Exhibitions: The Meeting of East & West

Afghanistan today is known mainly for its hounds, carpets and pistachio nuts. Its rugged, ruin-strewn terrain is still strategically important, the geopolitical crossroads between China, Russia, India and Iran. But centuries ago it was a well-traveled highway. Remarked Hsüan-tsang, a 7th century Chinese Bud dhist pilgrim, of this 800-mile bridge between the East and West: "Here are found objects of merchandise from all parts."

Over the centuries the debris of a dozen cultures has piled up alongside its ancient caravan routes. In 1500 B.C., the Aryans swept through to invade India. In the 4th century B.C., Alexander the Great's...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!