Some Archeological Finds of 2004 & 2005
5000 Year Old Harappan Township Found in Haryana
Clinching evidence of a township of the 5,000-year-old Indus Valley Civilisation (Harappan Era) has been found during excavations near Bhirdana village in Fatehabad district of Haryana . The excavations are being carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The excavations began on December 14 and are likely to continue till May. These may resume after the monsoon, if required. The ASI had earlier discovered the presence of same townships of the Indus Valley Civilisation at two other places, Kunal and Banawali, in the district. The evidences found at Bhirdana include many structures made of mud bricks, peculiar of the Harappan era; a well, a fortification wall, pottery and other antiquities.
Mr L.S. Rao, Superintending Archaeologist of the ASI, who is leading the team of excavators here, informed that the team, comprising a Deputy Superintending Archaeologist, three Assistant Archaeologists and other officials like photographers, draftsmen, artists, and surveyors, was working on the excavation site spread across 62,500 square metres and situated on a mound.
Fifteen students of Institute of Archaeology, New Delhi, have also been assisting the team. The excavations, being carried out under the `Saraswati Heritage Project' of the Union Government, were part of a series of such excavations being made to unearth the old civilisations on the bank of the ancient Saraswati river. The Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Haryana, had protected the area of the present excavations, Mr Rao said.
He said the area where the excavations were being carried out was the bank of the Saraswati. The whole riverbed had been converted in to agricultural lands with the passage of time, he added. He said the ASI based its findings on the antiquities collected during the excavations on the surface of the mound. Pottery, among the antiquities, is the main criteria for ascertaining the civilization.
The team has collected truckloads of pottery during the excavations. Besides, these some semi-precious stones have also been found. Structures made of Sun-dried bricks, a peculiar feature of the Indus Valley Civilisation, have been found.
The excavators have also discovered a 2.4-metre-wide wall considered to be the fortification wall of the township on the excavation site. Ms Ankum, from Nagaland, a student of the Institute of Archaeology, who was manning the fortification area, said a clinching evidence of the township was that the earth outside the wall comprised of virgin soil while the one inside the fortification wall had all the evidence of structures.
Mr Prabhash Sahu, Assistant Superintending Archaeologist, told that it was a horizontal excavation and the whole mound had been divided into four parts for convenience. Mr Rao said the residents of the area were cooperative and were showing keen interest in the excavations.
Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Maritime Spice Route Between India, Egypt
Published in Popular Science, April 1, 2004
Archaeologists from UCLA and the University of Delaware have unearthed the most extensive remains to date from sea trade between India and Egypt during the Roman Empire, adding to mounting evidence that spices and other exotic cargo traveled into Europe over sea as well as land.
"These findings go a long way toward improving our understanding of the way in which a whole range of exotic cargo moved into Europe during antiquity," said Willeke Wendrich, an assistant professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA and co-director of the project. "When cost and political conflict prevented overland transport, ancient mariners took to the Red Sea, and the route between India and Egypt appears to have been even more productive than we ever thought."
"The Silk Road gets a lot of attention as a trade route, but we've found a wealth of evidence indicating that sea trade between Egypt and India was also important for transporting exotic cargo, and it may have even served as a link with the Far East," added fellow co-director Steven E. Sidebotham, a history professor at the University of Delaware.
Wendrich and Sidebotham report their findings in the July issue of the scholarly journal Sahara. For the past eight years, the researchers have led an international team of archaeologists who have excavated Berenike, a long-abandoned Egyptian port on the Red Sea near the border with Sudan.
Among the buried ruins of buildings that date back to Roman rule, the team discovered vast quantities of teak, a wood indigenous to India and today's Myanmar, but not capable of growing in Egypt, Africa or Europe. Researchers believe the teak, which dates to the first century, came to the desert port as hulls of shipping vessels. When the ships became worn out or damaged beyond repair, Berenike residents recycled the wood for building materials, the researchers said. The team also found materials consistent with ship-patching activities, including copper nails and metal sheeting.
"You'd expect to find woods native to Egypt like mangrove and acacia," Sidebotham said. "But the largest amount of wood we found at Berenike was teak."
In addition to this evidence of seafaring activities between India and Egypt, the archaeologists uncovered the largest array of ancient Indian goods ever found along the Red Sea, including the largest single cache of black pepper from antiquity - 16 pounds - ever excavated in the former Roman Empire. The team dates these peppercorns, which were grown only in South India during antiquity, to the first century. Peppercorns of the same vintage have been excavated as far away as Germany.
