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Conferenze

The IsIAO Italian Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan 1957-2007

21

ISBN 978-88-6323-295-0

9 788863 232950

Conferenze 21

The IsIAO Italian Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan 1957-2007

Fifty Years of Research in the Heart of Eurasia Proceedings of the symposium held in the Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente, Rome, January 8th 2008 edited by Anna Filigenzi and Roberta Giunta

Roma € 37,00

Roma IsIAO 2009

Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente 2009


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Pagina VII

PREFACE

It is with great pleasure that I introduce this volume dedicated to the fiftieth anniversary of the Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan. This anniversary follows, one year on, that of the Archaeological Mission in Pakistan, which was celebrated in a triple issue of East and West (56, 1-3, 2006). Both these events are inseparable from the history of the Institute itself, from its inception as IsMEO until the present day as IsIAO. The Archaeological Missions in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran were founded by Giuseppe Tucci in the short space of a few years. The rapid succession of these undertakings was dictated by one and the same project: in Tucci’s words, the project was ‘to resuscitate […] the life of things and men of past times’ in three regions linked together by common cultural roots and mutual exchanges. Although not an archaeologist, as he himself often recalled, Tucci committed to archaeology the task of ‘filling the tremendous existing historical gaps in many parts of Asia’(1). Fifty years are a long time span, at least for living beings – as I consider our Institute itself to be. Nonetheless, archaeology still represents one of the primary interests of the Institute, despite the increasing difficulties it encounters, partly because of a lack of resources, partly because field work is held back, if not

(1)

G. Tucci, La via dello Svat, Bari 1963 (2nd ed. Roma 1978).


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Pagina VIII

indeed prevented, by the constraints of the political situation. Archaeological projects represent long term investments: they imply not only field work, but also a meticulous analysis and interpretation of the data in which different expertises are involved. The results often come only after years of excavation, restoration, research in archives and libraries, analysis in laboratories. But still this is the only way we have to fill ‘the tremendous existing historical gaps in many parts of Asia’. After more than fifty years, the value of Tucci’s words and efforts regarding this aspect of the historical investigation remains intact. Things change with the passage of time. Technological advancement has produced changes in methods, strategies and objectives, but the ultimate task of our studies is still the same: ‘to resuscitate […] the life of things and men of past times’, something which is certainly not an end in itself but is accompanied by a greater awareness of our historical background and lays the foundation for intercultural dialogues. So, with this anniversary the Institute celebrates an uninterrupted cultural policy which has maintained the spirit of its inception, despite the necessary renovations and adaptations that over time are commanded by new demands and conditions. Although field work has suffered lengthy interruptions and is still heavily conditioned by the current situation, the scientific commitment, as well as the special bonds of friendship between the Institute and Afghanistan have never faltered. This is demonstrated not only by the prompt return of the Mission to Afghanistan but also by the existence of a new generation of Italian scholars that were ready to take up the challenge, and, I would add, by this volume itself, which represents a bridge between the past and the future. I would need too large a space to thank all the persons and institutions that have supported our activities with their enterprising spirit and generous collaboration. I VIII


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limit my thanks to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Italy in Afghanistan, to the Ambassador Musa M. Maroofi, the representative of Afghanistan in Rome, to Mr Omar Khan Massoudi, Director of Afghan Museums, to Mr Nader Rasouli, Director of the Afghan National Institute of Archaeology. I cannot but address a special thought to Maurizio Taddei and Umberto Scerrato, who dedicated to Afghan archaeology a great part of their lives. My thanks go to Giovanni Verardi, who promptly reorganised and led the Mission in the early years of its return to Afghanistan, to Anna Filigenzi, who is the present Director, and to Roberta Giunta, who coordinates the Islamic sector. To them, as well as to the many others that I cannot mention in the short space at my disposal, I wish to express my gratitude. My hope, certainly shared by all those who prize the value of culture without cultural frontiers, is that research in Afghanistan will continue in the future under improved conditions and with greater opportunities but with the same humanistic and far-sighted outlook it had at the outset. Gherardo Gnoli

