It will document Kashmir history: Director CCAS
Archaeologists have discovered 5000-year-old sites and remains in three north Kashmir districts of Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara.
The 5000-year-old sites in many hamlets across the three north Kashmir districts were found during the first intensive systematic survey by a team of archaeologists and linguists from Centre of Central Asian Studies (CCAS) of the University of Kashmir (KU).
The archaeological discovery is considered significant as the discovered prehistoric sites are among the very few to have been excavated in the north Kashmir.
The team headed by Director CCAS, Prof G N Khaki during the 10-day extensive survey from March 8 to 18 discovered many sites and remains dating back to Neolithic, Megalithic, Kushan and Karakotta period.
The prehistoric sites and remains dating back to 5000 BC were discovered in Yembarzalwore Kupwara, Turkpora Bandipora, Harwan Sopore, Tregam Kupwara and Vizer Kreeri Baramulla.
Two prehistoric cave sites were discovered in Yemberzolware Kupwara and Turkpora area of Bandipora while Neolithic, Megalithic stone tools, terracotta tile fragments, coins, pottery and structural remains were discovered in Vizer Kreeri, Trehgam Kupwara, and Bomai, Harwan Sopore.
The CCAS team lead by Khaki comprising archaeologists and linguists Ajmal Shah, Mumtaz Yatoo, Afaaq Aziz visited many hamlets across three districts and found many remains dumped around the archaeological sites in these hamlets.
Taking to Kashmir Post, Khaki said the discovery would add and strengthen the documentary history of Kashmir and has great importance to the archaeologists, historians, researchers and academicians.
“With the discovery of materials we can further set the history of the Kashmir,” he said. “The detailed analysis of the material culture collected by the team will be published in the near future.”
Khaki said the material historical elements were significant components of any culture and civilisation.
The Neolithic Age is said to have stretched from 6500 BC to 1400 BC, and the discovered sites could be from around 5000 BC.
North Kashmir has remained one of the important migration corridors of Kashmir valley since 5000 years.
It has connected Kashmir to the outside world through a network of arterial routes leading to the Grand Silk Route connecting Kashmir to South and Central Asia.
Dr. Ajmal Shah an archaeologist and researchers who were part of the team told Kashmir Post that the archaeological exploration was conceived with the idea to unravel the settlements and migration routes through the study of the material culture of the bygone era.
“The discovery lead us to believe that Kashmir has great bearing on some important regions of South and Central Asia like China, Mongolia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan,” Shah said
The team wants the discovered sites to be protected and the antiques displayed in the museum for the benefit of the public.
“These archaeological sites are having richest cultural material pertaining to the Northern Neolithic Culture of the subcontinent,” Shah said. “If excavated, there sites will add a mine full of information about Kashmir valley’s cultural heritage.”