Exploring the deeper layers

A fresh and updated guide to Jammu and Kashmir Archaeology and its Monuments
Exploring the deeper layers
"It has introduced us to ancient civilizations and helped a lot to the upcoming historians and researchers to rebuild their respective theories of history and culture."Special arrangement

BY: ISHFAQ MANZOOR

Title:

Archaeology of Jammu and Kashmir - A Review 1900- 2021

Author:

Iqbal Ahmad

Publishers:

HSRA Publications, Bangalore

Distributor for J&K:

Gulshan Books and Publishers, Srinagar

Publishing Date:

April 2022

The Archaeological works carried out in Jammu and Kashmir during the past more than one century (from 1900 to 2021) have brought to light wonderful remains and significant treasures, and lifted the lid from hidden secrets of its ancient history, art and culture.

It has introduced us to ancient civilizations and helped a lot to the upcoming historians and researchers to rebuild their respective theories of history and culture.

The remains of ancient human settlements include the sites and monuments of Paleolithic, Neolithic, Megalithic, early historic, medieval and early modern ages which date from 3000 BC to 1900 AD, and covers a period of almost 5000 years.

This wonderful archaeology history of Jammu and Kashmir is almost unwritten and the major archaeological events and reports are limited up to institutional and archival records.

Archaeological history, which includes its structural foundation, evolution of archaeological explorations, excavations and conservation, the details about archaeological sites and monuments, numismatic and archaeological find reports is almost unwritten.

Who founded Jammu and Kashmir archaeology and carried first archaeological works? What were the first major archaeological and numismatic discoveries?

Who were the first archaeologists, who undertook the first archaeological explorations and excavations? How many archaeological sites and monuments were then found and notified and where these sites are located?

How many numismatic hoards and other archaeological treasure troves were found and where those treasures have been kept? What is the present state of affair of Jammu and Kashmir archaeology? This entire information is scattered and not available in any of the archaeology literature. In fact there is no archaeology review of this land available anywhere.

Iqbal Ahmad, the local archaeologist and author, who has been since decades engaged in archaeology and numismatic researches of this land has done a wonderful job and wrote the first history of Jammu and Kashmir, titled “Archaeology of Jammu and Kashmir - a Review”.

It is an illustrated and updated documentation of archaeological events of entire Jammu and Kashmir. In his this book the author has almost attended all the quire raised above.

In this book the author has documented the archaeological and numismatic events containing fresh and updated information about the archaeological works under taken in Jammu and Kashmir right from its beginning 1900 AD up to the present times of December 31, 2021.

The archaeological data includes the history of archaeology, information about its archaeological discoveries, excavations and explorations, organizational structure, number of notified monuments and archaeological sites, explorations, excavations, maintenances, conservation, and ancient treasure troves.

In the introductory note, the author writes, ‘In fact the history of archaeological explorations and excavations in Jammu and Kashmir is very old.

The pioneering work in re-discovering the archaeological sites had earlier been undertaken by European archaeology missionaries. They undertook systematic geological and archeological expeditions from 19th Century and collected a lot of valuable information on the environmental, geological features, ancient monuments and other archaeological artifacts and studied and documented it in their respective travelogues.’

Iqbal Ahmad further writes, ‘The earliest archaeological explorations and excavations made visible the wonderful archaeological, numismatic and architectural heritages.

Later on the government of Jammu and Kashmir carried forward the archaeological mission set by the European missionaries here and to maintain the excavated archaeological sites and monuments of the Jammu and Kashmir, the government created the state Archaeology and Research department in the year 1912 A.D, with the mandate to lawfully maintain, preserve, conserve and to explore the archaeological heritage of the Jammu and Kashmir on modern scientific lines.’

Since at that time the state had no trained archaeologist of its own to run the department, the government is loaned the services of the trained archaeologists from government of India.

The archaeology department was headed by enthusiastic archaeologists and administrators, who made remarkable archaeological and numismatic discoveries.

The book makes mention of almost all the archaeologists, administrators and those persons who contributed their shares in the archaeology field. The book provides the updated list of monuments and archaeological sites, and the present status of these sites.

The book, elaborately deals with the archaeological works undertaken here by State archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India and other related institutions in a systematic way. It is first the updated book made available on Jammu and Kashmir archaeology.

The readers and travelers, particularly the aspirants of competitive exams and students of archaeology interested in updating their selves about Jammu and Kashmir archaeology structure, monuments and works shall find this book more interesting and informative.

Besides research scholars particularly the students of archaeology and tourism pursuing their masters or preparing for entrances in archaeology field shall also find this book useful and informative.

The archaeological information provided in the book is based on genuine archaeological records and references. The book is available on Amazon, Flipkart and Kindle with its eBook-editions.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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