Afghanistan has an historic background in the field of decorative art. Stonework art was common during the Greco- Bactrian period,2,200 years ago, and later technological advances led to its machine-based production. Wood carving and jewelry art are prevalent in Afghan art and have roots to the Nooristan region.A celebrated example is the collection of the remaining jewels from Tela Tapa that date back to 2,000 years. Ceramic and monumental paintings are also celebrated art forms that are demonstrated through ancient minarets and buildings, the Herat Blue Mosque, calligraphy, book binding, textile, and glassware, which has origins to second century AD Begram. Glassware art later flourished during the Timurid Empire in the city of Herat, where glasswaremaking workshops are a popular tourist attraction. Leather work can be found in Kabul with its many leather-goods shops, embroidered work is popular in Kandahar province, which specializes in embroidered clothes, and Afghanistan’s rug and carpet weaving date back to the fifth century AD.
Precious Gems & Stones
Hindu Kush mountain range and the region's fierce indigenous inhabitants, the
Chitral and Nooristani Kafir, contribute dual-enigmatic and foreboding elements
that create a natural fortress of defense for the landscape’s treasure-trove of
underexploited minerals. The rough countryside
is home to a wide range of precious gemstones,such as aquamarine, emerald,
garnet, kunzite, lapis lazuli, ruby, sapphire, tourmaline, turquoise, and
Gemstone mining in
Afghanistan dates back 6,500 years to the gem mines of its northeastern region
in the Badakhshan province and the Panjshir, “Five Lions,” valley.
The Kokcha valley’s
Sar-e-Sang mines produced lapis lazuli, one of the first gems to be extracted rom
the region and widely regarded as the world's premier source in terms of
quantity and quality value.
Its name derives from the
Latin word “lapis,” meaning stone and the Persian word “lazhward,”
meaning blue. It is used
to make beads and boxes and is popularly used for men's jewelry.
It is mined in Blue Mountain
on the right bank of the Kokcha River.
The mines sit at over
11,000 feet on the mountain, and because of the cold temperatures, they are
worked in between June and September.