Monuments of AfghanistanHardback
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- Publisher: I.B.Tauris
- Format: Hardback | 288 pages
- Dimensions: 213mm x 274mm x 33mm | 1,520g
- Publication date: 15 September 2008
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1850434360
- ISBN 13: 9781850434368
- Illustrations note: photographs, maps
- Sales rank: 883,267
No history of China, India, Persia or Russia can be fully understood without continual reference to central Asia. At the heart of the region lie the deserts and mountain range of Afghanistan that even today remain largely unexplored. Yet in the past Afghanistan saw the rise of great cities, empires and civilizations such as the Kushan in the first few centuries AD, the Ghaznavid in the 11th century, and the Timurid in the 15th. Despite bearing witness to ancient and more recent battles, the scarred landscape of Afghanistan is strewn with the monuments to illustrate this rich history: from the recently uncovered Ai Khanum in the north-east and the spectacular 12th century minarets at Jam in the mountains of the west, to the magnificent palatial complexes of the 11th century sultans at Lashkar Bazar in the south and what remains of the 5th and 7th century Buddhist world of Bamiyan in the Hindu Kush - notoriously destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. This book provides a general background to the history and cultural heritage of Afghanistan. It includes broad summaries of the history, architecture and archeology, together with a gazetteer of the main monuments and archeological sites.
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Warwick Ball, F.S.A., M.I.F.A., is a distinguished writer and archaeologist who has conducted excavations in Afghanistan, Iran, Libya and Ethiopia. From 1972-1981 he worked in Afghanistan under successive regimes from kingdom to Soviet occupation. Between 1981-82 he was Acting Director of the British Institute of Afghan Studies. From 1983-85 he was Architectural Conservator in the Department of Antiquities in Jordan, and then between 1985-88 he served as Director of Excavations and Assistant Director of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq. He is now Director of Eastern Approaches, a company organizing tours to central Asia and beyond. He has published numerous books, which include" Syria: A Historical and Architectural Guide" (1994), "Rome in the East: The Transformation of an Empire "(2000) and (with Leonard Harrow) "Cairo to Kabul: Afghan and Islamic Studies Presented to Ralph Pinder-Wilson" (2002). Rome in the East won the James Henry Breasted Prize for History in 2000, and was Choice's Outstanding Academic Book in the same year.
"This work serves as a terrific introduction to Afghanistan's history and high architectural culture. . . In featuring monumental gems, archaeologist Ball provides a synoptic account of Afghan history that proves accessible and insightful. . . Ball has furnished a valuable addition to scholarship on Afghanistan. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels from undergraduates to professional specialists."--CHOICE "I recommend this book heartily. Warwick Ball knows Afghanistan better than anyone else I know; he writes well, accessibly and accurately."--Professor Georgina Herrmann, Professor Emerita in Asiatic Archaeology, University College, London. ""There is no-one better equipped than Warwick Ball to chart the monuments and sites of Afghanistan. Not only does he offer his readers a trustworthy and scholarly account, but his already authoritative text is richly augmented by superb colour photographs. Ball covers the entire country and poignantly reveals many sites that have now vanished or been destroyed. ""The Monuments of Afghanistan"" is a complete survey of this remarkable land and its legacy. It will delight scholars while also making a sumptious addition to the library of the generalist.""-- Richard N. Frye," " Aga Khan Professor Emeritus of Iranian, Harvard University ""Afghanistan is not just an Asian state that has suddenly hit the news. Since remote antiquity it has been a cradle and cross-roads of many civilisations of the Old World. No one knows the region better than Warwick Ball, who has long travelled, studied and excavated there. His account of the country, its history and monuments, is as dramatic as the land itself, and makes compulsive reading. The book is also a visual feast, given the stunning photographs - largely the author's own - which augment the text (though this is not just another picture book). The land has, over millennia, focussed the attention of Great Powers (Persians, Greeks, British and Russians in the Great Game) and religions, but in the end it transcends them all. Ball brings Afghanistan to us as brilliantly and sympathetically as it deserves.""-- Sir John Boardman, Emeritus Lincoln Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford ""In 1982, Warwick Ball published a gazetteer of archaeological sites and monuments in Afghanistan. In his latest book, he describes the most important sites in the gazetteer and illustrates them with his stunning photographs. I visited many of these sites 25 years ago, and read ""The Monuments of Afghanistan"" with a mixture of nostalgia and reassurance - reassurance that, despite destruction and loss, much of the monumental heritage of this remote and beautiful country has survived the upheavals of recent years.""-- David Whitehouse, Former Director, The British Institute of Afghan Studies""""