Oil painting at bamyan in afghanistan predating
Fragments "The rest of the hall is elaborately decorated in a varied palette of burnt sienna, green, lapis lazuli blue, and yellow ochre depicting flowers, trees, stylised floral sprays, cornucopias and figures of kneeling worshipers," she wrote.
"A series of Buddhas dressed in sombre-hued maroon robes and framed with aureoles against an azure background walk on lotus pads set among flowers." There's little evidence of this today apart from a few scraps of colour and detail here and there, but there are isolated caves higher up the mountain, impossible to get to without a rope, where some of the best examples still survive.
But wandering through the Buddhist temples carved out of the rock, there is little left of the murals destroyed in the last 30 years of war after surviving for centuries.
A tourist guidebook to Afghanistan written in the 1960s and 70s by Nancy Dupree, a famous traveller who dedicated much of her life to the country, gave an account of the artwork as it was then.
According to his account, the third reclining Buddha was a 1,000 feet long and lay on the valley floor.
It would be remarkable if it was buried beneath the river sediment and two teams of archaeologists, one from France another from Japan, are in a race to find it.
Japanese, European and American scientists restoring the cave murals dating back to around 650AD, discovered oil was used in the paint.Yoko Taniguchi of the National Research Institute for Cultural Properties in Tokyo and her co-workers analysed samples of Buddhist paintings in caves at Bamiyan in Afghanistan, made in the mid-seventh and early eighth centuries AD.