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ROBERTO MICHELI PREHISTORY OF AFGHANISTAN: THE ITALIAN CONTRIBUTION AND RESEARCH PERSPECTIVES

The Italian Archaeological Mission of IsMEO began its activities in Afghanistan in 1957 and focused on Buddhist and Islamic archaeology in the Ghazni province; prehistoric research was limited to the first part of the 1960s and geographically centred on the northernmost slopes of the Hindu Kush mountain range in northern Afghanistan. A preliminary note was published in 1962 by Salvatore Puglisi in the journal Afghanistan and two short papers by Puglisi and Editta Castaldi appeared in the quarterly East and West in 1963, but unfortunately were not followed by any comprehensive analysis. The notes described Hazar Sum as a vast archaeological site whose ruins covered an area of about 35 hectares. The surveys allowed many archaeological remains to be discovered which were attributed to the Kushan and Islamic periods and included megalithic monuments, dry wall features and rock cave dwellings. During the surveys a large number of prehistoric stone tools were also found (Puglisi 1962, 1963; Castaldi 1963). In 1963 the Italian team surveyed the Darra-i Kalon valley located about 9 km southwest of Hazar Sum. In the area where the Darra Chakhmakh joins the Darra-i Kalon the team identified some rock shelters that could have been used as temporary refuges in the past. Two years later, Puglisi carried out sondages at one of these sites and discovered a rich


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Fig. 2 - Hazar Sum: sub-pyramidal pre-form (1), tabular rejuvenation flake (2), crested blade (3), retouched or pseudo-retouched flakes (4-7), retouched or pseudo-retouched blades (8-10) and fragmented blade with retouch on fracture (11). (Drawings by the Author).

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MARCO FERRANDI OUT OF HISTORY: THEMES AND SYMBOLS IN THE HINDU KUSH AT THE FRINGES OF THE MAIN CULTURAL TRADITIONS

The territory of the Hindu Kush has seen many invasions, population shifts and cultural influences over the millennia. Archaeologists and historians have identified most of those ‘cultural waves’ by means of archaeological documents and written sources; the result is that we have a quite reliable outline of the chronology of Hindu Kush’s last three millennia. We have therefore identified Hellenistic, Buddhist, Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Central Asiatic influences, each of them including an array of cultural products; among them, a series of specific symbols and images that are considered typical of a certain cultural milieu. More than that, such images and symbols are frequently used by scholars to relate the archaeological documents to the various cultural traditions. As we all know, such a cognitive process can not be considered exhaustive; there will always be some (or many) ‘jigsaw pieces’ that are difficult to position in the wider cultural context, or – on the contrary – that could be assigned to more than one cultural horizon. Such archaeological materials remain, if there are no other indicators (written sources, absolute dating, etc.), in a sort of hermeneutic limbo, waiting for new data to shed some light on them.


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Fig. 1 - Distribution map of rock art sites in the Hindu Kush. 1- Baghlan; 2- Baharak; 3- Tupchi (Bamiyan); 4- Doab (Bamiyan); 5- Gram Shal; 6- Ghizar; 7- Haibak; 8- Hazar Sum; 9- Jaghatu; 10- Jaghuri; 11- Laghman; 12- Mulk Ali; 13- Shahran (Munjan); 14- Rahman Kul; 15- Safar; 16- Tang-i Tizao; 17- Tergen Gorum; 18- Khandud (Wakhan); 19- Yasin.

