BHAWANIPATNA:The excavation conducted on the left bank of river Rahul in Tel River Valley in Budhigarh of Kalahandi district between February and May has unearthed antiquities belonging to early history.
Approved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and funded by the Department of Culture and Tourism, government of Odisha, a team of archaeologists and scholars led by Head of Department of History of Government Autonomous College, Bhawanipatna Dr Baba Mishra excavated the site.
The preliminary excavation found several artifacts like pottery and teracotta items, semi-precious stone beads, pendants, iron objects, charcoal, remains of fauna and a brick wall having 28 courses and the floor made of the same kind of bricks.
“The bricks of 45x30x6 cm dimension and having cross mark found from the site belong to Saka-Murunda period of second century AD which has been identified at different early historic sites of India including Kharligarh of Tel Valley,” Dr Mishra said.
The excavation has traced the cultural relics at least from the Gupta to the pre-Gupta period. Further excavation will expose the whole brick complex and shed ample light on ancient Indian architecture, he said. “Budhigarh is a rich archaeological site and was an early historic urban centre in Tel River Valley as established by earlier findings which revealed terracotta works of human beings and animals, ornaments, potteries like knobbed ware, roulette ware and black polish ware besides black and red ware; red, black and grey slipped ware, punch marked silver coin and a gold coin at the surface of the site,” Mishra said. Earlier, four Jasper seals-cum-pendants having bilingual script Kharosti-Brahmi were also found by epigraphists.
During the pre-excavation survey, many semi-precious stone beads, bead moulds, clay beads, copper objects, stone bowl, saddle quern, celt and ring stones have been retrieved from the site. It is believed to be a thriving industrial and commercial hub located on the salt route leading from Madhyabharat to Kalinga via Atavi-Kantara (Mahakantara), he said.
Meanwhile, Head of Department of History of Sambalpur University Dr PK Behera visited the excavation site.
He applauded the works of excavation team comprising Ranvir Singh of Khariar Autonomous College, Sakir Hussain of Sambalpur University, Nalini Rana of Pondicherry University, Raj Kumar Rate, Rajesh Mohanty of Government Autonomous College, Bhawanipatna and Mihirendra Pratap Singhdeo of M Rampur College.
Retired joint secretary of PR Department, Sasanka Sekhar Panda, ,appreciated the excavation work and expressed hope that the findings of the excavation will bring new dimension to the history of Odisha.