"Spices used in Europe during antiquity may have passed through this port," Wendrich said. In some cases, Egypt's dry climate even preserved organic material from India that has never been found in the more humid subcontinent, including sailcloth dated to between A.D. 30 and 70, as well as basketry and matting from the first and second centuries.
In a dump that dates back to Roman times, the team also found Indian coconuts and batik cloth from the first century, as well as an array of exotic gems, including sapphires and glass beads that appear to come from Sri Lanka, and carnelian beads that appear to come from India.
Three beads found on the surface of excavation sites in Berenike suggested even more exotic origins. One may have come from eastern Java, while the other two appear to have come either from Vietnam or Thailand, but the team has been unable to date any of them.
While the researchers say it is unlikely that Berenike traded directly with eastern Java, Vietnam or Thailand, they say their discoveries raise the possibility that cargo was finding its way to the Egyptian port from the Far East, probably via India.
The team also found the remains of cereal and animals indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa, pointing to the possibility of a three-point trade route that took goods from southern Africa to India and then back across the Indian Ocean to Egypt.
"We talk today about globalism as if it were the latest thing, but trade was going on in antiquity at a scale and scope that is truly impressive," said Wendrich, who made most of her contributions as a post-doctoral fellow at Leiden University in the Netherlands. "These people were taking incredible risks with their lives and fortune to make money."
Along with the rest of Egypt, Berenike was controlled by the Roman Empire during the first and second centuries. During the same period, the overland route to Europe from India through Pakistan, Iran and Mesopotamia (today's Iraq) was controlled by adversaries of the Roman Empire, making overland roads difficult for Roman merchants. Meanwhile, Roman texts that address the relative costs of different shipping methods describe overland transport as at least 20 times more expensive than sea trade.
"Overland transport was incredibly expensive, so whenever possible people in antiquity preferred shipping, which was vastly cheaper," Sidebotham said.
With such obstacles to overland transport, the town at the southernmost tip of the Roman Empire flourished as a "transfer port," accepting cargo from India that was later moved overland and up the Nile to Alexandria, the researchers contend. Poised on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, Alexandria has a well-documented history of trade with Europe going back to antiquity.
Over the course of the grueling project, the researchers retraced a route that they believe would have moved cargo from Berenike into Europe. Wendrich and Sidebotham contend cargo was shipped across the Indian Ocean and north through the Red Sea to Berenike, which is located about 160 miles east of today's Aswan Dam. They believe the goods were then carried by camels or donkeys some 240 miles northeast to the Nile River, where smaller boats waited to transport the cargo north to Alexandria. Cargo is known to have moved during antiquity from Alexandria across the Mediterranean to a dozen major Roman ports and hundreds of minor ones.
The team believes that Berenike was the biggest and most active of six ports in the Red Sea until some point after A.D. 500, when shipping activities mysteriously stopped.
Shipping activities at Berenike were mentioned in ancient texts that were rediscovered in the Middle Ages, but the port's precise location eluded explorers until the early 19th century. The former port's proximity to an Egyptian military base kept archaeologists at bay until 1994, when Wendrich and Sidebotham made the first successful appeal for a large-scale excavation. At the time, Egyptian officials, eager to develop the Red Sea as a tourist destination, had started to relax prohibitions against foreign access to the region. But the area's isolation remains a challenge for the team, which has to truck in food and water, and to power computers and microscopes with solar panels.
"The logistics are really tough there," said Wendrich, who is affiliated with the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA.
The Berenike project received major funding from the Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research. The National Geographic Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Utopa Foundation, Gratama Foundation and the Kress Foundation also provided support, as did private donors.
Geology Discovers India Has the Earliest Art
by R.K. Ganjoo
Material evidences confirming the existence of early man in India were first reported by Robert Bruce Foote in 1863, when he discovered palaeolithic tools from Pallavaram (near Madras).
Thousands of palaeolithic sites yielding millions of stone artifacts have been recovered since then. The large number of artifacts and palaeolithic sites has helped in critically evaluating the behavior and interaction of Early Man with the prevailing environment. Various disciplines of science, particularly geology, have played a vital role, for the past three decades, in deciphering the climate, chronology and environment of the palaeolithic sites. The scientific logics thus, provide a sound bedrock to the archaeological arguments.
