Category Archives: Archaeology

China to help KP preserve archaeological sites

Dawn
SADIA QASIM SHAH — PUBLISHED Feb 14, 2017 06:53am

PESHAWAR: The governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and China’s Shaanxi province on Monday joined hands for sustainable bilateral development under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project by signing a memorandum of understanding to preserve cultural heritage that connects both the historic regions rich in archaeological sites.

Chief Archaeology at the Silk Route Research Institution of the Northwest University of China Prof Wang Jian Xin and director at Xian Centre Li Tao along with other delegation members signed the MoU with the KP Directorate of Archaeology and Museums during a simple ceremony filled with a friendly atmosphere of mutual understanding and love for archaeology and cultural heritage despite language barrier.

Li Tao translated the conversations between culture and archaeology secretary Mohammad Tariq and Prof Wang, who were on the same page regarding the preservation of cultural heritage of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with opportunities that have emerged with the CPEC project.

Secretary Mohammad Tariq appreciated the Chinese delegation’s willingness to help preserve KP’s intangible cultural heritage saying China itself has a high-tech National Intangible Cultural Heritage Centre in Beijing. Continue reading

Archaeological site in ruins

 The protected archaeological site of Rohanpur Octagonal Tomb in Gomostapur upazila under Chapainawabganj is getting ruined due to alleged negligence of the authorities concerned. Photo: RABIUL HASAN


The protected archaeological site of Rohanpur Octagonal Tomb in Gomostapur upazila under Chapainawabganj is getting ruined due to alleged negligence of the authorities concerned. Photo: RABIUL HASAN

The Daily Star
December 01, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 01, 2016

Rabiul Hasan
The protected archaeological site of Naoda Buruj in Gomostapur upazila under the district is getting encroached by illegal occupiers, thanks to the negligence of the authorities responsible for its maintenance and preservation.

Over fifty poor families from different areas have built houses at the site and people often dig soil and collect bricks from there, locals alleged.

The building, also locally known as Sar Buruj, now resembles a mound and there is a signboard set by the Department of Archaeology.

During a recent visit, this correspondent found a woman using the top of the mound for drying paddy while two antique black stones were seen lying on the soil.

Earlier on different times, locals found some antiques from the area and after being informed, officials of the archaeology department collected those from them, they said.

Mohammad Mojnu, a carpenter, said he built a house at the site and started living there with his family as he is a poor landless man.

Rice mill worker Razia Sultana and truck driver Johurul Islam are also among over 50 poor families who built houses around Naoda Buruj.

Atikur Rahman, teacher of Yousuf Ali College in Rohanpur, said the Department of Archaeology hung a signboard but they have hardly taken any initiative to preserve the site.

local land grabbers build several houses just beside Naoda Buruj, another archaeological site in the area. Photo: RABIUL HASAN

local land grabbers build several houses just beside Naoda Buruj, another archaeological site in the area. Photo: RABIUL HASAN

Continue reading

Chinese archaeologists discover a 600-year-old Buddha statue underwater

1484747030_underwater-buddhaInternational Business Times
Aditya Aditya Bhat January 18, 2017 19:13 IST

Chinese archaeologists have discovered a 600-year-old Buddha statue, that was beneath the waters of a reservoir for years in China’s Jiangxi Province, on Sunday.

The statue, which is 3.8 meters tall, was carved into the cliff. Local villagers were the first to see it and Chinese underwater archaeologists got into the act, Xinhua reported.

The place might have housed a Buddhist temple as the archaeologists have found the foundation of a hall under the water.

Xu Changqing, head of the provincial research institute of archaeology, has said that the statue was carved during the time of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), based on the design Buddha’s head.

The statue was built to pray for the safety since boats were capsizing due to the flow of the river.

The Hongmen reservoir was built in 1958, and it is located on the ruins of the ancient Xiaoshi township, which was an important trade centre and a hub for water transportation. There is also a path to the north of the statue and an inscription to the south.

The statue of Buddha has re-emerged when water level in the reservoir came down by 10mts following a renovation project of a hydropower gate.

The water had protected and preserved the statue from interference of humans or from weakening due to time and climate. China destroyed several Buddhist temples and statues between between 1966 and 1976, during the cultural revolution.

People near the statue have come back to pray to their old protector.

[link]

China plans to destroy an ancient Buddhist city to get the copper buried there

Brent Huffman | Saving Mes Aynak

Brent Huffman | Saving Mes Aynak

Mariam Amini | @mariamamini
Wednesday, 1 Feb 2017 | 10:40 AM ET
CNBC.com

Two Chinese state-owned mining companies plan to destroy an ancient Buddhist city in Afghanistan in order to get the copper underneath it, according to a new documentary

According to the film “Saving Mes Aynak,” Metallurgical Group Corp. (MCC) and Jiangxi Copper are in the initial stages of building an open-pit copper mine 25 miles southeast of Kabul. The location is home to a walled Buddhist city that dates back 5,000 years.

