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Excavations throw new light on Bengal's history

Excavations throw new light on Bengal's history

Author: Abhisek Roy Chowdhury
Publication: The Statesman
Date: July 15, 2008
URL: http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=23&theme=&usrsess=1&id=213702

There is a common belief among historians that the history of Bengal started from the period of Palas and Senas. But the recent excavations in South 24-Parganas have stirred up a new debate. The objects unearthed recently are dated prior to the Palas and Senas period.

Mr Debisankar Mirdha founder of the Sunderbans Archeological Research Centre took an initiative to discover the ancient history of Bengal in 1987.

He collected archeological objects from many parts of South 24-Parganas district and built a museum at his own expenses. Mr Mirdha preserved nearly 1200 objects in the museum. Among the objects there were clay idols, earthen pots, bronze idols, tools, bronze weapons and Brahmi and Kharestri lipi (scripts).

Mr Mirdha claimed of the existence of a civilization in South Bengal, which cropped up in areas adjacent to the Sunderbans at the time of the Harappan civilization. It is unfortunate that there was no trace of the civilization flourishing in that region. Some archeological articles proved the presence of mankind in this area during the Maurya Sungha, Kusana and Gupta periods.

Since Mr Mirdha has no academic background the historians dismissed his claim as immaterial. He said if the lipies are deciphered an untold history would be discovered.

He sent some articles were to a laboratory for radio -carbon or carbon 14 testing. The results of the test proved that the articles were dated back to 7000 BC. Some of the objects collected by him bear the images of elephant.

According to Mr Mirdha, tigers were alien to the people living in the vicinity of the Sunderbans since no images of tigers have been unearthed. He has contributed articles about his findings in some magazines.

Mr Mirdha told The Statesman that the ancient relics of South 24-Parganas are lying scattered at Hariharpur, Abdalpur and Taterbazar. He wrote about the matter to the ASI. But the organization did not take interest in the matter.

The children fondly called Mr Mirdha, Hanribabu (earthen pot babu) as he is steadfast in his endeavour to collect objects of archeological value.

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