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Thursday, February 15, 2024

2300-year-old Buddhist temple, treasure discovered in Swat

According to reports, the temple is 2300 years old and is from the Buddhist period. Interestingly, archaeologists also discovered coins, an onyx-made seal, and many other pots and plates with ancient inscriptions on them. 

Archaeologists discover an Apsidal temple from the Buddhist period in Bazira area of Barikot Tehsil, Swat. According to reports, the well-preserved four-meter high temple is 2300 years old and is from the Buddhist period.

Interestingly, archaeologists also discovered coins, an onyx-made seal, and many other pots and plates with ancient inscriptions on them.

Ca’ Foscari University and Italian Archaeological Mission in collaboration with the provincial department of archaeology and museums discovered the ancient site.

Reacting to the news, Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Andreas Ferrarese expressed his excitement at the discovery to the media.

“It is so impressive to find something common between the archaeology of Pakistan and that of Italy. It is something that shows that even in antiquity we have a kind of globalization where people had an exchange of certain techniques and ideas of culture and religions which is astonishing,” he said

“The more we search for the past, the more we find that we have a future together,” he further added.

Read more: Pakistan pavilion to showcase its culture at Dubai Expo 2020

The Director of Italian Mission Prof Luca M Olivieri said the only other example of such an ancient structure is in a city at Sirkap, Taxila.

“This is an astonishingly important discovery as it attests a new architectural shape of Buddhist structure in Gandhara. We only have one other example of apsidal temple in a city at Sirkap, Taxila,” Prof Luca said.

“However, the apsidal temple of Bazira is so far the earliest example of this architecture in Pakistan,” he added.

Moreover, the discovery of the ancient Buddhist temple confirmed the presence of Buddhists since the third century in Swat.

Australia returns smuggled stone to Pakistan

Important to note, priceless cultural and historical artifacts are often found within Pakistan. Earlier, Australia returned an illegally smuggled Bronze Age iconic artifact to Pakistan.

Interestingly, smugglers illegally excavated the stone in Balochistan. Later, an Australian resident purchased the artifact from a seller in the US. As a result, the seller then imported the artifact to Australia in July 2020.

However, Australian Border Force (ABF) intercepted the artifact and found out that it belonged to Pakistan as an authentic cultural heritage.

Read more: Australia returns smuggled precious stone to Pakistan