Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Pipili, June 8:
Two days after it recovered ancient artefacts reportedly dating back to around 3,000 years, a five-member team of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) recovered deer horns, teeth and skeletal remains of animals and some earthen stoves (chullah) during ongoing excavations at Suabarai village in Poparanga gram panchayat under Pipili block in Odisha’s Puri district on Saturday.
Suabarai is located on the south of River Daya and is very close to the remains of the Sisupalgarh fort built in 3rd century B.C. and Dhauli hill, where the famous is Kalinga war between Emperor Ashoka and the Kalinga army is believed to have been fought in 261 B.C.
The site, a large mound of sizable height that stands amid green paddy fields, may have been an ancient human settlement which got buried under the earth in course of time, researchers say.
The ASI took interest in the site after local people unearthed two four-foot high stone sculptures from under a neem tree on the mound while digging a pit on April 14, 2013. Since then, the stone sculptures are being worshipped by the villagers of Suabarai in their village.
Archaeologists from the ASI begun excavations here on June 2 and unearthed some colour potsherds, indicating the existence of a human settlement once upon a time here during the first three days of excavation.
The team had stumbled upon some broken pieces of ancient stone wares on Thursday.
On Saturday, the fifth day of the excavation, the team unearthed two deer horns of eight inches length, two teeth each measuring two inches and a few bones belonging to animals.
According to sources, the five-member ASI team, under directions from archaeologist Dr Dillip Khamari, superintendent, excavation branch, east zone No.4 of the ASI, will continue its excavations for two more weeks on an experimental basis. Excavation will resume in December on getting approval from the ASI headquarters in New Delhi, sources added.
ASI officials at the site were reluctant to give details of the findings in view of ‘security and secrecy’ of the operation.
A large number of people, including students, researchers, intellectuals and onlookers are gathering at the site out of curiosity during the excavation.
It may be recalled here that researchers from the Anthropology department of the Utkal University had in March last year unearthed two human skeletons belonging to the Chalcolithic age from a village called Banga under Delanga block in Puri district.