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ARCHEOLOGY by Joris Fioriti Afghan workers wait to get paid at the... News PhotoAfghanistan,Ancient,Archaeology,Buddhism,Copper,Day,Digging,Economy,Finance,Occupation,Religion,Standing,Vertical,WaitingPhotographer Collection: AFP 2012 AFPTO GO WITH AFGHANISTAN-ECONOMY-MINING-ARCHEOLOGY by Joris Fioriti Afghan workers wait to get paid at the end of their work day while standing near a archeological dig in Mes Ainak on October 2, 2012, an ancient Buddhist site where a religious community was set up more than 17 centuries ago to exploit the copper deposits underground. Around 50 archaeologists and 550 workers are working on the dig, with striking results, uncovering small villages all over the four-square-kilometre site. Now as the country seeks to build a prosperous and peaceful future after more than 30 years of war, it is increasingly facing a dilemma between exploiting the resources that can make it rich and preserving its archaeological heritage. The Mes Ainak mine will earn $320 to 350 million dollars a year for the Afghan government, according to the ministry of mines, employ thousands of workers and indirectly benefit tens of thousands. AFP PHOTO/Roberto Schmidt (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)