Archaeological Remains and Excavations at Sambhar

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Item Code: UAD387
Author: Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni
Publisher: Publication Scheme Jaipur
Language: English
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 8186782311
Pages: 96 (Throughout B/W Illustrations)
Other Details 11.50 X 9.00 inch
Weight 540 gm
Book Description
About The Book

The report 'Archaeological Remains and Excavations At Sambhar was published by Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni, Director of Archaeology and Historical Research, Jaipur State, This book is a reprint of the same. The excavations at Sambhar were conducted in the year 1936-37 and 1937-38 A.D. The report supplies us with valuable information with regard to the site.

This is his second report, prefaced with an introduction of the researches that were carried out in the Jaipur State. The site which is near Sambhar, was excavated for two seasons in succession. The estimate of total expenditure during both these seasons was Rs. 5,873/2/9. During the excavation about 3460 antiquities were brought to light and registered.

The excavation site which is an extensive ancient mound, is situated on the banks of a dried-up lake. This lake is 4 miles distant from the famous Salt Lake of Sambhar. The site is 54 miles distant from Jaipur and easily accessible. The site was excavated on trial basis by Col. T.H. Hendley, assisted by Mr. Lyon in the cold weather of 1884. The extent of the mound is 2000 feet from North to South with an average Width of 1800 feet. The highest portion of the mound stands about 40 feet above the bed of the small lake. Col. Hendley dug four trenches on the mound. The portable antiquities found by him include bone spikes, ornamental pottery jars, terracotta figurines, copper coins, beads and a pottery seal.

D.R. Sahni excavated this site later in 1936. Six new trenches were dug. In all, forty-five separate dwellings were exposed on six distinct levels in all- the trenches. The excavations have revealed that the site was inhabited by people in 3rd cent. B.C. and flourished until 10th cent. A.D. In spite of immense damage caused to the site by vandals for want of cheap construction material, the site has brought forth significant results during the excavation. This place was an important industrial centre. The significant antiquities found at the site comprise of about 200 coins including six silver punch-marked coins, six late Indo-Sassanian coins of copper, an Indo-Greek coin of silver. The gold objects were quite few viz. a bead of thin gold, a piece of gold leaf etc. Some objects of iron and copper were also found. Besides this dices, moulded plaques, pottery utensils, potters dabbers, spindle whorls, steatite caskets and shell objects were also brought to light. With regard to the religious beliefs, the site was undoubtedly inhabited by poeple of Brahmanical faith.


It is my proud. Privilege to begin this report with a respectful tribute of thanks to the generous liberality of His Highness the Maharaja Sahib Bahadur which has enabled me to extend archaeological excavations and other investigations to various other sites in the Jaipur State. I am also thankful to Rai Bahadur Pandit Amar Nath Atal, M.A., Finance Minister, Jaipur State, for his continued and increased help and encouragement in the execution of my various duties. It has been a genuine pleasure to work under the supervision of Mr. Atal, who is not only a profound scholar of the Persian language and literature but also a keen numismatist.

I have considered it advisable to preface this second report on my archaeological work in the State with an introduction embodying a brief resume, of the researches carried out be among the ancient remains at other places than Sambhar in the Jaipur State. Colonel T. H. Hendley carried out some trial excavations on this ancient site of Sambhar about 55 years ago. In his article entitled 'Buddhist remains near Simbhur' Colonel Hendley concluded that this old mound was the site of an important Buddhist town. I do not quite agree with this view of Colonel Hendley as the excavations carried out by me, during the years under report, clearly provide incontrovertible evidence of the site being a Brahmanical one. This site does not appear to have been visited either by Sir A. Cunningham or any of his assistants.

The possibilities of archaeological research in the Jaipur State are very great indeed. The number of sites of the historical period, i.e., those dating from about the 3rd century B.C. that await exploration is very considerable. The few places about which information is available from the researches referred to above are noticed here.

Reich-This is the name of a small village in Thikane Bhartala Tahsil Bonli. It is about 54 miles from Jaipur, i.e., 41 miles by a good metalled road to Newai on the Jaipur-Tonk road and the rest by village tracks over rough country with a Nala and the Dhil Nadi to be crossed between Jhalai and the ancient site. The ancient mound is situated in a large bend in the course of the river known as Dhil Nadi, which is said to discharge itself to Gopalpura Bond some 2 kos south or Rairh. This ancient site which consists of a series of rolling mounds varying in height from about 15 feet to 25 feet above the bed of the fiver measures about 1300 feet from north to south by over 2500 feet in length. The Western portion of this site is occupied by the modem village of Rairh consisting of about twenty houses. About half a dozen trial trenches were excavated in June last. One of the trenches selected for excavation on the south edge of the mound was the spot where a hoard of 326 punch-marked silver coins was found by a peasant boy while digging holes for drinking, water during rainy season on-the-bank of the river touching the edge of the ancient mound. Such coins are found in abundance all over India and this is one of the largest finds made at any single place in India and as the, arrangement of symbols punched on them is very similar they are believed to represent a purely indigenous government currency. This collection of coins is particularly interesting in as much as it is one of the flour or five finds of such coins the exact provenance of which is definitely and correctly known. The authority that issued them was presumably the Maurya kings in the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C. They continued in use until after the middle of the 1st century A.D. These coins have been cleaned in my office and deserve a detailed examination and publication in the form of a separate illustrated monograph. The pottery jar in which these coins were found is also interesting as its date can be ascertained from similar vessels found by me in the ancient mound near Sambhar with the result that although no precisely datable coins have been found in company with these punch-marked coins, the evidence of the pottery vessel indicate that this treasure must have been buried where it has been found in about the 1st century A.D. The trench, in question, also yielded foundations of a series of parallel walls with narrow intervals between them and built of large-sized bricks about 2 feet in length and 10 inches wide by 351 inches thick, a size indicative of high antiquity and which, as far as I know, has not been net on another ancient site. The whole site is strewn with granaries composed of pottery rings fitted one upon another and must have belonged to the same date. The purpose of these granaries is not yet definitely ascertained. Among a number of portable antiquities unearthed here, the most important antiquity brought to light in this area, is a tablet of copper which bears onside a well preserved inscription of two lines in Brahmi characters of the 3rd century B.C. with the well-known Malaya symbol consisting of the "cross and balls" above the legend. The inscription may be rendered 'of the Commander-in-Chief Vachhagha'. The reverse shows an interesting device consisting of a vertical standard rising from a railing with broad arrow heads attached to its corners. At the top of the standard is a platform on which stands turned to the left a well designed elephant with its trunk stretched out towards a motif resembling the taurine found on punch-marked and other early coins recalling the elephant eating from a manger as noticed on the seals of the Indus Valley culture. Senapati was an important military official and Pushyamitra, who about a hundred years later slew his chief Brihadratha Maurya and became the king and founder of the Sunga Dynasty, held the same rank. As for as I am aware, the only other document of this date on copper plate is the Sohagura plate which was unearthed from an ancient site in the Gorakhpur district many years ago.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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