An Autonomous Institution of the Govt. of West Bengal

News Letter For 2010

National Seminar:The theme of the Fourteenth National Seminar (2009) was ‘Cultures of the North-East India: Ethnic and Archaeological Background’. Scholar like Dr D.R. Manjul, Dr B.T. Langstieh, Dr Saharuddin Ahmed, Dr Paromita Das, Dr Shehnaz Husne Jahan, Dr Sutapa Sinha, Dr Arup Jyoti Das, Dr Y.E. Hom Buragohain, Dr Alok Kr. Kanungo, Tsewang Dorzee, Dr Zokho Venuh, Prof. D.K. Medhi, Dr Abdullah Ashraf, Dr Sukanya Sharma, Manzil Hazarika, Dr David Tetso, Dr Tia Tosi Jamir, Dr R. Chumbeno Ngullie, Tilok Thakuria, Dr Shakuntala Mahanta, and others.


Excavation, Explorations and Conservation, Eastern India


LakhimpurDistrict: The stone inscription from Lakhimpur District was discovered by Sri Mahendra Hazarika near Tipling Sarbajanin Sankar Ashram Shiva Mandir. Inscription is datable to CE 800. Originally the inscribed stone holder was located at the campus of Sankardeb Mahavidyalaya at Pathali Pahar, Bihpuria, Lakhimpur District. It came to Shivmandir when the earth was removed from the Pathali Pahar area for the construction of National Highway 52. [Courtesy: Dr H.N. Dutta, Director, Directorate of Archaeology, Government of Assam].


Arunachal Pradesh

Traces of Menhir: Some Menhirs from Mechir and Dorjeeling village of Mechuka subdivision were recovered. Traces of old rock art were found at Mani Pege Hill of Mechuka, 6 km away from township. On the rock, holy Buddhist mantra ‘Om Mane Peme Hum’ and a picture of a stupa have been depicted.

Kalayinjong  is an old Gompa in ruins situated on the left bank of River Siang of Tuting of Upper Siang District. The Gompa was set up by Lama Jalwa Phagpalha about 300 years ago.

Ruin of Duma Chalang (plinth of religious structure) are found at Samphung village at about 8 km away from Kalaktang township of west Kameng district.

 A few megalithic remains were discovered at two places of Shergoan, west Kameng District, on the bank of River Choskorang and the Daflo Kho.

A huge mud brick (lamp) built Gompa was found in ruins in the south-east direction of Shergoan reserved forest. Ruins are scattered on the slope of Kamchayam Hill, about 800 meters away from Shergoan-Tenzegaon Road. The ruins are covered by forests.

[Courtesy: Dr Tage Tada, Directorate of Research, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar].



Panr: Excavation was conducted by K.P. Jaiswal Institute. The mound where most of the digging took place is known as Pandavasthana. The excavation is continued in this year as well.

Explorations were undertaken during 2009-10 in the districts of Nalanda and Jehanabad in south Bihar and Darbhanga and Madhubani in North Bihar. Large numbers of Buddhist sites were found from the districts of Darbhanga and Madhubani. In south Bihar the presence of multiplicity of religious sects during the early medieval period in an average is truly astonishing. In Nalanda several sites having Chalcolithic Black and Red ware were encountered. In north-central district of Samastipur, Neolithic Corded Ware was found, while the settlement history of this district was supposed to begin from the medieval period [Courtesy: Dr Bijoy Chowdhury, Director, K.P. Jaiswal Research Institute, Patna].


ASI Ranchi Circle conducted exploration in Rajmahal areas of Sahebgunj District of Jharkhand. The main aim of the exploration was to explore more sites for inclusion in the proposal for declaring sites as Centrally Protected Monuments. Newly selected monuments are, Jainabad mosque, Tomb of Mirza Muhammad Beg,Twin Mosque of Imblibari, Maina Bibi Tomb, Jagat Seth Taxal all situated in Rajmahal area of Sahebgunj District.


Benisagar District, West Singbhum: ASI Ranchi Circle has commenced scientific clearance work at Benisagar, under the direction of Sri N.G. Nikoshey. The site is located south from Ranchi, on the border of Jharkhand and Orissa in West Singbhum district of Jharkhand. Ceramic assemblages include Red Ware, Black Ware, very coarse Grey Ware and Red slipped ware. Among antiquities collected were terracotta human and animal figurines, stone artefacts are made in soap stone such as human sculpture, Naga kings and decorative architectural fragments, iron objects include spear-heads, arrow heads, clamp, dowels, ring and chisels. In copper an antimony rod like object and few fragments of copper foils have also been recovered. [Courtesy: Sri N.G. Nikoshey, Superintendent Archaeologist, ASI, Ranchi Circle].



Cherapunji:The megalithic or memorial stones dotting the landscape of Cherapunji have given a unique character to the cultural landscape of the region. The identity of the Khasi and Jaintia hills of Meghalaya is defined by the landscape dotted with megaliths. [Courtesy: Dr Sukanya Sharma, Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati].



