New Delhi: The Archaeological Survey of India – ASI is all set to resume excavations in Delhi at the Purana Qila. The excavation will be led by Shri Vasant Swarnkar and it will be the third season of excavation at Purana Qila after excavations in 2013-14 and 2017-18.
The aim of the latest excavation is to uncover and preserve the trenches that were excavated in previous years 2013-14 and 2017-18. During the closure of the previous season’s excavations, evidence of pre-Mauryan layers was found. During this season’s excavations, attention will also be focused on placing the traces of the Painted Gray Ware find in a stratigraphic context. Identified as the ancient settlement of Indraprastha, a continuous settlement of 2,500 years at the Purana Qila was established in earlier excavations.
Finds and artefacts discovered in earlier excavations include painted gray ware, belonging to 900 BC, a sequence of clay pottery from Maurya to Shunga, Kushana, Gupta, Rajput, Sultanates and Mughal periods. Excavated artefacts like sickles, parers, terracotta toys, kiln fired bricks, beads, terracotta figurines, seal and stores etc. excavated earlier are now displayed in the Archaeological Museum inside the fort complex.
Purana Qilla, a 16th century fort, was built by Sher Shah Suri and the second Mughal emperor, Humayun. The fortress stands on a site with a thousand-year history. Padma Vibhushana Prof. BB Lal also carried out excavation work inside the fort and its premises in 1954 and 1969-73.