September 5th, 2012
01:39 PM GMT
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Afghanistan (CNN) - A team of international archaeologists are racing against the clock to salvage relics from an ancient Buddhist monastery at Mes Aynak in Afghanistan before it is destroyed to make way for a giant $100 billion open cast copper mine.

Brent Huffman, documentary film maker and professor at Medill Northwest University, in the United States, has spent months in the midst of a situation which illustrates the conflicting economic and cultural interests at play in Afghanistan today.

“There is $100 billion worth of copper right underneath the site,” says Huffman. “In order for a Chinese company to mine this copper they’ve got to destroy the whole mountain range and all the monasteries. It is a race against time.”

He says archaeologists are scrambling to save everything they can from the site by excavating as much as they can - in what is a job he says should take 35 years - before December this year, when the site will be closed down and the China Metallurgical Group Corporation will begin copper excavation.

Huffman says the archaeologists face immense danger on a day-to-day basis.

“There are a lot of very angry villagers that are attacking the site and that are working in tandem with the Taliban to place landmines on the road at night and shoot rockets at the archaeological site.”

Huffman says if the destructive process at this mine is successful, Chinese and other international companies will replicate it all over Afghanistan.

“It really breaks my heart to think this will all be bulldozed,” he says.

Filed under: BusinessGlobal Exchange


soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. JACQUES

    Why bother to save their heritages? So, they can destroy it! The Afghans forgot about their root, They were once Buddhists. Now they are being brainwashed into that Babaric Islamic Cult, and they try to destroy everything that is not Islamic Cult. Well it is a curse, Afghans will never find peace or prosperity since they already destroyed the Lord Buddha.

    September 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  2. Tanvir Afgan

    Lord Buddha was a son of the soil. Barbarians pampered by the west can do anything. this has nothing to do with Islam though!

    September 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  3. JACQUES

    FYI, everyone will become soil when they died. With the name Tanvir Afgan, NO 1 will be pampered you. Only in Muslim countries. Pls go away and put a burga on your wives and daugthers.

    September 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  4. Big Joe

    If the relics were islamic, there would be riots and suicide bombings to stop it

    September 9, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  5. pampered afghan

    FYI Jacques afghans are still peaceful people. All religions have barbarics. Only reason you idiots call Islam barbaric because that's all that is displayed on t.v. Christians have killed more innocent people than all the barbaric religions put together remember Jerusalem? Or the crusades? Or what about the Israelites when they were going from village to village in their hay day massacring people for fun. I have been to Afghanistan time has frozen there. You can ask any military or civilian personnel. They still live as if they were living in 1500 and they love it. They don't want idiots in their country telling them how to live or what to dig for. No one cares about Buddhists kudos to china for killing them. God punished them because they are worthless.

    September 9, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  6. ahmed

    Stronger positions to teach English
    اقوى مواقع لتعليم اللغة الانجليزية
    http://s.v22v.net/wyEB

    September 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  7. Waxyenk

    Resident Evil 2 il primo capitolo della serie al quale ho gtaocio, ed attualmente il mio preferito. Senza dubbi. Premesso questo, la mia opinione una: per quanto il comparto grafico sia notevolissimo per il Wii, la moderna mania di creare sparatutto su binari odiosa. Ok, una categoria di gioco che piace, senza dubbio. Ma non per Resident Evil. Per chi si chiedesse il perch (non credo molti, ma comunque mai dire mai), ricorderei al mondo (e alla capcom) che resident evil un alternanza di zombie lenti e macchinosi ed enigmi, enigmi, enigmi. Ed proprio quest'altalenarsi di gameplay (nonch la tensione onnipresente) che dava spessore alla serie. Ora riducono tutto ad uno spara e ammazza. Banale.

    September 21, 2012 at 6:04 am |
  8. Musa

    "CY西九門牽涉的關乎幾百億計的公眾利益 如真有問題 案情就會比唐唐在自己家裡違規建地牢攬攬女或煲呔貪小便宜坐遊艇坐private jet嚴重得多多聲了 " "如真有問題" was the key phase in your response. Even you attdmied that the problem has not yet been identified and that no evidence was ever presented to show CY Leung acted in direct conflict of interests. So how do you justify the author's nothing of Guilty before proven Innocent which is what the print media and this author are essentially doing?And I've also noticed that you've skipped my comments regarding the pan-democratic camp accepting donations from Jimmy Lai, and them being on his yacht, why did the print media put so little effort in pushing the case for corruption for these people? Why has these donations and these events not being a subject of an corruption investigation?"明眼人都可以看得出本土狗仔隊本身不可能會突然 升呢 挖到咁多料 一定有大內高手feed料給香港記者"明眼人 argument is always the funny ones. Because one would have seen that NONE of those "scandals" hold that much destructive power without the print media making wild speculations and innuendos as if they were facts. Even Henry Tang's problem would not have been as big had he not lied about it in the first place. 明眼人 would've think of something more juicier and with a lot more evidence "樓上說什麽六七暴動不能怪罪于北京 那就肯定是大錯特錯" If you read carefully what I wrote you will see that it is... "And to blame 1967 SOLELY on Beijing" which suggested that I believe Beijing does hold responsibilities for 1967 but they should not be the only one. As you write "當然英殖政策有其不是之處" you've indirectly attdmied that the author has made no mention of this, and therefore making his assertion that Beijing is the only one to blame incorrect."至於第一and第二段 練總更是在想著好心獻策 - 不要把團派/胡錦濤/中聯辦/彭清華/工聯會等土共/個別垂涎香港利益的內資&其相連的港資二五仔 vs. 太子党/江澤民/港澳辦/廖暉/傳統滬藉唐姓田姓等工商世家+寶baby姓何鴻燊姓等省港澳世家/七八十年代冒起的龍頭地產霸權大族 之間的龍爭虎鬥把香港社會撕裂 "Name one time period in history of any society where the wealthiest don't get the advantages. Are you suggesting that there is no 霸權 during the 70s and 80s? No, what makes Hong Kong a mess today is people like you found it easier to get what you want by complaining instead of working. That government should be responsible for your success and shield you from failure. How is it that Hong Kongers back in the 60s and 70s had to deal with plague, and water shortages, no public housing or government assistant programs, but yet have fewer whiners than we have today!?

    October 7, 2012 at 5:49 am |

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