Antiquities from Mauryan, Kushan era unearthed at Asurgarh

The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) officials have been excavating the protected site since November last week.

Published: 18th January 2019 03:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th January 2019 05:37 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Silver coins and jewellery, precious beads and rare terracotta ware have been excavated from historical Asurgarh fort site throwing light on existence of a civilisation dating 2,300 years back - from Mauryan to Kushan period - near Narla block of Kalahandi district.

The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) officials have been excavating the protected site since November last week. They said findings point at Asurgarh, an ancient metropolis, being contemporary to Sisupalagarh, Ujjain, Ahichatra, Kosambi and other ancient Indian cities. The fort was planned in a rectangular pattern as per Kautalyan principles of ‘Durgabidhana’ and surrounded by a moat on three sides. 

ASI’s excavation wing chief DB Gadanayak said the first phase scientific excavation of the fort site threw up seven silver punch-marked coins, silver and copper toe ring and ear rings, large number of pottery items, beads of semi-precious stones like Carnelian, Jasper, Beryl, Garnet, Agate and Coral and glass bangle pieces of different designs and colours. These apart, sling balls, pestle, iron equipment like small wheel, ring, harpoon and arrow head have been found from the site.

“The material culture in the form of beads and bangles in different shapes and colour shows the artistic talent of people of that era. Coral beads and imperial variety of silver punch mark coins strongly indicate the long distant trade and association of hinterland people with their seafaring counterparts,” Gadanayak said. The site was considered an emporium of bead-making and trading and its hydraulic system was considered unique.

Two layers of the site have been excavated so far. In the first layer, a number of brick structures including an apsidal one have been found. Most of these structures, Gadanayak said, are covered with terracotta tiles having groves and holes for socketing. “People of Asurgarh then used stone rubbles and tile fragments for flooring their houses and streets,” he said and added that while the bricks date back to the Kushan era, the silver coins belong to Mauryan period. The excavation will continue till March-end.

The site was declared protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 in 1973. Asurgarh fort consists of main fort and exterior fortification. The main fortification spreads over 12 hectare and there was also an external fortification, which is now in ruins. 
At present, the height and width of the fortified wall measure 11 mx7.5 m and the encircled moat measures 36 m in width. 

Stay up to date on all the latest Odisha news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp