Excavations – 2000-2005 – Jammu & Kashmir
Ambaran, dt. Jammu
Ambaran (30054’ N and 740 46’E) located on the right bank of river Chenab (Chandrabhaga), about 26 km north-west of Jammu is a centrally protected site. Excavation at the site in 1900-2000 has revealed cultural sequence of three periods. A square base of a possible stupa was partially exposed.
The excavation at the site during the field season 2000-01 has revealed a cultural sequence of four periods from 2nd-1st Cent. B.C. to 6th-7th Century A.D.
- Period-I: Pre-Kushan Period (c.2nd -1st Cent. B.C.)
- Period-II: Kushan Period (c.1st-3rd Cent. A.D)
- Period III: Post-Kushan Period (c. 4th-6th Cent. A.D.)
The excavation has brought to light remains of a Buddhist monastic establishment made of burnt brick (brick size 36 to 38 cm x 24x 6 to 7 cm.) belonging to Period-II. The stupa discovered is square on plan and measures 6m x 6m at the base. It has corners of concave and convex sided moulded bricks besides plain one at regular interval. The core of the stupa was found to be filled with pebbles mixed with earth. Parts of the harmika and other decorations of the drum were also discovered. Remains of four votive stupas were encountered at the corner of the stupa. A large enclosure wall and other structures of the monastery were exposed which were originally constructed during the Kushan period and repaired and reconstructed during later period. The stupa was of Saririka as confirmed from the discovery of a copper reliquary recovered at 40 cm above the base of the stupa at the central part. The reliquary contains silver casket and gold and silver leave, beads of pearls, coral, carnelian and amethyst and three copper coins . The silver casket contains a gold casket and some pieces of charred bone and ash.
The Period III had yielded two phases of structural activities. The 1st phase revealed a structure measuring 25 x7 m in east-west orientation. A pathway of random masonry was found inside this rectangular structure. In the 2nd phase, bricks and brick bats of earlier structures were re-used, mostly for strengthening the walls. The structures were of 2m x 2m size in this phase. A large number of terracotta human body parts were found from Period-III. The other antiquities include small stone sculpture, TC moulds, beads, gamesman, copper and iron objects. Remains of metal smiths workshop was discovered along with large quantity of iron slags, iron implements and other associated materials. The workshop is dated Gupta period.
Sudh Mahadev, dt.Jammu
The site Sudh Mahadev (350 01’17’ N and 750 21’ 47’’ E) located about 115 kms from Jammu was subjected to excavation in 2002-03. The small scale excavation has brought to light several structural remains in the form of stone masonry wall encased with diaper pebbles on either side. Typical Gupta stamped pottery, red ware etc. were found from the excavation. The important shapes in pottery include vases, bowls, variety of spouts and sprinklers. The excavated remains can be dated to Gupta period (3rd-4th Century A.D.)