For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-bamiyan
(This is our first Weekly World Heritage post for the 2019–2020 school year. Print your own River Houses World Heritage Calendar and follow along with us, and add your name to our weekly mailing list to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year.)
Afghanistan is one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week, so why not spend a few minutes today learning about one of Afghanistan’s World Heritage Sites: the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley.
The Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan is home to a wide range of ancient Buddhist artworks and monastic structures carved directly into the valley cliffs:
“The cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamiyan Valley represent the artistic and religious developments which from the 1st to the 13th centuries characterized ancient Bakhtria, integrating various cultural influences into the Gandhara school of Buddhist art. The area contains numerous Buddhist monastic ensembles and sanctuaries, as well as fortified edifices from the Islamic period. The site is also testimony to the tragic destruction by the Taliban of the two standing Buddha statues, which shook the world in March 2001.“ (UNESCO World Heritage Centre #208)
The most famous artworks in the Bamiyan Valley were two colossal Buddha statues, the larger one more than 150 feet tall, which stood in niches carved into the cliff face. They were sculpted in the sixth century, and both were destroyed as idolatrous and anti-Islamic by Taliban militants in March of 2001.
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been recognized in over 160 countries, and we post one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list online at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers and a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites (available for the cost of shipping). Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures will you be exploring in your homeschool this week? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books) for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 745–852; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read UNESCO’s one-paragraph description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇦🇫
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring historic sites of international importance. Download your own copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our free weekly mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌍