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Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008

Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures From the National Museum, Kabul

(National Geographic) edited by Fredrik Hiebert and Pierre Cambo

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Museum work can be dangerous business. Just ask the staff of the Baghdad Museum, looted as U.S. troops looked on, or the National Museum in Kabul, whose curators had to conceal their collection from the Soviets and the Taliban. Hidden Treasures is the catalog to an exhibit traveling across the United States, a dazzling spectacle of ancient gold and jewelry. One might expect less from the history of Afghanistan, a nation of warriors and rugged mountains, but trade routes passed through the country from ancient times, bearing the wealth of the world from East to West. Many relics date from the era when Greek civilization took hold in the mountains in the wake of Alexander the Great.