Archaeology

Vadnagar’s wall of fame

Print edition : October 13, 2017

At the ASI's excavation site at Vadnagar, said to be the only town in India that has been in existence continuously for 2,500 years, in Gujarat. The picture shows the depth of the fortification wall built by various dynasties in different periods.

A view of structures showing the various phases of construction in locality A of the area under excavation. Photo: ASI

The fortification wall of kiln-fired bricks first built possibly in the 3rd century BCE. It also shows the structural phases of the wall when it was strengthened by various dynasties.

Excavation in progress in locality B.

Terracotta head of the Buddha with the 'Ushnisha', or flame of knowledge, and the 'Urna' mark on the forehead, between the eyebrows.

Terracotta head of the Buddha with the 'Ushnisha', or flame of knowledge, and the 'Urna' mark on the forehead, between the eyebrows.

Terracotta head of the Buddha, as pendant, with the tri-ratna symbol on the top.

Terracotta head of the Buddha, as pendant, with the tri-ratna symbol on the top.

A classic human face made from grey schist stone.

A Buddha head with the 'Ushnisha' but without the smile.

Coin of lead. This one shows three arches, a river, a trident and dots in a line.

Coin of lead depicting a Garuda with outstretched wings.

Terracotta sealing deciphered as Rudradevasya.

A sealing. Most had Brahmi inscriptions on them.

Terracotta sealing of Ishwarvarmana.

Terracotta sealing.

A terracotta sealing with scripts.

A terracotta sealing.

A bullae, or round tablet, of the 5th century, engraved with a human head of striking charm.

On the reverse of the bullae is an inscription that is faded and not decipherable.

A hoard of lead coins found in one of the trenches.

Small sculpture hewn out of schist stone, of Ganesha, of the medieval period.

Small sculture hewn out of schist stone, of Mahishasuramardini, of the medieval period.

The excavation at locality B, at a depth of 14 metres, shows a massive wall built of 113 rows of bricks in the ancient residential quarters. Digging had to be stopped after this depth because of water intrusion.

An artefact depicting the Buddha accepting honey from a monkey, which is a story in the Jataka tales.

Remains of the Buddhist monastery dating back to the Mauryan period (4th century BCE to 3rd century BCE). Vadnagar is said to have had at least 10 Buddhist monasteries and about 100 monks were staying in them. Photo: Y.S. RAWAT

Remains of the circular Buddhist stupa excavated by the State archaeology department between 2005 and 2012. Photo: Y.S. RAWAT

Excavation to the south of the Buddhist monastery at Ghaskol locality. At left in the picture are two cells for monks.

A water tank adjacent to the wall built in the Solanki period (12th century).

The ASI team from Vadodara which was involved in the excavation at Vadnagar. Abhijit Suresh Ambekar, Director of the excavation, is the one with the hat on his knee.

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