Pack up at Unnao if ASI hits natural soil in 2nd trench

Nearly a month of digging for gold, spurred by the dream of seer Shobhan Sarkar who claimed 1,000 tonnes of yellow metal was lying buried beneath the ruins Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh's fort at Daundiya Kheda village in Unnao district of UP, will end soon as ASI has failed to find any treasure.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials are yet to find any trace of gold in a second trench they started digging after hitting natural soil in the first one at a depth of 6 metres. They have found some artefacts — pottery and bones — of archaeological importance and will stop digging if they hit natural soil in the new trench, which has already reached a depth of 4.6 metres, said PK Mishra, superintending archaeologist, Lucknow Circle, ASI.

The ASI had started a second trench adjacent on November 1. "We will dig till we find natural soil and then stop the excavation work at the site," Dr Syed Jamal Hasan, Director (Exploration and Excavation), ASI said.

Hasan said one the excavation stops, the team will shift the artefacts to ASI's Lucknow office to analyse them in detail. "It may take another one month to prepare the preliminary report on the excavation," he said.

He reiterated that the excavation was not launched based on the reports of Geological Survey of India (GSI). "We look for man made things and our research is based on surface findings, whereas GSI looks for natural things like rocks and minerals. The GSI report is not the basis of our excavation," he said.

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