Gold shone again, after more than 1000 years under the earth, gems glittered on their first contact with the light of the sun, obscured by the filth of the Millennium.
"It 'a necklace," said a Polish archaeologist breathless with emotion. "They found a necklace of gold!"
As the gray sand of Afghanistan bleached by the sun of the mountains was sieved gently away, there is a treasure in the pan: Golden Globes small accounts even smaller, tulip-shaped earrings no bigger than a fingernail, precious stones and gold red swirl cups, lids and gland.
They stood next to two tablespoons and the brooch is made of copper, green, corrosion, and two copper hair pins decorated with gold.
My searches Aynak has already identified three Buddhist monasteries and an old copper mine filled with statues, coins, reliefs and murals - which is more than sufficient to ensure its place as one of the most important archaeological excavations in a generation .
But the discovery last week was the first time archaeologists began their work in 2009, that someone has found the jewels in the mountains, 35 km south of Kabul, and at least three other monasteries still to be examined, officials hope for Afghans findings raise the Mes Aynak into archaeological Pantheon, along with Tillya Tepe, the domestic Bactrian hoard.
The archaeological remains of Logar province first day of the seventh century, settled for Khush dynasty and eventually abandoned by the Hephtalites, with the advent of Islam in Afghanistan.
"Gold, murals, statues, all indications are that the locals were very rich," said Hans curves, an archaeologist at the site. "Not a surprise when you live in the place of the mine were Khushan Empire, its main economic resources."
However, the treasure is both a blessing and a burden to the Afghan government is desperate to begin exploiting its minerals as a source of income.
Archaeological sites sit directly on top of a world-class copper deposit in China, where the mining company will pay the state $ 3000000000 (1.9 billion pounds) to buy in 2008. It 'was the largest foreign investment in Afghanistan, and the alleged bribe was $ 30m, then mine.
The Afghan government hopes to win up to $ 350 mA per year in royalties - equal to 20 percent of revenues in Kabul - once the mine is in operation, but has recently agreed to a period of 12 months to give the archaeologists more time.
"The objects are just above the copper," said Nasir Ahmad Durrani, Deputy Minister of Mines. "If you do not remove them, we can not have mine."
The government also spent $ 6.5 million Soviet mining on the site.
"Landmines and artifacts equivalent to a force majeure," said Durrani. "The original schedule did not take into account the realities on the ground ... but we believe that by the year 2014, which will be able to start commercial production."
Western officials are uncertain. The Chinese have improved the way in which the mine and the camp built to house their employees, but have yet to start working on the railroad, or power specified in their contracts that they need to clean the copper and then export it.
"They play the game long," said a European official. "They have resources and know that the price of copper is not going down."
Omar Sultan, Deputy Minister of Culture, said he hoped that archaeologists excavate the areas in immediate danger before the Chinese "began to explode."
"We will not let anyone destroy our culture, and I have not seen any plans to go to the Chinese or anyone else," he said.
He hopes to move the monasteries, dummy blocks, purpose-built museum next door.
"This has been a crossroads of civilizations," he said. "We are a cultural heritage that belongs not only in Afghanistan. It belongs to all mankind."
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