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EXCAVATION of GOVARDHAN HILL AFTER 50 YEARS



  May 24, 2024

EXCAVATION of GOVARDHAN HILL AFTER 50 YEARS



The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is conducting a major excavation at Govardhan Hill in the Braj region for the first time in 50 years, aiming to uncover significant aspects of India’s ancient history and the Mahabharata period.

Historical and Cultural Significance

Govardhan Hill, part of the Braj region, holds immense religious significance in Hindu tradition. It is famously associated with the legend of Krishna lifting the hill to protect villagers from a storm. The region includes Mathura and Vrindavan, sacred cities deeply embedded in Hindu mythology and history.

Current Excavation Efforts

The excavation focuses on Bahaj village in Deeg district, Rajasthan. Key discoveries include bone tools from the Shunga Period, clay seals, a rare terracotta pipe from the Painted Grey Ware (PGW) culture, and a terracotta mother goddess from the Mauryan phase. Notably, miniature pots filled with sand, indicating ritualistic activities, have been found.

Broader Government Initiative

This excavation is part of a wider initiative by the Indian government to explore and document India’s ancient history, particularly the Mahabharata period. The ASI has approved excavations at 51 sites across India for 2022-23, including significant discoveries in Benwa village, Sikar, Rajasthan, and the Purana Qila complex in Delhi.

Challenges and Community Involvement

The excavation has drawn significant local interest, although high temperatures and encroachments pose challenges. The involvement of students from Dr. BR Ambedkar University, Delhi, has been crucial, providing valuable field experience.

Key Findings

Discoveries at Bahaj include PGW shards, a Mauryan well, and numerous small beads, indicating a thriving lapidary industry. These findings suggest the region was a major center of cultural and economic activity during the PGW period. The team aims to understand the broader cultural and historical context by comparing findings with other sites.

Conclusion

The ASI’s excavation of Govardhan Hill is a significant step in uncovering the historical and cultural heritage of the Braj region. The findings enhance our understanding of the Mahabharata period and provide valuable insights into the development of ancient Indian civilization.




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