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Additional evidence of the truths of Vedic culture is continually being uncovered. So this is a new project in which we will list some of the most noteworthy archeological finds that tend to confirm the Vedic descriptions of world history. There are also other papers that are included in which new developments or research are discussed. We will continue to update this information as new discoveries are developed, or as additional news is sent in to us. So if you learn of anything newsworthy in this regard, feel free to send it in to us so we might include it on this page.
Some of the Archeological Discoveries of 2002 This lists: 1. A City Dating
Back to 7500 BC, 2. Recent Archeological Find Could Rewrite History, 3. Ancient Egyptian Flight Technology, 4. Treasures Discovered at the Ancient Angkor Wat, 5. Sixty-five Million Year Old Crocodile Fossils, 6. Ancient City Found Off the Coast of Mamallapuram, 7. Links Between Ancient India and Mayans, 8. Ancient Stone Maps Over 120 Million Years Old, 9. Taxila 600 Years Older than Earlier Believed, 10. Buried Shiva Temples Found, 11. Evidence of Ancient Sea Trade Between Rome and India, 12. Shiva Lingams Found in Vietnam, 13. India was the First Source of Diamonds, 14. Ancient Hindu Temple Discovered in Indonesia, 15. A 7000 Year Old Temple in Mallesvaram, 16. Satellite Photos of the Ancient Bridge Between Ramesvaram and Sri Lanka, 17. A 40,000 Year Old Cave Painting South of New Delhi, 18 Stealth Bomber From Shastra, 19. Koreans Search for Roots in Ayodhya.
Some of the Archeological Discoveries of 2003 lists some of what has
been discovered so far, such as: 1. Ancient Cities in Tamil Nadu May Be Over 7,000 Years Old, 2. The Ancient Gene Pool of Tamil Nadu, 3. New Theories Place Ancient Humans in India, 4. Ancient Seals Found at Hatab Site, 5. More Vedic Temples Discovered in Cambodia, 6. Oldest Habited Anthropological Find in India, 7. Ancient Fossil on Ancient Sarasvati River.
Some of the Archeological Finds of 2004 & 2005 includes: 1. 5000 Year
Old Harappan Township Found in Haryana, 2. Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Maritime Spice Route Between India, Egypt, 3. India has the Earliest Art, 4. Aryan burial found in Russian city of Omsk, 5, Ancient Krishna Balarama Coins, 6. Pre-Harappan Evidence Found in Gulf of Cambay, 7. Ancient Nuclear Blasts and Levitating Stones of Shivapur, 8. Tsunami Uncovered Ancient Port City In Southern India, 9 Newly-discovered Mamallapuram temple fascinates archaeologists.
More Archeological Finds From 2006 and After: 1, Astrological Finds in Brazil Rainforests, 2. First Harappan Burial site Found in Sinauli, Uttar Pradesh, 3. Undersea Temple Found Off India's East Coast.. The Sarasvati River provides articles on the ongoing discovery and work to
recover the route of the ancient Sarasvati River that is described in the Rig-veda, and a satellite photo of the Sarasvati River basin. This includes such articles as: 1. India's Miracle River, 2. The Recent Research into the Sarasvati River, 3. Efforts to Trace Saraswati's Origin, 4. Project to Revive Sarasvati River, 5. Indian Satellites Find Water Under Desert, 6. Riddle of the River Sarasvati, 7. Bringing Back the Sarasvati, 8. Unearthing Lost Sarasvati Cities.
Ayodhya and the Research on the Temple of Lord Rama offers some of
the latest developments regarding the archeological research on the ancient temple of Lord Rama at His birthplace at Ayodhya. This has: 1. The article by N. S. Rajarama, "What We Need to Know About Ayodhya"; 2. Archaeological Excavations at Sri Rama Janma Bhumi; 3. Archeological Society of India Says Temple Existed at Ramjanmabhoomi Site; 4. The ASI Report on Ayodhya.
Some of the Archeological Finds of 2002
These are not only interesting, but also tend to verify the basic Vedic form of history. These are numbered in the chronological order in which they were discovered throughout the year. 1. A City Dating Back to 7500 BC As was announced on January 16, 2002 from New Delhi, Indian scientists have made an archaeological discovery that dates back to 7500 bce. This suggests, as a top government official said, that the world's oldest cities came up about 4,000 years earlier than is currently believed. The scientists found pieces of wood, remains of pots, fossil bones and what appeared like construction material just off the coast of Surat, Science and Technology Minister Murli Manohar Joshi told a news conference. He said, "Some of these artifacts recovered by the National Institute of Ocean Technology from the site, such as the log of wood date back to 7500 bce, which is indicative of a very ancient culture in the present Gulf of Cambay, that got submerged subsequently." Current belief is that the first cities appeared around 3500 bce in the valley of Sumer, where Iraq now stands, a statement issued by the government said. "We can safely say from the antiquities and the acoustic images of the geometric structures that there was human activity in the region more than 9,500 years ago (7500 BC)," said S.N. Rajguru, an independent archaeologist.
More details were released at-http://www.timesofindia.com/Articleshow.asp?art_id=2140338028
2. Recent Indian Archeological Find Could Rewrite History By Lori Erbs WARANGAL, INDIA, Feb 12, 2002 - Mysterious Sunken City Found Near Surat Michael Cremo recently attended a meeting of ranking Indian governmental officials at which Murli Monohar Joshi, Minister for Science and Technology, confirmed the archeological find by an Indian oceanographic survey team. Could the recent discovery of a sunken city off the Northwest Coast of India near Surat revolutionize our concept of history? Michael A. Cremo, historian of archeology and author of "Forbidden Archeology", claims that all the history textbooks would have to be rewritten if this ancient find proves to be of Vedic origin. Radiocarbon testing of a piece of wood from the underwater site yielded an age of 9,500 years, making it four thousand years older than earliest cities now recognized. According to Cremo, "The ancient Sanskrit writings of India speak of cities existing on the Indian subcontinent in very primeval times. Although historians tend to dismiss such accounts as mythological, these new discoveries promise to confirm the old literary accounts." A leading authority on anomalous archeological evidence, Michael Cremo is currently touring Indian universities and cultural institutions to promote the release of "The Hidden History of the Human Race", the abridged Indian edition of "Forbidden Archeology" (Torchlight Publishing 1993). Asserting the recent find may be just the first step, he says, "It is likely that even older discoveries will follow." The cultural identity of the people who inhabited the underwater city is as yet unknown. Most historians believe that Sanskrit-speaking people entered the Indian subcontinent about 3,500 years ago, from Central Asia. Other historians accept India itself as the original home of Sanskrit-speaking people, whose lifestyle is termed Vedic culture because their lives were regulated by a body of literature called the Vedas. The case of the mysterious sunken city near Surat may offer further definitive proof to support the ancient origins of man described in Cremo's controversial bestseller "Forbidden Archeology". With over 200,000 copies in print in a dozen languages, "Forbidden Archeology" documents scientific evidence suggesting that modern man has existed for millions of years. Contact: Lori Erbs http://www.mcremo.com email@example.com
3. ANCIENT EGYPTIAN FLIGHT TECHNOLOGY BY VRIN PARKER Evidence has been found that the Ancient Egyptians had a functioning understanding of Flight Technology. In 1898, in an ancient tomb, in Saqqara, Egypt, a scale model of a very advanced type of cargo-carrying pusher plane or powered glider was discovered. It has been dated to be around 2200 yrs old. I personally believe it to be older. Because it was discovered before the era of modern flight, it went unrecognized and was stored in a box labeled "wooden bird models." It sat in the basement of the Museum of Cairo for decades, until it was rediscovered by Dr. Khalil Messiha. Dr. Messiha has made a life study of these ancient models. The discovery was deemed so important that the Egyptian Ministry of Culture assigned a special committee to study it. The results of the findings were so impressive that a special exhibit was set up in the central hall of the museum with the artifact as the centerpiece. It was labelled "An Ancient Model Airplane." The following is a direct quote from the source, written in 1972. "First of all, this thing has the exact proportions of a very advanced form of what is called a pusher-glider that is still having the "bugs ironed out of it." This device is actually a glider that will almost stay in the air of itself so that even a tiny engine would keep it going at speeds as low as 45 to 65 m.p.h. while it could carry an enormous pay-load. The whole business depends upon the strange shape and proportions of the wings. These, as you will see from the drawing, curve down at the tips. This is called a "reversedihedral wing." Now we have the startling shape of the Concorde, the design of every part of which was planned to give this juggernaut the maximum lift without detracting from it's speed. And so what do we see? The ancient Egyptian airplane model has the same wing form and proportions as the Modern Concorde jet. It seems rather incredible to us that anybody, for any reason, should have devised just such a model over 2000 yrs ago. Is this another "left over" from some greatly advanced civilization....It looks like it is." End quote For those who have the Vedic Scriptures as their manual to understanding history, this info is not really a surprise. Most modern researchers would rather blindly search for facts with little or no reference, and thus they are constantly forced to revise their positions. However, researchers who accept the Vedic Scriptures as accurate manuals to the realities of the Universe, are rewarded again and again with positive and accurate findings.
4. Treasures Discovered at the Ancient Angkor Complex SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA, (Kapuchea) February 27, 2002: After the Khmer Rouge laid down their arms in Cambodia, the ancient Angkor Wat complex that
was built between the 9th and 14th century by the Khmer Kings became available for exploration by tourists and religious seekers. This article, written by news correspondent David Richie, delves into the wonders of some 30 temples that have been cleared in the jungle and can be visited. Of special interest to Hindus is a temple dedicated to Lord Siva. Built in the 10th century and located 20 km from Bayon, the impressive structure built of red sandstone has been well preserved and houses intricate carvings of deities. Hindus would also marvel at "The River of a Thousand Lingas" at Kobal Spien. After an hour-long hike, the site reveals lots of small linga-shaped stones right in the river surrounded by deities of Vishnu, Rama, Lakshmi, and Hanuman. At Preah Khan, the Temple of the Sacred Sword built in 1191, 500 Hindu deities were once worshiped during 20 major festivals. Now the site houses birds, cicadas, and lizards. To bring the vastness of the complex into perspective, the size was compared to the area covered by inner Washington D.C. More info was at-http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgibin/getarticle.p15?fv20020226a1.htm
Updated on 2002-04-04 QUETTA, April 04 (PNS): In a major discovery, a team of Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP) has discovered 65 million years old fossils of Crocodile in Vitakri area, some 310 km off here, GSP officials confided to PNS here on Wednesday. The specimen collected to date includes a well-preserved rostrum of a new genus and species named as "Pabwehshi Pakistanensis". The fossils are an anterior portion of left and right mandibular rostrum preserving the upper and lower teeth in place, said Asif Rana, Curator, Museum of Historical Geology of GSP to this correspondent. Disclosing the new discovery of crocodile fossils, Asif Rana said the fossil horizon occurs in the upper part of the Pab formation and provides the first diagnostic remains of Cretaceous Crocodyliform from the Indian subcontinent. He said the fossils were believed to be 65 to 70 million years old and provide important information for assessing bio-geographic history of the region. He disclosed that the Pabwehshi Pakistanensis was closely related to a group previously known only from Argentina. This species "Baurusuchidae" has not yet been discovered on other Gondawana land mass. He elaborated the plate tectonics theory that Indo-Pak was initially interlocked with the Gondawana land mass of Africa, Antarctica, Australia and Madagascar early in the Mesozoic era, some 200 million years ago. It drifted northward during the Cretaceous period to collide with Laurasian land mass during the Cenozoic era. This collision resulted in the emergence of HimalayaKarakorum-Hindu Kush mountain ranges. The new fossil discovery is relevant in
the reconstruction of the paleo-geographic history of the Indo-Pak subcontinent, he said. He said this discovery strengthens the hypothesis that a land connection might have existed between Indo-Pakistan sub-continental and South American plates. About the discoveries of GSP, Asif Rana said that Pakistani geologists had recently unearthed 2,700 fossilised bones of a new slender limbed Titanosaurus dinosaur from the same locality in the same formation of sedimentary rocks. The GSP researchers have also discovered a 47 million years old walking whale from Balochistan. The fossils of the largest land mammal "Baluchitherium" discovered by GSP's palaeontologists in 1985 from Dera Bugti are also on display in the GSP's Museum of Historical Geology at Quetta, he said. He said that these discoveries of dinosaurs, walking whale and super crocodile had provided a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to learn about the past.
6. Ancient City Found Off the Coast of Mamallapuram Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram), India, April 11, 2002: An ancient underwater city has been discovered off the coast of southeastern India. Divers from India and England made the discovery based on the statements of local fishermen and the old Indian legend of the Seven Pagodas. The ruins, which are off the coast of Mahabalipuram, cover many square miles and seem to prove that a major city once stood there. A further expedition to the region is now being arranged which will take place at the beginning of 2003. The discovery was made on April 1 by a joint team of divers from the Indian National Institute of Oceanography and the Scientific Exploration Society based in Dorset. Expedition leader Monty Halls said: "Our divers were presented with a series of structures that clearly showed man-made attributes. The scale of the site appears to be extremely extensive, with 50 dives conducted over a three-day period covering only a small area of the overall ruin field. This is plainly a discovery of international significance that demands further exploration and detailed investigation." More information at-http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_1923000/1923794.stm
7. Links Between Ancient India and Mayans From the Deccan
HYDERABAD, INDIA, April 29, 2002: Recent studies suggests a link between
Indus Valley and Mayans of Central America. The studies focused on the calendars of the two advanced civilizations. The Indus Valley inhabitants followed a calender based on the movements of Jupiter, and the Mayans followed one based on the Venus. In the Puranas, a secondary Hindu scripture, Jupiter, Brihaspati, was acknowledged to be the leader of the gods, while Venus, Shukra, was the leader of the asuras. The texts further state that the devas and asuras lived on opposite sides of the Earth. Mexico and India are at opposite sides in longitude. The correspondences were pointed out by B. G. Siddarth, director of the B. M. Birla Science Centre in Hyderabad. He also said the Hindu story of the churning of the ocean has been found in carvings in Mexico, as well Mayan representations of a tortoise carrying twelve pillars similar to Indian illustrations. Dr. Ganapati Sthapati of Chennai, a foremost expert on Vastu Shatra, the ancient Hindu architecture, has visited the Mayan structures in Central America and found many similarities between the design and construction methods of the Mayans and that of the ancient Hindus.
