Wari Bateshwar

 

wari-bateshwar3Wari-Bateshwar is the site of an ancient fort city dating back to 450 BC [1] situated in the north-eastern part of Bangladesh. This 2500 years old site is a significant archaeological discovery. It challenges the earlier notions about the existence of early urban civilisation in Bangladesh.

The site is about 75km from Dhaka situated near the Wari and Bateshwar villages in the Belabo Upazila of Narsingdi District. It was discovered in the early 1930s by a local school teacher, Hanif Pathan. However, formal excavation started only recently in 2000. The current scientific study is being carried out by a team from the Archaeology Department of Jahangirnagar University led by Professor Sufi Mostafizur Rahman.
Prof. Rahman believes that Wari-Bateshwar is the rich, well planned, ancient emporium (a commercial city) “Sounagora” mentioned by Greek geographer, astronomer, mathematician Ptolemy in his book Geographia [2]. The other emporia mentioned in Ptolemy’s work include Arikamedu of India, Mantai of Sri Lanka, Kion Thom of Thailand. All of these were the most ancient civilisations in their respective regions, each was a river port, and all of them produced monochrome glass beads. The artifacts found at Wari-Bateshwar bear similarity with those found in the other emporia sites.
According to researchers, the discovery of Rouletted Ware, Knobbed Ware, stone beads, sandwiched glass beads, gold-foil glass beads, Indo-Pacific monochrome glass beads and importantly its geographical location indicates to Southeast Asiatic and Roman contacts

Excavation also unearthed the presence of pit-dwelling. The discovery of a pit-dwelling is the first of its kind in Bangladesh. People used to live in these small ditches. The pit-dwelling is a Copper Age or Chalcolithic artifact. Similar pit-dwellings have been found in India and Pakistan which are believed to be 4000 years old. The unearthing of a 180-meter long, six-meter wide and 21-35cm thick road with a by-lane points to very early urbanisation in this area. Before the discovery of this, the widely held view was that urbanisation occurred later than what Wari-Bateshwar ruins indicate.

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