• Monday, Jan 20, 2020
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Archaeological Park to be set up in Nateshwar

  • Published at 11:50 am February 20th, 2019
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An ancient wall was unearthed at Natheswar, Tongibari of Munshiganj Dhaka Tribune

Recently, an ancient wall was unearthed at the site

An archaeological park will be set up in Nateshwar, Tongibari of Munshiganj, as many archaeological and historical sites are being unearthed in the area. 

A team of Bangladeshi archaeologists—from Jahangirnagar University and Comilla University—along with Chinese archaeologists and led by Jahangirnagar University’s Archaeology Department Prof Dr Sufi Mustafezur Rahaman, have been excavating the six-acre site since 2014.

Supported by Agrashar Bikrampur Foundation, with funding from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the archaeologists are working around the clock to carefully unearth: relics, temples, ancient establishments, and proof of an advanced Buddhist civilization that lived there thousands of years ago.

Recently, an ancient wall was unearthed at the site; adding to the long list of ancient establishments and relics discovered at the small village of Nateshwar in Munshiganj.

The dig will continue for another five years, following which the whole site and its findings will be preserved using modern methods.

When the reporter visited the site, he saw that the archaeological findings are carefully stored and covered. 

People from all walks of life—both local and foreign—especially students, are visiting the archaeological site to get a glimpse of the past plus educate themselves about the ancient Buddhist civilization that existed in the area. 

The excavation process is being conducted in several phases. According to sources, equipment required for the excavation is being supplied by China. 

Archaeologists, have been able to identify: Buddhist temples, octagonal stupas—Buddhist  monuments that house sacred relics associated with the Buddha or other saintly persons—, four unique hall rooms, brick roads, brick sewerage canals, unique entrance doors, as well as ancient rooms, walls, and floors at the site. 

Seven monastery rooms and a hall room were also discovered at the site.

Addressing the proceedings, this excavation project’s Research Director Dr Sufi Mustafezur Rahaman said: "We will set up an archaeological park here. We have been excavating one particular area since December 2018. 

"This phase will continue till mid-March 2019. Recently we discovered an ancient wall, details regarding which will soon be announced."

The "Temple City" discovered here is unique in Bangladesh. 

In 2018, a big “arm” was discovered at the site; this has led many to believe there is a big Buddhist stupa lying underneath it, waiting to be excavated, just like one in Sanchi, India. 

The following have been discovered at the site: 16 stupas, a thousand-year-old brick road, drainage and water canals, plus much more. This indicates that an advanced and developed urban civilization once lived here. 

This will likely be one of the most prosperous Buddhist archaeological sites in Bangladesh.

The researchers working at the site believe that it will receive UNESCO World Heritage recognition.

When contacted, Agrashar Bikrampur Foundation President and Project Director Nuh-Ul-Alam Lenin said: "This whole excavation project is being supervised by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. We hope that we will be able to finish the excavation project within five years. 

"All the relics and archaeological findings will be preserved using state-of-the-art technology. We are preparing the draft model for the construction of the park."

"After the project is done, this area will be set up as an archaeological park. I believe that Nateshwar will become one of Bangladesh's most important tourist spots."