8. Ancient Stone Maps Over 120 Million Years Old in Russia FROM PRAVDA RUSSIA, May 4, 2002 A find of Bashkir scientists contraries to traditional notions of human history: stone stabs which are 120 million years covered with the relief map of Ural Region. This seems to be impossible. Scientists of Bashkir State University have found indisputable proofs of an ancient highly developed civilization's existence. The question is about a great plate found in 1999, with picture of the region done according to an unknown technology. This is a real relief map. Today's military has almost similar maps. The map contains civil engineering works: a system of channels with a length of about 12,000 km, weirs, powerful dams. Not far from the channels, diamond-shaped grounds are shown, whose destination is unknown. The map also contains some inscriptions. Even numerous inscriptions. At first, the scientists thought that was Old Chinese language. Though, it turned out that the subscriptions were done in a hieroglyphic-syllabic language of unknown origin. The scientists never managed to read it. The more I learn the more I understand that I know nothing, - the doctor of physical and mathematical science, professor of Bashkir State University, Alexandr Chuvyrov admits. Namely Chuvyrov made that sensational find. Already in 1995, the professor and his post-graduate student from China Huan Hun decided to study the hypothesis of possible migration of Old Chinese population to the territory of Siberia and Ural. In an expedition to Bashkiria, they found several rock carvings done in Old Chinese language. These finds confirmed the hypothesis of Chinese migrants. The subscriptions were read.
They mostly contained information about trade bargains, marriage and death registration. Though, during the searches, notes dated to the 18th century were found in archives of Ufa governor-general. They reported about 200 unusual stone stabs which were situated not far from the Chandar village, Nurimanov Region. Chuvyrov and his colleague at once decided that stabs could be connected with Chinese migrants. Archive notes also reported that in 17th-18th centuries, expeditions of Russian scientists who investigated Ural Region had studied 200 white stabs with signs and patterns, while in early 20th century, archaeologist A. Schmidt also had seen some white stabs in Bashkiria. This made the scientist start the search. In 1998, after having formed a team of his students, Chuvyrov launched the work. He hired a helicopter, and the first expedition carried a flying around of the places where the stabs were supposed to be. Though, despite all efforts, the ancient stabs were not found. Chuvyrov was very upset and even thought the stabs were just a beautiful legend. The luck was unexpected. During one of Chuvyrov's trips to the village, exchairman of the local agricultural council, Vladimir Krainov, came to him (apropos, in the house of Krainov's father, archaelogist Schmidt once staid) and said: Are you searching for some stone stabs? I have a strange stab in my yard. At first, I did not take that report seriously, - Chuvyrov told. - Though, I decided to go to that yard to see it. I remember this day exactly: July 21, 1999. Under the porch of the house, the stab with some dents lied. The stab was so heavy that we together could not take it out. So I went to the city of Ufa, to ask for help. In a week, work was launched in Chandar. After having dug out the stab, the searches were struck with its size: it was 148 cm high, 106 cm wide and 16 cm thick. While it weighed at least one ton. The master of the house made special wooden rollers, so the stab was rolled out from the hole. The find was called Dashka's stone (in honour of Alexandr Chuvyrov's granddaughter born the day before it) and transported to the university for investigation. After the stab was cleaned of earth, the scientists could not trust their eyes... At first sight, - Chuvyrov says, - I understood that was not a simple stone piece, but a real map, and not a simple map, but a three-dimensional. You can see it yourself. How did we manage to identify the place? At first, we could not imagine the map was so ancient. Happily, relief of today's Bashkiria has not changed so much within millions of years. We could identify Ufa Height, while Ufa Canyon is the main point of our proofs, because we carried out geological studies and found its track where it must be according to the ancient map. Displacement of the canyon happened because of tectonic stabs which moved from East. The group of Russian and Chinese specialists in the field of cartography, physics, mathematics, geology, chemistry, and Old Chinese language managed to precisely find out that the stab contains the map of Ural region, with rivers Belya, Ufimka, Sutolka, - Alexandr Chuvyrov said while showing the lines on the stone to the journalists. - You can see Ufa Canyon - the break of the earth's crust, stretched out from the city of Ufa to the city of Sterlitimak. At the moment, Urshak River runs over the former canyon. The map is done on a scale 1 : 1.1 km.
Alexandr Chuvyrov, being physicist, has got into the habit of entrusting only to results of investigation. While today there are such facts. Geological structure of the stab was determined: it consists of three levels. The base is 14 cm chick, made of the firmest dolomite. The second level is probably the most interesting, made of diopside glass. The technology of its treatment is not known to modern science. Actually, the picture is marked on this level. While the third level is 2 mm thick and made of calcium porcelain protecting the map from external impact. It should be noticed, the professor said, that the relief has not been manually made by an ancient stonecutter. It is simply impossible. It is obvious that the stone was machined. X-ray photographs confirmed that the stab was of artificial origin and has been made with some precision tools. At first, the scientists supposed that the ancient map could have been made by the ancient Chinese, because of vertical inscriptions on the map. As well known, vertical literature was used in Old Chinese language before 3rd century. To check his supposition, professor Chuvyrov visited Chinese empire library. Within 40 minutes he could spend in the library according to the permission he looked through several rare books, though not one of them contained literature similar to that one on the stab. After the meeting with his colleagues from Hunan University, he completely gave up the version about Chinese track. The scientist concluded that porcelain covering the stab had never been used in China. Although all the efforts to decipher the inscriptions were fruitless, it was found out that the literature had hieroglyphic-syllabic character. Chuvyrov, however, states he has deciphered one sign on the map: it signifies latitude of today's city of Ufa. The longer the stab was studied, the more mysteries appeared. On the map, a giant irrigation system could be seen: in addition to the rivers, there are two 500-metre-wide channel systems, 12 dams, 300-500 metres wide, approximately 10 km long and 3 km deep each. The dams most likely helped in turning water in either side, while to create them over 1 quadrillion cubic metres of earth was shifted. In comparison with that irrigation system, Volga-Don Channel looks like a scratch on the today's relief. As a physicist, Alexandr Chuvyrov supposes that now mankind can build only a small part of what is pictured on the map. According to the map, initially, Belaya River had an artificial river-bed. It was difficult to determine even an approximate age of the stab. At first, radiocarbonic analysis was carried out, afterwards levels of stab were scanned with uranium chronometer, though the investigations showed different results and the age of the stab remained unclear. While examining the stone, two shells were found on its surface. The age of one of them - Navicopsina munitus of Gyrodeidae family - is about 500 million years, while of the second one Ecculiomphalus princeps of Ecculiomphalinae subfamily - is about 120 million years. Namely that age was accepted as a working version. The map was probably created at the time when the Earth's magnetic pole situated in the today's area of Franz Josef Land, while this was exactly 120 million years ago, professor Chuvyrov says. - The map we have is beyond of traditional perception of mankind and we need a long time to get used to it. We have got used to our miracle. At first we thought that the stone was about 3,000 years. Though, that
age was gradually growing, till we identified the shells ingrained in the stone to sign some objects. Though, who could guarantee that the shell was alive while being ingrained in the map? The map's creator probably used a petrified find.
9. Taxila 600 Years Older Than Earlier Believed By Mahmood Zaman June 2, 2002 DAWN, Karachi, Lahore 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 Civilization settlements of Mohenjodaro 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 Scythian. 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 around. 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 three have 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 (Mohenjodaro 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.
11. Buried Siva Temples Found From "The Hindu" paper SIDDAVATAM, CUDDAPAH DISTRICT, June 2, 2002: The surfacing of five ancient Siva temples partly in sand dunes along the Pennar river in Jyothi village in Siddhavatam mandal has led to the discovery that as many as 108 Siva temples have been buried under sand at the place. Besides the rare presence of 108 Siva temples dating back to 1213 ce, a silver chariot and a diamond crown said to have been presented to the Jyothi Siddhavateswara Swamy temple by Kakatiya Rudrama Devi were present in Jyothi village, according to inscriptions discovered. The 108 Siva temples were said to have been constructed by King Rakkasi Gangarayadeva and his aide, Jantimanayakudu, in the 12th century and were buried under sand during the Muslim Kings' rule, says Pothuraju Venkata Subbanna, a retired headmaster and chairman of several temples in Siddhavatam mandal. The main temple is called Jyothi Siddheswara Swamy temple. A life-size inscription in the temple has a swastika symbol on the left and the Sun, Moon and a sturdy bull on the right.
11. Evidence of Ancient Sea Trade Between Rome and India From the San Francisco Chronicle and New Proof Of Ancient India's Flourishing Trade With Rome By Anand Parthasarathy, KOCHI,BERENIKE, EGYPT, June 12, 2002: Excavation of an ancient seaport on Egypt's Red Sea found spices, gems and other exotic cargo showing, archaeologists, that say sea trade linking the Roman Empire and India 2,000 years ago rivaled the legendary Silk Road at times. The project funded by Dutch and American agencies, at Berenike, on the Sudan-
Egypt border along the shores of the Red Sea, has revealed that the location was the southern-most, military sea port of the Roman Empire in the first century A.D. and the key transfer point for a flourishing trade with India, whose magnitude was hitherto not known. A gruelling nine-year-long international archaeological expedition in Egypt, has unearthed the most extensive evidence so far, of vigorous trade between India and the "Roman Empire" 2000 years ago. Co-directors of the dig, Willeke Wendrich, of the University of California, Los Angeles and Steven Sidebotham, of the University of Delaware, report their findings in the July issue of the journal Sahara. In major findings to be published in the July issue of the monthly scientific journal Sahara and announced today at the archaeological database website of the expedition, researchers report having unearthed the largest single cache of black pepper " about 8 kg " ever excavated from a Roman dig. They were able to establish that this variety was only grown in antiquity in South India. They also uncovered numerous beams hewn of teak, a wood indigenous to India, and Indian sailcloth. Because of the drier weather of Egypt, the Berenike site preserved organic substances from India that have never been found in the more humid subcontinent, like sail cloth, matting and baskets dating to AD 30-AD 70, all traces of which were destroyed in the more humid climate of the subcontinent. In one of the surprise findings, the archaeologists also report stumbling on a Roman "trash dump'' containing wellpreserved evidence of Indian `batik' work and ancient printed textiles as well as ceramics. Indian pottery found in the 30-acre site suggests Indian traders lived in the town amid a hodgepodge of other cultures. Archaeologists found evidence that a dozen different scripts, including Tamil-Brahmi, Greek, Latin and Hebrew, were used in Berenike. Elizabeth Lyding Will, an emeritus professor of classics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, said the finds help add "a whole new dimension to Roman archaeology." "It looks to me that India was some sort of engine driving Roman trade during the early empire. It could have been the chief focus of their trade." All this leads archaeologists, Willeke Wendrich of the University of California, and Steven Sidebotham of the Delaware University to conclude in next month's paper that a "Spice Route'' from India to Rome, existed long before the better known "Silk Route'' to China. They suggest that the goods travelled from the west coast Indian ports to Berenike by ships in the monsoon months, and were then transported by camel and Nile river boats, to the Mediterranean port of Alexandria, from where ships conveyed the cargo to Rome by sea. This route was preferred for almost 50 years because the alternative land route through what is today Pakistan and Iran, passed through countries hostile to the Roman Empire. "We talk about globalism as if it were the latest thing'', Wendrich is quoted by the Associated Press as saying, but trade was going on in antiquity on a scale that is truly impressive''. The Berenike route was finally abandoned in AD 500 probably after a plague epidemic. The new findings are said to establish what was long suspected - the central role that India played in the maritime trade 2000 years ago. Copyright 2002 The Hindu.
