8th century inscription discovered in West Bengal's Purulia district

Archaeologists from University of Calcutta have found an 8th Century inscription in a village in West Bengal’s Purulia district.

8th century inscription discovered in West Bengal's Purulia district
An inscription, dating back to 8th Century carved out on a piece of rock found 
in West Bengal's Purulia district [Credit: The Hindu]
The inscription running into four lines was found from Dhuluri village on the corner of a long stretch of rock surface surrounded by dense vegetation and beyond the habited area of the village, Rajat Sanyal, Assistant Professor of the Department of Archaeology, University of Calcutta, told The Hindu.

The rock is located in the Saturi block of the district on the banks of a local rivulet emerging from the Damodar.

“A study of the characteristic features of the inscription suggests that the short epigraph is carved in an unusual and extremely calligraphic Siddhamatrka script. The only other example of such an inscription is datable to the 6th Century [C.E.] and found in the Sushnia hills in adjoining Bankura district,” he added.

So far the archaeologists have only been able to decipher one line of the inscription that reads ‘sriyuvaraja’ which may be referring to a crown prince.

“The first line has been deciphered with help from Professor Arlo Griffiths [an Indology expert] and efforts are on complete its decipherment,” Prof Sanyal said.

“This is the earliest dated inscription found in Purulia region and once completely deciphered it can shed new light on the early- medieval history of the region,” said Bishnupriya Basak, assistant professor of the university’s Department of Archaeology.

The inscription was actually spotted by a local school teacher, Madhab Mondal, who informed Saturi’s block development officer Dibyendu Sekhar Das.

Decaying

Mr. Das informed the team of archaeologists that visited the village. As the rock surface containing the inscription is fast decaying, archaeologists have urged local authorities to take measures for its preservation.

The rock surface spans over 200 metres but the inscription covers only about a feet and cannot be removed.

Within the Dhuluri village, the archaeologists have also spotted ruins of an ancient stone temple and many stone sculptures from apparently the same historical period.

Author: Shiv Sahay Singh | Source: The Hindu [August 24, 2014]

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