischer and in gratitude to his work in and about Afghanistan, I am presenting these pictures together with other photographs of the years 1970 and 1974 on this site.

The descriptions of the photos from the National Museum Kabul I have added in the meantime. For additional information regarding the descriptions I'm always open.

And by the time all the old photographs will be scanned and uploaded into the net, I'll get down to organise them and bring them into proper order. However, at the moment I think the mere presentation of the pictures is much more important. Sorting and organising them will be a task for quieter days. I do hope you agree with me on the size of the photos. In my opinion, stamp-size photos are of no use at all, and anybody who is really interested in the pictures surely doesn't mind a few additional seconds of loading-time.

Francine Tissot has published in 2006 an extraordinary useful catalogue of the former collections in the National Museum of Afghanistan, aided by UNESCO:

Francine Tissot, 2006, Catalogue of the National Museum of Afghanistan 1931–1985. Art, Museum and Monuments series, UNESCO Publishing, Paris.
ISBN-13: 978-92-3-104030-6

It would be highly appreciated, if this catalogue, together with the available colour photographs, could be made available for public access on the Internet.

May 4th, 2002

Since April 25th 2002 some 30 of my Bamiyan photographs are on exhibition for one year at the "Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art" at Dallas/Texas. Bonnie Speed and her team have done a wonderful job in combining the photographs with a huge, beautiful map of the silk road and with several original findings from the area. On April 25th during the opening of the exhibition I had the honour — and the great pleasure indeed — to give a lecture on "The Lost Buddhas of Bamiyan".
Here are some photographs of the exhibition and of Bonnie Speed and her team.

Please visit also the Wissenschaftliche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Afghanistan (AGA) (Scientific Work Group Afghanistan (AGA)) maintained by Bernt Glatzer.

For a similar topic see:
Buddhist rock-art from Northern Pakistan :

Many thanks for the translation go to Angie Dröber.

Copyright ©
Dr. Volker Thewalt
Schillerstr. 1
D-69257 Wiesenbach
fon: +49 (0)6223 970122
Created: 23.02.2001
Updated: 17.05.2016