The Mysterious Minaret of Jam

A 65-meter high minaret stands in Afghanistan, built around 1190 CE. It is covered with religious carvings and calligraphy in more than one language. But this ancient and remote edifice is surrounded by the Hindu Kush mountains in a country at war, so these pictures will be the closest you get to it -for now.
Amazingly, this imposing structure was standing forgotten for centuries... until rediscovered in 1886 by Sir Thomas Holdich; then forgotten again and rediscovered in 1957. Then the Soviet invasion in 1979 again prohibited access to the area, and since then only a handful of people from outside of Afghanistan have seen the minaret, because of its middle-of-nowhere location

Read more about the Minaret of Jam and the ancient multicultural city that once surrounded it. You'll also see lots more pictures at Dark Roasted Blend. Link

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I recall a story once about someone looking for this structure or one like it and when it was discovered that they wanted to see it, the local tribal ruler who happened to have some significant armored vehicles, personally escorted the visitors to see it. Inside they found objects which hadn't been disturbed for hundreds of years so I guess at least these locals take good care of their cultural history.
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Maybe we could convince a couple of deluded otters to strap bombs to their body and blow it up. We could tell them 42 white furred female muskrats (of the nubile variety) will reward them in a mythical made up place after they die for a completely ridiculous purpose.
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