Artists in Afghanistan used a primitive form of oil paint on cave walls hundreds of years before it became common practice in Europe, according to new research.Yoko Taniguchi of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties in Tokyo and her co-workers analysed samples of Buddhist paintings in caves at Bamiyan in Afghanistan, made in the mid-seventh and early eighth centuries AD.More than seven years after the Taliban destroyed the two giant Buddha statues at Bamiyan, an Afghan-led archaeological team has uncovered the remains of a third giant Buddha nearby.The remains of the 19-meter-long reclining Buddha statue were discovered this summer within the foundations of an ancient Buddhist temple less than 2 kilometers from the niches where Bamiyan's two giant Buddha statues once stood.
They show images of Buddha in vermilion robes sitting cross-legged amid palm leaves and mythical creatures.
But we discovered a piece from the upper right arm down to the elbow. But the head is broken because of water damage beneath the ground.
Still, the pillow he is sleeping on is in perfect condition," Tarzi says."If I had permission and if I would live long enough, I would definitely restore it for Afghanistan.
Scientists found the murals in a network of caves where monks lived and prayed in the Afghan region of Bamiyan, according to a statement on the Web site of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, where the ancient paintings were analyzed.
Until 2001, two colossal 6th-century statues of Buddhas stood at the mouth of the caves.