Almost a month after some artefacts were found in the fields of Aklia village here, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), in its preliminary report, has found that the items could date back to Harappan, Pratihara and Mughal periods. The primary findings have also identified the route of the ancient Saraswati river through this area.
Artefacts were found when some MGNREGA workers were levelling the field of one Hari Singh on February 8. The sarpanch of the village informed the district administration about the recovery. After a few days, officials of the ASI (Chandigarh circle) visited the site and collected the artefacts.
The site included a mound which is approximately 8-9 feet and spread over an area of 10 acres. The ASI team found a large number of bone fragments and the report presumed it to be a burial site.
Other findings included a door jamb (of a temple), which is made of grey sand with rich carving.
“The door jamb is carved with the figure of three human beings wearing an elaborate head gear. Several fragments of pottery including bowls, big jars, decorated with black paintings, have been recovered which appear to be of the Harappan period. The concentric ring designs on the pottery seem to be of the Mughal period. An unidentified broken animal figurine (probably a horse) was also recovered from the site,” said the report.
Deputy commissioner of Mansa Varinder Kumar Sharma said that these findings might get the district a better recognition on the global map.
He said, “the ASI has suggested trial trenches at the site to ascertain the definite timeframe. I have urged the department to take over the site as soon as possible. The ASI team will look into the relation between several Harappan sites and the Saraswati river.”
Meanwhile, villagers in Aklia claimed that the site was related to the Mahabharat era and the Pandavas might have spent their exile days in this area. “We have heard from our ancestors that Draupadi, Bheem, Nakul and Sahdev had stayed here during their exile,” said one of the villagers. “We are also worried that whether the government will acquire the land without our consent or proper compensation,” said another resident of Aklia village. The owner of the land from where the objects were found could not be reached for comments.
The deputy commissioner said that the owner of the land would be approached and the land would be acquired for excavation as per law.
“The ASI has their laws under which the land would be acquired. It is also not mandatory to acquire the land until the excavation throws up more evidence .”