Ambari excavation may reveal citys past Ajit Patowary GUWAHATI, Feb 25 Ambari archaeological site has the potential to provide the evidence of a civilisation belonging to the early Christian era, said Dr S K Manjul, Superintending Archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of Indias (ASI) Guwahati Circle. Dr Manjul, who was talking to this correspondent, said that the site has the potential to provide the history of the growth of Guwahati for a period of about 2,000 years in chronological order.
In this connection, he referred to the observations made by renowned archaeologists MK Dhawalikar and Prof Sankalia in the 1980s. Both Dhawalikar and Prof Sankalia observed that some indications of pottery, like the rouletted wares, suggest that the site has evidence of early settlement.
Speaking on the ongoing excavations at the Ambari site, the ASI archaeologist said that efforts would be made to expose the evidences of the first settlement in the area layer wise. The first phase of the excavation conducted between 1969 and 2004, could not touch that level due to the high level of the ground water table at the site. The virgin soil at the site remained unexposed during that phase, said Dr Manjul.
The present phase of excavation at the site is going on since February 3 under the joint supervision of Dr Manjul and State Archaeology Director Dr HN Dutta. Three research scholars from Gauhati University are also engaged in the excavation as part of their capacity building exercise.
Manjul said that several archaeological evidences are scattered in most parts of the city, like Panbazar, Uzanbazar, Cotton College campus opposite to Nehru Park, Umananda and Urvashi islands, Janardan Bishnu Devalaya, Sukreswar Shiva temple and the Ghat (river station) there and the Ugratara temple, among others, in close proximity of Ambari.
The relics of Uzanbazar are dated back to 9 th -10 th century AD. Same is the period of the archaeological evidences found in the Urvashi Island and the Ugratara temple. The Ghat at Sukreswar is one of the ancient river Ghats of Assam.
A careful observation may also lead to unearthing of some archaeological evidences in the Rail Station area adjacent to the site, even though such evidences are hard to be found on the surface there, said the ASI expert.
At present, digging work at the site has exposed the layer of the 16 th -17 th century AD deposits. Modern, 40-year-old constructions have also been found during the present excavation. Evidences of habitations belonging to the British period over the 16 th-17 th century AD brick structures have also been found at the site (Trench Number AMB 1A-). The structures in the Trench have showed the continuity of the structures excavated during the first phase, he said.
The layer of the British period recorded several hearths and iron objects, mixed pottery, some copper objects, iron slabs etc, said the ASI expert.