Community . India (Punjab) . Archeological Excavations

Archeological Wonders

Thanks to its rigorous past the best part of Punjab's histrocial treasure seems to lie under-ground. Thus, any enquiry into the culture of Punjab tends to begin with archaeological excavations which have been made throughout the State. -The oldest evidence of life in Punjab was found in the digs made in "Soan RiverValley" located in West Punjab which according to the experts pertains to the end of the first ice age and the beginning of the second ice-age. Similar evidence has also been found in the Shiwalik regions of Una and Hamirpur Districts in Himachal Pradesh. In these digs cherts and flints of the new stone age were found in a sequence and in proximity with the implements of the old stone-age which indicate presence and material development of man in this part of the Punjab while the existence of similar finds in the east prove that this civilisation was spread throughout the sub-montane areas of this province.

The new stone age culture was marked by the beginning of agriculture, domestication of animals and the growth of village life.

The second most important archaeological discovery was made at Mohenjo-Daro in Sindh, Harappa in West Punjab and recently at several locations in the Ropar District which show evidence of what has come to be known as the Indus Valley Civilisation which reveals a culture almost contempraneous in complexion. Houses built with burnt bricks on a regulated and functional pattern, private wells, baths, privis, pipes, soak pits, sullage jars, covered drains, public baths, use of bitumen as a water proofing agent, use of metals, colours, seal and sealings, irrigation reservoirs and channels, pottery, sculptures, f igurines, murals depicting varied hair-styles, artistic ornaments and all that constitutes a sophisticated and highly civilised life.

The ancient town of Taxila was situated on the International Highway connecting India to Central Asia east of river Indus in Rawal Pindi District of Punjab now in Pakistan. The third discovery of another great civilisation was made at the archaeological digs at Taxila which establish it as a great emporium of trade and manufactures. But its immortal fame rests on its University which had an international standing. Seekers of knowledge from all parts of the world flocked here which included high ranking scholars like Prasenajit and Jivika from the east. Chark, one of the founder of Aryuvedic branch of medicine, Kautilya, the author of famous Arth-Shastra and preceptor of Chandergupta Maurya the great, Paninni the renowned Sanskrit Scholar were all associated with Taxila University. Mahabharta was first recited in the halls of this University and grammar based on the text of Ramayana was taught here by Paninni.

The excavations at Dholbaha, the ancient temple town near Hoshiarpur take back its antiquity to the Pleistocene period of the stone age man and show evidence of continued development of civilisation right down to the 7th and 8th century A.D. The chopper chopping tools and hand axes of the stone-age man are found here in a sequence with the celt of the neolithic man. Pottery, sculptures and architectural remains are found scattered over an area of nearly four square miles. A large number of amalkas, buried walls, plinths, temple plans and other architectural pieces show evidence of a number of temples in the area. One of the most remarkable sculptures found here is the head of Vishnu beautifully carved in sand-stone, roughly dateable to 7th and 8th Century A.D. Reclining Ganesha, Shiva-Parvati statuets, female figures or couples on architectural members cut and honed in sandstone were also found here, but the most astonishing statue was the one depicting four Jina images seated back to back.

Ruins in the viccinity of village Ghuram now situated in Patiala District on the old high road connecting Shiwalik to the Arawali ranges show that once it was a great entrepot during ancient time. It remained the first seat of Muslim Empire in India during the last decades of the 12th century A.D. before the Capital was shifted to Delhi. Ghuram is reputed to be the home of Mata Kaushalya, the mother of Raja Rama Chander Ji of Ayodhya.

Clues of great historical importance of Punjab in the ancient times have also been unearthed at village, Sanghol, commonly called Ucha Pind in Fatehgarh Sahib district. Archaeological digs here have yielded relics that date back from Harappan Culture to the 6th century A.D. onwards, which include pottery (water and cooking jars) red polished ware, bangles, ivory combs, stone and terracotta beads, terracotta sealings, gold coins of King Vasudeva Kushan and a large number of other coins, storage rooms, defence walls etc.

The words of Guru Dev Rabindra Nath Tagore calling Punjab the home of the first civilised man ring true and from ice-age to the modern time Punjab has been the cradle of the world's greatest civilisations, the vedic age, the epic ages of Ramayana and Mahabharta being the ones which reaffirm Punjab's standing as Brahmavarta in Aryavarta.


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