As a result, Afghanistan is a country of ethnic minorities: Pashtun (38 percent), Tajik (25 percent), Hazara (19 percent), and Uzbek (6 percent).The towering Hindu Kush range dominates and divides Afghanistan.Oil is used in paints to help fix dyes and help them adhere to surfaces.It also changes a paint's drying time and viscosity.The murals—and the remains of two giant, destroyed Buddhas—include the world's oldest known oil-based paint, predating European uses of the substance by at least a hundred years, scientists announced late last month.Researchers made the discovery while conducting a chemical analysis as part of preservation and restoration efforts at Bamian, which lies about 145 miles (240 kilometers) northwest of the Afghan capital, Kabul. researchers have been working to preserve the damaged murals.Afghanistan's Bamian cliffs are probably best known for once holding two enormous Buddha statues, as seen in this February 2001 image.Just one month after this photo was taken, Taliban officials began to destroy the mighty carvings as part of a hard-line crackdown on anything they considered anti-Islamic and idolatrous.
Since Alexander the Great, invading armies and peaceful migrations have brought in diverse peoples to this Central Asian crossroads.
"Only tyrants can take a nation to war without the consent of the people.
The planned war against Iraq without a Declaration of War is illegal.
Scientists from around the world have since embarked on a painstaking process to collect the remnants of the dynamited statues and reconstruct them.
In the meantime, researchers have found that the paint used on the Buddhas, along with murals in 12 of 50 painted Bamian caves, contained oil-based binders—the world's oldest known examples of oil paintings.
Taniguchi, an expert at Japan's National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, and a group of Japanese, European, and American scientists are collaborating to restore the damaged murals, the "My European colleagues were shocked because they always believed oil paintings were invented in Europe," Taniguchi said.