A 4000-year-old urban settlement has been unearthed by a team of the Benaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, which experts say is one of the craft villages mentioned in ancient texts.
The Benaras Hindu University’s Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology which did a preliminary survey of the site in Babhaniyav village, 13 km from Varanasi, said they had found remnants of one of the settlements that have been mentioned in various literature surrounding the holy city.
Professor A K Dubey of Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, BHU, said, initial survey of the site in Babhaniyav village in Varanasi district has found a temple dating back to the 5th Century AD through 8th Century AD, potteries which are 4000-year-old and walls which are 2000-year-old.
“On the basis of the surface materials at the site we can say that the structure is anywhere between 3500 to 4000-year-old,” said Dubey, who is part of the team which will excavate the site from February 23. He said that it gains significance because of its proximity to Varanasi, which according to legend was founded by the Hindu deity Lord Shiva 5,000 years ago, though modern scholars believe it to be around 3,000 years old.
Dubey said, “The site at Babhaniyav could be a small sub-centre of Varanasi which also grew as an urban town.” The latest findings in Babhaniyav village is significant as it could have been a satellite settlement and feeding centre of the
Varanasi-Sarnath region, said B R Mani former Additional Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
He was invited by BHU during its initial survey and said the team has unearthed a 5-metre cultural deposit like the ones found in Sarnath.
Mani, who now heads the
National Museum, told media, “While such crafts villages have been earlier
unearthed in Sarnath, Tilmapur, Ramnagar and other areas, Babhaniyav is an
addition. They have also found a pillar with a 2-line text in Kushan Brahmi
script which makes the findings at least 3500-4000-year-old. Once the
excavation is complete we will get a clearer picture of the findings.”