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Excavations throw light on early inhabitants of Delhi
 
The ring well clearly indicates that the water distribution system in the Mauriyan period was similar to that of the modern system

SANJAY KAW



For the first time, the Archaeological Survey of India has unearthed evidence connecting 2,000 years of ancient history of inhabitants of Delhi from the Sultanate period (1205-1526 A.D.) to the Mauryan Empire (322-298 BC.) All the evidence has been excavated from the Purana Quila by the Delhi Circle of the ASI.

 

This is for the first time the ASI has been able to unearth evidence connecting modern, middle and ancient history from one site. The excavation undertaken under the supervision of ASI Delhi Circle’s chief archaeologist Vasant Swarnkar began in January.

 

“The excavation was put recently put on hold due to monsoon showers. We have covered the entire site with polythene and clay. But the excavation will resume in October again,” a senior ASI official said. “This will be the first ASI site which will be open to visitors to attract tourists to the national capital,” he added.
The excavation was primarily carried to establish who were the first inhabitants of Delhi.

 

During the Mahabharata period, Indraprastha was the capital of Pandavas. Yudhisthira had been given charge of five villages agpat, Sonepat, Tilpat, Inderpath and Panipat. The site was being excavated to see who were the first settlers in the Purana Quila area about 5,000 years ago.

 

The archaeologists have unearthed a well, which has 18 rings, each of 18 inch width separated at a distance of 18 inches. The total depth of the well is of 27 meters. The well is said to be of the Mayuran period. The ring well clearly indicates that the water distribution system in the Mauriyan period was similar to that of the modern system.

 

The ASI also found a pucca brick wall with lime flooring of the Sultanate period. A wall of kucha bricks and an idol of Lord Vishnu belonging to the Rajput period has also been found. The archaeologists also found several seals, with Brahmvant inscribed on them in Brahimini, of the Gupta period.

As far as the Kushant period is concerned, the ASI found evidence of a house made of pucca bricks. Some bronze coins of the Kushant period were also found during the excavation. A building made up of stones and kuccha bricks, dating back to the Shung period were also found. A bathroom like structure with a chula has also been excavated. The ASI also found idols made of clay of the Mayuran period




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