No sign of gold, ASI stops Unnao digging

ASIThe ASI on Monday began filling the two trenches it dug in the ruins of the fort of Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has stopped the excavation it started at Daundiya Kheda village in Unnao on October 18 after local seer Shobhan Sarkar claimed a treasure was hidden at the site.

The ASI on Monday

began filling the two trenches it dug in the ruins of the fort of Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh.

The excavation, however, established that the site, so far known to have historical evidence till the Kushan period (first century AD), also has relics of a period at least till 8th century BC.

"The work has been completed. The most important finding of the excavation is that the site holds relics of a period up to at least 8th century BC," said Syed Jamal Hasan, Director (Exploration and Excavation).

He said the ASI had drawn the conclusion based on potteries found at the site.

"The exact date of the potteries and other evidence can be arrived at only after a closer examination," Hasan said, adding, "The excavation was not for gold. The significance of the site is archaeological."

He said after the trenches are filled in the next few days, the archaeologists would return to their Lucknow office and start examining the evidence. "We expect a preliminary report on the excavation in a week or ten days, though a detailed report will take time," said Hasan.

Meanwhile, Shobhan Sarkar and his disciples said after the ASI gives them in writing that it is closing the excavation, the seer would use his own resources to find the "treasure" within 48 hours. Sarkar has refused to disclose the exact location of the "treasure" unless he is promised it will be deposited in Reserve Bank of India.

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