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ANNA FILIGENZI THE BUDDHIST SITE OF TAPA SARDAR

Because of its geographical position, Afghanistan, lying at the crossroads of the Indian, Iranian and Central Asian worlds, ever since ancient times has nurtured a natural cosmopolitan vocation, which emerges with particular clarity during the period when, in the first centuries of the Common Era up to the Islamic conquest, the spread of Buddhism provided common cultural grounds for different countries. The impetuous expansion of Buddhism followed to a large extent the eastern stretch of the Silk Road, thus reinforcing the international character of the regions involved in the long distance trade network. Far from levelling down cultural diversities, Buddhism rather prompted different responses from different regional contexts, which in turn contributed as propulsive forces to the creation of what one might call the Buddhist ecumene. Valuable evidence in this respect comes from the Buddhist site of Tapa Sardar, excavated by the Italian Archaeological Mission of the IsMEO (now IsIAO) between the 1960s and the 1970s. The careful excavation methods, the rich stratigraphical sequence, and the wealth and variety of the archaeological remains – a witness to different aspects and phases of the artistic, religious, and even political atmosphere of the time – make Tapa Sardar one of the basic sites for gaining knowledge of the


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Buddhist art in Afghanistan and Central Asia, especially with regard to its late phases. The sacred area of Tapa Sardar consists of an organic complex of structures having its fulcrum on the levelled top of a small hill (Fig. 1). The prominent position in the plain of Dasht-i Manara, along the road linking Kabul and Kandahar, is in itself eloquent evidence of the importance of the site as a religious centre as well as a political and ideological landmark. The prestige of the settlement, fully evidenced by the archaeological remains, finds further confirmation in two written sources: the first one comes from the site itself and is represented by an inscription on a pot, which reads Kanika mah@ar@aja vih@ara (‘the temple of the Great King Kanishka’)(1); in turn, this direct evidence reinforces the hypothesis that the mah@ar@aja vih@ara of Tapa Sardar may well correspond to the Sˇa @ h Bah@ar that, according to the Kit@ab albuld@an, was destroyed in 795 A.D. (Taddei 1968: 109-10; Verardi & Paparatti 2004: 100; 2005: 410, 442).

The History of the Research Regular excavations at Tapa Sardar were preceded by occasional and limited digs. The importance of the site was first stressed by Umberto Scerrato in his report on the excavations carried out at Ghazni in the years 1957-1958 (Scerrato 1959: 53). Trial excavations by Dinu Adamesteanu in 1959 and 1960 revealed the presence of Buddhist monuments on the upper terrace of the tepe. Further excavations, carried out by Salvatore M. Puglisi in 1961, contributed evidence of a stratigraphical sequence bearing (1) Difficult to say to which Kanishka the inscription refers to. According to Verardi & Paparatti (2005: 410) Tapa Sardar may have been established by Kanishka II or Kanishka III, although the Kanishka of the inscription could also be Kanishka I ‘be it only to emphasize the importance of the monastery’ (ibid.: 411, n. 8).

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Fig. 1 - Tapa Sardar, general plan. (Drawing by N. Labianca; Š IsIAO).

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MARIA VITTORIA FONTANA ISLAMIC ARCHAEOLOGY IN AFGHANISTAN: THE PAST AND THE NEW ISIAO PROJECTS

We owe the first Italian initiative in the field of Islamic Archaeology to the IsMEO (today IsIAO, i.e. Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente); the chosen area was Afghanistan. Despite the ‘monopoly’ of the Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan, the considerable prestige of Giuseppe Tucci was the key to obtaining the permission for an excavation, and the area upon which Tucci focused his attention was that of Ghazni. Thus began the great adventure of the Italian Islamic archaeology, whose most prominent figure would be Umberto Scerrato, great pedagogue and friend, to whose lesson, together with the possibility to participate in his field activities, I owe all that I know and that allows me today to perform my role both within the university and within this Institute. I owe the latter appointment (in 2004) in particular to the President of IsIAO, my friend Prof. Gherardo Gnoli (whom I wish to thank), who wanted to renew the support of the Institute to the prosecution of the studies in the field of Islamic archaeology. To Umberto Scerrato (the first academic, in Italy, to obtain a chair of Islamic archaeology – previously promised, but never granted to another eminent scholar, Ugo Monneret de Villard) we owe then the introduction


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Fig. 1 - Ghazni 1957. Alessio Bombaci and Umberto Scerrato in front of the store-room (12-13th century) of the so-called ‘House of Lustres’.