12. The Shiva Lingams Found in Vietnam VIETNAM, June 23, 2001, A Siva Lingam monument, a relic from the lost Champa Kingdom, stands proudly at the My Son site in Vietnam. Images depicting the Yoni and Lingam can be found in Hindu-influenced cultures across the entire Asian region. But the Cham religion in Vietnam has taken these images and fashioned them into a distinctive and different form. The Lingam and Yoni in the Cham religion differ from their Indian progenitors and their presence in Vietnam is evidence of the profound influence of Indian culture and religion in the country. It is also proof of the strong sense of identity of the Cham people, who borrowed from Hinduism and created statues and temples with a style all of their own. Cham Linga sculptures generally have a flat top, with only a few featuring spherical shapes. They are generally found in three different styles: square; another in two parts, one cylindrical and one square; and another has a cylindrical upper, the middle is octagonal and the bottom is square. The Linga and Yoni are usually constructed as one structure. Traditionally only one Linga is attached to the Yoni, but in some Cham sculptures many Linga can be found on a single Yoni platform. The differences between Cham sculptures and those found elsewhere in the Hindu world demonstrate subtle changes from their origins. More info at: http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/2001-06/23/Stories/29.htm
13. India was the First Source of Diamonds USA, July 16, 2002: "Diamond" comes from the Greek "adamao" meaning, "I tame" or "I subdue," according to this story which appeared on the CBS program, "60 Minutes II." The adjective "adamas" was used to describe the hardest substance known, and eventually became synonymous with diamond. Knowledge of diamond starts in India, where it was first mined. The word most generally used for diamond in Sanskrit is "vajra," "thunderbolt," and "Indrayudha," "Indra's weapon." Because Indra is the warrior God from Vedic scriptures, the foundation of Hinduism, the thunderbolt symbol indicates much about the Indian conception of diamond. Early descriptions of diamond date to the 4th century BCE. By then diamond was a valued material. The earliest known reference to diamond is a Sanskrit manuscript by a minister in a northern Indian dynasty. The work is dated from 320-296 BCE. Today diamonds are mined in about 25 countries, on every continent but Europe and Antarctica. For 1,000 years, starting in roughly the 4th century BCE, India was the only source of diamonds. Diamond production has increased enormously in the 20th century. India's maximum production, perhaps 50,000 to 100,000 carats annually in the 16th century, is very small compared to the current production of around 100 million
carats. Major production is now dominated by Australia, Botswana, Russia, and Congo Republic (Zaire), but South Africa is still a major producer, in both volume and value. More Information at: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/05/08/60II/main508408.shtml
14. Ancient Hindu Temple Discovered in Indonesia Deutsche Press - Agentur WEST JAVA, INDONESIA, September 3, 2002: A Cangkuang villager hunting for termites under a tree discovered a sharp hand-carved stone. Further investigation revealed that the location was the site of an ancient Hindu temple. The site is especially significant as the archeologists are hoping to obtain more information about the Sundanese kingdoms in West Java. Tony Djubiantono, head of West Java's Bandung Archeology Agency says, "Based on a preliminary finding of various remains there are indications that this is a Hindu temple built in the seventh or eighth century." The article says, "Buddhism and Hinduism were Indonesia's first world religions, popular among the first kingdoms of Java until the 14th and 15th centuries when Islam started to gain a greater foothold in the archipelago." Djubiantono further describes the finding of such a temple, "as spectacular and very significant for recovering the missing history of the so-called Tatar Sunda, or Sunda territory."
15. A 7,000-year-old temple in Malleswaram Author: Meghana Mathur, Times News Network Publication: The Times of India - Internet Edition Date: October 16, 2001 URL: http://www.timesofindia.com/articleshow.asp?art_ID=129602326 Malleswaram boasts of many temples, but none is so shrouded in controversy and mystery as this one is. The ancient Nandeeshwara temple at Malleswaram 17th cross was discovered only three years ago, but it has stood for 7,000 years on that spot. Being buried over the years hasn't diminished its aura at all. It still draws huge crowds all day. According to residents living nearby, the temple was completely buried and the land above it was a flat stretch. "Three years ago, a politician tried to sell this plot. But people objected on the grounds that the land should first be dug through to see if they could find something," says the priest, Ravi Shankar Bhatt. And so
when they started digging up the land, they found buried underneath, this temple. It was in perfect condition, preserved by the thick layers of soil. This underground temple was enclosed within a stone cut courtyard supported by ancient stone pillars. At the far end of the courtyard, a Nandi was carved out of a black stone with eyes painted in gold. From its mouth a clear stream of water flowed directly on to a Shivalinga made out of the same black stone at a lower level. There were steps that led to a small pool in the centre of the courtyard where the water flowed and collected. The pool's centre had a 15 feet deep whirlpool. Everything remains the same today. Nobody knows where the water comes from and how it passes from the mouth of the Nandi idol on to the Shivalinga. Nobody knows how the whirlpool came into being. The source of water, the sculptor, even the time when it was built remains a mystery. "There has been no scientific explanation for the source of water till date," says resident Shivalingaiah. "Some say it was built by Shivaji Maharaj. Some say it's older. But of one thing we were sure, the temple has remained untouched over the years. We found it exactly as it might have been before it was covered by soil," he adds. On Shivaratri day, overwhelming crowds gather at this temple. Some perform the `milk puja'. Others just come to marvel at a temple no one has any explanation for. The water source has been estimated by some to be the Sankey tank. This, because it happens to be directly in the line of, and at a higher level from the Nandeeshwara temple. But this hypothesis hasn't been proved yet. This Malleswaram temple falls under the constituency of MLA Sitaram. Speaking of the controversy surrounding this temple, he says, "There was a court case initially. But since it was an ancient temple of great heritage and religious value, it was preserved and taken over by the state government." Today, Sitaram says improvements have been made to the structure. "Since it was so ancient, the walls had some kind of leakage and started rotting after a while. The leaks were filled up and the walls were whitewashed. But no one has really tampered with the original structure," he adds. A Malleswaram committee has been specifically created to look after the temple. Committee president C Chandrashekhar functions along with a 11-member committee. "We are slowly introducing improvements in the temple to keep it in good shape. A lot of people come even from other parts of Bangalore," he says. The committee's next step is to build a gopuram in the temple premises. "But funds are a problem," adds Sitaram. "Every year the cost of maintaining the temple increases. I just wish the government would do something about this."
16. Satellite Photos of the Bridge Between Ramesvaram and Sri Lanka When I had visited Ramesvaram several years ago, and more recently in 2002, I was told that you could see the line of rocks that lead to Ramaesvaram to Sri Lanka that had been the bridge that Lord Rama had built for him and his army to
go to Lanka in search for Sita. These rocks were said to be just under the surface of the water. Then when these photos were published, I was not surprised, but nonetheless fascinated by the relevancy of what they revealed. The captions of the photos, as found on Indolink.com: Space images taken by NASA (from the NASA Digital Image Collection) reveal the mysterious ancient bridge in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. The recently discovered bridge, currently named as Adam´s Bridge, is made of chain of shoals, c.18 mi (30 km) long. The unique curvature of the bridge and composition by age reveals that it is man made. The legends as well as Archeological studies reveal that the first signs of human inhabitants in Sri Lanka date back to a primitive age, about 17,50,000 years ago and the bridge's age is also almost equivalent. This information is a crucial aspect for an insight into the mysterious legend called Ramayana, which was supposed to have taken place in Treta Yuga (more than 17,00,000 years ago). In this epic, there is a mentioning about a bridge, which was built between Rameshwaram (India) and the Sri Lankan coast under the supervision of a dynamic and invincible figure called Rama who is supposed to be the incarnation of the Supreme Being. This information may not be of much importance to the archeologists who are interested in exploring the origins of man, but it is sure to open the spiritual gates of the people of the world to have come to know an ancient history linked to the Indian mythology.
17. A 40,000 Year Old Cave Painting This is said to be a 40,000-year-old cave painting seen on a white silica sandstone rock shelter depicting existence of human civilization is seen in Banda district 800 kilometers(500 miles) southeast of New Delhi, India, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2002. The painting shows hunting by cave men in Paleolithic age. These caves were discovered recently. (AP Photo/Shekhar Srivastava) Notice the horse with rider. World Photos - AP http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/021030/168/2k3kj.html
18. Stealth Bomber from Shastra From the Deccan Herald, Dated Nov. 2, 2002 By Rajesh Parishwad, DH News Service BANGALORE, Nov 1: A glass-like material based on technology found in an ancient Sanskrit text that could ultimately be used in a stealth bomber (the material cannot be detected by radar) has been developed by a research scholar of Benaras Hindu University. Prof M A Lakshmithathachar, Director of the Academy of Sanskrit Research in Melkote, near Mandya, told Deccan Herald that tests conducted with the material showed radars could not detect it. "The unique material cannot be traced by radar and so a plane coated with it cannot be detected using radar," he said. The academy had been commissioned by the Aeronautical Research Development Board, New Delhi, to take up a one-year study, 'Non-conventional approach to Aeronautics,' on the basis of an old text, Vaimanika Shastra, authored by Bharadwaj. Though the period to which Bharadwaj belonged to is not very clear, Prof Lakshmithathachar noted, the manuscripts might be more than 1,000 years old. The project aims at deciphering the Bharadwaj's concepts in aviation. However, Prof Lakshmithathachar was quick to add that a collaborative effort from scholars
of Sanskrit, physics, mathematics and aeronautics is needed to understand Bharadwaj's shastra. The country's interest in aviation can be traced back over 2,000 years to the mythological era and the epic Ramayana tells of a supersonic-type plane, the Pushpak Vimana, which could fly at the speed of thought. "The shastra has interesting information on vimanas (airplanes), different types of metals and alloys, a spectrometer and even flying gear," the professor said. The shastra also outlines the metallurgical method to prepare an alloy very light and strong which could withstand high pressure. He said Prof Dongre of BHU had brought out a research paper Amshubondhini after studying Vaimanika Shastra and developed the material. "There have been sporadic efforts to develop aeronautics in the country's history. There has never been a holistic approach to it. Vaimanika Shastra throws up many interesting details that can benefit Indian aviation programme," the director added. Prof Lakshmithathachar rubbished the tendency among certain scholars to discount such ancient Sanskrit texts and said, "Why would our scholars want to cheat future generations? Unless it was important, nothing was written in the old days. The fact that there exists manuscripts indicates the significance." The academy has also embarked on other projects including 'Indian concept of Cosmology' with Indian Space Research Organisation, 'Iron & Steel in Ancient India - A Historical Perspective' with the Steel Authority of India Limited, and 'Tools & Technology of Ancient India.'
19. Koreans Search for Roots in Ayodhya From: Vinay Krishna Rastogi, Lucknow AYODHYA : A high-power delegation from South Korea visited Ayodhya to revive two millennia-old ties with the temple town. The South Koreans discovered that a Princess of Ayodhya was married to Korean King Suro in the first century CE. Suro was the King of Kimhay kingdom or the present Korea. The Princess was married to the Korean King at the age of 16. The Koreans believe that the Princess was the mother of the descendants who unified various Korean kingdoms in the 7th century CE. Since the first century CE her descendants prospered and became the largest clan in Korea, known as the Karak, whose members had been highly distinguished people. The present President of South Korea, Kim Dae-Jung, believes that he is also a descendant of the Great Princess of Ayodhya. She is regarded as the most blessed queen of Korea in the last 2,000 years, and Koreans believe that this could be due to the religious significance of the great temple city of Ayodhya where Lord Rama was born. The Counsel General of Korea said "I hope historians will be able to learn more about
this great ancient Hindu city." He urged the ex-Raja of Ayodhya BPN Misra to strengthen the cultural ties between Ayodhya and South Korea.
Some of the Archeological Discoveries of 2003
1. Ancient Cities in Tamil Nadu May Be Over 7,000 Years Old. CHENNAI, INDIA, January 5, 2003: A British marine archaeologist and author Graham Hancock has been examining a submerged city on the East Coast of Tamil Nadu. Mr. Hancock says a civilization thriving there may predate the Sumerian civilization of Mesopotamia in present-day Iraq and definitely existed before the Harappan civilization in India and Pakistan. He has been excavating the site off the coast of Poompuhar, near Nagapattinam, 400 km south of Chennai. At a meeting of the Mythic Society in Bangalore in early December, Mr. Hancock said underwater explorations in 2001 provided evidence that corroborated Tamil mythological stories of ancient floods. He said tidal waves of 400 feet or more could have swallowed this flourishing port city any time between 17,000 and 7,000 years ago, the date of the last Ice Age. The Gulf of Cambay was also submerged, taking with it evidence of early man's migration. The populations Mr. Wells and Mr. Pitchappan (see previous article) mapped settled on India's East Coast 50,000 to 35,000 years ago and developed into modern man. According to Hancock, "the Poompuhar underwater site could well provide evidence that it was the cradle of modern civilization." Hancock's theory is strengthened by findings of India's National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), which has explored the site since the 1980s. Man-made structures like well rims, horseshoe-shaped building sites are some of the lost city's secrets. At low tide, some brick structures from the Sangam era are still visible in places like Vanagiri. The region, archaeologists say, has been built over and over again through the ages and some of its past is now being revealed. Mr. Glenn Milne, a British geologist from Durham University, has confirmed Hancock's theory. More information is found at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_132193,000900020001.htm
The Ancient Gene Pool of Tamil Nadu. CHENNAI, INDIA, January 5, 2003: India's East Coast, especially along Tamil Nadu, is increasingly drawing the attention of archaeologists and anthropologists from across the world for its evolutionary and historical secrets. The focus has sharpened after genetic scientist Spencer Wells found strains of genes in some communities of Tamil Nadu that were present in the early man of Africa. In the "Journey of Man" aired by the National Geographic channel, Wells says the first wave of migration of early man from Africa took place 60,000 years
ago along the continent's east coast to India. Genetic mapping of local populations provided the evidence. R.M. Pitchappan, a professor of Madurai Kamaraj University in Tamil Nadu, helped Wells collect the gene evidence from Tamil Nadu's Piramalai Kallar people, inhabiting the Madurai and Usilampatti areas 500 km south of Chennai. The community was once quite strong and independent. Their genes have the amino acid bands found in the gene map of the original man from Africa, and similar to bands in the Australian aborigines. Says Pitchappan, "The ancestors of the Kallar community may have come into India from the Middle East." Wells believes there were three waves of migration that early man undertook. According to Mr. Wells and his Indian collaborator, early man went from Africa to the Middle East, on to Kutch on India's west coast, all around to the peninsula's east coast and then on to Australia. "These gene pools are unique and very accurately map the path a population has taken, leaving behind original communities to grow into independent groups but with a common ancestor," explains Pitchappan. More information is found at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_132193,000900020001.htm
3. New Theories Place Ancient Humans in India January, 2003, HYDERABAD: In a new twist to the theory of evolution of modern man, researchers have found two tribes in India who could be the descendants of the biological Adam and Eve who are estimated to have lived in Africa over 100,000 years ago. Researchers at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) here say they have with them the genetic `black boxes' which indicate that a tribe in Kerala and another in Gujarat could be the descendants of the first people ever to set foot in Asia. The new finding negates the widely-held belief in the scientific community that the first people to land in Asia belonged to a branch of the migratory population that exploded out of Africa over 60,000 years ago. The CCMB study shows that the two tribal groups may have settled much before the Asian branch reached the subcontinent, just before the last Ice Age. The researchers say the two tribes are the oldest so far discovered genetically and may have landed from Africa in Gujarat, migrated to Kerala and then to the Andamans where they got trapped by the sea and warped in time. The new theory also establishes that the enigmatic tribes of the Andamans are the descendants of a tribal population of Asia and not Africa. Western studies have tried to link the Andamanese tribals to the African pygmies, but DNA analysis shows that this may not be true. The Andamanese tribals are short in stature, have ebony-black skin, peppercorn hair and large buttocks, making them a mirror image of the African pygmies. But the new study published in Current Biology dumps the western pygmy model to
assert that the tribals are actually genetically closer to Asian than to African populations. The two tribal populations in India were discovered when CCMB Director Prof Lalji Singh and his team did the first genetic analysis of the Jarawa and Onge tribals of the Andamans. He then tried to compare the DNA signatures with a few of the 532 tribal populations in the mainland and found a match in a community in Kerala and Gujarat. But to his surprise, he found that these tribals in the mainland were much older than the Onges and Jarawas. Singh, however, refused to reveal the names of the two tribal groups in India for fear of their population being `hunted' for their genes. Of the dozen tribes, who populated the islands since ages, only four survive--the Sentinelese, Jarawas, Great Andamanese and Onge. While there has been no contact with the Sentinelese so far, the Jarawas still live in the forest and the Onges have started joining the mainstream. ``Our results show that the native Andamanese belong to a unique group not previously identified anywhere else in the world,'' Singh told reporters. The CCMB finding was the result of the analysis of mitochondria DNA, a genetic element passed down only through women. This showed that the Onges and Jarawas belong to a lineage known as M that is common throughout Asia. This establishes them as Asians, not Africans, among whom a different mitochondria lineage, called I, is dominant. The researchers then looked at the Y chromosome, which is passed down only through men and often gives a more detailed picture of genetic history than the mitochondria DNA. The Onge and Jarawa men turned out to carry a special change or mutation in the DNA of their Y chromosome that is thought to be indicative of the Palaeolithic population of Asia, the hunters and gatherers who preceded the first human settlements. The discovery of Marker 174 among the Andamanese suggests that they too are part of the relic Palaeolithic population, descended from the first modern humans to leave Africa. No archaeological record of these epic journeys has been found, perhaps because the world's oceans were 120 meters lower during the last Ice Age and the evidence of early human passage is under water, says Singh. The study was done by Singh and his colleagues at CCMB with their coworkers in the US, New Zealand and Norway. Other Indian scientists involved in the study are K. Thankaraj and Alla Reddy of CCMB, V Raghavendra Rao of the Anthropological Survey, and Subhash Sehgal of Port Blair.
