Ancient coins are featured at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in a joint exhibition with the National Geographic Society and the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul. It will be open for viewing until Sept. 7.
The exhibition includes ancient coins found in the region. Many of the treasures were rediscovered buried in the Central Bank located in the Presidential Palace after being out of sight since 1979 when the Soviet invasion occurred. The treasures escaped the later onslaught of the Taliban, who ruthlessly destroyed many works of art that portrayed deities.
A true civilization grew up in the region as early as 2000 B.C. with fortified buildings, including towers. An external danger existed that prompted such construction - providing for the common defense - that resulted in a fortress type city. The early civilization on the Oxus River left no evidence of writing and its history is lost. It predates the minting of coins as well. The discovery of a grave site 40 years ago unearthed a small treasure including . . .
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