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ROBERTA GIUNTA ISLAMIC GHAZNI: EXCAVATIONS, SURVEYS AND NEW RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Prior to the start-up of the activities of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan (Bombaci 1959; Scerrato 1959a; Adamesteanu 1960) what little was known of Islamic Ghazni consisted of a few relics attesting the importance and splendour enjoyed by the city between the late 10th and early 13th century, when it was chosen as the capital of two important dynasties: the Ghaznavids (who resided there between 977 and 1163)(1) and later the Ghurids, with the sultan Mu‘izz al-d@ ın Muh≥ ammad b. S@am (between 1173 and 1203)(2). The accounts of several famous 19th century travellers and scholars reported in particular the survival of the marble tomb erected for the celebrated Ghaznavid ruler Mah≥ mu @ d b. Sebüktikin(3) as well as of the wooden (1) The Ghaznavids remained in power until 1186 although they had lost practically all their territory during the last twenty-three years, and were able to control only the area of present-day North-west Pakistan with Lahore as the capital. (2) In 1150-51 Ghazni was pillaged and burned by the Ghurids who then rebuilt it several years later. After the death of Mu‘izz al-d@ ın, and until 1215, a lieutenant of the Ghurid sultan Mah≥ mu @ d b. G˜ iy@at¯ al-d@ ın, T@aj al-d@ ın Yïldïz, was appointed governor of the city. (3) Vigne 1840: 131, fig. on p. 267; Kennedy 1840, II: 31, 59-64; Atkinson 1842: 217-22; Masson 1842, II: 219-22; Bellew 1862: 184; Fergusson 1876: 191-95. Of these descriptions, only that of Vigne is


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Fig. 1 - 1957. Dast-i Manara plain. On the left mausoleum of Sebüktigin, on the right minaret of Mas‘@ud III. (Dep. CS Neg. R 197/6; © IsIAO).

(Fig. 1), in an area lying between the citadel and the village of Rawza(7). In the first site, located about 300 m east of the minaret of Mas‘@ud III, a sultan’s palace was unearthed, delimited by an irregular external perimeter resulting from the adaptation of a pre-existing topographic situation; at the second site, on the slopes of the hills to the north of the two minarets, a private house was (7)

The two sites are easily recognized in an aerial photograph taken in 1957 as well as in a plan drawn by Norberto Antonioni based on the same photograph (Scerrato 1959a: 35-36, figs. 16-17).

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Fig. 2 - 1957. Ziy@ara Sult≤@an Ibr@ah@ ım. (Dep. CS Neg. R 1750/3; © IsIAO).

found. The excavation of the palace began in an area in which a ziy@ara(8) stood. In this sanctuary, erroneously attributed by popular tradition to the Ghaznavid sultan, Ibr@ah@ ım, the father of Mas‘@ud III, numerous fragments of an extremely rich architectural decoration made of marble and baked brick(9) were found, reused on the pavement and the inner and outer walls (Fig. 2); among the finds (8) The term ziy@ara is currently used in present-day Afghanistan to denote both funerary enclosures and true mausoleums. (9) All the baked brick finds (13 items) were reused on the outer walls of the monument (inv. nos. C1652-C1655, C2479-C2484, C24892491); the marble finds (53 items) were instead found above all on the

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MARTINA RUGIADI DOCUMENTING MARBLES OF THE ISLAMIC PERIOD FROM THE AREA OF GHAZNI: THE ITALIAN CONTRIBUTION (1957-2007)

