ASI unearths rare pieces at a dilapidated fort in Unnao, U.P.

The Archaeological Survey of India has unearthed rare pieces of pottery dating back to the Kushan and Gupta periods in the ongoing excavation at the dilapidated fort of Raja Ram Baksh Singh at Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.

Speaking to The Hindu in New Delhi on Thursday, ASI Additional Director-General D. R. Mani said: “We have managed to prove that a kingdom existed in Unnao about 2,000 years ago. The discovery points to the tradition prevailing in North India and epitomises the cultural heritage of Ganga-Jamuna.”

Dr. Mani has been at the centre of many discoveries of archaeological sites across the country.

Shedding light on the findings, ASI Director (Archaeology) Syed Jamal Hasan said red pottery has been discovered. “What we have discovered is similar to the kulhars (handle-less terracotta cups), which we find after every 10 km even now. These are not national treasures but minor antiquities. But we have even stumbled upon black slipped ware and Northern blade polish ware.”

According to renowned archaeologist D. S. Sharma, the pottery highlights the fact that “2,000 years of habitation existed at this archeologically-significant site”.

“Though the ASI is not blowing its trumpet on the discoveries, it has, in fact, unravelled an ancient site. It has led to the discovery of bangles made of a mixture of mud and glass which date back to the Gupta period. These bangles are similar to those found in the Indus Valley Civilisation. In a nutshell, I can say that the ASI has proved the existence of the first Indian king who had introduced gold coin in India at this site.”

Dr. Sharma, who earlier headed the Bharat Kala Bhavan Museum at Banaras Hindu University, said there are chances of discovering gold coins at the site.

“It is important to understand that the Kushan rulers, who came from Afghanistan, had introduced a range of gold coins in our country. So if the ASI does the excavation with the Geological Survey of India, then there is possibility of discovering gold coins.”

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