October 8, 2015
PESHAWAR: The government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will open the recently excavated portion of Bhamala’s historical sites for tourists on Sunday, said a Directorate of Archaeology and Museums official on Wednesday.
The excavations were carried out by the Archaeological Research and Conservation Programme India and Pakistan (ARCPIP), Hazara University and K-P Directorate of Archaeology & Museums. These institutions completed a two-year field study of the Bhamala Buddhist Archaeological Complex.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhamala is situated some 25 kilometres from Taxila Museum. The excavation data reveals relics that date back to the third century CE. More than 500 priceless artefacts were recovered, including a Maha Puri Nirvana (death of Buddha) statue measuring 14 metres in length.
According to officials, excavation was put on hold till the beginning of next year to exhibit the already discovered artefacts. Arrangements were made to facilitate tourists to visit the sites which will be inaugurated by senior officials on Sunday. “There are special sheds constructed to protect the recovered heirlooms from any damage,” said Abdul Samad, Director at Archaeology and Museums. The new discoveries will help attract tourism to the province.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2015.