Archaeologists in Afghanistan are trying to unravel the secrets of one of the world's oldest mosques. They're trying to understand just how the building survived centuries of earthquakes, invasions and plenty of other mysteries.
The Nine-Dome Mosque gets its name from the cupolas that once crowned its columns.
It's located outside the city of Balkh, not far from Mazar-e Sharif.
Who built it remains a mystery, but carbon dating suggests it was constructed in the eighth century.
The first archaeologist to study the site was an American in the late '60s.
Locals led her to the mosque and said Genghis Khan, the Mongol emperor, destroyed it.
Archaeologists were only able to begin excavation in 2006.
The remains of mosque survived centuries of warfare and the US invasion in 2001.
But now, it faces an even greater risk.
TRT World's Yasin Eken reports.