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Excavations – 2000-2005 – West Bengal


Chandraketugarh, dt. N-24 parganas
The early historical site Chandraketugarh, is located at Mouza Hadipur about 45 kms north.east of Calcutta. Previously, a small scale excavation was carried out at the site by the University of Calcutta in 1956-57. The archaeological findings also proved that the area around Chandraketugarh was the center civilization right from fifth-fourth century B.C. to the medieval period. As the excavation carried out by University was in small scale, very little could be known about the city planning, architecture, ramparts etc. To more about the cultural sequence of the site, city planning, settlement pattern and ramparts etc excavation was conducted at the site during the field season 2000-2001. The eastern rampart area of Chandraketugarh was selected in the first instance for excavation. A vertical trench was laid across the rampart towards its eastern edge in east-west orientation. At a depth of about 2.75m from surface brick soling has been noticed on the section. Traces of wooden logs have also been noticed. Among the antiquities mention may be made of bone points, dice, terracotta ball, fragmentary terracotta plaque with an elephant on it, and a broken red sandstone grinding material. The discovery of a terracotta mithuna plaque from surface is noteworthy. The ceramic type includes grey ware, dull red ware and red ware. The main shapes are vases, bowls, miniature pots, handis etc. having decorations in the form of parallel incisions, chequered pattern criss-cross designs etc. Due to high water table excavation work could not be continued up to natural layer.

Mound near Clive’s House,Dum Dum, dt North 24 Praganas
Excavations conducted at the site during three field seasons ( 2000-01, 2001-02, and 2002-03) has yielded materials of two cultural periods viz. Period-I from 2nd Century B.C. to 11th-12th Century A.D. and Period-II from 15th-16th century A.D. and continued till modern time. Structural remains in the form of successive floors have been found. The antiquities include terracotta objects mainly human and animal figurines of Sunga-Kushan and Gupta period, cast copper and punch marked coins, plaques , beads, ear studs, seals and sealings , medallion, hopscotch, sling balls, terracotta beads , decorated medallion of Kushan-Gupta assemblages. A stone plaque depicting Mahisamardini datable to c. 11th cent. A.D is one of the important finding. The pottery assemblage include red ware, dull red ware, grey ware , black and red ware and porcelain ware, etc.

Mound adjacent to Baisgazi wall known as Palace area of ancient Gaur, dt. Madhah
The excavation conducted at the site during the field seasons 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05 has unearthed remains and structure belonging to Sultanate period i.e c.15th cent. A.D to the Mughal period (17th century A.D.). The discovery include a huge structural complex constructed of bricks of comparatively large size with sparse use of stone members all set in mud mortar. It was enclosed by a a huge brick enclosure wall of almost 54 m length and 54 m width. Foundation of the wall was laid over a foundation of rubble stone and brick grits of about 80 cm thick. The entire concept of the construction was based on formation of strong criss-cross wall over which series of circular walls were formed within the entire enclosure thus forming a series of such formation 14 in a row from east to west and same number in the north to south totaling the number to 196 nos. the brick circles are of uniform size with a hole on four sides. A brick well (of 2.10 outer diameter and 1.57 inner diameter) is discovered in the central part of the enclosure wall at the depth of 2.07 m from the surface.

The important findings include glazed bricks with floral painted designs, moulded burnt bricks, porcelain sherds, glazed wares etc mainly belonging to Sultanate period. Datable antiquity, include a Sultanate copper coin and some British period coins.

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