Archaeological site discovered in Dir

21 May 2002


MARDAN, May 20: A new archaeological site ranging from Indo- Greek to Hindu Shahi has been discovered recently at Adinzai tehsil in district Dir, which is said to be one of the unique additions in the history of Gandhara culture, Hindu Shahi and Greeko-Bactrian civilizaions.

Dir is considered to be an important archaeological area from where a large number of coins, statues, terracotta pottery and other different antiquities were recovered in the past but was not properly excavated by the concerned department.

The government established a very big museum at Chakdara near Panjkora River at Dir, which has more than 200 extremely unique antiquities of different periods.

It may be added that some 94 pieces were looted by the locals when workers of the PPP led out a protest procession in 1994, against the government but ironically it was directed towards the museum who ransacked it and looted 94 unique Gandhara pieces mostly statues.

In the past Dr Ahmed Hassan Dani, Dr Abdur Rehman and Prof Aurangzeb visited Dir district but the archaeological department initiated no proper excavation.

It is said if it was properly excavated it can unearth large number of remains of various civilization and culture of Gandhara, Hindu Shahi and Greeko-Bactrian periods.

It is said that probably the famous war between Massagan and Alexander of Macedonian was held in the Dir district somewhere in 326 BC.

According to the Greek historian, Arrian, who visited the area when Greeks established their rule in this part of the world claimed that the area, which is now called Dir, was known as Asakin at that time while the inmates were called Massagans.

He says that Massagan bravely fought against the Greeks but unfortunately their King died during the war, which spread panic among them and they ran away from the battlefield.

The new site was discovered by the locals of the area when they illegally excavated a large number of coins, pottery and other antiquities of various periods ranging from Indo-Greek to Hindu Shahi, however the proper site was intact because the land of the site belongs to an honest and religious person who saved it from the illegal excavation.

There are so many other sites like Haya Seray and Chinar Cheena, which are gravid with unique sites situated in district Dir and needs attention by the archaeological department and if proper attention was not given it is feared that the unemployed residents can destroy it any time.