4. Ancient seals found at Hatab excavation site TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SATURDAY, MARCH 08, 2003 01:03:13 AM ] VADODARA: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Vadodara circle, has unearthed 160 ancient seals, with the Brahmi script inscribed on them, from the
Hatab excavation site, located some 20 km south of Bhavnagar. The seals are said to be 2000 years old and were probably used to stamp goods that were to be exported. "For the past one year, we have worked at the site and have dug up several artefacts. All of them suggest that Hatab might well be the ancient trading centre, referred to as `Ashtakapra' in the ancient Greek work `Periplus' and which also finds a mention in historical records of ancient geographer and eminent astronomer Ptolemy," says ASI superintending archaeologist and director of excavations, Shubhra Pramanik. "The city has been recorded in history as a flourishing port in the 2nd, 5th and 6th Century AD. The seals come from a pocket of the mud fortified ancient town, which is surrounded by a moat. The moat has an inlet that leads to the Gulf of Cambay thus suggesting sea trade," says Pramanik. During ancient times, it is said that this part of Gujarat had extensive trade links with Greece and other parts of the world. Proving this fact are finds of the ASI like the Roman amphora (double-handled wine jug peculiar to Rome), copper coins and terracotta artefacts. Even in Kautilya's Arthashatra, it is mentioned about the practice of collecting taxes from ships sailing in the sea and rivers. "The job of the `Antapala' (officer stationed at the border coast) was to collect taxes and also control the quality of goods that were to be exported. The seals are a rare find and they must have been used to mark the goods that were exported," adds Pramanik. The seals are well etched and are round and oblong in shape, almost similar to rubber stamps that are used today. Pramanik says that other significant findings at the site include two bronze artefacts, one of a humped bull and another one of a human bust having Greek affinities. "There is also a terracotta face of a woman. From the head gear it appears to be the daughter of Celucas and the grandmother of Ashoka," says Pramanik. According to her, the ruins in Hatab not only reveal Shaivite artefacts of the Maitreka period but also indicate the influence of Buddhism. "The site also has grain shells and a step-well, which indicates presence of a shell factory here," she adds. The excavated Roman amphora, copper and silver coins, terracotta items and Indo-Greek artifacts, all seem to support the claim that Hatab might well be `Ashtakapra', the trade centre in `Siristhrin' (Saurashtra), located opposite to `Barigaza' (Bharuch) opposite to the mouth of `Namades' (Narmada). From: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?artid=396053 71
5. More Vedic Temples Discovered in Cambodia. CAMBODIA, March 6, 2003: Nearly 40 kilometers from the Thai-Cambodia border the Chen Sran temple has been discovered in the jungle of the northern
Preah Vihear province. It was built in the ninth or tenth century, and is dedicated to the Hindu tradition, cultural officials said. The monument was known to authorities only after local villagers reported it to a provincial cultural officer, said Uong Von, chief of the heritage department at Cambodia's Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. The temple stands 15 meters tall, and is 150 meters in length by 100 meters wide. Nearly 50 percent of the structure is damaged and most of its artifacts have been plundered, even though there is no decent road to the temple. "The temple remains were only a body -- there were no artifacts," said Von. Almost a dozen previously unknown temples have turned up in the last decade, said the expert. He also believes there are more temples lying undiscovered in the same area along the Thai-Cambodia border. From: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/05/1046826443356.html
6. Major Anthropology Find Reported in India September 09, 2003 CALCUTTA, India, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Scientists report they have found evidence of the oldest human habitation in India, dating to 2 million years, on the banks of the Subarnarekha River. The 30-mile stretch between Ghatshila in the province of Jharkhand and Mayurbhanj in Orissa has reportedly yielded tools that suggest the site could be unique in the world, with evidence of human habitation without a break from 2 million years ago to 5,000 B.C. Anthropologist S. Chakraborty told the Calcutta Telegraph: "There are no signs of terra incognito (a break in the continuum) in the Subarnarekha valley, unlike any other site in India. Some of the heavier tools resemble those found in the East African stone-age shelters, used by the Australopithecus." Chakraborty said the uninterrupted habitation could make the site more important than even the Aldovai Gorge in East Africa, the Somme Valley of France, Stonehenge in England, the Narmada basin in Madhya Pradesh and the Velamadurai-Pallavaram rectangle in Tamil Nadu. http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20030908-025602-5658r.htm
7. Ancient Fossil on Ancient Sarasvati River By Soni Sinha, May 1, 2003 An elephant fossil found in Rajasthan desert has drawn the attention of historians who say it could provide vital clues to the existence of the mythological river Saraswati. The discovery was made on the Nagaur-Bikaner road, 350 km from Jaipur."Carbon dating in the fossil would be the most important evidence in
this connection," said B S Paliwal, the man behind the discovery. "The findings will soon be submitted to scientific journals." The fossil in Rajasthan, the land of the Thar desert, indicates that the region was once rich in biodiversity. Paliwal claims this is the first time an elephant fossil has been found there. Ram Singh Solanki, president of Itihaas Sankalan Samiti, or the Organisation of Historical Evidence, said the discovery was yet another proof that the Vedic river Saraswati once flowed in what is today the Thar region. "Evidence suggests that the Saraswati-Sindhu civilisation flourished in an area of nearly 1.3 million sq km. "Investigations on the fossil are important as it could throw light on the development of the human civilisation, besides having a bearing on Indian history," said Solanki. Numerous signatures of paleo-channels in the form of curvilinear and meandering courses were revealed. IANS
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 longabandoned 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 subSaharan 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 welldocumented 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. http://popular-science.net/history/india_egypt_trade_route.html
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, geoarchaeologists 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.)
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 Krishna Balaram Coins 200 BC
Krsna, Agathocles coin, Ai Khanoum, Afghanistan, 2nd century B.C. http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/sastra-vedas/agathocles-krishna.jpg 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. http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/sastra-vedas/agathocles-balarama.jpg 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 preHarappan, 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
08/27/2004 10:56 http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/13920_stones.html 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)
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 onceflourishing 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 earliestknown 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. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4257181.stm
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 . 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 newlydiscovered 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 beautiful potsherds 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 lowslung 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. http://www.hindu.com/2005/04/10/stories/2005041004161800.htm
More Archeological Finds From 2006
1. Astronomy in the Rainforest of Brazil
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL, June 27, 2006: Anthropologists are sitting up and taking notice of a recent find in Brazil. Called the "Tropical Stonehenge," an astronomical observatory estimated at 2,000 years old has been discovered on an Amazon hilltop. The news report explains, "A grouping of granite blocks along a grassy Amazon hilltop may be the vestiges of a centuries-old astronomical observatory -- a find archaeologists say indicates early rainforest inhabitants were more sophisticated than previously believed. The 127 blocks, some as high as 9 feet tall, are spaced at regular intervals around the hill, like a crown 100 feet in diameter. On the shortest day of the year -- Dec. 21 -- the shadow of one of the blocks, which is set at an angle, disappears." Mariana Petry Cabral, an archaeologist at the Amapa State Scientific and Technical Research Institute, says, "It is this block's alignment with the winter solstice that leads us to believe the site was once an astronomical observatory. We may be also looking at the remnants of a sophisticated culture. Transforming this kind of knowledge into a monument; the transformation of something ephemeral into something concrete, could indicate the existence of a larger population and of a more complex social organization." Richard Callaghan, a professor of geography, anthropology and archaeology at the University of Calgary, adds, "Given that astronomical objects, stars, constellations etc., have a major importance in much of Amazonian mythology and cosmology, it does not in any way surprise me that such an observatory exists." Carbon dating of the site near the village of Calcoene, north of the equator in northern Brazil by Brazilian archaeologists in August after the rainy season, will establish a more accurate timeline. www.nytimes.com
2. First Harappan Burial site Found in Sinauli, Uttar Pradesh
SINAULI, June 28, 2006: Imagine for a moment that you're a farmer, leveling your field, when suddenly your plough hits something hard. You wipe away the dust and discover it's a bone, hardened over time. You dig some more and discover the remnants of pottery next to an ancient human skeleton. This is what happened to Sattar Ali while working in the sugarcane fields in Sinauli village near Baghpat in western UP, some 75 km from Delhi. Although he didn't know it at that time, Ali had chanced upon an ancient burial ground of the late Harappan period, believed to be more than 4,000 years old. This was over a year-and-a-half back. Matters would have rested there had not a local youth, Tahir Hussain, informed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) about it. Since August last year, ASI's excavations have been going on in full swing. Dharamvir Sharma, superintending archaeologist, ASI, says, "The findings here are very important and have the potential to change the way we look at the history of Asia." Sinauli's find is unique because this is the first Harappan burial site to be
found in UP. More importantly, it's the first Harappan site where two antenna swords were found buried next to the skeletons. These were of the copper hoard culture, which has been a cause of debate among historians. These findings might just prove that the copper hoard was associated with the late Harappans, says Sharma. The excavations have already yielded a rich haul. Almost 126 skeletons have been recovered, which indicates that the mound was a fairly large habitation. While some are broken, others are remarkably well-preserved. One of the first skeletons to be discovered was found wearing copper bracelets on both hands. Some distance away, another was found buried along with an animal, presumably intended to be a sacrificial offering. Other finds include bead necklaces, copper spearheads, gold ornaments and a few anthropomorphic figures which were typical of Harappan settlements. While these are all relative evidence of the late Harappan period, believed to be around 2000 BC, carbon dating of the skeletons would put a firm date on it. Sinauli's findings might also prove that the Harappans were a part of the Vedic culture and followed prescribed Vedic practices. Sharma says, "All the skeletons have been found lying in the North-South direction, as prescribed by the Rig Veda. Near their heads have been found pots, which probably contained grains, ghee, curd and somarasa as an offering to Yama, the God of Death. This was in accordance with ancient Vedic burial practices, mentioned in the Shatpath Brahman." However, not all historians agree with this view. They feel it's too early to jump to conclusions without carbon dating being done. Nevertheless, the excavations have attracted a lot of attention for the nondescript village. The villagers are thrilled at their newfound status. Any child will happily escort you to ASI tents set up in the middle of sugarcane fields, near the village. According to Hari Om Saran, assistant archaeologist, ASI, "At least 100-150 people visit the site every day. The number was higher during winter. The recent discovery of gold bracelets drew even more visitors." Now, the UP Tourism department is in talks with ASI to link Sinauli with the Mahabharat circuit that it's proposing to launch. Kawkab Hameed, state tourism minister, says, "The findings at Sinauli indicate it was an ancient site. Therefore we propose to include it in our new tourist circuit, which would cover places associated with the Mahabharat era. These would include Panipat, Sonepat, Hastinapur as well as Baghpat, which has three tunnels associated with the Mahabharat era." Most historians concur that Sinauli may provide clues to other mysteries of the ancient Indus Valley civilization and probably turn more theories about the Harappans on their head. However, that's still some way off. For one, only a portion of the burial mound has been excavated. Sharma believes the entire mound would have been spread over nine acres and there are more burials waiting to be found nearby. Moreover, considering that this was such a huge burial ground, the settlement should also have been a large one. However, that is still to be located.
