100 Years Since Marshall

Hazy black and white photo showing a man with folded arms stood on a wall
Colour photo of a man dressed in blue, with folded arms, standing on the city wall. A sign to his right states this is the city of Sirkap.

View of one of the square bastions on the northern wall of the city of Sirkap, Taxila, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1748

Hazy black and white photo showing a man with folded arms stood on a wall
Colour photo of a man dressed in blue, with folded arms, standing on the city wall. A sign to his right states this is the city of Sirkap.

View of one of the square bastions on the northern wall of the city of Sirkap, Taxila, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1748

The Marshall Collection provides invaluable insights into both the condition of monuments when they were first discovered and how they were then preserved and presented to the public.  It also makes it possible to identify how these monuments, and their settings, have changed in the century since Marshall worked at Taxila.

Working through the images in the Marshall Collection, Dr Abdul Azeem, now Director-General of the Department of Archaeology and Museums (Government of Pakistan), identified 100 key images of Taxila for in-depth study.  Mapping the exact locations from where the images in the Marshall Collection were captured, new photographs were taken from similar viewpoints.  This study sought to evaluate how individual sites had changed in the intervening 100 years and review the success of earlier conservation.  The work also aimed to establish how less successful conservation and restoration work might be remedied. 

Black and white photo with two men in the foreground, with the Stupa behind them

View of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 1913/1914, from the southwest, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1377

View of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 1913/1914, from the southwest, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1377

Contemporary colour photo of the stupa, showing the deteriorating walls and dome

View of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, 2019, from the southwest, taken by Dr Abdul Azeem.

View of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, 2019, from the southwest, taken by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo of steps. A ruler is positioned in the image to give sense of scale

View of the north steps of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1912/1913, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1381

View of the north steps of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1912/1913, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1381

Colour photo of steps made from white, grey and black building stones

View of the north steps of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

View of the north steps of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo close up of section of wall showing Buddhist imagery

Detail of upper frieze of Stupa J at Dharmarajika, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1912/1913, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1414

Detail of upper frieze of Stupa J at Dharmarajika, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1912/1913, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1414

Colour photo, close up of section of wall showing some damaged Buddhist sculpture

Detail of upper frieze of Stupa J at Dharmarajika, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Detail of upper frieze of Stupa J at Dharmarajika, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo showing steps leading to entrance of chapel

Chapel N17 at Dharmarajika, Taxila, after repairs, taken in 1915/1916, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1427

Chapel N17 at Dharmarajika, Taxila, after repairs, taken in 1915/1916, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1427

Colour photo showing steps leading to chapel. Some walls have crumbled away and a fence now blocks the chapel entrance

Chapel N17 at Dharmarajika, Taxila, after repairs, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Chapel N17 at Dharmarajika, Taxila, after repairs, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

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Black and white photo with two men in the foreground, with the Stupa behind them

View of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 1913/1914, from the southwest, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1377

View of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 1913/1914, from the southwest, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1377

Contemporary colour photo of the stupa, showing the deteriorating walls and dome

View of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, 2019, from the southwest, taken by Dr Abdul Azeem.

View of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, 2019, from the southwest, taken by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo of steps. A ruler is positioned in the image to give sense of scale

View of the north steps of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1912/1913, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1381

View of the north steps of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1912/1913, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1381

Colour photo of steps made from white, grey and black building stones

View of the north steps of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

View of the north steps of the Great Stupa at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo close up of section of wall showing Buddhist imagery

Detail of upper frieze of Stupa J at Dharmarajika, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1912/1913, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1414

Detail of upper frieze of Stupa J at Dharmarajika, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1912/1913, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1414

Colour photo, close up of section of wall showing some damaged Buddhist sculpture

Detail of upper frieze of Stupa J at Dharmarajika, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Detail of upper frieze of Stupa J at Dharmarajika, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo showing steps leading to entrance of chapel

Chapel N17 at Dharmarajika, Taxila, after repairs, taken in 1915/1916, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1427

Chapel N17 at Dharmarajika, Taxila, after repairs, taken in 1915/1916, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1427

Colour photo showing steps leading to chapel. Some walls have crumbled away and a fence now blocks the chapel entrance

Chapel N17 at Dharmarajika, Taxila, after repairs, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Chapel N17 at Dharmarajika, Taxila, after repairs, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo showing a man stood in the middle of a walled temple complex
A man dressed in the blue stands in the distance of this colour photo, in the middle of the remains of the temple complex

View of the Apsidal Temple (Temple D) in the lower city, Sirkap,  Taxila, from the southeast, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1765

Black and white photo showing a man stood in the middle of a walled temple complex
A man dressed in the blue stands in the distance of this colour photo, in the middle of the remains of the temple complex

View of the Apsidal Temple (Temple D) in the lower city, Sirkap,  Taxila, from the southeast, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1765

Although it was impossible to recreate all of Marshall’s images, it was possible to identify that many of the monuments conserved by Marshall at Taxila were still intact, and that his original programmes of conservation had been successful. 

