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Encroachment eating away 4000-year-old heritage mound

Udaipur : The heritage mound of Ahar popularly known as Ayad, a 4000-year old civilization, even older than the Harappan civilization is wasting away. Settlers are eating into the historical site which is a protected area under the State Archaeological department. Negligence and lack of political will to control settlers have helped them to creep into the land gradually in two decades. Though the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains Act prohibits encroachments on historically important sites but one can find housings structures, tin sheds and kutcha buildings sprawled in the area which constitutes the phase -2 part of the ancient civilization.

Shockingly, execution of sale and mortgage deeds of the government land had paved ways for illegal occupancy here. The encroachment activities is feared to damage antique objects lying deep ground and hence the department has called now for a detailed measurement and occupancy report to assess the real situation. “ The patwari has been called to make a ‘napti’ (measurement) and spot possession report so that we get to know how much area have been encroached on. We have some 7.4150 square meters under our possession and will write to the collector to get rid of the illegal settlements” said Mubarik Hussain, the Superintendent and estate officer of the Archaeological department. A proposal seeking permission for further excavation is also underway.

Distinct history- Ahar has a glorious four thousand years of history. It was 1951-52 when the Archaelogy and Museums department began the excavation of Ahar. In 1960-61 the department collaborated for horizontal excavation with the Deccan college, Pune. Records claim it was an uninhabited civilization known as Tambavati Nagari of Tamravats. Many artifacts dating back to 2000 BC were discovered by the archeologists at Ahar including the few old coins found by Colonel James Tod of British regime. Archeological Museum in Ahar is a popular attraction which was made to preserve the excavated items of the ancient period. The museum houses an unusual assortment of antiques that dates back to the 10th century.

Earthen pots, iron , copper and terracotta objects and other artifacts that used to be part of the lifestyle of primordial people is seen here. Some 14 trenches were seen in mound one where several residential structures or housewalls were discovered. Fire places, cooking hearths, semi precious stone beads, earthern pottery of black-red and white ware, copper and iron objects were found here. Soak pits about 2000 year old, have also been discovered in one of the trenches which depicts the hygienic sense of the early historic people of this region.


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