a public event
West of Bamiyan: New Discoveries in Afghanistan
Center for Buddhist Studies Colloquium Series - MEIJI YAMADA
Monday, May 24, 2004
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
10367 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
The Bamiyan valley of Afghanistan, nestled in the Hindukush mountain range, occupies a strategic place along the Southern Silk Routes across Central Asia. This was the place of the giant 150 foot high Buddha image destoyed by the Taliban, and is rich in cave temples full of painting and sculpture, stocked with the wealth provided by trade and lavish royal and mercantile donations. In November 2003, near the small village of Qerigan about 100 miles west of Bamiyan, a Buddhist monastery was discovered in a remote location, consisting of a large stupa and over twenty two-story shrine structures. Nearby is also the so far unpublished remains of the fort of Chil-Borji (Forty Towers). The discovery of these large-scale remains demonstrates the strategic importance of this route for trade and commerce, and is particularly interesting since the west of Bamiyan has previously been thought to contain no trade routes or Buddhist ruins. The lecture “West of Bamiyan,” illustrated with slides, will discuss the present situation of this site, and its significance.
Meiji Yamada is Emeritus Professor of Ryukoku University, Kyoto, where he taught for over 20 years from 1980-2003. In the years previous to that, he participated in Kyoto University excavations at Buddhist sites in Afghanistan (1970-1979). He is the author of numerous works in Japanese, and a number in English, mostly concerned with the Buddhist art and architecture of India and the Northwest.