An ancient settlement dating back to before the time when Alexander the Great's armies swept across Afghanistan could be bulldozed and dynamited for a new road

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French archaeologists said they had been forced to stand in front of earthmovers to prevent Korean contractors building a road through a historic gorge.

Excavations show people have lived at Cheshm-e-Shafa since at least the fourth century BC, when the area was ruled by a Persian dynasty eventually swept away by the Greek invaders.

The French Archaeological Delegation in Afghanistan (DAFA), said it had been told engineers would use dynamite to put the road through the gorge.

Afghanistan is in desperate need of infrastructure, but its rich archaeological heritage has been ravaged by three decades of war and plunder.

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