In the Ghaznavid period carved marble represented a widely employed material in the decorative apparatus of the monumental buildings of Ghazni, such as palaces and mosques, as well as in funerary architecture. It was employed in a variety of decorations and with different shapes, generally as wall facing and mainly together with the more common brick and stucco decoration. While the latter is a decorative feature shared with the architectural tradition of Islamic Central Asia and Iran, the use of carved marble, together with its profusion, has no parallels in other contemporary Islamic sites, not even in other Ghaznavid cities. In addition to the typology of the marble funerary architecture, which was the object of an earlier study by Roberta Giunta (1999, 2003a), we have attained today a complete typology of the marble architectural decoration: all the marbles known to me as coming from Ghazni have been catalogued, consisting for the most part of artefacts documented by the Italian Archaeological Mission through archaeological excavations and surveys in the Ghazni area in the years 1957-1968, and, for a lesser amount, of artefacts known through publications or belonging to museums’ and private collections (Rugiadi 2007; see also Giunta 2005c). In a region where no


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Fig. 2 - A modern tomb in a cemetery in Bahlul in 1957, showing the re-employment of a dado slab with a benedictory cursive inscription. (Dep. CS Neg. R 486/8; Š IsIAO).

ziy@ar@at and 6 mosques) a total of 388 marbles originally employed as architectural decoration were documented and photographed(3) (Fig. 2). Furthermore, during one of these surveys the possible quarry of the Ghazni marble was identified in a marble deposit 5 km from Ghazni, near the ziy@ara of Saki(4). Among the retrieved artefacts are (3)

The lack of a detailed plan of the Ghazni area has not allowed to precisely localize today most of the sites and buildings visited by the Italian Mission in the 1950s and 1960s, the most accurate attempt being that of Giunta (2003a), focusing mainly on the cemeterial areas; hardly any improvement has been possible since then. We hope that the acquisition of cartographies and of satellite images will permit the elaboration of an archaeological map of Ghazni, including archaeological sites and architectural monuments: this would be the natural outcome of the documentation gathered by the Italian Mission 50 years ago and the ideal fulfilment of its works. (4) Photographs of the IsIAO archive: Negs. L514/23 to L514/27 and L514/29 to L514/30; R669/5F to R669/11F; R670/6F to R670/12F.

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SIMONA ARTUSI ARCHITECTURAL DECORATION FROM THE PALACE OF MAS‘UD III IN GHAZNI: BRICKWORK AND BRICKWORK WITH STUCCO. A PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS

The use of brickwork in architectural decoration was present in Islamic art in the Iranian and Central Asian territories ever since the 10th century(1) and is known as having been particularly widespread during the Ghaznavid and Ghurid era; this is significantly confirmed by the remains of Lashkari Bazar (Schlumberger & Sourdel-Thomine 1978), the minarets of Mas‘@ud III and Bahr@am Sˇ@ah in Ghazni (Sourdel-Thomine 1953; Galdieri 1978), the minaret of Jam (Wiet & Maricq 1959), the madrasa of Shah-i Mashhad (Casimir & Glatzer 1971), as well as the mosque and mausoleum of G˜ iy@at¯ al-d@ ın at Herat (Stuckert & Glatzer 1980). During the excavation campaigns of the palace of Mas‘@ud III in Ghazni (Bombaci 1959; Scerrato 1959a; Adamestanu 1960), the Italian Archaeological Mission brought to light one of the largest and most varied corpus of architectural decoration in brickwork – often combined with stucco – referring to the Ghaznavid and Ghurid epoch. These elements constituted, together with the marbles, the (1)

The most representative buildings include the so-called Jurjir mosque at Isfahan (Finster 1994: 198-200) and the Samanid mausoleum at Bukhara (Rempel‘ 1936; Voronina 1954).


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inventoried by the old Mission (between 1957 and 1966); c. 415 are in the Kabul National Museum; c. 675 are those owned by IsIAO which are deposited in the Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale ‘G. Tucci’ in Rome. In addition to these artefacts, there are also less than 3,000 un-inventoried items, several coming from other buildings of the city, all of which are in the process of being catalogued(5). Our classification is based on the different processing and placing techniques employed for the two classes of materials (I. Baked brick and II. Baked brick with stucco), which allowed some twenty different types to be identified. It was possible to recognize a certain variety of morphological and decorative types, of which the most representative are wall facing elements (Ia and IIa. panels, friezes and frames) and architectural support elements having a decorative function (Ib. small columns and pillars).

