Begram is the site of one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries in Central Asia in the 20th century. In 1937 and 1939 a large number of objects were found in two sealed-up rooms. The objects are from the 1st century AD and are believed to have been untouched until their discovery many centuries later.
The Begram site is mysterious – it is still unknown if these treasures were part of a Royal treasure hoard or were the commercial stock of a Silk Road merchant, given Begram’s location at the very heart of the Silk Road. Whatever the case may have been, it also remains a mystery just why these rooms were sealed up and why no-one ever returned to claim the precious objects.
Among the finds in the rooms at Begram were glassware, bronzes and plaster medallions from ancient Rome, Indian ivory carvings and a small number of fragile Chinese lacquers, now held at the Musée Guimet in Paris.
Highlights from Begram that can be seen in the Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures include several intricately carved ivories, brightly-coloured painted glassware depicting people gathering dates and several glass flasks shaped like fish. There are also bronzes and medallions depicting goddesses believed to include Athena and Aphrodite.