Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday urged Union Tourism and Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy to ask ASI to take over the excavation and preservation of a recently discovered 2,000-year-old post-Mauryan site at Barpali in the Bargarh district.
“I had received a petition from Aswini Kumar Sarangi, Bargarh informing me of this monumental discovery made by the History department of Gangadhar Meher University, Sambalpur,” Mr.Pradhan said in his letter.
He said that around 60 students, research scholars and faculty of the History department started the excavation on May 31, 2022. The site, which is spread over 17 hectares, has yielded numerous priceless artefacts and antiquities dating back to the post-Mauryan period, which was about 2,000 years ago, he said.
“The findings indicate that the site was a well-established early trade centre and further digging could perhaps reveal even more startling revelations,”Mr. Pradhan further said.
Stating such grand archaeological finding is rare and extremely vulnerable, the Union Minister sought personal intervention of Mr.Reddy in directing officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to take over the Barpali excavation site for better exploration, examination, analysis and security of the priceless antiquities and historical wealth.
The researchers from the School of History of Gangadhar Meher University (GMU) have discovered stone tools, rare coins, pottery, weapons, artefacts, ancient bricks and ceramics. The tools discovered were designed to hunt large wild animals.
The discovery will help in understanding migration and subsequent colonisation of this part of India, according to the researchers.