Gold hunt fruitless,ASI calls off excavation,starts filling up trenches

Written by SURBHI KHYATI | Lucknow | Published:November 19, 2013 7:28 am

A month after it started digging for gold,inspired by the dream of a local seer who claimed 1,000 tonnes of yellow metal was buried at the site,the Archaeological Survey of India Monday finally called off the excavation at Daundiya Kheda village of Unnao district in Uttar Pradesh.

The ASI has now started to fill up the two trenches it had dug while looking for gold in the ruins of fort of Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh,a 1857 revolt martyr.

The only golden lining,if it may be called so,established by the excavation at the site is that it also holds relics dating back to 8th century BC. Till now it was believed that the site had historical evidence till the Kushan period (first century AD).

“The excavation work has been completed. The most important finding is that the site holds relics of a period up to at least 8th century BC rather than up to Kushan period,that is,first century AD,as was believed so far,” said Dr Syed Jamal Hasan,director (exploration and excavation).

The evidence,which led to the conclusion,includes artefacts,black-slipped pottery and other human remains found at the site,said the director. “The exact date of the artefacts and other evidences can only be arrived at after closer examination,” he added.

However,no gold,silver or any other metal was discovered from the site.

“I had always said that the excavation was not for gold. The significance of the site is archaeological,” Hasan said,adding once the trenches are filled in a few days,the archaeologists will return to Lucknow office to start examining the historical evidences collected from the site. “We expect a preliminary report on the excavation within 10 days,though a detailed report will take time,” he added,

Daundiya Kheda rose to prominence as the ASI began excavation here soon after seer Sobhan Sarkta claimed that he had a dream in which Raja Rao Ram Bux told him that 1,000 tonnes of gold was buried in the fort. The excavation began on October 18 amid much fan fare and media coverage. Over the period,the archaeologists dug up two trenches but stopped when they hit natural soil.

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