Fresco on the top head of the 34 meters Bamiyan Buddha. Hazarajat, Afghanistan..The parabolic niche in which this figure stands was once covered with paintings but most have fallen except for the heroic figure of the Sun God riding in his golden chariot pulled through a dark-blue sky by snow-white horses, which can still be seen on the soffit of the niche..The scene conceptualizes the relationship between the cosmos and the Buddha who is represented below as the embodiment of a Cosmic Buddha evolving from the sun in order to illuminate the world with total understanding. The iconography is syncretic, combining symbolism from Greece (Helios), Sasanian Persia (Mithra) and India (Surya). The Sun God is dressed in a long Sasanian cloak with a sword attached to the belt and he carries a scepter. This central figure is framed in a dark-red saw-toothed nimbus and the chariot with its riders bursts through the clouds. Above the nimbus there are flying geese and two truncated busts of women wearing pointed caps and holding billowing scarves over their heads. They represent the breezes which rise at sunrise and sunset. On either side of the Sun God there are two half-bird, half-human sirens, representing the deities who direct celestial music. Below them there are two winged female figures wearing helmets, each holding a shield and a spear. These may be seen as Night and Dawn, Mithras handmaidens, as Nike Athene, or as the wives of Surya.
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Journey To Bamiyan
Fresco on the top head of the 34 meters Bamiyan Buddha. Hazarajat, Afghanistan..The parabolic niche in which this figure stands was once covered with paintings but most have fallen except for the heroic figure of the Sun God riding in his golden chariot pulled through a dark-blue sky by snow-white horses, which can still be seen on the soffit of the niche..The scene conceptualizes the relationship between the cosmos and the Buddha who is represented below as the embodiment of a Cosmic Buddha evolving from the sun in order to illuminate the world with total understanding. The iconography is syncretic, combining symbolism from Greece (Helios), Sasanian Persia (Mithra) and India (Surya). The Sun God is dressed in a long Sasanian cloak with a sword attached to the belt and he carries a scepter. This central figure is framed in a dark-red saw-toothed nimbus and the chariot with its riders bursts through the clouds. Above the nimbus there are flying geese and two truncated busts of women wearing pointed caps and holding billowing scarves over their heads. They represent the breezes which rise at sunrise and sunset. On either side of the Sun God there are two half-bird, half-human sirens, representing the deities who direct celestial music. Below them there are two winged female figures wearing helmets, each holding a shield and a spear. These may be seen as Night and Dawn, Mithras handmaidens, as Nike Athene, or as the wives of Surya.

Filename: SCD_Afghanistan_Bamiyan_71A28.TIF
Size: 5100x3474 / 36.8MB
Source: YumeVisionPhotographers
Date: 29 Sep 1995
Location: Bamiyan Hazarajat Afghanistan
Credit: Swen Connrad'/YumeVision
Copyright:
Model Release: No
Property Release: No
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Keywords:
  • Afghanistan
  • Hazarajat
  • Hazara
  • Bamiyan
  • UNESCO
  • War
  • Destruction
  • Archaeology
  • Archaeologist
  • Buddhism
  • Buddha
  • Fresco