Among several environmental situations, the Early Man lived in natural caves and rock shelters for several thousands of years. Natural processes formed the caves and rock shelters in the Vindhyan mountains of Madhya Pradesh. During this period, the artifacts made and techniques employed have undergone a considerable though gradual and continuous change.
The discarded or utilised artifacts lay buried under the sediments in the caves/rock shelters and were preserved for a very long time, as the deposits in cave or rock shelters were left undisturbed by flowing water or wind. Thus, the material remains of Early Man from rock shelters and caves hold more significance as one can build up a continuous history of Early Man's culture in an undisturbed context.
It was these rock shelters and caves which helped to preserve paintings (rock art) made by the Early Man.
These paintings reflect the earliest artistic expressions of man and provide sufficient knowledge on his way of life. Rock paintings exposed at Bhimbetka (near Bhopal) are a museum of rock art in India and are recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
One of the earliest forms of rock art is the petroglyph. Petroglyphs are figures that are made by removing the upper layers of the rock. A preliminary study of petroglyphs in India was carried out in parts of Rajasthan (Kanyadeh) and Madhya Pradesh (Raisen). However, petroglyph study from these sites lacked dating and scientific study.
In the Rock Art Seminar held in 1990 at Agra, the Rock Art Society of India identified the study of petroglyphs as one of the fields on priority basis. Keeping in view the lack of information on Indian petroglyphs, the Early Indian Petroglyph (EIP) Project commenced in 2001 with the objective to rewrite the pleistocene history of Early Man in the subcontinent. The EIP project is a joint venture of the Rock Society of India, Agra (RASI) and the Australian Rock Art Research Association (AURA) with support from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). In addition, geo-archaeologists and chronologists from various institutes in India and Australia are also involved in the project.
To begin with, the EIP commission took up Daraki-Chattan region as a case for the study of early petroglyphs in India. Daraki-Chattanâ “a rock shelter within the Vindhyan mountains overviewing River Rewaâ” is situated near Bhanpura in district Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh. Daraki-Chattan reveals the hoary past of the extensive rock art in this cave beyond doubt. Excavation at Daraki-Chattan was carried out by Dr Giriraj Kumar (Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Agra) with technical support from the Archaeological Survey of India (Bhopal Circle). The objective of excavation at Daraki-Chattan was to establish cultural stratigraphy at the site, collect evidences related to the production of cupules, obtain scientific dates (such as OSL, AMS C14) for different levels concerning art objects and human artifacts, and establish geo-archaeological history of the region.
The excavation at Daraki-Chattan revealed immense information on the cultural occupation of the site. The collection of stone artifact assemblage from the excavation undoubtedly reveals that the shelter was occupied by the Acheulian man. Interestingly enough, Bhanpura town, close to the Daraki-Chattan site, and its adjoining area have been continuously under occupation by man of different cultural periods since the Acheulian times. Daraki-Chattan is a local name of a hill near village Bhanpura in the Vindhyans that has a series of rock shelters. In geological past, the Vindhyans were formed as a single rock block but were subsequently subjected to erosion by wind and water which ultimately weathered them. The joints between the rocks widened over a period of time and then blocks or rocks became unstable and collapsed to give rise to rock shelters. These shelters not only provided suitable landform for the Early Man to protect himself from the vagaries of weather but also the shelters on hills which served as an overview to the dense forest below.
The study of the surroundings of Daraki-Chattan was carried out to investigate the climatic history of the area during the times when the Acheulian man occupied the site. Shri S.B. Ota (Superintending Archaeologist, Archeological Survey of India, Bhopal Circle), and I, myself, undertook the study of geological sediments that were deposited when the Acheulian man was exploring the valley adjoining the shelter. It was clear from the size (width and depth) and the large collection of artifacts from the excavation that the shelter was used by the Early Man as a temporary settlement for making tools and fulfilling other necessary activities. Dense forest existing around the shelter and along the valley of River Rewa must have supported a rich wealth of fauna and flora. Excavations in the sediments deposited by River Rewa revealed a succession of prehistoric cultural material remains beginning from the Early Palaeolithic to Upper Palaeolithic era, supporting the view that the valley and the surroundings were under regular occupation by the Early Man. Pressure of stone artifacts in the shelters in the river valley also corroborate the fact that the activity of Early Man was not confined to the particular shelter only. Rich faunal and floral wealth must have encouraged the Early Man to venture into the river valleys and forests. Thus the sediments brought down by the rivers must have covered and sealed the discarded or used stone artifacts of Early Man. A lot of information has been gathered on climate that existed during the period when the sediments were formed and deposited.
