True survivors at the British Museum
A glass beaker, boot buckles and ivory statue from the 1st Century AD. (National Museum of Afghanistan, Thierry Ollivier / Musée Guimet)
Given that neither the Taliban nor heavy bombing campaigns are generally associated with careful preservation of historical artefacts, the opportunity to see this exhibition of treasures from the National Museum of Afghanistan is a real privilege.
Crossroads of the Ancient World uses pieces from Afghanistan, Egypt and India to explore Afghanistan's history as a centre of trade. The delicate beauty of exhibits, such as the folding gold crown found at Tillya Tepe (Hill of Gold), is made all the more remarkable by the knowledge that they were bravely hidden by officials during the Taliban's reign.
How do I make it happen?
- Afghanistan: Crossroads of the Ancient World opens on 3 March 2011 and features more than 200 objects from the National Museum of Afghanistan (£10).
- Lunch in nearby Charlotte Street at Roka; it serves Japanese robatayaki (charcoal grill) cuisine such as scallop skewers and baby back ribs (robata £15-£25).
- The Arosfa Hotel is just up the road from the museum, and is a great value b&b, with modest but well-equipped rooms (doubles from £82).
This article was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Magazine.