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November 8, 2019

Hazara University unearths Buddhist relics


November 8, 2019

MANSEHRA: Hazara University has unearthed relics from an ancient Buddhist archaeology site, which has already been disturbed by treasure hunters in recent years.

The university’s Archaeology Department had recently started excavation of Bado Dheri in the Gandian area near here and found some relics. The Archaeology Department through a press release said it had found traces of terracotta potsherds, bones, charcoals, and stone pestles from the site.

“Above all, the discovery of Buddhist Stupa at this newly- dug site is highly important in the 21st century because of its unique architecture,” said the press release, adding that it had a great potential to attract cultural and religious tourists. The Archaeology Department of the university also admitted that excavation was an attempt to rescue that site and its antiques from treasure hunters. “Although no inscriptional record and coins have yet been unearthed to assign a proper period of this Stupa, scientific analyses will establish a complete structural profile of the site,” it said. Mohammad Safdar Khan, a former chairman of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Management Department of the Hazara University, who for the first time had explored Bado Dheri site in 2015, said that it was a site disturbed by treasure hunters. “We have explored this ancient archaeology site almost five years ago and treasure hunters possibly have stolen relics from here,” he added. He said there were eight Buddhist Stupas around the world and the one discovered at the site was one of them.

“If excavators find white marble in which precious and holy relics of Buddhists are wrapped, it would be a big discovery, or else antiques such as recovered by the HU Archaeology Department from the site are commonly found in the Pakhali area,” he said.

Akhtar Naeem, a resident, said that the Archaeology Department could rarely find any precious relics as treasure hunters had already accomplished their task of stealing from the site for the last 20 years.

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