Also, before ASI moved in, the villagers plundered quite a few objects from the site. Vital clues to the settlement could have been lost. ASI is proposing to acquire the site land and plans to set up a museum here. Meanwhile, as excavations continue, this will be an attractive destination not only for the serious student of history, but also for tourists, who can relive history through the skeletons of Sinauli. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1696409.cms
3. Undersea Temple Found Off India's East Coast VISAKHAPATNAM, ANDHRA PRADESH INDIA, July 3, 2006: Archaeologists in Visakhapatnam claim that a centuries-old temple exists two kilometers from Visakhapatnam coast, on the sea bed. While the eastern coastal city of Visakhapatnam is steeped in history, few know that there was a temple called "Visakeswara Temple" off the coast of the city. Many centuries ago this temple went under the sea due to geological adjustments. According to Professor Gangadharam, who is working on facts regarding this temple, the temple existed centuries ago, but got submerged in the sea. "From the research I did, I found out that the Buchca Rama Lingeshwara temple which right now exists on the coastline is in the same alignment with that of Visakeswara temple under the sea. I have spoken to many old people and fishermen who told me that their forefathers used to confirm that there is this temple under the sea. " According to the priest of Buchcha Rama Lingeshwara temple, the Visakeswara temple existed before Kalyug. "Yes, in Shastras and Puranas there's a mention of this temple. It is believed that before the Kalyug began this temple was submerged into the sea." Professor Gangadharam's further research, which involves under sea exploration, is on hold as he is looking for financial support in his quest to find the temple. www.zeenews.com
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There is a book available that goes further into the details of the Saravati river research, 'New Discoveries About Vedic Sarasvati' written by Dr Ravi Prakash Arya. He is the Chief Editor of Vedic Science journal.
Kolkata (on Ma_gha Shukla Panchami day: Sarasvati janma tithi celebration held in a big way on Feb. 17, 2002), Delhi, Kalibangan, Mohangarh (Jaisalmer Dist.) where the river is flowing again: 40 ft. wide, 12 ft. deep channel; the huge inaugural plaque there reads: Sarasvati mahanadi ru_pa_ nahar.
Scientists say new evidence could unearth the Saraswati. The legend of the mighty Saraswati river has lived on in India since time immemorial. Ancient Hindu scriptures called the Vedas, recorded thousands of years ago, are full of tantalizing hymns about it being the life-stream of the people. In a new radio programme, Madhur Jaffrey recounts the legend of the Saraswati river - and explores startling new evidence that it may not have been a myth after all. Vast and awesome, the Saraswati's holy waters are supposed to have flowed from the Himalayas into the sea, nourishing the land along the way. But as the centuries passed and no one could find it, myth, belief and religion came together and the Saraswati passed into the realm of folklore. Now most people in India think of it as a mythical river. Some even believe that it is an invisible river or that it still flows underground. Another commonly held perception is that the Saraswati once flowed through the north Indian city of Allahabad, meeting there with two other rivers, the Ganges and the Jamuna. The confluence of these three rivers - one of which is not visible to the eye - is considered one of India's holiest spots. Below is a satellite view of the Sarasvati River basin running from the Himalayan Mountains to the west coast of India.
For most of the country, the name Saraswati is better known for its divine namesake - the goddess Saraswati, Hindu goddess of Learning. Worshiped particularly by students and school children, her festival falls in February, and the city of Calcutta is famous for celebrating her in style. Makeshift shrines are erected in every street and after the festival is over, thousands of the images are taken to the banks of the river Hooghly and pitched into the water where they are forever carried away by the river. The goddess' connection to water is part of the enigma that surrounds the river. But that mystery could be set to be dispelled forever, as startling scientific evidence has come to light. Through satellite photography, scientists have mapped the course of an enormous river that once flowed through the north western region of India. The images show that it was 8 km wide in places and that it dried up 4,000 years ago. Dr JR Sharma who heads the Remote Sensing Services Centre in Jodhpur which is mapping the images, believes a major earthquake may have played a
part in the demise of the Saraswati. There was, he says, a big tectonic activity that stopped the water supply to the river. Sharma and his team believe they have found the Saraswati and are excited about what this discovery could mean for India. The idea is to tap its potential as a water source. They are working with India's leading water experts who are using the satellite images as clues. Scientists hope to find water under the desert
Deep in the western Rajasthan desert, not far from the security- conscious border with Pakistan, an extraordinary programme is underway. Giant drilling rigs probe deep into the dry, arid earth pulling out undisturbed layers of soil and sediment for scientists to study and test. Water engineers are exploring the region's ancient riverbeds for what they call groundwater - underground reservoirs that contain perfectly drinkable water. If they are successful, their discovery could transform the lives of thousands of locals who currently experience harsh water shortages. Mr KS Sriwastawa of the Rajasthan State Groundwater Board believes one of these ancient buried channels may be the Saraswati. He knows the stories refer to the ancient river flowing through this area and says excitedly that carbon dating has revealed that the water they are finding is 4000 years old. That would date it to the time of the Saraswati. The modern search for the Saraswati was first sparked by an English engineer called CF Oldham in 1893 when he was riding his horse along the dry bed of a seasonal Rajasthani river called the Ghaggar. As he rode on, he was struck by a sudden thought. The Ghaggar when it flowed, was a small, puny river and there was no reason for its bed to be up to 3km wide in places unless it occupied the former course of a much larger river the Saraswati. The discovery of a vast prehistoric civilisation that lived along the banks of a major river, has added impetus to the growing modern belief that the Saraswati has been found. Over 1000 archaeological sites have been found on the course of this river and they date from 3000 BC. One of these sites is the prehistoric town of Kalibangan in northern Rajasthan. The town has proved a treasure trove of information about the Bronze Age people who actually lived on the banks of the Saraswati. Archaeologists have discovered that there were priests, farmers, merchants and very advanced artists and craftsmen living there. Highly sophisticated seals on which there is evidence of writing have also been found, indicating that these people were literate, but unfortunately the seals have never been deciphered. They may well hold the clue to the mystery of what happened to the Saraswati and whether it has really been found again. The Miracle River is [was] broadcast at 3.30pm on Saturday 29 June, 2002 on BBC Radio 4 http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_2073000/2073159.stm
The URL which details the efforts to trace River Sarasvati is at: http://www.hindunet.org/saraswati/prakalp/sarasvati01.htm What a privilege it is to be part of this endeavor, unparalleled in the history of human civilization, as a 1600 km. long river which got desiccated about 4000 years ago comes alive to enable the present and future generations to recollect memories of Vedic cultural heritage, which is world heritage. Jagmohan sets about bringing Saraswati alive AKSHAYA
Times News Network [ SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2002 1:05:27 AM ] NEW DELHI: A day after Culture Minister Jagmohan announced excavation to trace the ancient course of the Saraswati, the 'lost' river of Harappan civilisation, he has already set up a team of four "experts" who will undertake this onerous task. Though Jagmohan denies the project is linked to the Sangh Parivar's agenda of equating Harappan civilisation with Hindus, he does talk of myths associated with several areas in Haryana where the Saraswati presumably once flowed. "Marxist historians have fed us on a certain kind of history. One should not close options," he says, adding, "If there is any evidence of Saraswati, we will see it, otherwise we will not push forward any view." The four experts û Baldeo Sahai of ISRO, Ahmedabad, archaeologist S Kalyan Raman, glaciaologist YK Puri, and water consultant Madhav Chitle -- will carry out the first phase of excavation from Adi Badri to Bhagwanpura in Haryana followed in second phase from Bhagwanpura to Kalibangan on Rajasthan border. Along with tracing the river's course, the experts have been tasked with deepening Kapalmochan and Ranmochan û "two wells fed by Saraswati where Pandavas had come and taken bath," says Jagmohan. If the effort does not yield Saraswati water in the wells, the experts have been told tap tubewells. "People consider it sacred. Right now water is muddy. Tubewell water will be clean and faithfuls can take bath," says Jagmohan. Another place where Saraswati will be traced is Thanesar, capital of Harshvardhan, a few kilometres from Kurukshetra. "Saraswati flowed here also and we have marked six points to trace its route," says Jagmohan. Plan also is to excavate seven mounds in Rakhigarhi, where minister claims five are of Harappan lineage and two of pre-Harappan times. With all this work, Jagmohan is "confident that Saraswati will come alive." But Jagmohan's confidence is not shared by noted historians Suraj Bhan and Irfan Habib. Says Suraj Bhan, "In the 1960s, I worked in this area to trace the Saraswati's route. In Adi-badri no course of the Saraswati can be seen." He also denies having found any evidence related to Pandava period in this area.
"The legend goes that there were 1400 pilgrim centres on the Saraswati. RSS for decades has been working on the Saraswati project. In 1980s, its Itihas Sankalan Samiti and Apte Memorial Committee did take it up in a big way. The idea is to revive brahminism and sanctity of Vedas. Now it is showing dividends," he observes. "All of us know there is water underground which will come out through excavation anywhere," he says. "How can it be called Saraswati's water. Important thing is to trace the dry course of Ghaggar which has already been done." Habib, who has written extensively on Saraswati, feels the exercise is a "waste of money". The Hindutva historians, he notes, claimed Saraswati flowed from the Himalayas and now they are tracing it in the foothills of the Shivaliks. "This is an attempt by the RSS to make Harappan civilisation synonymous with Saraswati culture," he says. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=12987455
Yamunanagar, June 12. Union Culture and Tourism Minister Jagmohan has said research work on the Saraswati river would be undertaken on a priority basis. While addressing a seminar on Saraswati river research held here today, he said the Saraswati, originating from har Ki Doon glacier in the interior Himalayas, after crossing the Shivalik range, enters into the plains, near Adi Badri in the district. He said he had been to Adi Badri today along with Union Minister of State for Home I.D. Swami. He said since the last century, several scholars and organizations had been making efforts to trace the course of Saraswati river. He lauded the contribution of the National Remote Sensing Agency, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, the Indian Space Research Organization, the Geological Survey of India and the Central Water Commission in this regard. He announced that the work regarding tracing the course of Saraswati river would be started shortly in two phases, first from Adi Badri to Bhagwanpura and in Kurukshetra district and second from Bhagawanpur to Sirsa. He also announced that watershed management and water-harvesting dams would be constructed shortly by the Union Government. Mr. Jagmohan announced that an international seminar on Saraswati river will be conducted at Kurukshetra in December. Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala assured the Union Government that the state government would provide all assistance in the development of Adi Badri and Kapal Mochan as pilgrim spots. He said Saraswati was revered not merely for its sanctity but
also for being the mother of the ancient civilization and cradle of vedic literature that was conceived on its banks.
