EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Rare Artifacts Return to Afghanistan

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Rare Artifacts Return to Afghanistan
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March 6th, 2009--Across war-shattered Afghanistan, scavengers, looters, and thieves are pillaging antiquities from more than 1,500 ancient sites around the country and smuggling them abroad.

But now Afghanistan is finally getting something back. The British government, aided by the National Geographic Society and the British Red Cross, has returned 3.4 tons of stolen antiquities that were confiscated during the past six years at London's Heathrow Airport.

One of the oldest objects in the collection is this marble animal, possibly dating back some 8,000 years to the Mesolithic era. (See the full story.)

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—Photograph by Fredrik Hiebert, National Geographic Society
 
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