November 28, 2020, 1:00 PM: Mr. Noor Agha Noori. M.Phil, Director, Archaeological Institute of Afghanistan

Recent Archaeological Excavations in Afghanistan

Recent archaeological explorations seem to affirm that Afghanistan is the emerging place of many civilizations in South and Central Asia. This land was also the confluence of many trade goods along what would become known as the silk road. Due to the significant geographical location, many empires attempted to occupy the area which left significant influence on local cultures, religions, art, trade, customs, and politics. This amalgamation of cultures opened new ways for connecting people from different parts of the word furthering Afghanistan’s position as a place of exchange. As early as the bronze age, and perhaps earlier, archaeology sites in Afghanistan show evidence of the export of raw materials, most notably lapis lazuli and tin, were exported to Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Indus Valley civilizations.

Recent archaeological explorations in Afghanistan resulted have resulted in very important and exciting discoveries which have shed light on hereto previously understudied periods of Afghan history. Of particular significance are the recent survey and excavations of sites like site of Mes Aynak and Topdara. In this presentation Mr. Noor Agha Noori will discuss recent and ongoing archaeological activities and their contribution to the history of the region.


Mr. Noor Agha Noori is the Director of Archaeological Institute of Afghanistan (AIA) since 2017. He holds an M.Phil. in Archaeology from Hazara University, Pakistan. After his studies he worked with different International Archaeological missions such as the Italian Archaeological Mission and British Archaeological team. He started his career with Archaeology Institute of Afghanistan as a Field Archaeologist at Mes Aynak Archaeological site in Logar Province of Afghanistan. In 2012 he joined National Museum of Afghanistan as Assistant Curator and later served National Museum as Acting Chief curator. Beside other duties at National Museum, Mr. Noori play a key role in organizing the International Exhibitions on Bactrian Treasure and objects from Mes Aynak. He has played a key role in sorting, labeling, cataloguing, and databasing Afghan antiquities. He has also participated in an archaeology outreach program for school boys in Afghanistan.

Mr. Noori has worked as the head of excavation for the Archaeology Institute of Afghanistan (AIA) and the field director of the Mes Aynak Archaeological Project (MAAP). As field director he was able to introduce new and advanced Archaeological excavation and recording systems.

Currently, Mr. Noori is the Director of the Archaeology Committee of Afghanistan which is the only committee working on the policy level for archaeological matters in the country. He is a board member for both the India-Afghanistan Foundation (IAF) and the Kabul Historic Garden Trust (KHGT). The latter is responsible for the management and preservation of Historic Gardens in Kabul.

Mr. Noori has represented Afghanistan in various academic national and international conferences and workshops. He has written and published various articles about Afghanistan’s cultural heritage.

The Denver Society of the Archaeological Institute of America