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Archaeologists search for Afghanistan's third giant Buddha.

Byline: ANI

Washington, June 11 (ANI): An archaeologist, along with his team, is searching for Afghanistan's third giant Buddha statue, one which is reclining and is believed to stretch 1,000 feet (300 meters) long underground.

According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 a report in National Geographic Magazine The National Geographic Magazine, later shortened to National Geographic, is the official journal of the National Geographic Society. It published its first issue in 1888, just nine months after the Society itself was founded. , the archaeologist in question is Zemaryalai Tarzi Dr. Zemaryalai Tarzi is an internationally renowned archaeologist from Afghanistan. Born in Kabul in 1939, Professor Tarzi completed his studies under the supervision of Professor Daniel Schlumberger, in the process of obtaining three Ph.Ds. , who was Afghanistan's Director of Archaeology in the 1970s.

When the Taliban blew up two colossal Buddha statues in Bamiyan in 2001, nobody was more aggrieved ag·grieved  
1. Feeling distress or affliction.

2. Treated wrongly; offended.

3. Law Treated unjustly, as by denial of or infringement upon one's legal rights.
 than Tarzi, who had protected them with steel reinforcements in the 1970s.

Now, he is determined to bring Bamiyan's other ancient riches to light. He returned to begin new excavations in 2002, after 23 years in exile.

Tarzi is searching for a third giant Buddha - one that's reclining and is believed to stretch 1,000 feet (300 meters) long underground.

Tarzi and his team of students, archaeologists, and museum restorers have cleaned and restored numerous other Buddhist clay sculptures found in Bamiyan.

Tarzi hopes someday these will fill exhibit cases in Afghan museums The Afghan Museum is a museum in Hamburg, Germany, storing Afghan history. It is a private museum and was opened in 1998. It was founded by Nek Mohamed, who was born in Afghanistan. The museum is located in a century old warehouse in "Speicher-stadt". , which have suffered from damage and looting.

Ancient Bamiyan was an influential hub of Buddhist learning and practice. Monks and pilgrims traveled there from as far away as China.

Tarzi and his team have unearthed Unearthed is the name of a Triple J project to find and "dig up" (hence the name) hidden talent in regional Australia.

Unearthed has had three incarnations - they first visited each region of Australia where Triple J had a transmitter - 41 regions in all.
 various Buddha heads dating back more than 1,500 years.

"These objects from the past, and the story of the sites they originate from, will become a source of inspiration and help the people of Afghanistan to reconnect with their roots," Tarzi said.

Tarzi is now searching for a third giant Buddha, believed to be buried underground and to extend 1,000 feet (300 meters) reclining.

The feet are all that's left of half a dozen standing Buddhist statues in Bamiyan's Eastern Monastery, excavated by Tarzi.

In 2008, Tarzi and his team uncovered a 62-foot (19-meter) reclining Buddha, which was much smaller than the 1,000-foot (300-meter) Sleeping Buddha he's determined to find, but still a tantalizing tan·ta·lize  
tr.v. tan·ta·lized, tan·ta·liz·ing, tan·ta·liz·es
To excite (another) by exposing something desirable while keeping it out of reach.
 hint of what may await if his quest succeeds.

He's basing his search on a detailed account by a seventh-century Chinese pilgrim who visited the region. (ANI)

Copyright 2009 Asian News International The Asian News International (ANI) agency provides multimedia news to China and 50 bureaus in India. It covers virtually all of South Asia since its foundation and presently claims, on its official website, to be the leading South Asia-wide news agency.  (ANI) - All Rights Reserved.

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jun 11, 2009
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