Archaeological Sites In Jammu Kashmir (JK), Complete Details

In this section you will read about the famous Archaeological sites in Jammu Kashmir. These JK Archaeological sites of are very important for exams like UPSC, JKPSC and JKSSB.

Archaeologocal sites of Jammu Kashmir

The famous Archaeologocal sites in Jammu Kashmir are listed below:

1. Burzahom

The word “Burzahom” literally means home of Birch which is a tree species.

Buzahom is among the most famous archaeological sites in the world. It is a neolothic site located on the outskirts of Srinagar city.

It showcases different stage of human evolution, from food gatherers to food producers  between 3000BC to 1000BC.

Burzahom was discovered in 1935 by H DE TERRA and T T PETERSON of Yale cambridge expedition. The main work of excavations was done by the Archaeological Survey of India between 1960 and 1971 under the charge of Mr T N Khazanchi and his team from Kashmir.

It is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Discoveries at Burzahom

  • Tools made up of animal bones and antlers.
  • Animal Burials (of dogs and antlered deer). It is a unique feature of Burzahom.
  • Bone needles, cotton and wool.
  • Ground stone axes and gray burnished Pottery of different shapes
  • Pit Dwellings. They lived in pits, which were upto 3.9 meters at the top and 4,75 metres at the bottom.
  • 10 human skeltons (5 adult males, 3 adult females, one juvenile and one child). The skull of one female was trepanated. Trepanation is an ancient surgical practice of drilling or cutting holes through skull vault for medical purposes or some other purposes.

2. Gufkral

It literally means Cave potters. Guf=cave and Kral = Potter. These are located at Banmir village in Hurdumir area of Tral.

It represents a time line from Aceramic Neolithic to megalithic period.

The caves of Gufkral are one of the oldest in Kashmir and some estimates trace their origin to 2000-3000 BCE.

The area was first explored in 1962-1963 by the Frontier Circle of the Archeological Survey of India. And later it was excavated by an ASI team led by A K Sharma from 18 August to 20 October 1981.

Discoveries at Gufkral

The findings include

  • copper bangle and copper pin,
  • stone celts, stone points, ring stone, pounders, querns,
  • bone tools, awls, scape, piercer, polished bone needle,
  • beads, terracotta marble etc.

3. Awantipora Ruins

They are actually ruins of two temples made up of sandstone on the banks of river Jehlum. They were constructed by King Awantivarman of Utpala dynasty.

The two temples are Awantiswami temple dedicated to Vishnu and Awantishwar temple dedicated to Shiva.

These temples incorporate Gandhara style of temple architecture. (Gandhāra was an ancient region comprising Kabul, Peshawar, Swat, and Taxila areas of what are now northwestern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan).

The pillars of these temples have carvings representing demigods and mythical creatures.

2. Martand Sun Temple

The Martand Sun Temple also known as Pandou Laidan is a Hindu temple dedicated to Surya (the chief solar deity in Hinduism) and built during the 8th century CE. Martand is another Sanskrit synonym for Surya.

The Martand Sun Temple was built by the third ruler of the Karkota Dynasty, Lalitaditya Muktapida, in the 8th century CE on a Karewa near Mattan Anantnag.

It has a blend of Gandharan, chinese and Gupta forms of architecture

It is made up of limestone.

Tareekh e hassan says that King Ranaditya built Martandeshwari temple in front of his palace. This temple was then architectured by Lalitaditya Muktapida of Karkota dynasty in 8th century CE and then dedicated to Surya.

It was destroyed by Sultan Sikandar Butshikan.

5. Manda-Jammu

Manda village is an Indus Valley Civilization site and it is situated on the right bank of Chenab river in the foothills of Pir Panjal range, 28 km northwest of Jammu. It was excavated by Archaeological Survey of India during 1976-77 by J. P. Joshi.

It shows three fold sequence of culture which are period 1 (pre Harrapan), Period 2 (early historical period) and period 3 ( Kushana Period).

Manda is considered the northernmost limit of the Harappan Civilisation. It is considered a site established to procure wood from Himalayan Sub hills and send it downriver to other towns of the Indus Valley Civilisation.

Many artefacts like pre-Harrapan redware, dishes, goblets, terracota bangles were excavated from this site.

6. Semthan, Bijbihara

The excavation at Semthan started in 1977 by the Archaeological survey of India. However the full fledged and systematic work was carried out from 1981to 1983 under the supervision of R.S Bisht.

The findings at Semthan bridged the gap between the Neolithic and the Kushana period in Kashmir”. Semthan has provided important evidence about three hitherto unknown cultures in the valley of Kashmir, the pre NBP, NBPW and the Indo-Greek.

It is assumed that earliest inhabitants of Semthan were living in hutments, and Blue pine might have been used as building material.

Discoveries at Semthan

  • Presence of cereals like, rice (oryzasativa), wheat (Triticumsphaerococcum) and barley (Hardeumvulgare) and pulses such as mung (Phaseolusaureus) and lentil (Lens culinaris) and hackberry (Cedrusdeodara) and walnut (Juglansregia).
  • Blue pine might have been used as building material and firewood.
  • Terra-cotta Fragment of a Horse, Headless Terra-cotta Figurine, A Damaged and Broken Terra-cotta Head of a Deity, Terra-cotta Head of a Soldier, A Human Terra-cotta Figurine, Terra-cotta Figure of a lion, A Terra-cotta Plaque Depicting Buddha Seated on the throne in Padmasana in dhyananmudra.

Read a detailed Research Paper about Semthan by my very able friend Dr. Reyaz here.

These were some important Archaeological sites in Jammu Kashmir. We are sure that you will find these details about the Archaeological sites of Jammu Kashmir useful and hope that you will share them with your friends.

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