Gandhara art

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - The Archaeology & Museums department has discovered 140 archaeological sites and monuments of Buddhist affiliation and revealed rich cultural wealth in Swabi district of NWFP.

"These new historical sites and cultural wealth belonging to Chronological bracket covering more than two thousand years from 3rd century BC to 18th Century AD were discovered during a survey conducted in the area by the department, informed Muhammad Bahadar Khan, Deputy Director Archaeology & Museums department.

“Swabi, which makes an integral part of the ancient Gandhara country, is rich in cultural heritage and due to its strategic location it remained focus of cultural activities since time immemorial, “Bahadar Khan added.

During survey of Swabi district, rich variety of ethnological data was also collected and recorded in the surrounding villages, he informed.

The ethnological material, he continued, greatly helps in reconstructing continuity in the tradition and thus helped in reconstructing cultural events over a long span.

The area, he said, further needs to be probed for ethnological wealth and this exercise will bring to focus much useful material concerning the local population.

In these 140 sites, rock carvings and painting depicting human and animal figurines and geometrical designs were also located which on the first appeared to be contemporary to the site of Gondhara in Swat.

Greek historian, he added, Herodotus mentioned Caspapyros as an area of gold mining, which was later identified by Sir MA Stein with a desolate sandy track stretching from Salatura to Jaganat near the modern village of Yar Hussain in the vicinity of Jahangira in Swabi district.

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