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About discoveries that confirm the Vedic view of history

Posts Tagged ‘Vedic archeological discoveries’

Mahendraparvata, 1,200-Year-Old Lost Medieval City In Cambodia, Unearthed By Archaeologists

Posted by Stephen Knapp on June 15, 2013

A lost medieval city that thrived on a mist-shrouded Cambodian mountain 1,200 years ago has been discovered by archaeologists using revolutionary airborne laser technology, a report said.
In what it called a world exclusive, the Sydney Morning Herald said the city, Mahendraparvata, included temples hidden by jungle for centuries, many of which have not been looted.

A journalist and photographer from the newspaper accompanied the “Indiana Jones-style” expedition, led by a French-born archaeologist, through landmine-strewn jungle in the Siem Reap region where Angkor Wat, the largest Hindi temple complex in the world, is located.

The expedition used an instrument called Lidar — light detection and ranging data — which was strapped to a helicopter that criss-crossed a mountain north of Angkor Wat for seven days, providing data that matched years of ground research by archaeologists.

It effectively peeled away the jungle canopy using billions of laser pulses, allowing archaeologists to see structures that were in perfect squares, completing a map of the city which years of painstaking ground research had been unable to achieve, the report said.

It helped reveal the city that reportedly founded the Angkor Empire in 802 AD, uncovering more than two dozen previously unrecorded temples and evidence of ancient canals, dykes and roads using satellite navigation coordinates gathered from the instrument’s data.

Jean-Baptiste Chevance, director of the Archaeology and Development Foundation in London who led the expedition, told the newspaper it was known from ancient scriptures that a great warrior, Jayavarman II, had a mountain capital, “but we didn’t know how all the dots fitted, exactly how it all came together”.

“We now know from the new data the city was for sure connected by roads, canals and dykes,” he said.

The discovery is set to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.

Damian Evans, director of the University of Sydney’s archaeological research centre in Cambodia, which played a key part in developing the Lidar technology, said there might be important implications for today’s society.

“We see from the imagery that the landscape was completely devoid of vegetation,” Evans, a co-expedition leader, said.

“One theory we are looking at is that the severe environmental impact of deforestation and the dependence on water management led to the demise of the civilisation … perhaps it became too successful to the point of becoming unmanageable.”

The Herald said the trek to the ruins involved traversing rutted goat tracks and knee-deep bogs after travelling high into the mountains on motorbikes.

Everyone involved was sworn to secrecy until the findings were peer-reviewed.

Evans said it was not known how large Mahendraparvata was because the search had so far only covered a limited area, with more funds needed to broaden it out.

“Maybe what we see was not the central part of the city, so there is a lot of work to be done to discover the extent of this civilisation,” he said.

“We need to preserve the area because it’s the origin of our culture,” secretary of state at Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture, Chuch Phoeun, told AFP.

Angkor Wat was at one time the largest pre-industrial city in the world, and is considered one of the ancient wonders of the world.

It was constructed from the early to mid 1100s by King Suryavarman II at the height of the Khmer Empire’s political and military power.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/15/mahendraparvata-lost-city-cambodia_n_3445545.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl15%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D329943

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Bihar stupa could contain Buddha relics

Posted by Stephen Knapp on February 11, 2012

February 11, 2012

By IANS,
Patna : The Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) is set to begin excavation of a newly-found ancient stupa that was badly damaged and has been lying neglected for centuries in Bihar’s Begusarai district, an official said Saturday.
 
The Patna circle of the ASI has identified the location of the stupa at Harsai near Garhpura village. Archeaologists here believe that it could be one of the eight original stupas built to house the relics of Lord Buddha.
 
“Going by the physical appearance of the stupa and the use of mud lumps denotes that it could be one of the eight original stupas housing the Buddha’s corporeal relics. But that can be determined only after excavation,” the superintending archaeologist of ASI (Patna circle) S K Manjul said.
 
According to ancient scriptures, after the Buddha was cremated, there was a disagreement over the division of his remains. They were then divided into eight parts and distributed among the eight powerful kingdoms and republics, which laid claim over them. All of them buried their share of relics in stupas specially built to serve as markers of the physical presence of the Buddha and his teachings.
 
Till date archaeologists have identified six of them. “If this stupa turned to be seventh, it can be the ASI’s biggest discovery,” he said.
 
Manjul said the ASI plans to start the excavation in the next few months this year. “The ASI’s central advisory board of archaeology has already granted an excavation license to an archeaologist of ASI’s Patna circle to undertake the work,” Manjul said.
 
According to ASI officials here, the stupa may also turn out to be the only one, which emperor Ashoka could not open to take out the relics for distribution over the Indian sub-continent.
 
This stupa is made of sun-dried clay lumps and fixed with mud mortars and later strengthened with layers of gravel and burnt bricks. It is currently in a bad shape. The stupa is threatened by local resident, who are minning it for clay.
 
“Some local people have damaged a part of it to extend the agriculture fields.The stupa is lying neglected as it is unprotected till date,” he said.
 

