Archaeological News

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As part of its endeavour to develop ancient sites in the region, the Archaeology and Museums Department has decided to transform the old Bhimeswara temple at Chebrolu in Guntur district into a tourist spot as precious Buddhist remains belonging to the first or second century A.D. were found adjacent to the temple.

Six railing posts of Buddhist Stupa each measuring five-foot high and 60 cms width along with several other precious remains were unearthed while carrying out digging works on southern side of the temple as part of the temple renovation works by the department a few weeks ago.

After further excavation, officials have found the railing posts depicting Lotus Medallions and a row of animals. Read more.

Several thousand manuscripts that are several centuries old are set to be digitized and made available over the Internet in the public domain, thanks to an initiative by the state government of Tamil Nadu in India.

The 72,300 rare and original palm-leaf manuscripts are currently stored at the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library in the state’s capital city, Chennai. A majority of the manuscripts are written in the ancient language of Sanskrit, while the remaining, about a third, are mostly in the Tamil language. The topics covered by them include mathematics, philosophy, treatises on the Vedas, and architecture. Read more.

A total of sixty-one Mughal-era silver coins with Arabic inscriptions imprinted on them have been found from an earthen pot near the bank of river Ganga in Cantonment area in Kanpur.

The coins were found last evening when a few kids had gone to the river Ganga’s wharf in Cantonment area to take bath where they found an earthen pot filled with shining coins in it, police said.

Ram Kishan Das, a priest at the wharf, after knowing the incident, informed police and Army officials which then took the relics under its authority and has informed Archaeological Survey of India about the coins, Major CP Bhadola said. Read more.

New Delhi: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott who is on a state visit to India is returning two looted idols seized from Australian museums during a meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Friday.

Abbott is personally delivering the National Gallery of Australia’s Rs 30 crore ($5 million) Dancing Shiva or Nataraja Ardand and the Art Gallery of New South Wales’s Rs 2 crore ($300,000) Ardhanarishvara to Modi as a “gesture of goodwill” at a state reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in the evening.

Both priceless objects were stolen from temples in India and later sold to the museums by Manhattan dealer Subhash Kapoor, who, his gallery manager has admitted, created falsified ownership documents to hide their illicit origins. Read more.

Mumbai - After the massive landslide in July that wiped out an entire village in the Indian state of Maharashtra, a report prepared by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) warns of landslide threats to the nearby Ajanta Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The caves at Ajanta contain exquisite mural paintings and sculpture dating back to the second century BC, and attract nearly 500,000 tourists every year, making it one of India’s most popular tourist destinations.

The report, that was prepared in 2011, mentions how the hills within which the caves are situated are weak and contain several loose boulders, due to exposure to nature’s elements. Read more.

Archaeologists from University of Calcutta have found an 8th Century inscription in a village in West Bengal’s Purulia district.

The inscription running into four lines was found from Dhuluri village on the corner of a long stretch of rock surface surrounded by dense vegetation and beyond the habited area of the village, Rajat Sanyal, Assistant Professor of the Department of Archaeology, University of Calcutta, told The Hindu.

The rock is located in the Saturi block of the district on the banks of a local rivulet emerging from the Damodar.

“A study of the characteristic features of the inscription suggests that the short epigraph is carved in an unusual and extremely calligraphic Siddhamatrka script. Read more.

In the early summer of 1819, a British hunting party was heading through thick jungle near Aurangabad, in Maharashtra, western India, when the tiger they were tracking disappeared into a deep ravine. Leading the hunters was Captain John Smith, a young cavalry officer from Madras. Beckoning his friends to follow, he tracked the animal down a semi-circular scarp of steep basalt, and hopped across the rocky bed of the Wagora river, then made his way up through the bushes at the far side of the amphitheatre of cliffs.

Halfway up, Smith stopped in his tracks. The footprints led straight past an opening in the rock face. But the cavity was clearly not a natural cave or a river-cut grotto. Instead, despite the long grass, the all-encroaching creepers and thorny undergrowth, Smith was looking at a manmade facade cut straight into the rockface. The jagged slope had been painstakingly carved away into a perfect portico. It was clearly a work of great sophistication. Equally clearly, it had been abandoned for centuries. Read more.

MEERUT: The accidental discovery of a human skeleton wearing what appears to be a copper crown with carnelian beads has generated a lot of curiosity in Chandayan village of Baghpat district. Beads of carnelian, a semi-precious stone, are generally associated with the Harappan civilization. However, a crown has never been found in any of the Indus Valley civilization sites.

Amit Rai Jain, director of Baraut-based Shehzad Rai Research Institute told, TOI on Thursday, “Diggers at a brick kiln at Chandayan village, 38 km from Baghpat, struck upon a human skeleton, a few pieces of terracotta pottery and a copper crown attached to the skull.” Read more.