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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mainamati-Lalmai mound (Bangladesh)

Mainamati-Lalmai ridge contained Buddhist ruins. One learns from him that even the war cemetery was built on the ruins of a Buddhist monastery. Apart from this, one may gather from Barry Morrison’s work on Lalmai and also from our field -observations that there are some small ancient settlements which were contemporary with the Buddhist remains and possibly represented nothing more than villages in the Lalmai hills. One such settlement where I observed ashy occupational soil and miscellaneous cultural debris is Barapara Bhuiyan’s Mound. The copper-plate inscription of Ranavankanalla  Harikaladeva was discovered ob the Mainamati ridge during a road repair work. The inscription referred to the capital city of pattikeara which has been identified with the Mainamati ruins. The city was supposed to be adorned with forts and monasteries. In the same way in 1875 the ruins of a small brick-fort were identified in the area of the Kotbari mound. The ruins were rediscovered during the Second World War and the Archaeological Survey of India moved in, briefly recording and protecting some sites. Among the sites which were greatly disturbed by the bricks-robbing activities of the military contractors, one may mention Ananda rajar palace, Rubpan Kenya’s palace, Bhoj Vihar, itakholam Rupban Mura, kotbari mound, etc. The Mainamati excavations of the Pakistan department of Archaeology began in 1955. The initial emphasis was on Salban Vihar, leading to the discovery of a large monastic complex and associated artistic and historical material. This was followed by work at Kutila Mura and Charpatra mura were the data on the Ananda Vihar excavations for the first few seasons the other excavations have remained completely unpublished.