Excavation at Tillya Tepe in Sheberghan, Afghanistan in 1978.
|The Taliban are looking for the Bactrian treasure. The treasure was brought to the presidential palace by the former government in February 2021 and was put on display for public viewing. The priceless hoard has since vanished. The ancient treasure now enters a new chapter in its life which, like Afghanistan, has been filled with turmoil since it was first discovered. “The issue is under investigation, and we will collect information to know what the reality is,” said Ahmadullah Wasiq, the Taliban’s mouthpiece.|
|The Bactrian Treasure is a gold hoard that lay under the 'Hill of Gold' in Afghanistan, known as Bactria when Alexander the Great conquered the country. The hoard is a spectacular collection of 20,600 gold ornaments found in six burial mounds just beyond the oasis town of Sheberghan in northern Afghanistan.
The treasure lay undisturbed until Soviet archeologists exposed it shortly before the 1979 invasion. Soon after the discovery, a guerrilla war against the Soviet occupation began, followed by civil war.
|Gold and turquoise crown from tomb six at Tillya Tepe, dating to 25-50 CE.||During those years the treasure was kept in the Kabul Museum, which has since been looted. The day before the Russians fled Kabul in February 1989, the treasure was moved to the presidential compound, the safest place in the capital.|
Gold stater of the Greco-Bactrian king Eucratides, Weight: 169.2 gm., Diam: 58 mm., the largest gold coin of antiquity.
On the Taliban's last night in power, as coalition forces pounded the country with bombs, the Taliban stuffed the central bank's cash reserves into tin trunks and arrived at the vault for the gold bars. They spent four hours trying to open the vault. Mr Askerzai watched. Unknown to them, five years earlier he had broken the key and left it in the lock. The Taliban gave up and fled Kabul as Northern Alliance forces edged closer. That saved the treasure.