The Silk Road locale has significant influences from Iran to India, and a Bronze Age copper smelter remains buried.
Over 500 workers from the Ministries of Culture and of Mining have been racing to recover artifacts before the industrial-scale digging begins.
The wind sweeps over the barren hillsides of Logar province just 25 miles southeast of Kabul, blowing dust over unearthed sections of the ruins of Mes Aynak.
A young archaeologist takes a break to show off a latest find at the precious historical site, in a rugged area the size of Pompeii.
The project goes to the heart of a debate about one of the great contrasts of Afghanistan: that a country of immense riches is so dogged by poverty. Other studies point to figures as high as trillion.
The unprecedented archaeological campaign could give way to what will be the country’s most sizable foreign direct investment.At present, the Afghan government is locked in a contractual struggle with the company, Metallurgical Corporation of China Limited (MCC), over royalties from the billion effort, which is said to undergird potential copper resources in excess of 0 billion.