ISLAMABAD: The Dep­art­­ment of Archaeo­logy and Museums (DOAM) has started the first-ever archaeological survey in the federal capital to find potential sites for excavation, documentation and preservation.

DOAM Director Abdul Azeem, head of the survey project, said the team comprising archaeological experts, photographers, draftsmen and other staff had started the survey at the selected site of Nicholson’s monument in Taxila.

He said that the federal capital was divided into four zones for conducting the survey to find potential archaeological sites.

Assistant directors Mehmood Shah and Asadullah are also part of the survey team. The students of Hazara University and Quaid-i-Azam University will accompany the team of experts on sites.

Mr Azeem said that the PC-I of the project estimated to cost Rs4 million had been submitted to the department concerned for approval. An amount of Rs150,000 was given by the secretary of the National History and Literary Heritage, Mohsin S. Haqqani, to start the project.

Nicholson’s monument, built during the British era, is situated on the Grand Trunk Road. The towers were built in 1868 by the British to pay homage to Brigadier John Nicholson (1822-1857), an officer of the British Army, who died in India during the 1857 War. He was wounded at that spot during the Anglo-Sikh War.

His life and career became a source of inspiration for a generation of British youth seeking adventure in emerging colonies, especially the Indian subcontinent.

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2016

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