The Archaeological Survey of India has been granted permission to excavate at the fort of Purana Qila in its bid to unearth hidden artefacts beneath the historical site, as per a report in the New Indian Express. Along with Purana Qila, eight other heritage sites in Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana were given the final nod for re-excavation on November 1.
According to an official, the decision for excavation has been taken and budget allotted to carry out the digging. he further added that the site to be dug is yet to be marked following which it may take 4 to 6 weeks for the work to start on the ground. The official confirmed that the fresh excavation would be done at a different location from the previous one.
The ASI believes that a village named Indrapat existed at the site until 1913, which is the direct descendant of Mahabharata’s ‘Indraprastha’, founded by the Pandavas as their capital.
Purana Qilla, the 16th-century fort, was built by Pashtun ruler Sher Shah Suri and second Mughal emperor Humayun. The fort is standing on a site with thousands of years of history. The ASI has already carried out excavation works inside the fort and its premises three times in the past. Twice by noted archaeologist BB Lal (1954 and 1969) and once under the supervision of Vasant Kumar Swarnkar.
Swarnakar had stated to The Indian Express last year that the Purana Qilla site is a place which has cultural deposits from last 2500 years under various layers.
The digging had found out Artefacts such as sickles, parers, terracotta toys, kiln-burnt bricks and painted grey bowls and dishes belonging to the pre-Mauryan period of the third century BC and are displayed at the Archaeological Museum inside the fort complex.
The findings and artefacts unearthed in the excavations comprise painted grey ware, belonging to 1500 BC, and earthen pottery articles from Maurya to Shunga, Kushana, Gupta, Rajput, Sultanates and Mughal periods.