Project to Revive Sarasvati River
Times News Network [ SATURDAY, JUNE 15, 2002 1:29:54 AM ] SHIMLA: Sarasvati Nadi Shodh Prakalp, Bangalore, director Dr S Kalyanaraman said on Friday that the search for the "mythical" Sarasvati river, which began about 16 years ago, had reached a stage where it could be said that the river was neither a myth nor a legend, but hard fact. Delivering a lecture organized by the Institute of Integrated Himalayan Studies at the Himachal University here, he said that after years of intensive research through scientific techniques, he could trace the origin of the river and the civilization which prospered along its banks. ``The revival of Sarasvati river begins in Haryana, with the water harvesting project from Adh Badri through Bilaspur and Kapala Mochan up to Pehoa, a distance of about 150 km, check-dams, clearing of the water-ways, restoration and renewal of the ghats of river and elimination of pollutants,'' he said. "It is a proud moment that our engineers and scientists have established the feasibility of reviving this great Vedic river, with a conjunctive use of surface and sub-surface drainage systems. The feasibility study of the National Water Development Agency has been going on for the last 19 years and is continuing," he added. Kalyanaraman said that the Rajasthan Canal, also called Sarasvati Mahanadirupanahar, was now flowing till Danan in Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan and would be extended to Gedra Road in Barmer district of the state. "The waters of Sutlej river, which was the anchorage river of Sarasvati, flowing from Harike can be taken to the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, through the Mahanadirupanahar," he added. He said that of the nearly 2600 archeological sites of varying sizes, over 1500 settlements were found on the Sarasvati river basin, which included settlements larger than those of Harappa and Mohenjodaro. Director of Himalayan Studies Yoginder Verma said that the research project being undertaken by the Sarasvati Nadi Shodh Prakalp aimed at making the river flow again in north-west India from Mansarovar to Gujarat and to interlink Himalayan and peninsular rivers to create a 40,000-km long national waterway in the country. This, along with the long coastline, would improve the infrastructure facilities in the country and complement the railways and national highways, he added. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=13006120&sType=1
Hyderabad July 28, 2002. India's remote sensing satellites have traced the buried course of Saraswati, the mythical Himalayan river, kindling hopes of finding drinking water under the hot sands of the Thar desert in Rajasthan. Mentioned in the Rig Veda, the Hindu scripture, and other ancient literature, the river is believed to have once flowed, parallel to the Indus, through what is now desert before falling into the Arabian Sea. According to published literature, the river disappeared between 5000 BC and 3000 BC due to tectonic events in the Himalayas, that cut off the water supply, and climatic changes that converted what was once a lush green Rajasthan into an arid zone. Past attempts to accurately trace the lost river and reconstruct its drainage system did not succeed. "Recent advancements in space-based sensors and in data processing technologies made it possible", says J. R. Sharma of the Jodhpur-based Remote Sensing Service Centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He and his colleagues, A. K. Gupta and G. Sreenivasan have mapped the "palaeo channels" relics of the river and its tributaries using data from three different sensors on board Indian satellites. Mr. Sharma said over telephone that 13 borewells drilled along the predicted river course have yielded water at a depth of 35 to 40 metres. The size of the palaeo channels, as estimated from satellite data, was huge, about 15 to 40 metres thick, implying that there was plenty of water out there. "The Government of Rajasthan is planning to increase the number of borewells to 50 in two months and has earmarked Rs. 40 million for the project," he said, adding, "chemical analysis indicates these palaeo channels could form a source for good quality ground water." The ISRO scientists do not subscribe to the theory that Saraswati is flowing as a subterranean river. "Radioactive tracer studies show that the maximum flow of water is 15 cms per year, too slow to indicate that connection with the Himalayan source is still there," Mr. Sharma said. PTI http://www.hinduonnet.com/stories/2002072901060800.htm
Union Minister Jagmohan's efforts to establish a role for the Sarasvati river in the Indus Valley civilization take the shape of a project of excavations, which will begin in Haryana. T.K. RAJALAKSHMI in New Delhi UNION Minister for Tourism and Cultural Affairs Jagmohan has an unenviable task in hand - that of putting in place a cultural policy for "national reconstruction", which is explained as a cultural renaissance that will enable Indians to be aware of their heritage. One step in this regard is the revival of interest in the Sarasvati river, references to which are found in the Rig Veda. Efforts are on to identify the river's course and to ascribe to it a civilisational virtue under the camouflage of promoting domestic and religious tourism. These are based on the assumption that the seasonal Ghaggar river in Haryana is the ancient Sarasvati. The cultural revival as envisaged by Jagmohan will be made possible by excavating the course of the river in parts of Haryana and then developing certain areas there as religious and tourist sites. At a seminar organised at Yamunanagar, Haryana, on June 12 by the Sarasvati River Research Centre (Sarasvati Nadi Shodh Sansthan), Jagmohan announced that the Central government, along with the State governments concerned, including the Haryana government, would undertake the excavation of the entire course of the extinct river. A four-member committee will be in charge of this. The committee comprises Baldev Sahai, former Deputy Director, Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad; V.M.K. Puri, a glaciologist who was formerly with the Geological Survey of India, Lucknow; S. Kalyanaraman, a former senior executive of the Asian Development Bank, who is also trained in archaeology; and Madhav Chitle, former Secretary, Ground Water Management, and coordinator for Global Water Partnership. The first phase will involve the digging up of the stretch from Adi Badri in Yamunanagar district to Bhagwanpura in Kurukshetra district to Sirsa (all in Haryana). In the second phase, the excavation and related work will be taken up from Bhagwanpura to Kalibangan in Rajasthan. The Central government is yet to sanction the funds, as the estimates are still in the process of being prepared by the State governments concerned. Darshan Jain, president of the Sarasvati Nadi Shodh Sansthan, feels it would be convenient if the first phase is launched before the annual fair in Adi Badri in November to mark the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. As for the river whose origins are sought to be found at Adi Badri, Darshan Jain conceded that all that remained was a trickle from one of the rock formations. However, if fresh water could be filled in the several tanks that date back to the Mahabharata period, which are muddy now, people could take their holy dips in them, he averred. The present effort is definitely novel. Jagmohan told Frontline that it was not important whether the Sarasvati was found or not. But in the course of the research on the "mighty river" which has been referred to 50 times in the Rig Veda, a certain consciousness will find its way into the minds of the people, he hopes. The river, the Minister explained, was mentioned along with other rivers,
and if these rivers had existed, it was not correct to assume that the Sarasvati had not existed. He said that there was cultural, geological, hydrological and geographical evidence to show that the river was not a mythological desert river. "There is a school of thought - I would not say there is irrefutable evidence - that believes that a sophisticated civilisation flourished on the banks of the Sarasvati," said Jagmohan. It is here that the real purpose of the programme comes into the open. The project is evidently a conscious effort to address the "plaguing problem" of the origin of the Aryans, an ideological riddle that was first raised by the Baba Saheb Apte Smarak Samiti (named after the founder of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad) and the Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalan Samiti (which is devoted to the rewriting of history) in the early 1980s. A survey of the lost Sarasvati was planned in 1983 by the former institution. Attempts to make the Indus civilisation and the Rig Veda chronologically compatible have been afoot for quite some time now. One major proponent of the Sarasvati's civilisational link is B.B. Lal, former Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). In his latest book The Sarasvati Flows on: The Continuity of Indian Culture (Aryan Books International, New Delhi, 2002), Lal argues that the Rig Vedic Sarasvati and the present-day Sarasvati-Ghaggar combine, which flows through Haryana and Punjab and dries up near Sirsa, are the same. His other theory refutes the Aryan invasion theory. R.S. Bisht, Director for Excavation at the ASI, also subscribes to a similar theory though he is against the digging of the entire course of the river. Bisht, who accompanied Jagmohan to Yamunanagar, asked how it was that so many sites were found located on the banks of the Sarasvati - such as Gaveriwala, Rakhigarhi and Dholavira - if it had not been a perennial river. Bisht contends that the territory of the Rig Vedic Aryans was coterminous with that of the Harappans. Between 2000 B.C. and 1800 B.C., a dry spell heralded the decline of the Indus Valley civilisation, he says. Bisht argues that the Sarasvati died a clinical death and rejuvenating it is impossible; but in the same breath he underscores the Vedic importance of the river. The Nadi Sukta or the river hymn, although a late composition compared to the Rig Veda, enumerated a large number of rivers that ran from the east to the west. Bisht said that it was thought that the Yamuna and the Sutlej flowed into the Sarasvati, an idea that was dear to S.P. Gupta, the historian who proposed the idea that the Indus Valley civilisation be renamed the Indus-Sarasvati civilisation. The Sarasvati is mentioned in the Rig Veda several times. Over the years, man-made interventions obstructed the course of the surface water channels. To redeem the lost glory of the river, its easternmost source, in Haryana, was taken as the most sacred one. All the depressions along the course of the river would be symbolically cleaned, Bisht said. On the other side is Suraj Bhan, renowned archaeologist and historian. He argues that the Rig Vedic references to the Sarasvati do not always pertain to a particular river. In the early parts, it perhaps means the Harakhvati of Afghanistan and the Sindhu (Indus), he says. There is no evidence even to suggest that either the Sutlej or the Yamuna contributed to the Sarasvati, he contends. R.C.
Thakran, Reader in the Department of History, University of Delhi, who is a trained archaeologist and hails from rural Haryana, does not buy the argument that the Sarasvati was a mighty perennial river. Like the Yamuna, most perennial rivers have two important features on their surfaces and sub-surfaces - sand deposition and water reservoirs, the latter on account of the constant flow of water on their floodplains. Despite continuous exploitation of water in the sub-soil of the Yamuna, water reservoirs remain. And this could happen only if the river was a "mighty" one, he said. But in the case of the Sarasvati, sand deposits and water reservoirs were missing, he pointed out. The impact of a river with a bed ranging from 10 to 30 kilometres should be felt along its course and depositions would be naturally available. But nowhere in the State were sand deposits visible either on the sub-soil or the surface soil, he said. The depth of the sand deposits would indicate the impact of the river, said Thakran. Even if they did find sand deposits, it by no means would establish that the river was a perennial one. Subsoil reservoirs were missing in most parts of Haryana. The water was not fresh. Only in some districts, such as Karnal, Kurukshetra and Ambala, water was of good quality and was freely available (but not to the extent in the Yamuna belt). He said that most tubewells were shallow, and that the majority of borewells were located in areas where canal water had reached. On the theory of the dry period, Thakran said that the region received erratic rainfall from ancient times. Even so, people never made habitations along the banks of rivers, especially mighty rivers, for the simple reason that they posed a hazard, he argued. Thakran said rivers per se were not essential for human settlements; what was essential was the supply of water in one form or the other. Ethnographic archaeology or the study of modern lifestyles in the State could explain how people coped with the semi-arid conditions. The prevalence of village ponds widely indicates a certain degree of rainwater harvesting. Wells were also constructed alongside the ponds. The muddy water in the wells would be desilted and stored for later use. Thakran recalls that in his childhood days clearing of ponds was a community activity, which gradually diminished as alternative sources of water, such as canals, appeared. According to him, villages located themselves near ponds, not rivers. Thakran said that in the mid-1980s an ASI-French archaeological mission found that there was no river action in this belt in the Harappan times and even afterwards. Water action observed at local levels revealed surface water run-off or rainwater run-off. On the question of settlements, Thakran said that only a nominal number of them were observed though there was a mild increase in their numbers between the early and mature Harappan phases. After agriculture, pastoralism is the other known source of subsistence for people in the State. Cattle outnumber other domestic animals as they are hardy and require less water and food than others. The practice, which started in the proto-historical times, continues even today. Pastoralists would not have known how to control such a mighty river as the mythological Sarasvati, said Thakran. As for remote-sensing and satellite imagery of paleo-channels or past channels of water, Thakran said the images appeared as impressions of flowing water. They begin in the north, move towards Rajasthan and get lost beyond
that. There is hardly any evidence to show that these images are that of the Sarasvati. However, he said, remote-sensing did not reveal the antiquity of the images and was not capable of dating or soil morphology. In such a situation, it was difficult to say which period an image belonged to. He said another limitation of remote-sensing was that it was effective only on dry soil. Moisture in the subsoil tends to absorb the signals and therefore a message cannot be sent to the satellite. Thakran is certain that the Ghaggar river made no contribution to the evolution and development of the early and mature Harappan settlements. Nor was the number of settlements found to be substantial. On the contrary, a greater number of early and mature Harappan sites were found in the upland dry areas which had saline water, away from the rivers. A far greater concentration of Harappan settlements was found in the Ghaggar basin and in the basins of other rivers, but these were not in the formative phase but in the terminal phase of the civilisation. Hence the river neither was helpful in promoting human activities nor could become a centre of human settlements by the end of the mature Harappan phase. But, according to Jagmohan, there is a preponderance of evidence to show that the Sarasvati was an important river. There were 1,500 settlements along the course of the Sarasvati, though in the late Harappan period, he said. He added that the Central Water Commission, with assistance from its counterparts in the State, had been told to dig two wells in the Adi Badri area; if there was water in them "it would come out", he said. The Rig Veda makes references to several rivers, including the Indus. To magnify the importance of one particular river in this context and promote tourism around it only betrays the enthusiasm of the BJP-led government in the case of anything Vedic. But many feel that both the Centre and the Haryana government should concentrate more on getting water for the parched State from Punjab instead of promoting an extinct Sarasvati. http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl1916/fl191600.htm http://www.hindunet.org/saraswati/riddle1.htm
AHMEDABAD, INDIA, August18, 2002: The government of India, with the assistance of hydrologists, geologists, archaeologists and space scientists, is trying to bring back the Saraswati River, which dried up in Vedic times. The dry bed of the "mythological" river was spotted in satellite photos, five miles wide, coursing from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea. Some water still flows along this course, but underground. The government's attempt is to tap this water in wells and reservoirs, so that Hindus may once again be blessed by the Saraswati's sacred waters. From: http://www.the-week.com/22aug18/cover.htm
Unearthing Lost Saravati Cities
PTI [TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 04, 2003 05:34:22 PM] KURUKSHETRA: Union Minister for Tourism and Culture Jagmohan on Tuesday announced that the Centre has launched a scheme of unearthing lost cities, which once existed along the embankments of Saraswati River, and left a number of signposts of the Saraswati-Indus civilization from Adi Badri near Kurukshetra to Dhola Vira in Gujarat. Addressing the students of Kurukshetra University at the 25th convocation here he said that "all these signposts are intended to be converted into new centres, all over the country, in which elements of culture, tourism and clean civic life are being synthesised. Kurukshetra is being given a top position in the list of such centres, Jagmohan added. He said, "Believe me, a revolution is in the making. Kurukshetra would become not only a world class tourism destination but also a pace-setter for this revolution". Adding that a new life was being injected in Kurukshetra which would make it a symbol of a resurgent and reawakened India. Chancellor of the University, Babu Parmanand, conferred the honorary degree of Doctorate of Philosophy (honoris causa) upon Jagmohan in recognition of the exceptionally meritorious services rendered by him to the nation. Babu Parmanand also conferred Ph.D upon 121 students and M.Phil on 47 students in different subjects. Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala awarded medals to the outstanding students of the university. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/comp/articleshow?artid=36474030
NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 26, 2003: It has been reported that to uncover ancient Hindu cultural sites, the Indian government, in collaboration with the Department of Tourism, has started excavating along the legendary Saraswati River from Haryana to Gujarat. The task is an arduous one in a land where the local people are often not aware of the value of their heritage and artifacts from cultural sites are often smuggled out of the country. Tourism Minister Jagmohan says, "We are shortly coming up with an amendment to the existing legislation on protection of antiques and arts which will make illegal trafficking a cognisable offense and give police the powers of seizure." As they forge ahead with the excavation, it is expected that treasures, such as abandoned towns and habitations from the Harappan civilization dating well before 3000 bce, will be revealed. The Tourism Department has grand plans to house the artefacts uncovered in museums to attract tourists. Communities along the dried up river have been encouraged to keep the environment around the heritage sites clean. After Jagmohan addressed an interactive meeting organized by UNESCO about
the heritage sites, Indian-born Australian Amareswar Galla commented, "As long as you have poverty, you will have problem with dealing illicit trafficking in cultural property, be it India or elsewhere." Source: http://www.newindpress.com/Newsitems.asp?ID=IEH20030725112452&Page=H &Title=Top+Stories&rLink=0
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Ayodhya and the Research on the Temple of Lord Rama
This page offers some of the latest developments regarding the archeological research on the ancient temple of Lord Rama at His birthplace at Ayodhya.