Burla:Post-Graduate Department of History, Sambalpur University, conducted a trend surface documentation of microlithic scatter at the extensive Mesolithic site of Burla. Trial excavation was conducted at the site to ascertain the stratigraphic context of the lithic assemblage and to determine the association of microlithis and heavy-duty tool component. Tools represented in the assemblage include denticulates, scrappers, notches, lunets, triangles and backed points, while the heavy duty tool component include an elongated chopper and a few waste pieces of argillite stones [Courtesy: Dr P.K. Behra, Post-Graduate Department of History, Sambalpur University, Orissa].

Manikapatana: The aim of the excavation was to document the extent of the site and also to find out the nature, duration and period of settlement at different location on the mound. It also aimed at finding out the relationship of activity at different mounds at different periods [Courtesy: Dr R.K. Mohanty and P.P. Joglekar Department of Archaeology, Deccan College, Pune].


West Bengal

Excavation at Moghalmari, Dantan: In continuation of previous excavation, Department of Archaeology, University of Calcutta, presumed excavation at the site under the supervision of Dr Asok Dutta. Altogether 14 trenches were laid out at the northern slope of the mound. The excavation yielded huge quantity of ceramics including black, red and grey ware, typical Gupta and post-Gupta moulded red pottery, terracotta lamps, spouted bowls, stone beads, stone fragments of sculptures, profuse bone fragments, hopscotch and charcoal have been found.[Courtesy: Dr Durga Basu, Department of Archaeology, University of Calcutta].


Rakshashidanga: The site is situated on the eastern side of Karnashuvarna Railway Station at a distance of 16 km from Berhampur town, the District headquarter of Murshidabad. The stratigraphical study clearly indicates two phases of structural activities early phase belongs to post-Gupta period (sixth/seventh century CE) and late phase belongs to Pala/Sena period (eighth/ninth century CE). All the trenches have yielded remains of brick structure which resembles wall like features that are constructed with burnt bricks and mud-mortar. Antiquities include iron nail, terracotta objects, terracotta figures, etc. [Courtesy: Sri Amal Ray, Deputy Director of Archaeology and Museums, Government of West Bengal].


Bangarh: In continuation of previous excavation, ASI, Kolkata Circle, resumed work at Bangarh, District Dakshin Dinajpur. The excavation was conducted to through light on the structural activities at the site and also to ascertain the complete cultural sequence of the site, unearthing the cultural remnants of earliest settlement. Cultural sequence of the site was Chalcolithic, Mauryan, Sunga-Kushana, Gupta, Pala and Sultanate period. Archaeological assemblages other than ceramic include copper bowl, antimony rod, polished stone pestle, beads of terracotta and semiprecious stones, terracotta human and animal figurines, decorative bricks, glass bangles, iron implements etc.


ASI, Kolkata Circle has explored Peerpal mound, Mouza: Narayapur in district Dakshin Dinajpur. The village is well known for the tomb of Bakhtiyar Khilji. Many architectural and sculptural pieces are scattered here and there in the village along with chiseled marked stone blocks and stone chips indicationg it to be a centre of making sculptures.

ASI had bought to light Buddhist deity at Gazole, Malda, dating back to eighth-ninth century AD.[Courtesy: Sri T.J. Baidya, Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, Kolkata Circle].


Samdang 2: Samdang 2 is a small hamlet in north-western subdivision of Kalimpong in the Darjeeling hills, West Bengal. The neolithic site at Samdang 2 was discovered and excavated at 2009. The actual digging yielded light duty tools, ground tools and above all sherds of hand-made ceramics [Courtesy: Dr Subrata Chakraborty, Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, Visva-Bharati].


Mangalkot: The site is a multicultural site ranging from Chalcolithic to medieval period situated near the confluence of Ajay and Kunur. The site was excavated by CASTEI, under the Directorship of Prof.Rajaguru and Co-Directorship of Dr Suchira Roychoudhury. Three trenches were taken respectively at Neeldanga, Sarkaridanga and another trench near Kunur. Among antiquities collected were profuse amount of iron, bones, beads, terracotta plaques courses of bricks, along with this ceramic assemblage forming the bulk of artefactual repertoire. (Information given by: Dr Suchira Roychoudhury, Fellow, Centre for Archaeological Studies &Training, Eastern India, Kolkata).


Kusumjatra:The site is in Birbhum District of West Bengal. The site was excavated by CASTEI, under the Directorship of Dr Sharmi Chakraborty. Trench was laid on left bank of river Bakreswar. Pottery collected from this site includes red ware, black-and-red ware, red slipped ware, black slipped ware, grey ware and course red ware. Among other antiquity collected were beads, bone points and terracotta objects(Information given by: Dr Sharmi Chakraborty, Fellow, Centre for Archaeological Studies & Training, Eastern India, Kolkata).

Prehistory of South Asia
Seminar 2010

This was the 15th Annual Seminar of the Centre. The theme was ‘Prehistory of South Asia’. The main aim was to highlight explorations and excavations in different parts of South Asia. There was a need to highlight areas which have been the subject of substantial research for further development.
Bhatpara Takarnath Balika Vidyalaya

CASTEI will be organizing a series of outreach programs at different schools and colleges to create awareness for heritage and archaeology. The first of the awareness programme was held at Bhatpara Takarnath Balika Vidyalaya on 7/1/2013-8/1/2013.