  • HARSAI STUPA (Herson)

    (86˚10’40”/25˚36’20”)
    Harsai
    Manjhaul
    20 Kms North from Begusarai district headquarters.
    Stupa
    Archaeological Site
    Only one smaller Stupa of southern part seems to be intact due to thick vegetation cover. The main stupa has been cut almost to half.
    Diameter – 110 m
It consist of four stupas having the largest in the centre and there equidistant smaller in three directions, one each in the west, north and south. The completely clay built stupa use to have a hard outer most surface built by bricks-dust etc. (surkhi)This Bajralepit’ stupa consists of a three strate architectures. ‘Mahavansh’ has reference of such stupas. The finding of such remarkable stupa is significant for the history of the region. It must be seen in the contexet of Buddha’s visit to Anguttarap as referred in the “Majjhim Nikaya”.

http://www.begusaraiheritage.com/pages/imparc3.html

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‘First astro observatory’ of Harappan Civilisation found in Kutch

Posted by Stephen Knapp on February 10, 2012

Tue Feb 07 2012, 01:57 hrs

Mumbai : A group of scientists has identified two circular structures at Dholavira in Kutch district of Gujarat, which they say is the first identification of a structure used for observational astronomy during the Harappan Civilisation. The discovery by M N Vahia from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and Srikumar Menon from Manipal School of Architecture and Planning (Karnataka) is crucial, say scientists, as it is the first direct indication of intellectual capacity of people in the context of the civilisation and their relation to astronomy.“It is highly implausible that such an intellectually advanced civilisation did not have any knowledge of positional astronomy. These (structures) would have been useful for calendrical (including time of the day, time of the night, seasons, years and possibly even longer periods) and navigational purposes apart from providing intellectual challenge to understanding the movement of the heavens,” said the paper titled ‘A possible astronomical observatory at Dholavira’ to be published in the forthcoming edition of Man and Environment.

Vahia said Dholavira, assumed to be an island at that time, is almost exactly on the Tropic of Cancer and was an important centre of trade. “Hence, keeping track of time would be crucial to the city. So far, there had been no positive identification of any astronomy-related structure in any of the 1,500-odd sites of the Harappan Civilisation known today. The two structures identified by us seem to have celestial orientations inbuilt into their design. So, we have concluded that the two rooms in the structure were meant for observations of the sun,” he said.

He said the discovery will enable scientists to measure the intellectual growth of people of the Harappan Civilisation. It could give valuable insights on how the mentalities of the civilisation developed, in what ways they used the astronomical data to conduct business, farming and other activities.

The scientists simulated, what is now left of the two rooms, for response to solar observations and have concluded that important days of the solar calendar could easily be identified by analysing the image inside the room.

The simulations were conducted for summer and winter solstice. The study says the narrow beam of light from the entrances would also enhance the perception of the movement of the sun over a year.

“The interplay of image and its surrounding structures seem to suggest that the structure is consistent with it being a solar observatory to mark time. The west-facing circle has two flanking walls outside the exit, whose shadow touches the entrance on winter and summer solstice. The two square well-like structures at the southern end would provide an excellent location to observe zenith transiting stars even in the presence of city lights,” says the study.

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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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Statue of Lord Shiva’s sacred bull found at site of ancient Hindu temple in Indonesia

Posted by Stephen Knapp on January 10, 2010

Jakarta, January 7 (ANI): Archaeologists have found a statue of Nandi, the sacred bull that carried the Hindu god Shiva, among the ruins of what is believed to be an ancient temple at an excavation site in Yogyakarta in Indonesia.
The discovery of the statue, which in Hindu mythology is said to embody sexual energy and fertility, meant that the team would now continue its work until Jan. 20, Indung Panca Putra, the head of the excavation team from the Yogyakarta Antiquities and Relics Conservation Agency, told The Jakarta Globe.
“The statue is exquisite. The sculpture is carved differently from other statues of Nandi. This one is not depicted as fat,” Indung said.
Previous discoveries at the site, which is located on the Indonesian Islamic University campus, include a statue of Ganesha, Shiva’s divine son; a linga , the symbol of worship for Shiva; and a yoni , a Hindu symbol for divine passage or birth.
“We strongly believe the temple had a roof and its pillars were made of wood or bamboo,” Indung said.
He said that archeologists were working under the assumption that the pillars had not been destroyed by a volcanic mudflow hundreds of years ago, but had instead been removed by people.
Indung said that the temple ruins were different from other temples found in Central Java.
“We have compared what we have found to what was found in the temples of Sambisari, Gebang and Kedulan. The comparisons have led us to believe that the material used for the temple and its statues were much harder and the sculptures are far more refined,” Indung said.
The first discovery at the site, the Ganesha statue on December 21, was made when the university was preparing to lay foundations for a new library.
Indung said that excavation machines uncovered rocks five-meters deep that resembled an ancient building complex.
The conservation team, consisting of four archaeologists and four engineers, has been working ever since to find other statues. (ANI)

http://www.sindhtoday.net/news/1/89532.htm

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