Born of Greco-Asian civilizations, Buddhist art in the Gandhara region (part of present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan) epitomizes an early flowering of global classicism. Today, much of this legacy is in jeopardy. The withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan has left many early Gandharan sites unattended and vulnerable to looting, vandalism, and illegal excavation, all fueled by black-market trade.
Digital Gandhara aims to preserve fast-disappearing Buddhist art and architecture by combining a global research effort with cutting-edge digital technologies.
Supported by archeologists and scholars in Afghanistan and Pakistan—as well as collaborators from around the world—the project digitally documents and reconstructs the major archaeological sites in the Greater Gandhara region. Through 3D scanning, digital modeling, data visualization, machine learning, and multimedia storytelling, this project creates an immersive online environment that allows scholars and the general public to virtually experience the Buddhist sites of Gandhara. Digital Gandhara joins efforts to raise global awareness of Afghanistan’s and Pakistan’s cultural heritage and to serve as a foundation for the long-term preservation and research of Gandharan art and culture.