Unfortunately, the research also revealed that a lack of regular maintenance had led to the deterioration of some of the exposed plaster sculptures and reliefs across the site.

In many instances, more recent conservation work had also significantly altered the condition and appearance of the monuments.  

Durham University’s Marshall Collection therefore has the potential to provide critical information to help enhance the future protection, conservation and management of key monuments across Taxila.

A man stands close to a wall and steps in this black and white photo. Hills can be seen in the distance

View of entrance to Monastic Court J, east of Stupa 1, at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 1934/1935, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1463

View of entrance to Monastic Court J, east of Stupa 1, at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 1934/1935, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1463

Colour photo with a man stood close to a walled area with steps. Trees and branches can be seen behind him

View of entrance to Monastic Court J, east of Stupa 1, at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

View of entrance to Monastic Court J, east of Stupa 1, at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo of a museum object showing sculptures including meditating Buddhas

West face of Stupa 16 from Jaulian, Taxila, conserved and presented in Taxila Museum, taken in 1932/1933, compared with an image taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1547

West face of Stupa 16 from Jaulian, Taxila, conserved and presented in Taxila Museum, taken in 1932/1933, compared with an image taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1547

Colour photo of a museum object behind a railed off area, showing sculptures including meditating Buddhas

West face of Stupa 16 from Jaulian, Taxila, conserved and presented in Taxila Museum, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

West face of Stupa 16 from Jaulian, Taxila, conserved and presented in Taxila Museum, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Square sculpture with multiple carved praying Buddhas. The heads of these figures have been removed

View of Stupas A14 and A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1916/1917, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1548

View of Stupas A14 and A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1916/1917, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1548

Square sculpture with multiple carved praying Buddhas. The heads of these figures have been restored following conservation

View of Stupas A14 and A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

View of Stupas A14 and A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Photo showing the remains of sculptures. Only the lower legs and feet remain

Standing Buddha/Bodhisattva figures on the western side of the front face of the Main Stupa at Jaulian, Taxila, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1550

Standing Buddha/Bodhisattva figures on the western side of the front face of the Main Stupa at Jaulian, Taxila, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1550

Photo showing the remains of two sculpted figures. Only the lower legs and feet remain

Standing Buddha/Bodhisattva figures on the western side of the front face of the Main Stupa at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Standing Buddha/Bodhisattva figures on the western side of the front face of the Main Stupa at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo of several sculpted figures. The head of the praying figure in the centre has been removed

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with attendant figures on west face of Stupa 17 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1932/1933, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1557

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with attendant figures on west face of Stupa 17 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1932/1933, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1557

Colour photo of several sculpted figures. The head of many of the figures have been removed

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with attendant figures on west face of Stupa 17 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with attendant figures on west face of Stupa 17 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

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A man stands close to a wall and steps in this black and white photo. Hills can be seen in the distance

View of entrance to Monastic Court J, east of Stupa 1, at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 1934/1935, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1463

View of entrance to Monastic Court J, east of Stupa 1, at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 1934/1935, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1463

Colour photo with a man stood close to a walled area with steps. Trees and branches can be seen behind him

View of entrance to Monastic Court J, east of Stupa 1, at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

View of entrance to Monastic Court J, east of Stupa 1, at Dharmarajika, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo of a museum object showing sculptures including meditating Buddhas

West face of Stupa 16 from Jaulian, Taxila, conserved and presented in Taxila Museum, taken in 1932/1933, compared with an image taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1547

West face of Stupa 16 from Jaulian, Taxila, conserved and presented in Taxila Museum, taken in 1932/1933, compared with an image taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1547

Colour photo of a museum object behind a railed off area, showing sculptures including meditating Buddhas

West face of Stupa 16 from Jaulian, Taxila, conserved and presented in Taxila Museum, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

West face of Stupa 16 from Jaulian, Taxila, conserved and presented in Taxila Museum, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Square sculpture with multiple carved praying Buddhas. The heads of these figures have been removed

