Ever since I read about it in this month's Archaeology
, I've been obsessed with the Hidden Treasure of Afghanistan story. In 1988, Omara Khan Massoudi, director of Afghanistan's National Museum in Kabul and a team of museum workers hid over 20,000 precious artifacts dating from 2000 B.C. to A.D. 100 to keep them from the Taliban and others who would seek to destroy them when civil war erupted. For a long time the collection was believed destroyed or sold but in 2002, Massoudi revealed that he had hidden the items. Now 228 of the artifacts are part of an exhibit which has been exhibited throughout Europe and came to the U.S. this May. It will appear in just four cities, staying in Washington, D.C. until September 7 then San Francisco October 24–January 25, 2009, followed by Houston February 22–May 17, 2009, and finally New York June 23–September 20, 2009. The exhibit features golden bowls, bronze sculptures, ivories, glassware and more. Some pieces which had been imported from around the world and excavated from ancient storerooms discovered in the 1930s and 1940s others are gold ornaments from the "Bactrian Hoard," found in 1978 in Tillya Tepe.
It's not coming to my town so I'll have head to the nearest city near me that has it San Francisco. The Fairmont has partnered with the National Geographic Society on special packages at their hotels in Washington, San Francisco and New York in conjunction with the National Geographic exhibition, "Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul."
Starting October 24, 2008, when the exhibition opens at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, guests will be able to stay at The Fairmont San Francisco with the Golden Treasures of Afghanistan package.
The package includes a one-night stay, two entry tickets to the museum, a traditional Afghan treat of baklava and Turkish coffee for two and a set of note cards commemorating the exhibition. Rates start from $299 USD per night, and the package is available through January 25, 2009.