Ghazni Towers Project, Afghanistan

August 30, 2015

Through and interagency agreement with the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Department of State,  NPS Heritage Documentation Programs technical staff worked with two Afghan architects from Kabul University and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture to complete the production of architectural drawings of two renowned 12th century AD towers in Ghazni, Afghanistan. 
 
View the interactive website featuring the Ghazni Towers Documentation Project.
 
The towers, under threat from water erosion, exposure to the elements, looting and vandalism, were the subject of exhibitions in Afghanistan and the United States. The Afghan architects received professional training in the United States under an agreement with the U.S. National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), in addition to participating in the preparations for the exhibitions.

State-of-the-art laser scanning documentation of two 12th-century AD towers in Ghazni, Afghanistan was undertaken in July 2011 with funding from the Cultural Heritage Center and the U.S. Embassy Kabul. Architects from the U.S. National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) carried out the rigorous fieldwork with the endorsement of the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture. The towers at Ghazni are among the last vestiges of the great Silk Road empire of the Ghaznavids and will feature prominently as Ghazni celebrates its designation as the “2013 Asian Capital of Islamic Civilization.”

In spring 2013, two historic architectural engineers from Kabul, Afghanistan worked closely with the HABS team on the electronic measurements gathered in Ghazni using laser scanning techniques. During their 10-week internship, hosted by the U.S. National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (US/ICOMOS), the engineers worked with National Park Service architects to prepare precise architectural drawings that can be used by conservators for carrying out physical preservation of the towers in the future.

Learn more about the U.S. Department of State's Cultural Heritage Center.

 

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