The two most prominent statues were the giant standing sculptures of Buddhas Vairocana and Sakyamuni, identified by the different mudras performed.
Rows of holes that can be seen in photographs were spaces that held wooden pegs that stabilized the outer stucco.
It was a Buddhist religious site from the 2nd century up to the time of the Islamic invasion in the later half of the 7th century.
Until it was completely conquered by the Muslim Saffarids in the 9th century, Bamiyan shared the culture of Gandhara.
A monumental seated Buddha, similar in style to those at Bamiyan, still exists in the Bingling Temple caves in China's Gansu province.
The destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas became a symbol of oppression and a rallying point for the freedom of religious expression.