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KARACHI: Rock carvings in Khirthar range

May 10, 2004

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KARACHI, May 9: A team of researchers and archaeologists has discovered a series of petroglyphic sites in the Khirthar mountain range during their research regarding the activities of the ancient people , said to be once living in the lower Indus Valley.

The team, comprising Mr Badar Abro, senior archaeologist Hakim Ali Shah Bokhari and Nawabzado M K Chandio, discovered various such sites in the last week of March, which they claimed to be the outcome of the specific human pursuits, from the prehistoric to the recent period.

The team found remains of some cultural sites, containing, especially Buddhist pottery, stone tools like blades, lithic waste and above all numerous petroglyphs (stone carvings).

The rock carvings show a number of ibexes, wild-sheep, double and single humped camels, bulls, leopards, dogs, dog-like beasts, stick-like men with bows and arrows in attacking posture, besides horse and camel riders, groups of hunters with muzzle-load guns, stupa markings and ruins, men and women in pairs, even in dancing poses, wheels, fencing, lines of dots and some other signs and symbols, some of which presumed to be of Kharoshti script.

The team believes that the area could be one of the main centres of the historical Budhhia region, represented at least by seven Stupas. The sites are located in the hill torrents called Mazarani, Shahaar and Keharji, running down eastwards from Kute ji Qabar, Larkana district, to Shah Godrio and Faridabad, through Nai Dilaan in Dadu district.

The discovery, however, suggests that the rock carvings synchronic perhaps to the petroglyphic traditions reported so far from elsewhere, in Pakistan, developed independently in the Khirthar range.

The team further maintains that there are reasons to believe that many more sites of the same cultural traditions can be found in Salaari, Khenji and other torrents in the eastern folds of the range. -PPI