Sunday, 26 June 2016

An Ancient City Discovered in Pakistan

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient city in Barikot town of Swat Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwua province of Pakistan. Archaeologists in their ongoing excavations discovered an entire city with weapons and coins among other ancient items. Many of the items discovered had connection with Mediterranean area dating back to 2 BCE.

Dr Luca Maria Olivieri, an Italian archaeologist, while leading the mission in Swat Valley made this important announcement. This excavation program is funded by Italy and Pakistan and research has been done by Elisa Iori of Bologna University, Cristiano Moscatelli of Naples University and Amanullah Afridi and Syed Niaz Ali Shah of the KP Directorate of Archaeology And Museums.

Very little is known in the archaeology of the sub-continent about the material culture of the Indo-Greek. However, this time we discovered at Barikot ample layers associated not only to the Indo-Greek city (when the settlement was encompassed by the Defensive Wall, 2nd BCE), but also to the pre-Greek city, the Mauryan settlement (3rd BCE).

Among many other discoveries in this town includes a large Kushan Temple, coins, weapons and pottery. Head of this archaeological mission said,

I foresee that in future Barikot will become one of the largest and long-lasting excavation projects in Pakistan (30 years so far) if not in the entire sub-continent. It already represents the only Indo-Greek city excavated at that scale, and one of the few examples of a Kushan urban settlement scientifically excavated in South Asia.

It is also worth mentioning that KP government had recently purchased several privately acquired lands for such other missions.

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