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update: where is afghanistan's bactrian gold treasure?

Have you heard about the Bactrian Gold (also known as Tillya Tepe or Golden Hill) treasure found in 1978 in Afghanistan? It’s one of the MOST important archaeological finds in the world (on par with discovery of King Tut’s tomb) and one of the biggest collections of gold in the world: 21,000 pieces of gold and backs Afghanistan’s currency! Over the years, displaying it at museums has brought the country over $4.5 million in revenues.

I have made several videos and posts about this treasure (see video below that shows the history of the treasure). The images in my videos are taken from Frederik Hiebert's book "Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from The National Museum, Kabul"). I have also linked the below for anyone who wants to learn more.

In August 2001, live footage on Al Jazeera showed members of the Taliban walking around the presidential palace, many of them looking at the gold on display. Ghani had placed the Bactrian Gold at the presidential palace since February 2021, and many pieces were still displayed out in the open. The Taliban then said they had an “obligation to robustly protect, monitor and preserve” items that were important to Afghanistan’s heritage.

In September 2001, it was reported the Taliban were looking for the treasure. “The issue is under investigation, and we will collect information to know what the reality is,” said Ahmadullah Wasiq, the Taliban’s deputy head of the Cultural Commission of the cabinet. “If it has been transferred (out of Afghanistan), it is a treason against Afghanistan. The government of Afghanistan will take serious actions if this and other ancient items are moved out of the country,” he said. But in September 2021, TOLO reported that Wasiq also stated: “The Bactrian Treasure is under the government’s control. It is protected. There is no worry and steps are being taken to protect it. Afghan archaeologists said it is the most important and historical asset of the country and should be protected.” Those were two conflicting quotes reportedly coming out of the same person in the same month. Then, last year, Afghan treasures, including necklaces and earrings decorated with turquoise stones, surfaced on the black market in Iran. There are concerns that the Bactria Gold treasure is there and could be melted down. But to date, there have been no public announcements about the whereabouts of this treasure. Archaeologist Hafiz Latifi said: “Spiritually, the treasure is very important to the country and it shows our historical and cultural identity.”

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