1. WHAT WE By N.S. Rajaram
There already exists a good deal of literary and archaeological evidence relating to the existence of temples at the disputed site.
The Allahabad Bench of the Uttar Pradesh High Court has directed the Archaeological Survey of India to excavate in the disputed site at Ayodhya to determine whether the Babri Masjid was built after demolishing a temple that was already. This is a welcome development, for we will soon have a scientific investigation of the claims and counterclaims in full public view and under official direction. It is important to note however that there have been previous investigations, both literary and archaeological, that pretty much establish the pre-existence and destruction of temples at the site where the Babri Masjid was built by Mir Baki on Babar's orders. This was drowned in all the noise generated in the emotionally charged climate following the destruction of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992. I will present some of this material from sources
Literary Evidence There are basically two kinds of literary sources--written records and inscriptions. Both these are available at Ram Janmabhumi at Ayodhya. One major inscription is that of Mir Baki himself, apparently placed on the Masjid wall when it was built in the 16th century. Another was discovered following the demolition on December 6, 1992. I'll look at it later. There are numerous literary records by Hindu, Muslim and British authors. When we survey even a small part of this vast literature, we find that until recently, until some politicians created the so-called 'controversy', no author--Hindu, Muslim, European or British official--questioned that a temple existed on the spot, which had been destroyed to erect the mosque. We may begin with a couple of references from European writers from published sources that are widely available. A. Fuhrer in his The Monumental Antiquities and Inscriptions in the NorthWestern Provinces and Oudh, Archaeological Survey of India Report, 1891, pp 296-297 records: "Mir Khan built a masjid in A.H. 930 during the reign of Babar, which still bears his name. This old temple must have been a fine one, for many of its columns have been utilized by the Musalmans in the construction of Babar's Masjid." H.R. Neville in the Barabanki District Gazetteer, Lucknow, 1905, pp 168169, writes that the Janmasthan temple "was destroyed by Babar and replaced by a mosque." Neville, in his Fyzabad District Gazetteer, Lucknow, 1905, pp 172177 further tells us; "The Janmasthan was in Ramkot and marked the birthplace of Rama. In 1528 A.D. Babar came to Ayodhya and halted here for a week. He destroyed the ancient temple and on its site built a mosque, still known as Babar's mosque. The materials of the old structure [i.e., the temple] were largely employed, and many of the columns were in good preservation." One could cite many more in similar vein, but these examples should suffice for recent European records. When we reach back in time, what we find particularly interesting are the accounts attributed to Guru Nanak. He was a contemporary of Babar, and an eyewitness to his vandalism. Nanak condemned him in the strongest terms. The historian Harsh Narain in his book The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, writes: "Guru Nanak, according to Bhai Man Singh's Pothi Janam Sakhi, said to have been composed in 1787 Anno Vikrami/1730 A.D., visited Ayodhya and said to his Muslim disciple Mardana: 'Mardania! eh Ajudhia nagari Sri Ramachandraji ki hai. So, chal, iska darsan kari'e. Translation: 'Mardana! this Ayodhya city belongs to Sri Ramachandra Ji. So let us have its darsana.'" This indicates that Nanak visited Ayodhya shortly before the destruction of the Rama temple by Babar. Another work by Baba Sukhbasi Ram gives a similar account, again suggesting that Nanak visited Ayodyha before the temple was destroyed by his contemporary, the Mughal invader Babar. Muslim sources also
give a similar account. In 1855, Amir Ali Amethawi led a Jihad for the recapture of Hanuman Garhi, situated a few hundred yards from the Babri Masjid, which at that time was in the possession of Hindus. This Jihad took place during the reign of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Oudh. It ended in failure. A Muslim writer, one Mirza Jan, was a participant in that Jihad. His book Hadiqah-i-Shuhada was published in 1856, i.e. the year following the failed Jihad. Miza Jan tells us:
"'wherever they found magnificent temples of the Hindus ever since the establishment of Sayyid Salar Mas'ud Ghazi's rule, the Muslim rulers in India built mosques, monasteries, and inns, appointed mu'azzins, teachers and storestewards, spread Islam vigorously, and vanquished the Kafirs. Likewise they cleared up Faizabad and Avadh, too from the filth of reprobation (infidelity), because it was a great centre of worship and capital of Rama's father. Where there stood a great temple (of Ramajanmasthan), there they built a big mosque, ... Hence what a lofty mosque was built there by king Babar in 923 A.H. (1528 A.D.), under the patronage of Musa Ashiqqan!" Even more impressive is a Persian text known as Sahifah-i-Chihal Nasa'ih Bahadurshahi written in 1707 by a granddaughter of the Moghul emperor Aurangazeb, and noted by Mirza Jan in his Urdu work Hadiqah-i Shuhada just cited. Mirza Jan quotes several lines from her work which tell us: "...keeping the triumph of Islam in view, devout Muslim rulers should keep all idolaters in subjection to Islam, brook no laxity in realization of Jizyah, grant no exceptions to Hindu Rajahs from dancing attendance on 'Id days and waiting on foot outside mosques till end of prayer ... and 'keep in constant use for Friday and congregational prayer the mosques built up after demolishing the temples of the idolatrous Hindus situated at Mathura, Banaras and Avadhà." Other Muslim authors than Mirza Jan also cite the work, which appears to have been widely available in the 18th and 19th centuries. Then there is the evidence of the three inscriptions at the site of the mosque itself, at least two of which mention its construction by Mir Baqi (or Mir Khan) on the orders of Babar. Babar's Memoir mentions Mir Baqi as his governor of Ayodhya. Some parts of the inscription were damaged during a riot in 1934, but later pieced together with minor loss. In any event, it was well known long before that, recorded for instance in Mrs. Beveridge's translation of Babur-Nama published in 1926. Discoveries at the site I: The Temple City of Ayodhya While this evidence is strong, the archaeological evidence is still stronger. This is what Dr. S.P. Gupta (former director of the Allahabad Museum), has to say about recent excavations at Ayodhya: "At Ayodhya, Professor Lal [B.B. Lal. Former Director General of ASI] took as many as 14 trenches at different places to ascertain the antiquity of the site. It was then found that the history of the township was at least three thousand years old, if not more... When seen in the
light of 20 black stone pillars, 16 of which were found re-used and standing in position as corner stones of piers for the disputed domed structure of the 'mosque', Prof. Lal felt that the pillar bases may have belonged to a Hindu temple built on archaeological levels formed prior to 13th century AD..." On further archaeological and other evidence, Lal concluded that the pillar bases must have belonged to a Hindu temple that stood between 12th and the 16th centuries. What this means is that Lal had found evidence for possibly two temples, one that existed before the 13th century, and another between the 13th and the 16th centuries. This corresponds very well indeed with history and tradition. We know that this area was ravaged by Muslim invaders following Muhammad of Ghor's defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan in the second battle of Tarain in 1192 AD. This was apparently rebuilt and remained in use until destroyed again in the 16th century by Babar. The Hari-Vishnu Inscription The demolition on December 6, 1992 changed the picture dramatically, providing inscriptional support to the traditional accounts--both Hindu and Muslim. The most important of these is the Hari-Vishnu inscription. It is written in 12th century AD Devanagari script and belongs therefore to the period before the onslaught of the Ghorids (1192 AD and later). It was later examined by Ajay Mitra Shastri, Chairman of the Epigraphical Society of India who gave the following summary. "The inscription is composed in high-flown Sanskrit verse, except for a very small portion in prose, and is engraved in chaste and classical Nagari script of the eleventh-twelfth century AD. It was evidently put up on the wall of the temple, the construction of which is recorded in the text inscribed on it... Line 15 of this inscription, for example, clearly tells us that a beautiful temple of Vishnu-Hari, built with heaps of stones ... , and beautified with a golden spire ... unparalleled by any other temple built by earlier kings ... This wonderful temple ... was built in the temple-city of Ayodhya situated in Saketamandala. ... Line 19 describes god Vishnu as destroying king Bali ... and the ten headed personage (Dashanana, i.e., Ravana)." The inscription confirms what archaeologists Lal and Gupta had earlier found about the existence of a temple complex. I have given a copy of the Hari-Vishnu inscription. New archaeological finds ordered by the court are likely to yield more such riches but unlikely to change the historical picture. Note added after publication The reaction of 'secularist' scholars aired from their favorite platform of SAHMAT is intriguing to say the least. First they say that no excavation should be carried out because that would open a can of worms leading to disputes at other sites also. This is not very different from the objection raised by Pope Innocent against Galileo's discoveries. Not so long ago, the same worthies were telling us that no temple was destroyed by Babar when the mosque was built. If they were telling the truth, why should they fear excavation? _________
Dr. N.S. Rajaram is a mathematician, linguist and historian. He has written several books on India including Profiles in Deception: Ayodhya and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
2. Archaeological Excavations at Sri Rama Janma Bhumi
New Delhi, June 16, 2003. A few days ago a news item allegedly supplied by the Archaeological Survey of India was planted in the newspapers that no evidence of a pre-existing structure under the disputed Rama Janma Bhumi-Babri Masjid was found. The said news item was definitely deceptive, groundless, misrepresented and calculated to dupe the country. The misrepresented item was based on an unfinished progress report of the ASI. Three-fourths of the report have been concealed. The item was cooked up on the basis of the excavation report of a spot that was about 50 feet away from the western wall of the Rama Janma Bhumi structure. As such the inferences of the news item based on the report of this pit is reckless. In spite of this, even these pits gave away two-thousand year old molded bricks and ornate stone pieces of different shapes and sizes. The news item dishonored these facts.
The excavations so far give ample traces that there was a mammoth pre-existing structure beneath the three-domed Babri structure. Ancient perimeters from East to West and North to South have been found beneath the Babri fabrication. The bricks used in these perimeters predate the time of Babur. Beautiful stone pieces bearing carved Hindu ornamentations like lotus, Kaustubh jewel, alligator facade, etc., have been used in these walls. These decorated architectural pieces have been anchored with precision at varied places in the walls. A tiny portion of a stone slab is sticking out at a place below 20 feet in one of the pits. The rest of the slab lies covered in the wall. The projecting portion bears a five-letter Dev Nagari inscription that turns out to be a Hindu name. The items found below 20 feet should be at least 1,500 years old. According to archaeologists about a foot of loam layer gathers on topsoil every hundred years. Primary clay was not found even up to a depth of 30 feet. It provides the clue to the existence of some structure or the other at that place during the last 2,500 years. More than 30 pillar bases have been found at equal spans. The pillar-bases are in two rows and the rows are parallel. The pillar-base rows are in North-South direction. A wall is superimposed upon another wall. At least three layers of the floor are visible. An octagonal holy fireplace (Yagna Kund) has been found. These facts prove the enormity of the pre-existing structure. Surkhii has been
used as a construction material in our country since over 2000 years and in the constructions at the Janma Bhumi Surkhii has been extensively used. Molded bricks of round and other shapes and sizes were neither in vogue during the middle ages nor are in use today. It was in vogue only 2,000 years ago. Many ornate pieces of touchstone (Kasauti stone) pillars have been found in the excavation. Terracotta idols of divine fugurines, serpent, elephant, horse-rider, saints, etc., have been found. Even to this day terracotta idols are used in worship during Diwali celebrations and then put by temple sanctums for invoking divine blessings. The Gupta and the Kushan period bricks have been found. Brick walls of the Gahadwal period (12th Century CE) have been found in excavations. Nothing has been found to prove the existence of residential habitation there. The excavation gives out the picture of a vast compound housing a sole distinguished and greatly celebrated structure used for divine purposes and not that of a colony or Mohalla consisting of small houses. That was an uncommon and highly celebrated place and not a place of habitation for the common people. Hindu pilgrims have always been visiting that place for thousands of years. Even today there are temples around that place and the items found in the excavations point to the existence of a holy structure of North Indian architectural style at that place. So the excavation was to find the answer to the question as to whether Babur superimposed the domed structure on a preexisting structure after demolishing it or built it on virgin ground. The answer to this question has been found from the excavations.
