Buddhist sculptures discovered in Haripur

Published December 27, 2014
Excavation underway in Haripur.
Excavation underway in Haripur.

PESHAWAR: Archaeologists have discovered Buddhist sculptures and heads during the excavation in Haripur district.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa archaeology and museums directorate director Dr Abdul Samad on Friday said sculptures and heads dating back to second to fifth century AD had been discovered during excavation at Buddhist stupa known as Bhamala Buddhist Complex near Khanpur.

He said during excavation, precious coins of Kushan period were also found around the stupa.

Know more: Ancient sculptures crumbling due to lack of attention

Dr Samad said the Bhamala archaeological site had been declared national and world heritage site located near Khanpur dam.

He said the ruins dated back to fourth century BC.

“The ruins are situated near Khanpur dam. The stupa is cross-shaped and looks like an Aztec Pyramid,” he said.

The director said the Bhamala site was partially excavated in early 1930 by Sir Jan Marshal.

He said fresh excavation at the archeological site had been initiated by the Hazara University, Mansehra.

Dr Samad said during excavation done by archaeologists, conservators, diggers, and treasury hunters, mostly terracotta sculptures had been discovered.

He said a training and capacity building programme for students and field staffs of the directorate of archaeology and museums had initiated at the field training school (Bhamala) to inform archaeological excavators about the latest techniques and methods of excavation.

The director said more than 50 participants, including students of various educational institutions, took part in the training, which would continue for months at the field training school. He said the first batch had so far completed training.

“The leading foreign scholars and archaeologists belonging to United States and UK have offered to extend services in the training programme,” he said.

Dr Samad said the capacity building training programme lasted four-months in which more than 50 members of field staffs, mostly archaeologists, conservators, draftsmen, conservation assistants, photographers and students of archaeology from various educational institutions participated.

He said a survey had been initiated of different archaeological sites in Buner district.

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2014

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