The indepth study of the sediments deposited by River Rewa unraveled the palaeoclimatic history of the region. The associated assemblage of stone artifacts suggests the relative age range of 1.8 million years before present to 400,000 years before present for the sediments. The generation of large slope deposits or fans substantiates the fact that the area must have faced sub-humid to semi-arid climatic conditions. (The author is Reader in Geology, Department of Geology, University of Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir. The author has been actively engaged in research on quaternary palaeo-climate and geo-archaeology for past one-and-a-half decade.)
found in Russian city of Omsk
Burial of an Aryan was found in the Russian city of Omsk, reported archaeologist Albert Pelevedov to "Interfax". Analyses indicated that the Aryan had lived 3 500 years ago.
One of the residents of the Beregovoy village (located on the outskirts of Omsk) discovered the burial. While fixing a water-pipe, the man stumbled upon a skull and immediately called the police. However, policemen denied criminal nature of the case and invited archaeologists to conduct some tests.
According to Polevodov, the burial belongs to the Andron culture (middle of the second millennium BC).
The archaeologist tells that the Aryan has been buried on his left side, facing south; his upper and lower limbs all drawn in. Archaeologists were able to determine the time of the burial after examining ceramic pieces found next to the skeleton. Some of the ceramic pieces depicted swastika turned the opposite direction.
Polevedov states, "Andron people, European-like tribes, who spoke languages of Indo-Iranian language group, were in fact the exact same Aryans that used to be praised by fascists."
The find is of tremendous significance due to the fact that settlements of Andron tribes are quite rare for that particular region. Back in the days, they were forced out of there, stated the archaeologist.
According to specialists, the burial was not solitary in the area. It is also possible that a larger settlement of Andron people can be found by the river Irtysh.
Read the original in Russian: (Translated by: Anna Ossipova)
Ancient Krsna Balaram Coins 200 BC
Krsna, Agathocles coin,
Ai Khanoum, Afghanistan, 2nd century B.C.
A lot of numismatic evidence also corroborates the antiquity of Krishna. For instance, excavations at Ai-Khanum, along the border of Afghanistan and the Soviet Union, conducted by P. Bernard and a French archeological expedition, unearthed six rectangular bronze coins issued by the Indo-Greek ruler Agathocles (180?-?165 BC). The coins had script written in both Greek and Brahmi and, most interestingly, show an image of Vishnu, or Vasudeva, carrying a Chakra and a pear-shaped vase, or conchshell, which are two of the four main sacred symbols of God in Vaisnavism. Many other finds of ancient coins also prove the antiquity of Krishna worship in India.
Balarama, Agathocles coin,
Ai Khanoum, Afghanistan, 2nd century B.C.
To summarize, today the weight of empirical evidence proves that Krishna and Vaisnavisam predate Christianity. Numerous literary, archeological, and numismatic sources build an unassailable case. Nevertheless, Vaisnavism and Christianity still show amazing similarities. In the chauvinistic and sectarian atmosphere of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, these similarities led most Western scholars to adopt the now discredited "borrowing theory." But these attitudes did more that distort the truth. In the twentieth century they directly led to two world wars of unprecedented ferocity and destruction. Therefore, sensitive and caring people perceive these attitudes as being obsolete, and, instead of clinging to them, more intelligent people now seek the path of unity. Even in religion, one of the key contemporary attitudes is the ecumenical spirit, the desire to emphasize more our similarities with other peoples, nations, and religions rather than our differences.