I. BAKED BRICK This is undoubtedly the largest class, featuring the highest number of identified types (about 16), distributed among wall facing elements (Ia) and architectural support elements having a decorative function (Ib). Ia. Wall Facing Elements The fundamental techniques of these elements include both the carving technique – a deep or slight carving of slabs and bricks before firing (Ia.1) – and the mosaic-like (5) These artefacts are housed respectively in the Ghazni storerooms (c. 2,700), in the Kabul National Museum (c. 118 finds), and in Rome (61 finds in the Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale ‘G. Tucci’ and 69 finds in the IsIAO ‘Centro Scavi’). An autoptic analysis of the material was carried out on the items kept in Rome by the present author.

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technique – carved baked brick elements assembled and bonded, using mortar, on a base of baked bricks laid flat (Ia.2).

Fig. 1 - Square brick in carving technique (Ia.1) (inv. no. C1148, MNAOr). (Digital photo by the Author; © IsIAO).

Fig. 2 - Rectangular slab in deep carving technique (Ia.1) (inv. no. C2501, MNAOr). (Digital photo by the Author; © IsIAO).

Ia.1. Brickwork in Carving Technique Panels and friezes of this first type consist mainly of bricks laid side by side (25 × 25 cm, or else rectangular of different sizes) with a modular development of the pattern. The decorative motifs are above all vegetal (Fig. 1), geometric-vegetal and epigraphic(6). These panels and friezes were present throughout the palace area, although some may be precisely located in certain rooms. One type of frieze, presenting a decoration consisting of a pair of semipalmettes filled alternatively with ‘triangle’ and ‘dropshaped’ motifs (Fig. 2), was found mainly on the north side, in the area of

(6) A preliminary classification of the inscriptions has been made by Roberta Giunta, forthcoming b.

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FINBARR BARRY FLOOD MASONS AND MOBILITY: INDIC ELEMENTS IN TWELFTH-CENTURY AFGHAN STONE-CARVING

In the last decade of the twelfth century, much of north India was brought under the political control of the newly ascendant Shansabanid sultans of Afghanistan. The Shansabanids or Ghurids (so-called because their traditional power base was located in the mountainous region of Ghur) enjoyed a meteoric rise to power from the 1150s onwards. The apogee of Ghurid power came during the reign of the brothers G˜ iy@at¯ al-d@ ın Muh≥ammad b. S@am (r. 558-99/11631203) and Mu‘izz al-d@ ın Muh≥ammad b. S@am (r. 569602/1173-1206). The brothers ruled in a condominium, the former overseeing the westward expansion of the sultanate from Firuzkuh in west-central Afghanistan, the latter expanding Shansabanid dominion eastwards from the former Ghaznavid capital (Bosworth 1991). The last decade of the twelfth century also saw a significant campaign of architectural patronage in both Afghanistan and north India. This campaign led to the * I would like to express my thanks to Professor Gherardo Gnoli, Dr Anna Filigenzi, and Dr Roberta Giunta for their invitation to attend the meeting celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan. I would also like to offer a warm thanks to Professor Maria Vittoria Fontana, Dr Roberta Giunta, Dr Martina Rugiadi, and Dr Simona Artusi for their kindness and hospitality during my visit to Rome.


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Fig. 5 - Ghazni, marble mih≼r@ab dated 600/1203. (By kind permission of the IsIAO, Dep. CS Neg. 1524/8).

d@ Ĺn Muh≼ammad b. S@am (Giunta 2003b). The polylobed arch of the foundation text is born on twisted columns that stand on circular bases lightly incised with stylized inverted lotus petals and are surmounted by bifoliate capitals (Fig. 5). Like the baluster and ringed columns commonly employed on other of the Ghazni carvings, the twisted columns employed here replicate a type of architectonic feature familiar from the stone temples of north India. Among the few dated examples are the columns flanking the entrance to the Sas Bahu Temple at Gwalior (A.D. 1093), but similar columns are also found in the eleventh- and twelfth-century temples 144


