More than seven years after the Taliban destroyed the two giant Buddha statues at Bamiyan, an Afghan-led archaeological team has uncovered the remains of a third giant Buddha nearby.The remains of the 19-meter-long reclining Buddha statue were discovered this summer within the foundations of an ancient Buddhist temple less than 2 kilometers from the niches where Bamiyan's two giant Buddha statues once stood.

bamyan in afghanistan predating european oil painting by some-38

"I think there could be similar [reclining] Buddhas, but I'm still searching for the 300-meter sleeping Buddha."Tarzi is one of the world's most knowledgeable experts on the giant Buddhas that were destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban regime.

By 1979, when Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan and Tarzi fled the country, he had already spent three decades studying the area and repairing the 55-meter and 38-meter standing Buddhas.

Now, provided his health and funding holds out, Tarzi says he is willing to repair the newly discovered reclining Buddha.

But it will take a lot of work."Most of the parts are damaged.

Researchers think the cross-pollination of European and Asian influences led Bamiyan to be the place where some of the first statues were created that show the face of Buddha.

Previously, Buddha had been represented by artists as a footprint or an umbrella.

Another significant discovery this year at Bamiyan was made by Japanese researchers who found that many murals in the caves near the standing Buddhas contained oil-based paint. D., the discovery reversed common perceptions about the origins of oil paintings -- which previously were thought to have emerged in Europe hundreds of years later.

But we discovered a piece from the upper right arm down to the elbow. But the head is broken because of water damage beneath the ground.

Still, the pillow he is sleeping on is in perfect condition," Tarzi says."If I had permission and if I would live long enough, I would definitely restore it for Afghanistan.