Plan devised to preserve archaeological sites

The Nation
January 19, 2015

PESHAWAR – Directorate of Archaeology and Museums Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has undertaken initiatives for carrying out preservation, conservation and restoration activities at different ancient-archaeological sites under ACT-project phase-II in scenic valley of Swat.

The Archaeology Community Tourism (ACT) Field School Project Phase-II, funded by Italian government, a joint venture of the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Italian Archaeological Mission, which is focusing on rehabilitation, preservation, conservation, excavation, restoration, and training by engaging local community of Swat, said Director Archaeology and Museums, Dr Abdul Samad. Four years ago, he informed, the ACT-project was launched with the assistance of Italian Archaeological Mission in Swat, spearheaded by renowned archaeologist and expert, Dr Marie Luca Olveria. The project, he explained, had supported to carry out restoration, preservation, conservation, and rehabilitation work at archaeological sites, besides conducting awareness and guided tours at these ancient-era ruins.

Dr Samad said that the project has been playing vital role for the promotion of ancient landscape and archaeological tourism after the post-conflict scenario in Swat.

He further elaborated the Swat Museum has recently been renovated under the ACT-project, which opened for general public during last year.

The Director informed that the ACT-project phase-II was approved by Central Development Working Party (CDWP) in its last meeting in Islamabad, after successful completion of initial phase. He furthermore informed that the restoration and rehabilitation will be conducted at Bari Kot (ancient Bazira) and Jehanabad Buddha, along with other ancient archaeological sites in Swat. Besides, he said, the ACT project would also facilitate training for local community and promote archaeological tourism with active engagement of community members in picturesque valley of Swat.

For this purpose, Dr Samad said, special awareness/guided tours at the archaeological sites would be arranged.
Secretary Archaeology, Museums, Tourism, and Youth Affairs, Dr Aftab Khan Durrani, highlighting the significance of the ACT-project, said that it will be helpful to promote archaeological tourism and develop a soft-image of the country in rest of the world. He assured the Italian Archaeological Mission to extend every possible support for the success of the second ACT-Project-II.

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