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GIUSEPPE MORGANTI THE ISLAMIC MUSEUM OF RAWZA: RECENT HISTORY AND PRESENT PROJECT

In the framework of the activities undertaken by the IsIAO (formerly IsMEO) in Afghanistan under the direction of Giuseppe Tucci, from the outset of its work in the country, the Italian Archaeological Mission addressed the important problem of museums, with the aim of disseminating and making visible, through the exhibition of artefacts, the results of archaeological surveys and excavations. A Museum of Islamic Art was thus created in Rawza in 1966 and a Museum of PreIslamic Art in Ghazni was under construction when the events following in the wake of the Soviet invasion, the Taliban regime and the civil war put a stop to all cultural activity in the country. In 2001, after the destruction caused by the war, the Italian and Afghan Governments came to an agreement aimed at restarting the cultural activities interrupted twenty-three years before. The Italian Archaeological Mission, under the direction of Giovanni Verardi, resumed its work in 2002, one year after the collapse of the Taliban regime. Resumption of the museum activities in Ghazni was one of the first tasks of the new agenda. As a preliminary operation, the Italian team started liberating the warehouse from the junk that filled it, in order to proceed with the inventory of the artefacts collected from the old excavations and surveys. It was then realized that


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Pagina 169

Fig. 4 - The mausoleum’s outside area as an ‘Islamic garden’: a bird’s eye view.

close to the reception building. Terraces will be arranged with flowerbeds of different types (with plants suited to the local climate and history, paving, water basins, and arrangements of earths of different colours, which require no irrigation), lined by hedges made of plants selected according to the Persian gardening tradition (cypresses, citruses and roses). Great care will be devoted to irrigation, implemented mainly by means of small ornamental streams, taking advantage of the natural slope. Traditional materials of local architecture will be used: paving, small walls and borders made of clay and baked bricks, as well as edges of local stone (schist), small wooden structures to provide shade, etc. The area immediately around the Mausoleum, which stands higher on a sort of podium and is accessed through a short staircase in front of the main entrance, will be paved with different kinds of stone arranged in geometrical patterns to ensure the greatest respect of, and to avoid any interference to, the monument. Finishing works. A small reception building, aimed at controlling the flow of visitors, will host the main 169


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FABIO COLOMBO SOIL, MARBLE AND COLOUR: RESTORATION AND CONSERVATION ACROSS THE HISTORY OF THE ITALIAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN

For many years the Italian Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan (hereafter MAIA) has availed itself of scientific and technical staff. The idea of ‘conservation’ of both finds and sites has accompanied the Mission ever since its creation. The great sensitivity, now as then, of the Italian archaeologists and excavation personnel (all Afghans) has enabled us to inherit a great and unique collection. I use the term inherit because I consider the period of war in any case a sad one – two decades that unfortunately have not only altered the state of conservation of sites and finds but, in the wake of these events, continues to have a negative effect. The technical and scientific personnel working in the field at Tapa Sardar had been trained at the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro (ICR) in Rome. Over the years they gradually improved their techniques of intervention which were then handed on to those that followed. Today seven restorers must be acknowledged: Enzo Pagliani, Ermete Crisanti, Maggiorino Eclisse, Elio Paparatti, Fabio Colombo, Livia Alberti, and Dario Federico Marletto. Of these, Elio Paparatti acted as a pivot between the mission of the 1970s and the subsequent resumption in 2002 and currently acts as technical and scientific manager of the work in progress on the Islamic finds in the Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale ‘G. Tucci’.


