Category Archives: Archaeology

Under the sands of time: Ancient Buddhist mound discovered in Sector E-11


The mound is located in Sector E-11, next to the Pakistan Medical Cooperative Housing Society, Islamabad. PHOTO: EXPRESS

The mound is located in Sector E-11, next to the Pakistan Medical Cooperative Housing Society, Islamabad. PHOTO: EXPRESS

By Riazul Haq
Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2014.


A group of researchers have discovered an ancient mound in Sector E-11 where they found a bovine terracotta pottery fragment that could date back to the Bronze Age.

The mound, discovered during documentation work by the Potohar Research Group (PRG) and the National College of Arts (NCA), is in a precarious situation and needs preservation.

It lies at the northern end of Sector E-11 on Service Road North, a few yards from nearby houses and slums.

The PRG found the bovine figure on a terracotta potsherd during surface collection and without any excavation work.

NCA Rawalpindi Campus Director Dr Nadeem Omar Tarrar says that he sent a picture of one of the potsherds to Italian archaeologist Luca Olivieri, who reckoned it might date back to the Bronze Age.

Muhammad Bin Naveed, an archaeologist accompanying the researchers, said the mound is in extremely precarious condition and needs urgent excavation work for a detailed picture of the site. Continue reading

Govt fails to protect archaeological monuments in JK

city-lead-300x185‘3rd century AD Buddist site not on protection list’

Rising Kashmir, Sumaiya Yousuf

Srinagar, Aug 02: State government has failed to protect a 3rd century AD archaeological monument located in the Harwan area of summer capital.

The monument is situated in Harwan Srinagar and is known to be a Buddhist site.

This site was identified by the department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums J&K two years ago and was immediately declared as an archaeological site.

The approximate date of construction of this site is 3rd century AD.

According to the officials, they had sent a proposal to Government of India (GoI) for the protection of unidentified archaeological sites in J&K. “This site was also included in the proposal but we didn’t get any response from State government as well as GoI,” the officials said.

They added that this site belongs to Buddist period where the Terracotta Tiles have also been found.
“The State government is not protecting this site and not only this site but there are number of sites similar to this one which are not protected by the State government,” officials said. Continue reading

SAARC International Conference on Archaeology of Buddhism – Round Table Discussion

Book: Vibrant Rock offers a rare peek into stone sculptures in Bengal

The Hindu
July 20, 2014

The first-ever catalogue of stone sculptures collected from different parts of West Bengal, Bihar, and parts of Bangladesh belonging to Brahmanical, Buddhist, and Jain pantheon has been published by Directorate of Archaeology and Museum, Department of Information and Cultural Affairs, Government of West Bengal.

Archaeologists say the first-ever catalogue of historical stone sculptures in the region titled Vibrant Rock contains a comprehensive details of 444 stone sculptures housed in the State Archaeological Museum at Behala in the southern parts of the city, dated between the sixth and 19th century AD. Continue reading

Buddhists ask for Bodh Gaya to be dry, vegetarian zone

Redfiff News
July 16, 2014

Buddhists and Hindus have joined hands demanding that Bihar’s twin towns of Gaya and Bodh Gaya be declared vegetarian and a dry area.
The demand came from two quarters – the Mahabodhi Society of India and Vishnupad temple management.

Speaking of their demand, Sivali Thero, a Buddhist monk associated to MSI, said, “We have launched a campaign for the same.”

He said, “Bodh Gaya was the place where Lord Buddha had attained enlightenment. This is the spot from where he preached non-violence towards any living being. Hence, in accordance with his teachings, we want Bodh Gaya to be made into a vegetarian zone. Continue reading

Photo essay: Visit to Jaulian Buddhist Monastery

People’s Daily
Li Shen
July 05, 2014

A close look at one of the surviving votive stupas at the ruins. ( Shen)

Jaulian are the ruins of an ancient Buddhist monastery which are quite close to Taxila, an ancient town and archeological site in northwestern Pakistan. The ruins consist of two main parts: the main stupa and the monastery of Jaulian. Taxila was an important Buddhist centre of learning from the 5th century B.C. to the 2nd century A.D. The Jaulian Buddhist Monastery is considered as the oldest university of the world.

For more photos, follow the [link].

Ancient Buddhist casket found in north China


Wikipedia: Hebei Province

SHIJIAZHUANG, July 3 (Xinhua) — A Jade casket containing relics of a prominent Buddhist has been found in north China’s Hebei Province, local authorities said on Thursday.

A farmer accidentally found a cushion-sized “stone” when he was ploughing fields in the historic site of Yecheng, a 2,500-year-old ancient city located in what is now Linzhang County of Handan City, according to the county’s cultural relics protection department. Continue reading

ASI discovers Buddha engravings in Arunachal

Hindustan Times
Vanita Srivastava
June 29, 2014

A team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has recently found two engravings of Buddha in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, which could throw new light on the Buddhist tradition of the region.

The team led by superintendent archaeologist SS Gupta found the engraving on a fallen rock near Zemithang, 94 km north of Tawang.

Below the engraving, a one-line inscription has been carved into the stone which appears to be veneration to Buddha in the local dialect.

The engraving, measuring 1.95m in length and 2.15m in breadth, sees the figure seated on a lotus pedestal with a halo carved behind his head. Continue reading

Saving Buddhist statues: Afghanistan’s big dig

Al Jazeera
Valerie Plesch
June 24, 2014

Ancient statues and other artifacts are buried under Mes Aynak – and so is a $40 billion copper mine

An archeologist in Logar.

An archaeologist in Logar. Shah Marai / AFP / Getty Images

MES AYNAK, Afghanistan — Less than half an hour’s drive from Kabul, the congested and narrow two-lane highway is scarred with craters from improvised explosive devices. Logar province, southeast of Kabul, is considered one of the most dangerous in Afghanistan. It’s near Pakistan’s volatile Waziristan region, where armed militants roam freely across the porous border.

Here, in the midst of vast desert, a massive archaeological dig is taking place under the watchful eye of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MMP). Mes Aynak (“little copper well” in Dari), which was once a city on the Silk Road, is home to one of Central Asia’s oldest Buddhist artifacts, dating to the time of Alexander the Great. Buddhist statues and sculptures, intricate monastic complexes, stupas and frescoes, pottery, coins, gold jewelry and an ancient copper mine are buried beneath this mountainous 4.8-million-square-foot site. Continue reading

Renowned Afghan Archaeologist Zemaryalai Tarzi Discusses Bamiyan

The Asia Foundation
June 11, 2014

Professor Tarzi with a backdrop of the Bamiyan cliff.

On February 26, leading Afghan archaeologist Zemaryalai Tarzi spoke at The Asia Foundation’s headquarters in San Francisco. Formerly the general director of Archaeology and Preservation of the Historical Monuments of Afghanistan, Professor Tarzi is currently president of the San Rafael, CA-based Association for the Protection of Afghan Archaeology, created by his daughter, Nadia Tarzi, in 2003. Professor Tarzi directed excavations at the foot of the cliff that once housed the statues of Bamiyan. Through his excavation campaigns he unearthed several ancient Buddhist monasteries that date to the 3rd century A.D. In Asiaeditor Alma Freeman sat down with him to learn more.

How did you start your career as one of the main archeologists at Bamiyan?

The first time I saw the Bamiyan valley and the Buddhas was in 1967. From 1960, I was studying archaeology at the Strasbourg University in France under my mentor and teacher, Professor Daniel Schlumberger. Upon my graduation, he asked me into his office and said, “I want you to go to Afghanistan to document and gather information on Bamiyan for your thesis.” Continue reading


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