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Terracotta Plaque and Coins Unearthed at Purana Qila Site


At the Purana Qila site, a kiln from the Kushan period, an amulet of Gaja Laxmi, and numerous 4th-century terracotta plaques and coins have been discovered. On Tuesday, Union Minister G Kishen Reddy visited the site, while officials from the culture ministry stated that these findings provide evidence of a continuous civilization in Delhi that dates back 2,500 years, predating the Mughals and the Sultanate. The excavation project, which began in January of this year, aims to establish a comprehensive chronology of the site.

G Kishan Reddy at Purana Qila site
Union Minister G Kishan Reddy visited Purana Qila site

Excavations have reached a depth of 5.5 meters, and notable discoveries include a stone image of Vaikuntha Vishnu from the Rajput period, a terracotta plaque of Gaja Laxmi from the Gupta period, and a stone image of Ganesha from the Mughal era. In addition, seals and sealings have been found, indicating the movement of goods along a trade route. Various types of beds made from different raw materials have been discovered in both finished and unfinished forms. Other findings include iron slides, a bone needle, coins, and terracotta figurines of humans and animals.

Vasant Kumar Swarnkar, an archaeologist from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), who is leading the excavation, has revealed that structures from the early Kushana period have currently been exposed. Swarnkar had previously conducted excavations at the site in 2013-14 and 2017-18. He stated, "When we talk about Delhi, we usually refer to the medieval period, encompassing the Sultanate and Mughal eras, as well as the colonial period. However, the ancient city of Indraprastha has consistently been inhabited for the past 2,500 years..." Swarnkar further explained that these periods include the Pre-Mauryan, Mauryan, Sunga, Kushana, Gupta, Post-Gupta, Rajput, Sultanate, and Mughal periods. Purana Qila was initially excavated by Prof. BB Lal in 1955 and then in 1969-70. "Our findings indicate that the habitation area was situated between the Yamuna River on one side and a highway on the other. This highway, which served as a trade route, corresponds to what we now know as Mathura Road, leading up to the National Zoological Park," he added.

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