February 14, 2016
Where the ancient city of Kapilvastu is located – India or Nepal? The fight over this claim is still going on and the two archaeological sites involved are: Tilaura Kot vouching for Nepal and Piprahwa from the Indian side. The third day of field trip was spent in getting familiar with these two sites.
The excavations at Tilaura Kot were going on at the time of visit. The team got a chance to meet Christopher Davis from Durham University who has worked on the geophysical survey of the site, a very important step before the actual digging on site. He gave a guided tour through the site for a while, explaining the nature of remains unearthing in the process of excavation. Other sites in close vicinity were also visited like Twin stupas, site where silver coin hoard was found and the site with remains of iron smelting.
The site in competition with Tilaura Kot on the other side of international border, Piprahwa was visited in the early evening. The nature of site was found to be monastic and very similar to the site of Nalanda Mahavihara with the peculiar distribution of monastic-cell along a central compound.
The other sites visited during the day were Nigali Sagar, Aurora Kot and Gothiawa. The first and the last site in order had broken pieces of Asokan pillar which were for a long time believed to be part of the same pillar. However, circumference measurements have proven otherwise. It is interesting to know how far Asokan pillars have their geographical spread.
Image credits: Shaashi Ahlawat
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