Archaeologists and local laborers excavate the main part of the ancient city at Mes Aynak in Afghanistan, which sits on the old Silk Road trading route connecting China and India with the Mediterranean. (Jay Price/MCT)
Drillers from Central Asian Mining Services collect samples in the North Aynak mineral zone near Kabul, Afghanistan, on January 19, 2013.
Los Angeles Times/MCT
Afghan soldiers stand outside a gated compound built to house Chinese workers building a road that will allow coal from a mine in central Afghanistan to be transported to the Aynak copper mine project in the Logar Province. Afghan army and French military trainers had been using the compound while Chinese's crews were away during the winter, March 8, 2009.