Bhubaneswar: An excavation at Durgadevi in Remuna tehsil of Balasore district has led archaeologists of Odisha, to discover a fortified early historic site with traces of belonging from three phases of cultural deposits from Chalcolithic–Bronze, Iron and Urban Culture.
The Odishan Institute of Maritime & South East Asian Studies (OIMSEAS) got permission for the excavation from the Archaeological Survey of India and conducted the first phase of excavation from March to May 5.
The Durgadevi excavation has helped archaeologists to trace the cultural evolution of the region from 2000 BC to 100 BC, a history of around 2000 years.
The site is located 20 kms from Balasore town bordering Mayurbhanj district. The Durgadevi site has a circular mud fortification of about 4.9 kilometers in circumference in between the river Sona on south and the Budhabalanga on its north-eastern margin.
The archaeologists of OIMSEAS conducted the excavation with an aim to correlate the simultaneous growth and development of maritime activities, and urbanisations in East Coast of India linking Ganga valley in North and Mahanadi Valley in Central Odisha, more particularly to focus upon on the early cultural development in northern Odisha.
They carried out horizontal excavation in two acres of high land area where a cultural deposit of about 4 to 5 meters was seen. In the first phase of work, scientific archaeological digging was carried out in the selected trenches which went up to 2.6 meter.
Three cultural phases were discovered during the excavation at the site, the Chalcolithic (2000 to 1000 B.C.), Iron Age (1000 to 400 B.C.) and Early Historic Period (400 to 200 B.C.) which means 4000 to 2000 years from now.
Stating that it is an important discovery, archaeologist Dr Sunil Kumar Patnaik, Secretary, OIMSEAS said, “The result of the excavation is fantastic. For the first time we have discovered traces of three cultural phases Chalcolithic–Bronze, Iron and Urban Culture from one site.”
“We have never discovered such a site having the remnants of three phases depicting the social development of the regions. Here in one site we have found the history of around 2000 years,” he said.
Patnaik believes that the site will add a new chapter in the foundation of Odishan History.
During the excavation remnants like black on red painted pottery, black slipped ware, copper objects, terracotta sling balls, hopscotch along with iron objects like nails, arrow head, crucible, slag of various kinds, course grey ware, fine and super fine grey ware, terracotta ear studs, bangles, beads, hopscotch stopper, gamesman, terracotta wheels and some conical objects among other objects were found.
The base of a circular hut is the major discovery from the Chalcolithic period in the site.
The archaeologists have sent the samples discovered from the site for carbon dating to know the exact date of the findings and the site through AUC, Inter – University Accelerator Centre, New Delhi. The second phase of the excavation is likely to take place from October.