Category Archives: Archaeology

Survey on to identify historical monuments in A.P. Capital region

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Dhyana Buddha statue at Dharanikota in Guntur District.

The Hindu
M. SRINIVAS
Dhyana Buddha statue at Dharanikota in Guntur District.

Ahead of commencement of works on the construction of the new Capital in Guntur District, the Department of Archaeology and Museums has undertaken a detailed survey to identify the archaeological monuments that are likely to get impacted.

The move is aimed at avoiding damages to the historical structures during the construction of swanky buildings for the Capital. “Technical assistants from the department are conducting village-to-village survey to find the historical monuments. If they find any such structure, we will first inform senior officials and later take up excavation to ascertain the age of the remnants so that they can get their place in the history texts. We are taking the assistance of villagers in this massive exercise,” Department of Archaeology and Museums Assistant Director S. Bangaraiah said. Continue reading

Major archaeological dig underway at Empress Place

A volunteer at work at a major archaeological dig at Empress Place, which occupies an area the size of 10 four-room flats. -- ST PHOTO: MELODY ZACCHEUS

A volunteer at work at a major archaeological dig at Empress Place, which occupies an area the size of 10 four-room flats. — ST PHOTO: MELODY ZACCHEUS

Straits Times (Singapore)
PUBLISHED ON FEB 13, 2015 11:48 AM

BY MELODY ZACCHEUS

SINGAPORE – A major archaeological dig is underway at Empress Place, with 2m-deep pits dug across a 1,000 sq m area about the size of 10 four-room flats.

So far, ceramics such as a porcelain headless Buddha statue, a clay figurine of what looks like a bird, as well as beads from India have been found. Most of these date back to the 14th century.

They form part of a 400kg haul unearthed by a team from the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies since work started on Feb 2.

The project organised by the National Heritage Board hopes to unearth artefacts from the Temasek period to Singapore’s early colonial days, to add to the understanding of the Republic’s early beginnings.

The excavation, which ends on April 9, is part of the board’s effort to commemorate 31 years of archaeology in Singapore.

Mr Lim Chen Sian, lead archaeologist for the project and research fellow at the centre, said he welcomes the opportunity to excavate as such efforts are usually rare in a small and highly urbanised country like Singapore.

“Empress Place was the location of a thriving port in the early days, and any new discovery will hopefully advance our understanding of Singapore’s earliest beginnings,” said Mr Lim.

The country started paying more attention to archaeology in the 1980s, with the first major dig taking place at Fort Canning Hill.

Significant finds from this latest dig in front of Victoria Theatre and Memorial Hall will either go on display in future exhibitions or be incorporated into the national collection.

melodyz@sph.com.sg

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Survey on to identify monuments at risk

11vjmsr01-Histo_VJ_2307719fThe Hindu
VIJAYAWADA, February 13, 2015

Department of Archaeology and Museums takes up the task

Ahead of commencement of works on the construction of the new capital in Guntur, the Department of Archaeology and Museums has undertaken a detailed survey to identify the archaeological monuments that are likely to be impacted.

The move is aimed at avoiding scope for damages to the historical structures in the construction of swanky buildings for the capital. “Technical assistants from the department are conducting village-to-village survey to find the historical monuments. If they find any such structure, we will first inform senior officials and later take up excavation to ascertain the age of the remnants so that they can get their place in the history texts. We are taking the assistance of villagers in this massive exercise,” Department of Archaeology and Museums Assistant Director S. Bangaraiah said.

He said the technical assistants have unearthed Buddhist and Jain sites in addition to certain pre-historic burial sites in a few areas in Guntur. These structures have been identified in Penumaka, Vundavali, Vademanam and Vaikuntapuram, among other villages during the survey. Efforts were on to continue the survey for the next 45 days, he said. Continue reading

Site of ancient Buddha statue gets a facelift

Protective structure built around the statueof Karumadikuttan, the protected monument,in Karumadi near Ambalappuzha.

Protective structure built around the statueof Karumadikuttan, the protected monument,in Karumadi near Ambalappuzha.

The Hindu
STAFF REPORTER

The residents of Karumadi, near Ambalappuzha, have a reason to celebrate. With the inauguration of renovated facilities at the premises of Karumadikuttan, the ancient statue of Lord Buddha, their efforts have paid off.

