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Excavations – 2000-2005 – Karnataka


Fort, Mirjan, dt. Uttar Kannada
The Fort at Mirjan was constructed during A.D 1608-1640. Excavation conducted at the site during the field season 2000-01 has unearthed a number of laterite structures of medieval period . The structural remains include a U shaped structure with a cloister all around. Towards the west of the U shaped structures, a circular soakage pit constructed of dressed laterite stones and water tank connected with water carrier were exposed. Among the antiquities mention may be made of a unique gold coin issued in A.D. 1652 by the Portuguese Viceroy Conde De Sarzedas during the rule of JOAO IV. The other antiquities include canon balls, Chinese Porcelain, clay tablets with Islamic inscriptions.

Kanaganhali, Sannati dt.Gulbarga
In the past, the site was subjected to excavation in 1994-95, 1996-97 and 1997-98. During the last two years of the excavations, remains of a massive stupa, many brick built structures in the form of chaityagriha and votive stupas were brought to light During the excavations many architectural members of the stupa –like fragments of sculptured veneering slabs, members of railings, pillars , capitals, Buddha padas , sculptures of yaksha and four images of Buddha etc. The sculptured panels depicts various Jataka stories and life of Lord Buddha and portrait of many Satavahana king. More than 50 inscriptions were discovered from the excavations. The most important discovery was the sculpture representing Mauryan emperor Asoka.

The recent excavations conducted at the site during the field seasons 2000-01 and 2001-02 has laid bare ruined remnants of a number of brick built structures like paved and sheltered passages connecting them. The excavation also exposed part of a possible monastic complex to the north west of the main stupa. Antiquities such as lead coins bear names of Satavahana king like Satakarni, Pulumavi and Yajnasri. The most significant finding of the excavation include a stone sculptured slab bearing the name raya asoka.

The remains of the site can be dated from 1st cent B.C. to 3rd Cent. A.D.

Hirebenakal dt.Koppal
Trial excavation conducted at the site during the field season 2001-02 has yielded charred animal bones and pottery of Megalithic culture. The ceramic industry of the period is represented by typical black and red ware, black ware, polished red ware and dull red ware.

Bachinagudda, Pattadakal, dt.Bagalkot
At Pattadakal, there are cluster of four mounds ; Lower Terrace, Middle Terrace , Upper Terrace and Reserve Forest localities located contiguously at the foot of Bachinagudda hill . Excavations was conducted at these sites during 2003-04 and 2004-05.

Lower Terrace has yielded evidence of Pre-Chalukyan brick temple of early Medieval period . The temple remains has a cell on the west and a 16 pillared mandapa hall with an entrance platform on the east. The important finds includes sandstone Chaturmukha Shiva head of early Chalukyan period.

Middle Terrace has revealed Megalithic habitation (Iron age) level at the depth of 1.15 m which include well preserved floors. This phase is characterized by black and red ware and black burnished ware. The excavation has evidenced Megalithic habitations at this region for the first time although the Malaprabha valley has revealed a good number of Megalithic burial sites .

Upper Terrace has yielded early historic deposit consisting of roads , rammed floor, fire places with ash-pits, smelting activity area and dumping area of waste products belonging to early historic period . The antiquities include lead and copper coins of Maharathis and Satavahanas (these coins were recovered from the floor levels) , beads of semi-precious stones and glass, iron and copper alloy implements. The pottery type include russet coated ware, rouletted ware and red polished ware.

Nagaral, dt. Bagalkot
Trial excavation at the site conducted during 2004-05 has revealed brick structures consisting of hall and some ante rooms indicating a residential complex at the Naganath temple site of early medieval period . The excavation has also reveled early medieval pottery viz; red ware, plain grey ware, black ware. Antiquities like two copper coins, carnelian bead and shell beads were also recovered.

Hampi, dt. Bellary
The site is being excavated since mid 70s .The recent excavation 2000-01 was carried out in two localities viz. the area to the north west of Queen’s bath and the area to the west of Yellamma temple . The excavation to the northwest of Queen’s bath has brought to light two rectangular structures measuring 10.85 m x 5.45 m and 10.20 m x 10.35 m. These had well plastered floor and enclosed by double enclosure walls and plastered passage. The basements of these two are veneered with moulded courses of pada, adhopadma, kantha, urdhva kumuda. The extant walls of these structures are found constructed of rubbles mixed with mud mortar and plastered with lime. A concealed terracotta pipe of 20 cm diameter was exposed to a length of 30 m in the area to the north of the above structures. It is evident that it was used for water supply to the citadel.

In the area to the west of Yellama temple, basements of mandapas with pillar bases were discovered during excavation towards the Hazararamachandra temple.

Maasalaiahana Gudda, Hampi, dt. Bellary
The excavation conducted at the proto-historic site during the field season 2001-02 has revealed a cultural strata of five layers. The lowermost layer has yielded Neolithic in the Chalcolithic stage. The layer four indicate overlap. The first three layers from the top evidence a clear overlap of Iron-age megalithic with the Neolithic in the Chalcolithic stage. ?

Fort Chitradurga, dt. Chitradurga
Excavation in 2002-03 was conducted at two localities viz. (a) Palace area and (b) Jalagar Dibba within the fortified area. The excavation has brought to light extant residential structures and granaries of the late medieval Nayaka period.

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