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Bactrian Gold

    The Tillya Tepe (Golden Hill) "Bactrian Gold" hoard is a collection of about 20,600 gold ornaments that was found in six burial mounds near Shibarghan, in the northern Afghanistan province of Jozjan, and was excavated in 1978 by a team led by the Greek-Russian archaeologist Victor Sariyannidis, a year before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The ornaments include coins, necklaces set with gems, belt, medallions and crown. A new museum in Kabul is being planned where the Bactrian gold will eventually be kept.
    Preparations are under way to exhibit some of the 20,000 pieces. The U.S., France, Germany, Japan and Greece are interested in hosting the exhibit. The collection has never been seen outside Afghanistan.
    It was thought to have been lost at some point in the 1990s, but in 2003 it was found in secret vaults under the presidential palace in Kabul.
    The collection is particularly valuable to the Afghan people, as much of their heritage was looted from museums during the civil wars after the fall of the Soviet-backed regime.