View of Stupas A14 and A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1916/1917, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1548

View of Stupas A14 and A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1916/1917, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1548

Square sculpture with multiple carved praying Buddhas. The heads of these figures have been restored following conservation

View of Stupas A14 and A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

View of Stupas A14 and A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Photo showing the remains of sculptures. Only the lower legs and feet remain

Standing Buddha/Bodhisattva figures on the western side of the front face of the Main Stupa at Jaulian, Taxila, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1550

Standing Buddha/Bodhisattva figures on the western side of the front face of the Main Stupa at Jaulian, Taxila, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1550

Photo showing the remains of two sculpted figures. Only the lower legs and feet remain

Standing Buddha/Bodhisattva figures on the western side of the front face of the Main Stupa at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Standing Buddha/Bodhisattva figures on the western side of the front face of the Main Stupa at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo of several sculpted figures. The head of the praying figure in the centre has been removed

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with attendant figures on west face of Stupa 17 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1932/1933, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1557

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with attendant figures on west face of Stupa 17 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1932/1933, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1557

Colour photo of several sculpted figures. The head of many of the figures have been removed

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with attendant figures on west face of Stupa 17 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with attendant figures on west face of Stupa 17 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

A man stands to the left of a shrine with steps leading up to a central dome
A man dressed in blue stands to the left of a shrine with steps in the centre. Trees, bushes and hills are behind beneath a blue sky

View of Shrine 1, ‘the Shrine of the Double-Headed Eagle’, in Block F of the lower city, Sirkap, Taxila, after conservation, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1771

A man stands to the left of a shrine with steps leading up to a central dome
A man dressed in blue stands to the left of a shrine with steps in the centre. Trees, bushes and hills are behind beneath a blue sky

View of Shrine 1, ‘the Shrine of the Double-Headed Eagle’, in Block F of the lower city, Sirkap, Taxila, after conservation, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1771

Current Challenges for Protecting Taxila’s Heritage

Taxila’s heritage is regularly threatened by natural disasters and human activities.  Archaeological remains at Taxila are vulnerable to heavy rainfall, flash floods and raised water levels from the annual monsoon.

Many structures have suffered water and vegetation damage, leading to cracks within masonry and the collapse of walls.  The site is also located within seismically active region, and some aspects of Taxila’s heritage were damaged by a major earthquake in October 2005. 

Human activity is also a serious threat. Despite legal protection, many archaeological sites continue to be damaged by treasure hunting and looting. Sites in, and around, Taxila have been particularly targeted due to the presence of Gandharan sculptures, which command high prices on the international art market.

Black and white photo showing a sculpture with three figures. Buddha sits in the centre

Detail of stucco sculpture of a Buddha with attendant figures on the west face of Stupa 1 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1932/1933, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1560

Detail of stucco sculpture of a Buddha with attendant figures on the west face of Stupa 1 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1932/1933, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1560

Colour photo showing a sculpture with four figures. Buddha sits in the centre

Detail of stucco sculpture of a Buddha with attendant figures on the west face of Stupa 1 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Detail of stucco sculpture of a Buddha with attendant figures on the west face of Stupa 1 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Sculpture with two figures whose heads have been removed

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with female attendant on southeast corner of Stupa A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1917/1918, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1567

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with female attendant on southeast corner of Stupa A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1917/1918, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1567

Sculpture with two figures. The heads of this sculpture have been restored following conservation

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with female attendant on southeast corner of Stupa A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with female attendant on southeast corner of Stupa A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo showing detailed sculptures of four figures

Stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha flanked by a standing Buddha and attendant figures in Chapel E1, Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1917/1918, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1593

Stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha flanked by a standing Buddha and attendant figures in Chapel E1, Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1917/1918, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1593

Colour photo showing detailed sculptures of four figures

Stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha flanked by a standing Buddha and attendant figures in Chapel E1, Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha flanked by a standing Buddha and attendant figures in Chapel E1, Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Quadrangle of several walls and buildings which are crumbling and deteriorated. Excess rocks sit in the centre of the courtyard

View of the interior of the monastic quadrangle at Jaulian, Taxila, from the east, taken in 1918/1919, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1598

View of the interior of the monastic quadrangle at Jaulian, Taxila, from the east, taken in 1918/1919, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1598

Colour photo showing courtyard with several walls and structures

View of the interior of the monastic quadrangle at Jaulian, Taxila, from the east, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