Pre-Harappan Evidence Found in Gulf of Cambay
VADODARA, INDIA, July 19, 2004: In an underwater exploration in the Gulf of Cambay, National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) scientists discovered almost 9,500-year-old bricks made of clay and straw. Archaeological experts of the MS University who, too, are involved in a part of the exploration near Surat and the coast of Gulf of Cambay, however, feel that a further insight into the size of the bricks can confirm its age and its period. The bricks, believed to be pre-Harappan, have been identified to be of the Holocene age. In the NIOT surveys in the 17 sq km area, stone artefacts like blade scraper, perforated stones and beads were found. The bricks, according to NIOT scientists, were used for construction. It indicates that the people of that age led an advanced form of life. The artefacts found on the seabed, 20 to 40 ft below the present sea level, consisted of housing material. "It is important to confirm the brick size as people of the pre-Harappan age made bricks in the ratio of 1:2:3. A confirmation on the brick size can add more credence to the discovery," says head of the archeology and ancient history department V. H. Sonawane.
Ancient Nuclear Blasts and Levitating Stones of Shivapur
The great ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata, contains numerous legends about the powerful force of a mysterious weapon
The archaeological expedition, which carried out excavations near the Indian settlement of Mohenjo-Daro in the beginning of the 1900s, uncovered the ruins of a big ancient town. The town belonged to one
of the most developed civilizations in the world. The ancient civilization existed for two or three thousand years. However, scientists were a lot more interested in the death of the town, rather than in its prosperity.
Researchers tried to explain the reason of the town's destruction with various theories. However, scientists did not find any indications of a monstrous flood, skeletons were not numerous, there were no fragments of weapons, or anything else that could testify either to a natural disaster or a war. Archaeologists were perplexed: according to their analysis the catastrophe in the town had occurred very unexpectedly and it did hot last long.
Scientists Davneport and Vincenti put forward an amazing theory. They stated the ancient town had been ruined with a nuclear blast. They found big stratums of clay and green glass. Apparently, archaeologists supposed, high temperature melted clay and sand and they hardened immediately afterwards. Similar stratums of green glass can also found in Nevada deserts after every nuclear explosion.
A hundred years have passed since the excavations in Mohenjo-Daro. The modern analysis showed, the fragments of the ancient town had been melted with extremely high temperature - not less than 1,500 degrees centigrade. Researchers also found the strictly outlined epicenter, where all houses were leveled. Destructions lessened towards the outskirts. Dozens of skeletons were found in the area of Mohenjo-Daro - their radioactivity exceeded the norm almost 50 times.
The great ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata, contains numerous legends about the powerful force of a mysterious weapon. One of the chapters tells of a shell, which sparkled like fire, but had no smoke. "When the shell hit the ground, the darkness covered the sky, twisters and storms leveled the towns. A horrible blast burnt thousands of animals and people to ashes. Peasants, townspeople and warriors dived in the river to wash away the poisonous dust."
Astounding mysteries of India's ancient times can be found in the town of Shivapur. There are two enigmatic stones resting opposite the local shrine. One of them weighs 55 kilograms, the other one is 41 kilograms. If eleven men touch the bigger stone, and nine men touch the smaller stone, if they all chant the magic phrase, which is carved on one of the walls of the shrine, the two stones will raise two meters up in the air and will hang there for two seconds, as if there is no gravitation at all. A lot of European and Asian
scientists and researchers have studied the phenomenon of levitating stones of Shivapur.
Modern people divide the day into 24 hours, the hour - into 60 minutes, the minute - into 60 seconds. Ancient Hindus divided the day in 60 periods, lasting 24 minutes each, and so on and so forth. The shortest time period of ancient Hindus made up one-three-hundred-millionth of a second.
Alexander Pechersky (Translated by: Dmitry Sudakov)
Ancient Port City In Southern India
DELHI, INDIA, February 11, 2005: Archaeologists say they have discovered some stone remains from the coast close to India's famous beach front Mahabalipuram temple in Tamil Nadu state following the December 26 tsunami. They believe that the "structures" could be the remains of an ancient and once-flourishing port city in the area housing the famous 1,200-year-old rock-hewn temple. Three pieces of remains, which include a granite lion, were found buried in the sand after the coastline receded in the area after the tsunami struck. "They could be part of the small seaport city which existed here before water engulfed them. They could be part of a temple or a building. We are investigating," says T. Sathiamoorthy of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Archaeologists say that the stone remains date back to 7th Century ce and are nearly 6ft tall. They have elaborate engravings of the kind that are found in the Mahabalipuram temple. The temple, which is a World Heritage site, represents some of the earliest-known examples of Dravidian architecture dating back to 7th Century ce. The monument also has gigantic open air reliefs hewn out from granite. The tsunami waves have also helped the archaeologists in desilting one such relief which had been covered with sand for ages. A half-completed rock relief of an elephant got "naturally desilted" by the ferocious waves and is now drawing large crowds at this popular tourist destination. For the past three years, archaeologists working with divers from India and England have found the remnants of the ancient port. Archaeologists say they had done underwater surveys 1 km into the sea from the temple and found some undersea remains.
temple fascinates archaeologists
By T.S. Subramanian
Parts of the ancient temple discovered to the south of the Shore Temple at Mamallapuram during the excavation done from February to April 2005.
