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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mazar area of mahasthangarh(Bangladesh)


The highest point of the site lies at its southeastern corner where the burial or the mazar of shah sultan Balkhi   Mahisawar dominates attention. The area is shaded by large trees and the surface is litterer with miscellaneous structural debris. There is also a mosque nearby which , according to the inscription over its entrance , was built in 1718 . The area is much disturbed but the inescapable conclusion is that a part of the mazar complex lies squarely on the fortification  itself , or rather , atop the corner of the fortification at that point . The height at the point does not denote the highest point of accumulated cultural debris at the site .When cunningham visited the site in 1879-80 he found in the courtyard of the tomb a mutilated jaina tirthankara figure the pedestal of a life size sculpture of the boar incarnation of Vishnu and also two bases of lingam of phallic stone. There is nothing to show that they belonged to the spot and were not collected from elsewhere. The gap in the southern section of the eastern fortification is called the Dorab shah gate .Excavations were conducted near the mazar and the Dorab shah gate area revealing four building phases .The last two of them possibly represented temporary shelter to accommodate visitor s to the mazar. The fourth building phase from the top could be excavated to a very limited extent and does not permit any positive inference. It is only in the third phase that one  gets some clear evidence of early structures. There was a large rectangular structural complex with 6-7 ft. Thick walls. Three rooms were partially exposed , with one of them measuring 28 ft. 3ft, 9 ins, The eastern wall of this massive complex was exposed up to a length of 76ft.9ins. Carved stone columns m plain stone slabs and ornamental bricks were occasionally used in the plinth and this suggests that the earlier building material were partly utilized for this building which is said to have undergone  additions and alterations in the subsequent periods . An interesting find associated with this level was that of three large and heavy storage jars with their bottoms filled up by a mixture of shell power and some adhesive material what lends these jars great interest is that some skeletal materials, essentially bones and ashes , were found deposited haphazardly in them with loose earth and brickbats. These jars were set in a large pot whose margin was outlined by a circular brick wall. There were  also some cross walls between the jars and the border of the large circular structure. Also associated with this third building phase were three round sandstone slabs, which possibly served as pillar bases. At one place the floor was found paved with 5 stone slabs with indistinct geometric designs. The antiquities from this building phase included fragmentary stone images is inscribed in sanskrit with the legend that it was donated by Bindaka for ‘precious stone etc. The back of a fragmentary black stone image is inscribed in sanskrit  with the legend that it was donated by Bindaka for ‘Deva Dharma’ .Our impression is that the third building phase of this excavated area belongs to the eighth ninth century.