Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday urged his cabinet colleague, Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy, to ask the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to take over the excavation and preservation of a recently discovered 2,000-year-old post-Mauryan site in Odisha.
The site, which is spread over 17 hectares at Barpali in Bargarh district, has yielded numerous artefacts and antiquities.
The monumental discovery was made by the History department of Gangadhar Meher University in Sambalpur.
I am writing to seek your personal intervention in directing officials of ASI to take over the excavation and preservation of a recently discovered 2,000-year-old post-Mauryan site at Barplai in the Bargarh district of Odisha, Pradhan, the union education minister, wrote in the letter.
Pradhan said that around 60 students, research scholars and faculty of the department started the excavation on May 31, 2022.
The findings indicate that the site was a well-established early trade centre and further digging could perhaps reveal even more startling revelations, Pradhan wrote to Reddy.
Noting that such grand archaeological finding is rare and extremely vulnerable, Pradhan said that the ASI should take over the Barpali excavation site for better exploration, examination, analysis and security of the priceless antiquities and historical wealth.
The researchers from the School of History of the university have discovered stone tools, rare coins, pottery, weapons, artefacts, ancient bricks and ceramics. The tools were designed to hunt large wild animals.