CHENNAI, APRIL 9, 2005 . The temple discovered by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), a few hundred metres to the south of the Shore Temple at Mamallapuram, near Chennai, must have been as big or even bigger than the Shore Temple, said archaeologists conducting the excavation there. The ASI had discovered massive remains of a temple on the shore, close to the Shore Temple during the excavations it had conducted in February and March.
While continuing the excavation, it discovered a subsidiary shrine adjacent to the remains of a square garbha graham (sanctum sanctorum) of the newly- discovered temple.
The garbha graha measures 2.6 metres by 2.6 metres. The sanctum sanctorum is
surrounded by an open courtyard, which is encircled by a massive prakara (outer
wall). A beautiful ring-well, made of terracotta; a sculpted capstone, a shikara
stone; parts of a stupa; granite architectural members with sockets; and
have been found within this temple complex.
The newly discovered temple "is a separate complex by itself. Its magnitude and area is akin to that of the Shore Temple," said T. Satyamurthy, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Chennai Circle. Alok Tripathi, Deputy Superintending Archaeologist, Underwater Archaeology Wing, ASI, who is heading the current excavation at Mamallapuram, said, "This temple must have been as big or bigger than the Shore Temple."
What has fascinated archaeologists is that mason's marks (engravings) have been found on the granite architectural members of the square garbha graha.
These mason's marks depict a bird, a lamp, a bow and arrow, and two interconnected triangles. The bird occurs like a leitmotif on several stones.
"We have found a lot of mason's marks, who built this temple. We have to compare these mason's marks [with those found elsewhere] and find out whether the same group built the temples at Kancheepuram. In the temples in north India, the mason's marks have been studied quite well," Dr. Tripathi said.
Mamallapuram is known for its unparalleled works of architecture including open-air bas relief, rock cut temples and structural temples built by the Pallava kings Mahendravarman, Narasimhavarman I, Paramesvara and Narasimhavarman II, during the 7th and 8th century A.D.
The majestic Shore Temple, which stands on the edge of the sea, was built by Narsimhavarman II (circa 690- 715 A.D.). He also built the huge Kailasanatha temple and the Iravatanesvara temple at Kancheepuram. Nandivarman II (circa 736-769 A.D.) built the Vaikunta Perumal temple.
Obviously, the newly discovered temple close to the Shore Temple, was built by the Pallava kings. The question that arises is: why did the Shore Temple survive while this one did not?
Dr. Satyamurthy said, "The Shore Temple was built on bed rock. So it survived all these years. But this temple was constructed on sand and it collapsed. There was some setback, it developed cracks and collapsed." There must have been several reasons behind the survival of the Shore Temple and the collapse of the newly discovered temple, he said.
The ASI so far has not been able to find the deities of the square garbha graha and the subsidiary shrine adjacent to it. "There must have been deities inside because it was a structural temple. The deities must have been at a high level. We are now excavating at a lower level," said Dr. Tripathi. He pointed out that the garbha graha had a definite pattern. It was divided into four parts. Stones had been arranged in a specific manner.
The ring-well made of terracotta, found in the open courtyard, is an arresting sight. "Four rings have been exposed. There may be more. We have to see how deep it is," he added.
The ASI has also discovered the remains of a second temple, built on a low-slung rock, to the south of the Shore Temple. To the north of the Shore Temple, it has found onland a wall under water (because the water table is very high). Six blocks of stones of this wall ran to a length of 20 metres, said Dr. Tripathi. More trenches would be dug on land to see how far this wall ran. This wall extended into the sea (that is west to east) and its remains have been found in the sea. The ASI officials are keen on finding out the extent to which this wall runs into the sea and where it turns. For, they want to know whether the Shore Temple was surrounded by a prakara on all its sides. A wall existed north to the south, they said.
[This article and more information at www.stephen-knapp.com]
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