viernes, 18 de mayo de 2012

The Ruins of Bhanbhore, Pakistan

Perhaps, the people of Pakistan are very unfortunate as they are unaware of many ancient treasures that their country possesses. Especially the superb civilization of the Indus Valley is a cluster of fantastic archaeological sites. In 1910, some remains of an ancient city were excavated by General Cunningham. These are the remains of the ancient port city, Debal which are located just 60 K.m away from Karachi just in the outskirts of the city of Bhanbhore.

The ancient city of Debal, Bhanbhore. Photo: Nazir Ahmed Shah

The significance of the remains of the ancient Debal city is of high value, as this was the entrance point of the great Arab warrior Mohammad Bin Qasim, who landed with his forces here in 711 AD. After the discovery of these ruins in 1910, the site remained neglected for many years as many archaeologists considered the ruins of Bhanbhore worthless.  After the partition of India, in 1947 a limited excavation work was carried on by the Pakistan Department of Archaeology. However, after 1960 the department found some interesting facts about the ruined city.
The present site of the ruins of Bhanbhore, Pakistan consists of a citadel. It is 610 metres in length and 365 metres in breadth. When the population of this area increased the city was expanded in addition to the citadel. The deep trenches laid inside the citadel reveal three different periods of history i.e. the Scytho-Parithan, Hindu-Buddhist and the Muslim Period.

Bhanbhore: The ancient remains of Debal by JanGasior

The archaeologists during their excavations found interesting artifacts and the pieces pottery from this site. The research has proved that these pieces have great similarity with the Greek pottery art. The ruins of a Shiva Temple made of mud rock have also been discovered. There is a room, the floor of which is made with the Chuna Pathar. Traces of Muslim Period can be seen on stone sculptures, ceramic works, terra cotta specimens and inscriptions in proto-Nagri style. Furthermore there are ruins of Islamic architecture specially mosques. The digging has also uncovered the boundary wall of the city which was constructed with bedrock and the bricks of limestone.
The archaeologists have explored many parts of the site and found the antiquities like pendants in terra cotta and semi-precious stones, iron objects, pottery and Kufic inscription of the Muslim era. But still it needs more exploration and the archaeologists suggest that there are many treasures buried underneath. No doubt, these ruins are evident that the civilization of Bhanbhore was very advanced and the people of this area were very skillful and artistic. Bhanbhore, which is already popular in the Indian sub continent with the legend of Sassi Pannu, the ruins of Bhanbhore have added more plus in the importance of this city.

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