Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rare seal of Indus Valley era unearthed in Pakistan

Times of India, Feb 8, 2012, 06.03AM IST

LAHORE: Pakistani archaeologists have discovered a rare Indus Valley civilization-era seal in steatite dating back to 2,500-2,000 BC from the Cholistan area of Punjab province.

The seal features the carved figure of an ibex with two pictographs.

It was found at Wattoowala, located near Derawar Fort and along the ancient bed of the Hakra river, by a six-member team of archaeologists led by Punjab University archaeology department chairman Farzand Masih.

Masih said the discovery would open new dimensions for scholars. The seal has a perforated boss on the back and varies from the style of Harappan seals.

This shows a regional influence and perhaps a separate identity in the Harappan domain, he said.

The seal is almost square in shape and slightly broken on the right side but the figure of the ibex is almost intact.

The muscles, genitalia, hooves and tail of the ibex were engraved artistically with a high degree of skill and craftsmanship. The Punjab University team also conducted excavations at Sui-Vihar, which was the only existing example of Sankhya doctrines in Pakistan.

Masih said the excavation revealed a circular platform at Sui-Vihar built with sundried bricks and supporting walls to hold the platform and the cylindrical structure.

The remains of a votive stupa suggested that the place might had been converted to a Buddhist establishment when Kanishka-I embraced Buddhism. In spite of this, Kanishka had great respect for other faiths and beliefs. Masih said Sir Aural Stein and Henry Field had conducted a survey in the region in 1941 and 1955, respectively.


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