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Taxila 600 years older than earlier believed

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  • kalyan97
    24 March 2002 Sunday 09 Muharram 1423 Taxila 600 years older than earlier believed By Mahmood Zaman LAHORE, March 23: Recent excavations at Taxila have
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 2, 2002
      24 March 2002 Sunday 09 Muharram 1423

      Taxila 600 years older than earlier believed

      By Mahmood Zaman

      LAHORE, March 23: Recent excavations at Taxila have pushed back the
      history of the ancient settlement by another six centuries to the
      neolithic age.

      Earlier, artifacts collected by Sir John Marshall had dated Taxila
      back to 518 BC. The new study also indicates the existence of cities
      in the valley between 1200 BC and 1100 BC.

      Potshreds and other terracotta, found at the lowest occupational
      level, 15 feet in depth, is the main evidence of the latest discovery
      which establishes that Taxila and the Indus Valley Civilzation
      settlements of Moenjodaro and Harappa existed almost simultaneously.

      Sir John, who excavated several Taxila sites between 1913 and 1934,
      had found four occupational levels. The latest study has unearthed
      six occupational levels which have been listed afresh as pre-
      Achaemenian, Achaemenian, Macedonian, Mauriyan, Bactarian Greek and

      Archaeology Department and the United Nations Educational, Scientific
      and Cultural Organization, have also found for the first time an
      integrated drainage system comprising open as well as covered drains.

      The discovery of several wells also establishes that fresh water was
      used for cooking and bathing.

      Yet another discovery is that of a hall and adjacent chambers which
      archaeologists understand were part of a palace of the then ruler,
      King Ambhi, who received Alexander the Great at this palace in 326
      BC. The evidence of the hall is based on pillars and walls which have
      been found at the Bhir Mound's fourth occupational level.

      The excavation started in September 1998 and is still going on. The
      preliminary report repudiates some of the theories propounded in 1934
      by Sir John Marshall regarding the age of the three cities of Taxila -
      the Bhir Mound, Srikap and Sirsukh - and the Buddhist monasteries

      One such theory proposed by Sir John, who became the first chief of
      the Archaeology Department in 1913 and immediately started excavating
      Taxila, was that the Bhir Mound city was abandoned between the first
      century BC and the first century AD by Bactarian Greeks who were the
      last inhabitants of the city. The latest excavations have established
      that the city was not completely abandoned and that it was later
      occupied by Scythians.

      It has been found that the Taxila people used to pull fresh water
      from community wells, of which have three been discovered so far.
      Raised walls protected the wells from refuse.

      A Mauriyan era drainage network has also been found. It comprises a
      number of small drains which are connected with the main drains which
      are also covered. This is the second ancient site (Moenjodaro being
      the first) where such drains have been found.

      Metal and terracotta utensils have been found in the rooms, bathrooms
      and kitchens.

      The palace where King Ambhi is believed to have received Alexander
      the Great in 326 BC, has abundant evidence of royal living. A kitchen
      and a bar have been unearthed on the palace site.

      More than 600 ancient objects have also been found from the site.
      They include terracotta pottery and clay figurines. Objects made from
      shells, iron and copper have also been discovered along with
      terracotta and semi-precious stone beads.

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