LARKANA: The technical consultative committee of the National Fund for Moenjodaro (NFM) has expressed satisfaction over the dry core drilling done so far at Moenjodaro city and believed the ‘cultural material’ obtained through the process strengthens the idea that the site is larger than the unearthed area.

The committee that met on Friday at Moenjodaro to assess progress on dry core drilling gave a go-ahead to continuing the process, which was aimed at determining and demarcating the actual size of the 5,000-year-old ancient city.

Syed Hakim Shah Bukhari, well known archaeologist and former director of UNDP’s project Moenjodaro Conservation Cell (MCC), chaired the meeting in the absence of Dr Michael Johnson, the committee chairman,

According to Dr Sarfraz Solangi, member of the committee who heads a geologists’ team, so far work on six points out of 40 has been completed. He confirmed finding evidence of ‘cultural material’ which contained certain pieces of pottery. “This is quite positive,” he added.

He said the dry core drilling was a ‘specialised’ work, which had not been carried out anywhere in the country at archaeological sites prior to this and the members of the committee were happy over the progress.

Dr Altaf Aseem, a committee member, said the drilling was currently being made ‘outside’ the excavated area. The find of the pottery pieces was an ‘encouraging’ evidence that spoke volumes for the claim at this juncture that the site was even larger than that unearthed so far, he said.

He said that the excavated ruins of Moenjodaro were spread over 550 acres but the presence of ‘cultural material’ at the points beyond it supported the idea that the remains were spread underneath around the site.

He claimed that so far the world had not found so big an archaeological site and credit for its discovery went to Sindh. The archaeologists and geologists who were on the committee would meet regularly to evaluate the process, he said.

The sources said that drilling might also be started near the main gate of Moenjodaro and airport.

Qasim Ali Qasim, director of archaeology and museums, briefed the committee about the findings.

Bashir Ahmed Brohi, additional secretary of culture and coordinator of the committee and the NFM, and other members attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2015

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