The battered white Corolla rumbles down a rocky road past fields of okra and great earthen mounds topped by the crumbling remains of ancient battlements. Taking a hard right and then a hard left, the old car bounces up onto a small dirt soccer field and jerks to a stop. “All of this is the tepe,” says Abdul Wahid, a neatly dressed farmer in his 40s, pointing at a dirt expanse so pitted it looks like it has been carpet-bombed. He gets out of the car and walks over crumbling humps of dirt, skirting pits left by looters.
Two historic architecture specialists from Afghanistan recently returned to Kabul after completing a 10-week internship hosted by the U.S. National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites, and funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Cultural Heritage Center. Ayaz Hosham and Waris Qaimazada worked closely with architects from the U.S. National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey on a Department of State-sponsored initiative to fully record the current preservation status of two 12th century “victory towers” in Ghazni, Afghanistan. Ghazni has been designated the “Asian Capital of Islamic Civilization” for 2013 by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.