Friday, October 19, 2007

Italian experts to explore parts of ancient Patliputra

Source: m&c

Patna, Oct 18 (IANS) A three-member Italian archaeologist team, in a joint collaboration with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), will explore the undiscovered parts of the ancient Patliputra, near moder-day Patna.

'Our thrust will be to study, explore and identify new sites related to ancient Patliputra,' Giovenni Veradi, an internationally acclaimed archaeologist, told IANS here Thursday.

'The team will seek financial assistance from Italian government to go ahead with its joint collaboration and to explore the sites,' he said.

Giovenni Veradi's latest excavation work at Gotinava in Nepal was lauded for its discovery of tracing the spread of Mauryan empire beyond India to Nepal and China.

The ASI is also upbeat to join hands with Italian archaeologists. 'It is going to be a big move to explore many more new facts about Patliputra,' said P.K. Mishra, superintendent archaeologist of the Patna circle.

It is widely believed by the experts that Patliputra was much bigger than what has been discovered till date.

'It is a hard fact that Patliputra remains one of the least explored of the ancient sites in India, ' Mishra said.

Mishra said that the fresh explorations assume much significance in view of the satellite images taken by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) last year.

Italian archaeologists are planning to study stone slabs and Arogya Vihar or hospital-cum-monastery at Kumrahar, six km from Patna.

Chinese scholars Hieun Tsang and Fa Hien have accounted the size and grandeur of the ancient Patiliputra. Megasthenese, the celebrated Greek ambassador in the court of Chandragupta Maurya, gave vivid accounts of Patilputra in his book 'Indica'.

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