First use of oil painting at bamyan in afghanistan predating

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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.

Europeans began using oil in their pictures by about 800 A.

D., but the new research on the Central Asian pushes back the onset of oil-based painting by at least a hundred years.

Seen in a 2005 photo, a towering alcove in Afghanistan's Bamian Valley cliffs shows the former home of a giant Buddha statue. D., the statue was one of a pair destroyed by Taliban officials in 2001 for allegedly insulting Islam. About 50 contain the depictions of ornate swirling patterns, Buddhist imagery, and mythological animals that led UNESCO to name the area a World Heritage site. As part of that venture, the scientists conducted the first scientific analysis of the paintings since the 1920s.

S., Italy, and Nepal then climbed high into Nepal's mountainous Mustang area, some 250 kilometers (160 miles) northwest of Kathmandu, locating the caves in March (map of Nepal).It took ice axes and skillful mountaineering to clear a path to the caverns—set in a sheer 14,000-foot (4,300-meter) rock face in the Himalaya.But the results were more than worth it, experts say.May 7, 2007—In the remote highlands of Nepal, a local shepherd has made some unusual "additions" to his flock—an international team of archaeologists.The sheepherder recently led researchers to an isolated complex of caves containing a massive treasure trove of Buddhist art, including a 55-panel mural of Buddha's life, one panel of which is seen above.

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