3. Archeological Society of India Says Temple Existed at Ramjanmabhoomi Site LUCKNOW, INDIA, August 25, 2003: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said a temple-like "massive structure" existed beneath the disputed site in Ayodhya in its 574-page report. The ASI report, submitted on August 22, was opened by the three-member Full Bench, comprising Justice SR Alam, Justice Khem Karan and Justice Bhanwar Singh on Monday. The bench has given sixweek time to contesting parties for filing their objections on the sensational revelations made by the ASI in its two-volume report. "Viewing in totality and taking into account the archaeological evidence of a massive structure just below the disputed structure and evidence of continuity in structural phases from the tenth century onwards up to the construction of the disputed structure along with yield of stone and decorated bricks as well mutilated sculpture of divine couple...., fifty pillar bases in association of the huge structure, are indicative of remains which are distinctive features found associated with the temples of north India," concluded the ASI in its report. The ASI team, led by Hari Manjhi and B R
Mani, had excavated the disputed site for nearly five months between March 12 and August 7 2003 on the March 5 order of the High Court. In its report on the famous excavations, the ASI has dwelt at length the period from circa 1000 BCE to 300 BCE and from Sunga (first century BCE) to Kushan, Gupta, Post-Gupta up to Medieval Sultanate level (12-16 century CE). The ASI report mentions a huge structure (11-12th century) on which a massive structure, having a huge pillared hall (or two halls), with at least three structural phases and three successive floors attached with it was constructed later on. "There is sufficient proof of existence of a massive and monumental structure having a minimum of 50 x 30 meter in north-south and east-west directions respectively just below the disputed structure," states the report. To prove its point, the report says that during the course of digging, nearly 50 pillar bases with brickbat foundation, below calcrete blocks topped by sandstones were found. It also suggests that the center of the central chamber of the disputed structure falls just over the central point of the length of the massive wall of the preceding period which could not be excavated due to presence of Ram Lala at the spot in the makeshift structure. Significantly, the ASI report did not give any weightage to the glazed wares, graves and skeletons of animals and human beings found during the excavations. Rather it suggests that the glazed tiles were used in the construction of original disputed structure. Similarly, the celadon and porcelain shards and animal bones, skeletons recovered from trenches in northern and southern areas belong to late and post-Mughal period, it adds. In drafting its report, the ASI has also given importance to the carbon dating to ascertain the period of soil and artefacts found during digging. About the habitation around the disputed ground, the ASI report observed that "below the disputed site remained a place for public use for a long time till the Mughal period when the disputed structure was built which was confined to a limited area and population settled around it as evidenced by the increase in contemporary archaeological material, including pottery." However, and as to be expected, the ASI report has come as a rude shock to the Sunni Central Wakf Board and other Muslim organizations. "It is baseless, misinterpreted, based on wrong facts and drafted under intense political pressure," reacted Jafrayab Jilani, counsel for SCWB while announcing that they will challenge the report. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?msid=14579 7
4. The Archeological August 27, 2003
In what could be a turning point in the Ayodhya dispute, the Archaeological Survey of India has reported to the high court that its excavations found
distinctive features of a 10th century temple beneath the Babri Mosque site. The Sunni Central Waqf Board, however, termed the report as 'vague and selfcontradictory'. The 574-page ASI report consisting of written opinions and maps and drawings was opened before the full Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Monday morning. The report said there was archaeological evidence of a massive structure just below the disputed structure and evidence of continuity in structural activities from the 10th century onwards up to the construction of the disputed structure (Babri Mosque). Among the excavation yields it mentioned were stone and decorated bricks, mutilated sculpture of divine couple, carved architectural members including foliage patterns, amalaka, kapotapali, doorjamb with semi-circular shrine pilaster, broken octagonal shaft of black schist pillar, lotus motif, circular shrine having pranjala (watershute) in the north and 50 pillar bases in association with a huge structure. The archaeological evidence and other discoveries from the site were indicative of remains that are distinctive features found associated with the temples of north India, the ASI report said. The ASI report said there is sufficient proof of existence of a massive and monumental structure having a minimum dimension of 50x30 metres in northsouth and east-west directions respectively just below the disputed structure. In course of present excavations nearly 50 pillar bases with brickbat foundation below calcrete blocks topped by sandstone blocks were found, the report said. It said the pillar bases exposed during the present excavation in the northern and southern areas also give an idea of the length of the massive wall of earlier construction with which they are associated and which might have been originally around 60 metres. The centre of the main chamber of the disputed structure falls just over the central point of the length of the massive wall of the preceding period which could not be excavated due to presence of Ram Lala at the spot in the make-shift structure, the ASI report said. In a significant observation the report said towards east of this central point, a circular depression with projection on the west, cut into the large sized brick pavement, signifying the place where some important object was placed. The ASI report, however, said various structures exposed right from the Sunga to Gupta period do not speak either about their nature or functional utility as no evidence has come to approbate them. The report said during and after the Gupta period up to late and post-Mughal period the regular habitational deposits disappear in the concerned levels and the structural phases are associated with either structural debris or filling material taken out from the adjoining area to level the ground for construction purpose. As a result of this much of the earlier material in the form of pottery, terracottas and other objects of preceding periods, particularly of Kushan period,
are found in the deposits of later periods mixed along with contemporary material, it said. The area below the disputed site thus remained a place for public use for a long time till the Mughal period when the disputed structure was built which was confined to a limited area and the population settled around it as evidenced by the increase in contemporary archaeological material including pottery, the ASI said in its report. It went on to state that this observation was further attested by the conspicuous absence of habitational structures such as house-complexes, soakage pits, soakage jars, ring wells, drains, wells, hearths, kilns or furnaces. The report said the human activity at the site dates back to 13th century BC on the basis of the scientific dating method providing the only archaeological evidence of such an early date of the occupation of the site. The ASI report said the northern black polished ware using people were the first to occupy the disputed site at Ayodhya in the first millennium BC although no structural activities were encountered in the limited area probed. A round signet with legend in Asokan Brahmi is another important find of this level, it said. The report said the Sunga period (second-first century BC) comes next in order of the cultural occupation at the site followed by the Kushan period. The report said during the early medieval period (11-12th century AD) a huge structure of nearly 50 metres north-south orientation was constructed which seems to have been short lived as only four of the 50 pillar bases exposed during the excavation belonged to this level with a brick crush floor. On the remains of the above structure was constructed a massive structure with at least three structural phases and three successive floors attached with it, it said. The architectural members of the earlier short-lived massive structure with stencil-cut foliage pattern and other decorative motifs were reused in the construction of the monumental structure which has a huge pillared hall different from residential structures providing sufficient evidence of construction of public usages which remained under existence for a long time during the period, the report said. The report concluded that it was over the top of this construction during the early 16th century that the disputed structure was constructed directly resting over it.
Summary of the Report submitted by the ASI on Ayodhya excavations August 31, 2003 Excavation at the disputed site of Rama Janmabhumi â" Babri Masjid was carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India from 12 March 2003 to 7 August 2003. During this period, as per the directions of the Hon'ble High Court, Lucnow. 82 tenches were excavated to verify the anomalics mentioned in the report of the
Ground Penetrating Radar Survey which was conducted at the site prior to taking up the excavations. A total number of 82 trenches along with some of their baulks were checked for anomalies and anomaly alignments. The anomalies were confirmed in the trenches in the form of pillar bases, structures, floors and foundation though no such remains were noticed in some of them at the stipulated depths and spots. Besides the 82 trenches a few more making a total of 90 finally were also excavated keeping in view the objective fixed by the Hon'ble High Court to confirm the structure. The results of the excavation are summarized as hereunder.
The Northern Block Polished Ware (NBPW) using people were the first to occupy the disputed site at Ayodhya. During the first millennium B.C. although no stuructural activities were encountered in the limited area probed, the material culture is represented by terracotta figurines of female deities showing archaic features, beads of terracotta and glass, wheels and fragments of votive tanks etc. The ceramic industry has the collection of NBPW the main diagnostic trait of the period besides the grey, black slipped and red wares. A round signet with legend in Asokan Brahmi is another important find of the level. On the basis of material equipment and 14 C dates, this period may be assigned to circa 1003 B.C. to 300 B.C. The Sunga horizen (second-first century B.C.) comes next in the order of the cultural occupation at the site. The typical terracotta mother goddess human and animal figurines, beads hairpin, engraver etc. represent the cultural matrix of this level. The pottery collection includes black slipped, red and grey wares etc. The stone and brick structure found from this level mark the beginning of the structural activity at the site. The Kushan period (first to third century A.D.) followed the Sunga occupation. Terracotta human and animal figurines, fragments of votive tanks, beads antimony rod, hair pin, bangle fragments and ceramic industry comprising red ware represent the typical Kushan occupation at the site. Another important feature of this period is the creation of large sized structures as witnessed by the massive structure running into twenty-two courses. The advent of Guptas (fourth to sixth century A.D.) did not bring any qualitative change in building activity although the period is known for its Classical artistic elements. However, this aspect is represented by the typical terracotta figurines and a copper coin with the legend Sri Chandra (Gupta) and illustrative potsherds. During the Post-Gupta-Rajput period (seventh to tenth century A.D.), too the site has witnessed structural activity mainly constructed of burnt bricks. However, among the exposed structures, there stands a circular brick shrine which speaks of its functional utility for the first time. To recapitulate quickly, exteriorly on plan. It is circular whereas internally squarish with an entrance from the east. Though
the structure is damaged the northern wall still retains a provision for pranala, i.e. waterchute which is a distinct feature of contemporary temples already known from the Ganga-Yamuma plain. Subsequently, during the early medieval period (eleventh to twelfth century A.D.) a huge structure, nearly 50 m. in north-south orientation was constructed which seems to have been short lived as only four of the fifty pillar bases exposed during the excavation belong to this level with a brick crush floor. On the remains of the above structure was constructed, a massive structure with at least three structural phases and three successive Peers attached with it. The architectural members of the earlier short lived massive structure with stencil cut foliage pattern and other decorative motifs were reused in the construction of the monumental structure having a huge pillared hall (or two halls) which is different from residential structures, providing sufficient evidence of a construction of public usage which remained under existence for a long time during the period VII (Medieval-Sultanate level to twelfth to sixteenth century A.D.) It was over the top of this construction during the early sixteenth century, the disputed structure was constructed directly resting over it. There is sufficient proof of existence of a massive and monumental structure having a minimum dimension of 50x30 m. in north-south and east-west directions respectively for below the disputed structure. In course of present excavations nearly 50 pillar bases with brickbat foundation, below calcrete blocks topped by sandstone blocks were found. The pillar bases exposed during the present excavation in northern and southern areas also give an idea of the length of the massive wall of the earlier construction with which they are associated and which might have been originally around 60 m (of which the 50 m length is available at present). The center of the central chamber of the disputed structure falls just over the central point of the length of the massive wall of the preceding period which could not be excavated due to presence of Ram Lala at the spot in the make-shift structure. This area is roughly 15x15 m on the raised platform. Towards east of this central point a circular depression with projection on the west cut into the large sized brick pavement, signify the place where some important object was placed. Terracotta lamps from the various trenches and found in a group in the levels of Periods VII in trench G2 are associated with the structural phase. In the last phase of the period VII glazed ware sherds make their appearance and continue in the succeeding levels of the next periods where they are accompanied by glazed this which were probably used in the original construction of the disputed structure. Similarly is the case of celadon and porcelain sherds recovered in a very less quantity they come from the secondary context. Animal bones have been recovered from various levels of different periods, but skeletal remains noticed at the trenches in northern and southern areas belong to the Period IX as the grave pits have been found out into the deposition coeval with the late disputed structures and are sealed by the top deposit.
It is worthwhile to observe that the various structures exposed right from the Sunga to Gupta period do not speak either about their nature or functional utility as no evidence has come to approbate them. Another noteworthy feature is that it was only during and after Period IV Gupta level) onwards upto Period IX (late and post Mughal level) that the regular habitational deposits disappear in the concerned levels and the structural phases are associated with either structural debris or filling material taken out from the adjoining area to level the ground for construction purpose. As a result of which much of the earlier material in the form of pottery, terracottas and other objects of preceding periods, particularly of Period I (NBPW level) and Period III (Kushan level) are found in the deposits of later periods mixed along with their contemporary material. The area below the disputed site thus, remained a place for public use for a long time till the Period VIII (Mughal level) when the disputed structure was built which was confined to a limited area and population settled around it as evidenced by the increase in contemporary archaeological material including pottery. The same is further attested by the conspicuous absence of habitational structures such as housecomplexes, soakage pits, soakage jars, ring wells, drains, wells, hearths, kilns or furnaces etc. from Period IV (Gupta level) onwards and in particular from Period VI (Early Medieval Rajput level) and Period VII (Medieval-Sultanate level). The site has also proved to be significant for taking back its antiquarian remains for the first time to the middle of the thirteenth century B.C. (1250Â±130 B.C.) on the analogy of the C14 dates. The lowest deposit above the natural soil represents the NBPW period and therefore the earliest remains may belong to the thirteenth century B.C. which is confirmed by two more consistant C14 dates from the NBPW (Period I), viz. 910Â±100 B.C. and 880Â±100 B.C.) These dates are from trench G7. Four more dates from the upper deposit though showing presence of NBPW and associated pottery are determined by Radio-Carbon dating as 780Â±80 B.C., 710Â±90 B.C., 530Â±70 B.C. and 320Â±80 B.C. In the light of the above dates in association with the Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW) which is generally accepted to be between circa 600 B.C. to 300 B.C. it can be pushed back to circa 1000 B.C. and even if a solitary date, three centuries earlier is not associated with NBPW, the human activity at the site dates back to circa thirteenth century B.C. on the basis of the scientific dating method providing the only archaeological evidence of such an early date of the occupation of the site. The Hon'ble High Court in order to get sufficient archaeological evidence on the issue involved whether there was any temple/structure which was demolished and mosque was constructed on the disputed site as stated on page 1 and further on p. 5 of their order dated 5 march 2003 and given directions to the Archaeological Survey of India to excavate at the disputed site where GPR Survey has suggested evidence of anomalies which could be structure, pillars, foundation walls, slab flooring etc. which could be confirmed by excavation. Now viewing in totality and taking into account the archaeological evidence of a massive structure jut
below the disputed structure and evidence of continuity in structural phases from the tenth century onwards up to the construction of the disputed structure along with the yield of stone and decorated bricks as well as mutilated sculpture of divine coupe and carved architectural members including foliage patterns, amalaka, kapolapali doorjamb with semi-circular pilaster, broken octagonal shaft of black schist pillar, lotus motif, circular shrine having pranala (waterchute) in the north, fifty pillar bases association of the huge structure, are indicative of remains which are distinctive features found associated with the temples of north India.
Some Web Sites on More Information About Ayodhya http://ayodhya2000.tripod.com -- N. S. Rajarama's web site all about Ayodhya and the ancient temple of Lord Rama. You may also try: http://members.tripod.com/ayodhya2000/table_of_contents.htm. http://www.ayodhya.com -- another site on the sacred city of Lord Rama, Ayodhya.
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