The 3-ft tall statue, made of black granite, remained neglected until a year ago, despite being declared a protected monument by the Archaeology Department under the Kerala Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1968. A large number of historians and travellers, passing along the National Highway, usually visit the historical monument.

The lack of attention by the authorities was brought to the fore when the left hand portion of the statue went missing, only to be later found at a compound of a house nearby. The portion has been preserved at the museum at the Krishnapuram Palace in Kayamkulam.

The issue was taken up by ‘Karumadikuttans’, a cultural forum, following which the Archaeology Department sanctioned Rs. 15.67 lakh for the renovation of the premises. The work was undertaken under the supervision of an advisory committee, constituted by the Culture Department and led by Karumadi Murali. Continue reading

Find at Shiga ruins suggests ancient Buddhist site-cleansing ritual

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 8.47.23 AMAsahi Shimbun
January 22, 2015

By IPPEI YAOITA/ Staff Writer

RITTO, Shiga Prefecture–Five coin-filled pots believed to have been used in an ancient Buddhist ritual to purify a building site have been unearthed at the Tehara ruins here.

The peculiar arrangement of the pots in a cross shape, with points facing north, south, east and west, suggests they were part of an esoteric rite in the Buddhist tradition, according to the Ritto city board of education.

“In Buddhist site-purification rituals, noxious vapors are purged by placing Buddhist images at nine points around a square, including the center,” said Masayoshi Mizuno, an archaeologist and director of the Gangoji temple institute for research on cultural property. “This indicates there used to be an important building there.”

The find is believed to be the first of its kind in Japan. Continue reading

Kakre Bihar to be renovated at Rs 110 million

http://www.ekantipur.com
MOTILAL POUDEL

JAN 27 – Kakre Bihar, a ruin of an ancient Hindu-Buddhist temple on top of a small hillock in Surkhet Valley, is slated for renovation. The government has started preparations to renovate the ‘Shikhar Saili’ temple of Kakre Bihar, believed to be built in the 12th century, under a multi-year project.

Considered to be only second to Lumbini in terms of archaeological and historical significance, the temple built of solid stone with bronze statues of Lord Buddha as well as numerous Hindu deities stands as a symbol of religious harmony among the people of the region.

Bhesh Narayan Dahal, director general of the Department of Archaeology (DoA), said his department will soon be inviting tender bids for the renovation of the ancient temple. Stating that they plan to complete renovation work within three years, Dahal said that initial budget estimates for carrying out renovation work hovers in the range of Rs 90-110 million, adding that they will also be reconstructing important artefacts if they are found to be lost.

The DoA stated that the renovation works will be conducted preserving the unique architectural style of the temple, and that structures destroyed or irreparable will be reconstructed by architects. As per the DoA, the site will be renovated retaining its original form without any changes. Continue reading

Excavation restarts at monastery

Times of India
Sujoy Khanra & Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey, TNN | Jan 29, 2015

KOLKATA: A dot on the map of south Bengal is gradually emerging from the sands of time and has the potential to change the course of history as it stands now.

Archaeologists who are excavating a Buddhist vihara out of the mounds at Moghalmari near Dantan in West Midnapur, are likely to fix the dates of the vihara between 5th and 7th century AD.

On Wednesday, the state archaeology department restarted excavation at the site, which is 180km away from the city, after a gap of a year as it received a fresh permission from the Archaeological Survey of India.

The excavation is expected to be complete within the year and archaeologists would be able to lay their hands on the precious seal that holds the secret to the date of the origins of the vihara and its name, going by Buddhist traditions. All along the history of Bengal suggests that Raktamrittika vihara of the erstwhile Karna Subarna or Murshidabad is the oldest in Bengal dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries AD.

Archaeologists have been working at the site for the past 12 years. In 2003, faculty and students of the archaeology department of Calcutta University started excavating the site after they were shown the mound by locals who also had an accompanying lore to share. Gradually a boundary wall, potsherds, figures and finally cells in which monks lived were unearthed, convincing archaeologists that they were indeed excavating a vihara. In 2009, the entrance gate came up during excavation. Continue reading