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Fresh excavation in Tilaurakot

- MANOJ PAUDEL, TILAURAKOT (KAPILVASTU)

Jan 10, 2018-

A team of archaeologists, including some foreign experts, has initiated fresh excavation at Tilaurakot, an ancient Shakya capital city where Siddhartha Gautam spent his princely life before he became the Buddha.

The archaeologists started excavation works on Sunday, digging in three different places on the premises of the historic palace as per a geophysical survey conducted three years ago. The experts initiated works in two places where the survey showed a 1x1m wall of a structure in the middle of the palace premises. 

Nine trenches each measuring 10x10m in size have been dug in 30x30m area in the eastern section of the structure. The archaeologists have also dug four trenches of the same size in 20x20m area on the southern side. The northern and western entry gates of the structure were traced during the similar excavations carried out two years ago. Likewise, a fresh excavation has been started by digging a trench measuring 15x6m in the area north-west of Samayamai Temple.

Archaeologist Christopher Davis of Durham University of the United Kingdom said that the team members are quite happy as they find the traces showed by the geological survey.

“I am hopeful to have good result of this excavation,” he added.    

The excavation team comprises 12 archaeologists from Stirling University and Durham University of the United Kingdom and La Trobe University of Australia as well as 20 experts from the Department of Archaeology, Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) and Unesco consultants. The excavation works are expected to last about two months. 

Japanese national and Chairman of Lumbini-based Hotel Kasai Pvt Ltd Nobuo Kasai Tokushin has provided financial support to conduct excavation in Tilaurakot this year. He has donated 20 million Japanese Yen for the project. Earlier, Japanese Funds-in-Trust, Unesco and LDT had supported the excavation project.  

The excavation project has been continued in Tilaurakot since 2013. Pro-Vice Chancellor of Durham University Robin Coningham, who is also a member of the excavation team, said that the excavation has gradually found the important information of Tilaurakot.

The archaeologists had recovered 494 ancient “punch mark” coins in an earthen pot during the excavation in Tilaurakot in 2015. Similarly, post holes were also found in the area during the earlier excavation.

Published: 10-01-2018 08:16

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