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Monday, June 17, 2024

ASI unearths remains of 3000 years old Pre-Mauryan Era civilization in Purana Qila: Delhi

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered remains dating back 3000 years of a Pre-Mauryan Era civilization. ASI is conducting excavations in various sites at Purana Qila and during the excavations over the past several weeks many interesting items have been discovered. The excavated artefacts would be displayed to the G20 nations.

ASI excavations at Purana Qila

The excavations are revealing an interesting sequence of the evolution of human civilization from Indraprastha of Pandavas to present-day Delhi. Painted Grey Ware (PGW) pottery of the Mahabharat Era, Shivlings with inscriptions in Brahmi script, and rare sculptures of Sunga and Rajput times were unearthed. Pre-Mauryan artefacts also include beads and other ancient objects.

A spoked copper wheel of the Kushana era, an arrowhead of the Rajput period and coins dating from the Mughal reign are among a range of ancient artefacts unearthed in the latest excavation currently underway at the Purana Qila site in Delhi. The Second Site of Purana Qila yielded items from Mughal Period to Pre-Mauryan Era. Among the discoveries dated to Mauryan Period is a terracotta ring well.

The ongoing excavation’s objective is to establish a comprehensive timeline for the site. Currently, the team has uncovered structures dating back to the early Kushana period, reaching a depth of 5.50 meters thus far. According to the ASI’s statement, this excavation is anticipated to provide significant insights into the ancient city of Indraprastha.

The excavation has yielded an impressive array of artefacts. Noteworthy discoveries include a stone depiction of Vaikuntha Vishnu, a terracotta plaque featuring Gaja Laxmi, a stone representation of Ganesha, as well as seals, sealings, coins, terracotta figurines of humans and animals, various stone beads, and a bone needle. These artefacts, in conjunction with pottery and other antiquities, offer valuable glimpses into the ancient civilization and trading activities that took place at the site.

Furthermore, the excavation has revealed a continuous presence of human settlement and activities spanning a period of 2500 years, emphasizing the historical significance of Purana Qila. Within a small excavated area, over 136 coins and 35 seals and sealings have been unearthed, indicating the site’s pivotal role as a bustling hub for trade activities, as stated by the ASI.

ASI Director Vasant Swarankar, who is leading the fresh round of excavation that began this January, explained that PGW is typically identified with Indraprastha of the Mahabharat Era. Eminent Archaeologist Padma Vibhushan Prof BB Lal, who had also carried out excavation works inside the fort and its premises in the years 1954 and 1969-73, has identified PGW as belonging to the Mahabharat Era. Hence, the present discoveries date the site definitely to the Mahabharat period.

Following the discoveries, Culture Ministry is mulling over displaying the site to G20 delegates. Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy toured the site and inspected the artefacts discovered at the site. “Many artefacts of the Mahabharat Era have been found at Indraprastha site. We will make efforts to display those to delegates from the different G20 nations. The remains will be preserved, conserved and provided with a shed. The site will be showcased as an open-air site museum, allowing visitors to experience the rich historical legacy of Delhi”, the Minister said in his media interaction.

Archaeological finds across Bharat show its rich Hindu heritage

Artefacts and sculptures among other relics are being unearthed across Bharat. In September last year, ASI discovered artefacts belonging to four civilizations with the oldest dating back about 12000 years. The discovery was made at Oragadam located on the outskirts of Chennai. The ASI team has found layers of artefacts separated by thousands of years in the same pit. Hand axes, scrappers, cleavers, and choppers belonging to the Mesolithic are the most important finds from Vadakkupattu village.

A Chola-period bracelet made of gold and copper was unearthed during the second phase of excavation by the Tamil Nadu State Department of Archaeology at Maligaimedu near Gangaikondacholapuram in March 2022. In May 2022, seven ancient wells lined with terracotta rings were discovered while desilting the Karunaswamy temple tank in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur district. The ring wells, according to archaeologists, date back to the 10th Century CE during the Chola period.

Thirty-nine weapons, estimated to be more than 3800 years old, were discovered in Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) Mainpuri District in early June last year. During the levelling activity, the villagers unearthed the weapons in a mound in Kuravali’s Ganeshpur village. The biggest monolith murti of Bhagwan Natraja was unearthed at Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh in March last year. The murti that was discovered at an ancient site located about 140 kilometres from Bhopal (15 kilometres from Ganjbasoda) is believed to be 1500 years old.

The discovery of a stone structure said to be the remains of an ancient temple during excavations near Shree Lingaraj Temple in January 2021 by ASI in Odisha’s Bhubaneshwar aptly justified the title of City of Temples given to the state’s capital.

A murti of Bhagwan Sri Hari Vishnu that resembles Belur’s Chennakesava dating back to the 12th Century Hoysala Era was excavated on 24 March 2021. The murti was unearthed during sand extraction at Hemavati River in Sakleshpur Taluka’s Hale Beluru village. A Kakatiya date inscription was among the gold and silver treasures discovered in April 2021 by a realtor while levelling a piece of land he had purchased in Jangaon district’s Pembarthy village.

A 2000-year-old Mauryan brick platform ruins were found by the ASI’s Meerut circle in September 2021. The discovery gains importance as the site is believed to be important as it may lead to the ‘lost’ Ashokan pillar site.

Temple remains found during excavation work at the Ram Janmabhoomi site attested to the existence of a Hindu temple. Sanauli chariots are possibly one of the most valuable in terms of changing the perception regarding the presence of a warrior class in Bharat. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) stumbled upon “royal burials” with remains of chariots dating 2000 BCE-1800 BCE at Sanauli at Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat in 2018. Chariots and shields unearthed at Sinauli have taken us a step closer towards debunking the Aryan Invasion Myth.

(Featured Image Source: NDTV)

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