View of the interior of the monastic quadrangle at Jaulian, Taxila, from the east, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo, one man stands atop the stupa, with another on the ground below

View of the Stupa at the Kunala Monastery, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1914/1915, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1666

View of the Stupa at the Kunala Monastery, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1914/1915, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1666

Colour photo, a man holding a portfolio stands in front of the remains of a stupa, which is overgrown with long, dry grass

View of the Stupa at the Kunala Monastery, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

View of the Stupa at the Kunala Monastery, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

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Black and white photo showing a sculpture with three figures. Buddha sits in the centre

Detail of stucco sculpture of a Buddha with attendant figures on the west face of Stupa 1 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1932/1933, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1560

Detail of stucco sculpture of a Buddha with attendant figures on the west face of Stupa 1 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1932/1933, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1560

Colour photo showing a sculpture with four figures. Buddha sits in the centre

Detail of stucco sculpture of a Buddha with attendant figures on the west face of Stupa 1 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Detail of stucco sculpture of a Buddha with attendant figures on the west face of Stupa 1 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Sculpture with two figures whose heads have been removed

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with female attendant on southeast corner of Stupa A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1917/1918, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1567

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with female attendant on southeast corner of Stupa A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1917/1918, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1567

Sculpture with two figures. The heads of this sculpture have been restored following conservation

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with female attendant on southeast corner of Stupa A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Detail of stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha with female attendant on southeast corner of Stupa A15 at Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo showing detailed sculptures of four figures

Stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha flanked by a standing Buddha and attendant figures in Chapel E1, Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1917/1918, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1593

Stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha flanked by a standing Buddha and attendant figures in Chapel E1, Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 1917/1918, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1593

Colour photo showing detailed sculptures of four figures

Stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha flanked by a standing Buddha and attendant figures in Chapel E1, Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Stucco sculpture of a seated Buddha flanked by a standing Buddha and attendant figures in Chapel E1, Jaulian, Taxila, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Quadrangle of several walls and buildings which are crumbling and deteriorated. Excess rocks sit in the centre of the courtyard

View of the interior of the monastic quadrangle at Jaulian, Taxila, from the east, taken in 1918/1919, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1598

View of the interior of the monastic quadrangle at Jaulian, Taxila, from the east, taken in 1918/1919, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1598

Colour photo showing courtyard with several walls and structures

View of the interior of the monastic quadrangle at Jaulian, Taxila, from the east, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

View of the interior of the monastic quadrangle at Jaulian, Taxila, from the east, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

Black and white photo, one man stands atop the stupa, with another on the ground below

View of the Stupa at the Kunala Monastery, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1914/1915, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1666

View of the Stupa at the Kunala Monastery, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 1914/1915, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1666

Colour photo, a man holding a portfolio stands in front of the remains of a stupa, which is overgrown with long, dry grass

View of the Stupa at the Kunala Monastery, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

View of the Stupa at the Kunala Monastery, Taxila, from the northwest, taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem.

A man stands to the left of a shrine with steps and a dome in this black and white photo
A man dressed in blue stands to the left of a shrine with steps and four columns

Shrine 2 in Block G of the lower city, Sirkap, Taxila, after repairs, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1777

A man stands to the left of a shrine with steps and a dome in this black and white photo
A man dressed in blue stands to the left of a shrine with steps and four columns

Shrine 2 in Block G of the lower city, Sirkap, Taxila, after repairs, compared with view taken in 2019 by Dr Abdul Azeem. Sir John Marshall Collection, given by Dr and Mrs Spalding. DUROM.1957.1.1777

An additional threat is the deliberate destruction of heritage, broadly known as iconoclasm, which has seen the targeting of Buddhist iconography.  Furthermore, the encroachment of unchecked developments in the area has resulted in the unintentional damage and destruction of archaeological monuments.

These are not new challenges.  Looting of artefacts from the site was recorded as early as the 19th century, and Marshall also recognised that the monuments of Taxila were vulnerable to flooding as well to local residents using them as a source for building materials.  He noted that monuments recorded by earlier archaeologists had vanished by the time he worked at the site, and some of the sites that Marshall recorded have now been lost.

In consequence, Durham University’s Marshall Collection represents a valuable international heritage resource as it provides vital information on sites that no longer exist.  It also preserves some of the only records of material in the Taxila Museum destroyed by the 2005 earthquake.

Black and white photo from a high angle showing a long wall and many crumbling building blocks

General view of the monastery at Kunala monastery from the top of the