The Hunt For The Shalimar Stones

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The site is on an ancient Pleistocene lake bed. The site has a commanding view of the Dal lake which is about 2 kilometres 1. The first excavation at the Burzahom site was a limited exercise in , carried out by the Yale—Cambridge Expedition headed by Helmut de Terra and Dr. Thomson Paterson.

The Frontier Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India made detailed investigations of the site between and ; these were carried out by T. Khazanchi and his associates. The extensive excavations done at this site, unearthing stratified cultural deposits, were the first of their type in Kashmir. In , Mortimer Wheeler , Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India had conducted the first stratified archaeological excavations on the lines of geological model at other sites.

Based on a similar model the Burzahom site has been named as the Northern Neolithic Culture in view of its distinctive structural features with profusion of tools made of bones and stones and tools representing the ritualistic practices.

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Gufkral represents another related site in the area, near the town of Tral. Also, Hariparigam , and Awantipura , in the same area, are related.

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Skeletal remains of Neolithic people found at Burzahom are similar to those found in Harappa of the Indus Valley Civilization. Some historians have stated that the Vedic Aryan culture extended into Kashmir, but archaeological investigation at Burzahom does not support the "Aryans in Kashmir" theory [9]. The management and protection of the Burzahom site, including the buffer zones, are under the jurisdiction of the Archaeological Survey of India and the State Department of Archaeology conforming to the Ancient Monuments and Sites Remains Act Amended in The excavation at Burzahom was carried out in both vertical depth wise and horizontal directions; the depth provided the stratification features while the phasing of each stratification was provided by the horizontal excavations.

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Four periods of continuous occupational sequence at the site were documented over a period of 11 years of investigations from to Burzahom's ceramic industry was mostly of hunting based culture and is different from the Chinese Neolithic pottery. The burial practices and type of tools recovered from the site were inferred as having close resemblance to those found in the North Chinese Neolithic culture. The remarkable find during this period was of pits which were inferred as dwelling units; these were in circular or oval shape dug in compact natural Karewa soil formation.

Some of the deep pits had steps and ladder access to the bottom level. In some of the pits the stratification revealed ash and charcoal layers, which denoted human occupancy. Post holes on the sides of pits at the surface level denoted the presence of superstructures covered with thatch made of birch. Carbon dating established that the Neolithic culture of this site was traceable to the 3rd millennium BC, the earliest occupation at the site was dated to before 2, BC.

The pottery found at the site were in an early stage of hand crafting, of the coarse variety, in steel-grey, dull red, brown, and buff colours with mat prints at the bottom; they were in the shape of bowl, vase and stem. Late Kot-Diji type pots were found belonging to Period Ib.

In the Period II, the finds excavated revealed that people had moved out from pit dwelling to structures built at the ground level. However, the pits and its associated chambers formed the base floor of the superstructure, which was made up by filling the pits and covering it with mud plaster, and occasionally painted in red ochre. Post-holes around the pits revealed that the superstructures were made of wood built over compacted Karewa soil floors.

This period also brought out, for the first time, the burial customs of the Neolithic people.


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Both human and animal skeletons were found in deep oval shaped pits, located either below the floors of the dwelling units or in its precincts. These pits were filled with ash, stones and potsherds. Some of the human skulls found here had trepanning bored hole marks. In many pits, bones of dogs and antlered deer were found along with human skeletons. The skeletons of humans were found in the burial pits in a sitting position along with bones of animals. Pottery finds showed better finish compared to the earlier Period I. The pots were of polished black ware, mostly handmade, in the form of a dish with stand, a high-necked jar, and so forth.

Also found was a wheel turned red ware pot which contained beads made from carnelian and agate inferred as items for sale , which was thought to belong to the later part of this period. He is a regular columnist on wildlife and nature and is also associated with many NGOs.

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His commitment to acquire first-hand and authentic knowledge on Indian Shikar history down the ages has discussed hitherto unknown facets. History and Heritage of Indian Game Hunting is his second book. His other book, Gir Forest and the Saga of Asiatic Lion is a highly informative and useful guide for all wildlife enthusiasts. There are no reviews yet, would you like to submit yours? Your Review. Shalimar Books — online bookshop and blog. Category: Reference.