The search for gold in the 19th century Buxar fort in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh has so far yielded shards, broken glass bangles and hopscotch toys among other things, officials said on Monday.
The Archeological Survey of India, which started digging for gold treasure on the basis of a dream by seer Shoban Sarkar in Daundia Khera village, said these artifacts were found after digging 48cm into the ground over the past two days.
The ASI plans to ascertain the age of these finds through dating techniques. For that purpose, it will be sending them to Lucknow.
“A brick wall, shards, pieces of glass bangles, hopscotch toys and a mud floor. These have been predicted to date back to 17th-19th centuries, but shards could be older,” said ASI additional director general DR Mani in New Delhi.
“We are looking for artifacts and antiques and it is likely to take a minimum of two to three weeks to reach the reported level of deposits,” he added.
Much to the chagrin of the seer and his followers, the ASI had decided to dig slowly so that any historical artifact that lies buried is not damaged, a possibility if it had resorted to unscientific excavation methods.
In the first phase of excavation, the ASI plans to dig five metres before going deeper.
The findings have mellowed Sarkar. His emissary Swami Om said the seer had no issue with the ASI methodology.
“The excavation is being carried out on the basis of scientific findings (a geological survey) and the maps we have given to the ASI,” Om said.
Pravin Srivastava, ASI director general, meanwhile said it was “somewhat difficult” to find 1,000kg of gold, as prophesied by the seer, during such excavations and there is no precedent to give such a hope.
“The maximum quantity of gold ASI has so far recovered was about 12kg 10 years ago in Mandi area of western Uttar Pradesh. And that too was a chance finding on Ganga banks, not a find during a regular excavation,” Srivastava said.
He maintained the ASI was not searching for the gold and the hunt was based on scientific facts and historical aspects of the site.
“The Geological Survey of India had indicated possibility of a non-conducting, metallic content and/ or some alloys at the depth of 5-20 metres. Our search is based on the report of GSI. Besides, the site is reported to be an ancient settlement. Therefore it has potential of being an important archaeological location,” Srivastava said.
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