According to the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, the site is also home to the world’s second-largest copper deposit. China is an importer of copper and a major global refiner of the industrial metal.

In 2007, under the administration of President Hamid Karzai, MCC agreed to pay Afghanistan $3 billion to lease the Mes Aynak area for 30 years.

MCC plans to extract over $100 billion worth of copper deposited directly beneath the Buddhist city, according to the documentary. Archaeologists are trying to save the site.

A spokesman for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, Zabih Sarwari, told CNBC that the project is slated to start after the completion of a feasibility study. Continue reading

Researchers discover 30000-year-old rock art and 110 historic sites in Pakistan

site-in-pakistan8 sites are of Buddhist importance. These sites display ancient rock art including images. During excavation, researchers found remnant of mosques, forts, gallows, tunnels and other buildings of Ameer Taimur period.

By Megha Singh -Dec 9, 2016

Archaeologists unearth 30000-year-old 110 historic sites in Pakistan

Archaeologists have unearthed 30000-year-old relics in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Of newly discovered 110 sites, some are related to Buddism. According to reports, a team of archaeologists along with support from Political Administration and Pakistan Army have discovered the sites.

The pre-historic sites are of Buddhist, Islamic and British era. 8 sites are of Buddhist importance. These sites display ancient rock art including images. During excavation, researchers found remnant of mosques, forts, gallows, tunnels and other buildings of Ameer Taimur period.

The political administration has summoned another team of scientists to further study the art form. Apparently, the study will be extended to other tehsils of Tirrah and Barra with an aim of finding more such sites which will tell us more about the ancient times, their beliefs and mythology.

“These rock carvings were etched around 30,000 years ago,” Abdul Samad, Director K-P archaeology and Museums, who has conducted the survey, told media on Thursday. Continue reading

Khyber rediscovered as rich archaeological area

A Buddhist stupa in Jamrud tehsil near Torkham Highway is a testimony to the historical and archaeological significance of Khyber Agency. —Dawn

A Buddhist stupa in Jamrud tehsil near Torkham Highway is a testimony to the historical and archaeological significance of Khyber Agency. —Dawn

Dec 09, 2016 09:54am

PESHAWAR: For the first time Khyber Agency may be put on the world’s map for its archaeological richness as a survey team is thrilled to have found prehistoric rock carvings in this tribal region.

Khyber Agency was known more as a gateway to Central Asia and remained a favorite route for the invaders, pilgrims and traders for centuries and in recent years it was ravaged by militancy.

But more lies underneath this rugged terrain, archaeologists have just found out.

During the first-ever archaeological survey in Khyber Agency, a team of archaeologists from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has discovered around 110 archaeological sites, including prehistoric rock carvings and paintings, in Malagori area of Jamrud tehsil.

The survey conducted for about two months was a pilot project initiated by the Khyber Agency political agent Khalid Mehmood with the help of Dr Abdul Samad, who is heading the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The survey that started as a friendly cooperation between the two young officers may be the tip of the iceberg as initial findings indicate that more archaeological wealth may be lying underneath waiting for centuries to be discovered. Continue reading

SURVEY IDENTIFIES 15 ANCIENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN CAPITAL

islamabad-600Associated Press of Pakistan
Saturday, 03 December 2016

ISLAMABAD: Archaeological experts have so far explored 15 ancient archaeological sites in Zone-IV of federal capital through its ongoing first-ever archeological survey.

The survey is being conducted by the Department of Archaeology and Museums (DOAM) to find potential sites for documentation, excavation and preservation, saving the precious heritage for future generations.

“The number of identified archaeological sites has reached upto 15 in Zone-IV of the capital and the survey is continuing in different areas to find more historical relics”, Director Archaeology, DOAM, Abdul Azeem Tuesday said.

He said due to wheat cultivation in most areas of Zone IV, it was difficult to conduct survey in the main areas so we have shifted our focus to the boundary areas.

He said the experts have discovered historical monuments, worship places of the Sikh community before partition, mosques of the Mughal period, remains of the Buddhist period and a memorial of the British period wars.

Abdul Azeem, who is head of the project, said Zone IV of Islamabad was the biggest zone among all and the archaeological survey in this area was likely to be completed soon.

He said the archaeological survey in the federal capital was initiated to find the potential sites for excavation, documentation and preservation so that the historical places could be protected.

The team which is conducting archaeological survey comprises archaeological experts, photographers, draftsmen and other necessary staff who are recording the details of the sites for documentation and finding potential sites for excavation.

He said Assistant Directors, DOAM, Mehmood Shah and Asadullah were also part of the team which is conducting the survey.

The students of Hazara University and Quaid-e-Azam University are also accompanying the team of experts during the survey work on sites.

[link]