Engineering geology and cultural heritage: The conservation of remaining bamiyan buddhas (Central Afghanistan)

Claudio Margottini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

3 Citations (Scopus)


The present paper describes deformation processes and geomorphological hazards affecting the historical site of Bamiyan (Central Afghanistan). The major cultural heritage of the site were the two standing Buddhas that, carved in rock since the 2nd-3rd century A.D., were destroyed by Taliban in March 2001. Slope instablity from both the consequences of the explosion as well as from natural processes are quite evident: rock slides and rock falls have already occurred in the recent past and most areas are prone to collapse. Under the UNESCO coordination, a global feasibility project for the needed restoration work was developed; field data were collected and mechanisms for potential cliff and niche evolution were provided. In the meantime a first practical consolidation work for the most critical rockfall-prone area, was implemented to avoid any further collapse in the period 2003-2005. This last is also considered essential to allow archaeologists the safe cataloguing and recovering of the Buddha Statue remains, still on the floor of the niches. © 2007 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Landslide Science
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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