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GABRIELLA DI FLUMERI VATIELLI THE MUSEO NAZIONALE D’ARTE ORIENTALE ‘G. TUCCI’ AND THE ISTITUTO ITALIANO PER L’AFRICA E L’ORIENTE: A LONG AND INTENSE COLLABORATION OF 50 YEARS’ DURATION

The Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale which was recently (2005) named after the person who so strongly wanted it to be set up(1), Giuseppe Tucci, may be considered the ‘legitimate’ offspring of the Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente (IsMEO). By decree signed on 3 October 1957 by Giovanni Gronchi, the then President of the Republic, the museum was set up to house oriental art works, both those granted in deposit to the State by IsMEO and those owned by the State (Figs. 1-2). This decree was preceded shortly before (24 July 1957) by a convention stipulated at the Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione in the presence of both the Rt. Hon. Maria Jervolino, representing the ministry, and Giuseppe Tucci, President of IsMEO (now IsIAO). On that occasion the (1) The establishment of the Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale (hereafter MNAOr) was the fruit of the determination of a team of persons. In addition to the President of IsMEO, Giuseppe Tucci, Guglielmo De Angelis d’Ossat, head of the Direzione Generale delle Antichità e Belle Arti – Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione, and Domenico Faccenna, functionary of the same Direction and Director of the IsMEO’s Italian Archaeological Mission in Pakistan starting from 1957, were active participants.


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Fig. 1 - Decree dated 3 October 1957.

basis was laid for collaboration between the two Institutes, a collaboration that has proved particularly fruitful over the past 50 years. The convention was initially composed of 9 articles and was valid for 9 years. In the foreword ‘riconosciuta la 186


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THE IsIAO ITALIAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL MISSION: A GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY (1957-2009) Adamesteanu, D. (1960) Notes sur le site archéologique de Ghazni. Afghanistan, 15, 1, pp. 21-30. Alessio, M., F. Bella, F. Bachechi & C. Cortesi (1966) University of Rome Carbon-14 Dates IV. Radiocarbon, 8, 1, pp. 401-12. Alessio, M., F. Bella, F., Bachechi & C. Cortesi (1967) University of Rome Carbon-14 Dates V. Radiocarbon, 9, pp. 346-67. Artusi, S. (2009) La decorazione architettonica in cotto e in cotto e stucco proveniente dal Palazzo di Mas‘@ud III (1099-1115) a Ghazni (Afghanistan). PhD Dissertation, Università degli Studi di Udine. 2 vols. Udine. Bilingual Graeco-Aramaic Edict (1964) A Bilingual Graeco-Aramaic Edict by As´oka. Text, Translation and Notes by G. PuglieseCarratelli and G. Garbini, foreword by G. Tucci, introduction by U. Scerrato. IsMEO, Serie Orientale Roma, XXIX. Roma. Bombaci, A. (1957) Ghazni. East and West, 8, 3, pp. 247-58. Bombaci, A. (1958) Ghaznavidi. In Enciclopedia Universale dell’Arte, 6, pp. 5-16. Roma. Bombaci, A. (1959) Introduction to the Excavations at Ghazni. Summary Report on the Italian Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan. East and West, 10, 1-2, pp. 3-22. Bombaci, A. (1961) Les Turcs et l’art ghaznavide. In First International Congress of Turkish Art. Ankara 19th-24th October 1959, pp. 65-70. Ankara. Bombaci, A. (1964) La sposa del Cielo. In A Francesco Gabrieli. Studi orientalistici offerti nel sessantesimo compleanno dai suoi colleghi e discepoli, pp. 21-34. Studi orientali, 5. Roma. Bombaci, A. (1966) The K@ufic Inscription in Persian Verses in the Court of the Royal Palace of Mas‘@ud III at Ghazni. IsMEO, Reports and Memoirs, V. Rome. Bruno, A. (1962) The Planned and Executed Restoration of Some Monuments of Archaeological and Artistic Interest in Afghanistan. East and West, 13, 2-3, pp. 99-185. Bruno, A. (1963) Notes on the Discovery of Hebrew Inscriptions in the Vicinity oft he Minaret of Jam. East and West, 14, 3, pp. 206-208. Castaldi, E. (1963) Preliminary Report on the Researches at Haz@ar Sum (Samangan). Italian Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan. East and West, 14, 3-4, pp. 183-205.


The IsIAO Italian Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan 1957-2007