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About discoveries that confirm the Vedic view of history

Archive for March, 2010

Ancient Chola period temple unearthed in North Jaffna

Posted by Stephen Knapp on March 18, 2010

Special corr., Tuesday, 9 March 2010

A heap of ruins where a Hindu temple of Chola period was believed to have been buried has been unearthed in the Northern part of Delft. The temple is 40 feet long and 10 feet wide. It is built with lime stone. The roof is covered with lime mixed plaster. The other parts of the temple are in ruins. Professor P. Pushparatnam of the Jaffna University History Department commenting on the findings, said the people of the locality are unable to say when this temple was built. The ruins indicate that the building would have been built many years ago. It is opined that if this temple had been built during the latter period of the Dutch reign or in the beginning of British rule in Sri Lanka, the people would be in a position to give some clues about the origin of the temple, he said. The people of the area would not have allowed the temple to go to ruin if it had been built during the Dutch or British period. It can be surmised that the temple was built before European rule in Sri Lanka, Prof. Pushparatnam said. The statues and the art work on stones, irrigation pipes made of baked clay and a coin found by one of Prof. Pushparatnam’s students with the name of Rajaraja Cholan embossed on it clearly indicate that the temple would have been built during the Chola period. http://www.dailynews.lk/2010/03/09/news12.asp

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Bronze-era Buddhist sites discovered

Posted by Stephen Knapp on March 18, 2010

        The Italian archaeological mission in Pakistan has discovered a large number of Buddhist sites and rock shelters in Kandak and Kota valleys of Barikot in Swat in the North West Frontier Province which depicted the carvings and paintings from the bronze and iron ages. “These are some of the finest and most fascinating ancient discoveries preserved in good condition,” said Director of the archaeological mission, Dr Luca Maria Olivieri, yesterday. These rock carvings depict agricultural cult scenes in red colours, cup marks meant for rituals, for example, for holding liquids or preparing the ochre pigment, dancing scenes, battle scenes and a large number of animals,” said Dr Olivieri.
 

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4,500-year-old Harappan settlement excavated in Kutch

Posted by Stephen Knapp on March 18, 2010

Ahmedabad, Mar 7, 2010 (PTI)
        A vast settlement surrounded by a fortified structure believed to be about 4,500 years old and belonging to the Harappan civilisation has been excavated at Shikarpur village in Kutch district.
        The team which has been excavating the site in Bhachau taluka of Kutch since last three years, is headed by Kuldeep Bhan and P Ajithprasad of the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History of the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara.
        “A huge fortified structure made out of unbaked mud bricks has been excavated by our team. The ratio of height, width and length of the bricks is 1:2:4 which is what we call Harappan ratio,” Ajithprasad told PTI.
        “The fortification is spread over nearly one hectare area, with 10 m thick walls,” he said.
        “Though the exact period when this structure could have been constructed is yet to be ascertained, primarily it appears to be roughly 4500-years-old, built between 2500 BC and 2200 BC and is part of the Harappan civilisation,” Ajithprasad said.
        “The purpose of building such thick walls could be protection from natural calamities, external enemy or to impress upon other settlements,” he added. According to the professor, the fortification has an open space in the centre with small structures surrounding it. “The site is one quarter the size of the biggest Harappan site in the state located in Dholavira, Kutch and four times the size of another site of the same era in Bagasra,” Ajithprasad said. Situated on a mound locally known as Valmio Timbo (mound) measuring about 3.4 hectares, it is located 4.5 km south of Shikarpur village at the edge of the narrow creek extending eastward from the Gulf of Kutch. It is close to National Highway-15 connecting Kutch district with other parts of the state.
        “The site was earlier excavated from 1987 to 1989 by the Gujarat State Archaeology Department but details about it were not published and whatever little was published was inconclusive,” Ajithprasad said.
        Therefore, the site was taken up for re-excavation due to its strategic location and establish the cultural sequence as well as the settlement features in terms of economic activities, he added.
        During the three years of excavation, the site has revealed Harappan artifacts, especially ceramics and triangular terracotta cakes, spread rather evenly on the surface. In addition to the classical Harappan pottery, the surface assemblage included small amounts of regional pottery. Other sites of Harappan civilisation excavated in Gujarat include Kanmer in Kutch, Gola Dhoro (Bagasara), Nageshwar, Nagwada, Kuntasi in northern Saurashtra and Juni Kuran in northern Kutch.
 

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Ancient Hindu Temples Found in Indonesia

Posted by Stephen Knapp on March 5, 2010

Source: www.nytimes.com

YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA, February 24, 2010: Last August when the private Islamic University of Indonesia decided to build a library next to the mosque. In the two decades the university had occupied its 79-acre campus outside Yogyakarta, no temple had ever been found. But chances were high that they were around. By Dec. 11, a construction crew had already removed nearly seven feet of earth. But the soil proved unstable, and the crew decided to dig 20 inches deeper. A backhoe then struck something unusually hard. The crack the backhoe left on the temple wall would become the main sign of damage on what experts say could be the best-preserved ancient monument found in Java, a Hindu temple.

Researchers from the government’s Archaeological Office in Yogyakarta headed to the campus the next day, excavated for 35 days and eventually unearthed two 1,100-year-old small temples. “The temples are not so big, but they have features that we haven’t found in Indonesia before,” Herni Pramastuti, who runs the Archaeological Office, said, pointing to the rectangle-shaped temple, the existence of two sets of linga and yoni, and the presence of two altars.

Historians believe that Hinduism spread in Java in the fifth century, followed three centuries later by Buddhism. Kingdoms hewing to both Hindu and Buddhist beliefs flourished in Java before Islam in the 15th century. But Islam itself incorporated beliefs and ceremonies from the other two religions. Just as some unearthed temples in east Java have a Hindu upper half and a Buddhist lower half, some early mosques had roofs in the shape of Hindu temples, said Timbul Haryono, a professor of archaeology at Gadjah Mada University here and an expert on Hinduism in Southeast Asia. Early mosques faced not in Mecca’s direction, but west or east in the manner of Hindu temples.

“Things didn’t change all of a sudden,” Mr. Haryono said. “Islam was adopted through a process of acculturation.” In Indonesia’s arts, like the wayang shadow puppetry that dramatizes Hindu epics, or in people’s private lives, traces of the earlier religions survive, he said. Food, flowers and incense still accompany many funerals for Muslims, in keeping with Hindu and Buddhist traditions. “Hinduism was Indonesia’s main religion for 1,000 years,” he said, “so its influence is still strong.” “This is Indonesia,” said Suwarsono Muhammad, an official at the Islamic University. In the long history of Indonesia, we have proven that different religions can live peacefully.”<!– for IE

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