News of the WeekArchaeology

Heavy Damage Feared After Taliban Decree

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Science  09 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5510, pp. 1873-1875
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5510.1873b

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Last week, Afghanistan's Taliban leaders began to carry out a decree to demolish all carvings and statues of animals and humans. The government-sponsored destruction extends even to artifacts from its own, Islamic tradition, as well as thousands of lesser known items that experts say combine Western and Eastern traditions in unique and irreplaceable ways. The Taliban, which few governments recognize as legitimate rulers, believes animal and human representations are antithetical to Islamic teaching.