Ruins of an ancient temple, believed to be of the 7th century Salastambha dynasty (675 AD -725 AD) in Assam, have been discovered by the archaeological department during excavation at Jokai, 15 km from Dibrugarh town.
A 4-member team led by technical officer Nabajit Deori from the Directorate of Archaeology, Guwahati with the help of 25 locals has been excavating at the site at Jokai Thangaon since December 26, 2017 after locals chanced upon pieces of some ancient structures while digging in the area.
In one bigha of land the four-member team started digging at the site after getting the information that ancient ruins of temples were spotted in the place.
On Tuesday, the excavation team managed to retrieve three stone sculptures from the site.
Several silver coins, silver jewellery, clay plates, pottery items, utensils and a wall of stone and bricks has been found during the excavation.
Nabajit Deori, technical head of the Directorate of Archaeology, Guwahati said, “We have got report that ancient ruins of temples were spotted in the place and we have decided to start digging in the particular area.”
“The excavation process is still going on a plot of land spread over 1 bigha of land,” he added.
Deori also said, “So far, we have found several ancient relics from the site. It is a very ancient temple. We have dug out three stone idols which we believe to be from the 7th century. The Salastambha dynasty was in power in ancient Kamrupa (modern day Assam) during that period. The relics bears impressions of both Salastambha as well as the Ahom era.”
He further said that they will have to conduct carbon dating to know the exact period.
“We have also found some British-era coins. We are expecting more discoveries in the area,” he said.
He added that it would be a great achievement for the people of Assam.
Chandana Goswami, Professor of History at DHSK College said, “It’s a proud moment for the people of Dibrugarh because we will connect the past through this ruins. Many dynasties ruled over Assam before the Ahom period. We should preserve such sites.”
“Before the Ahom dynasty many kingdoms ruled in Assam and already many of the ruins related to the kingdom were discovered from many places of Assam. This discovery will open new things to know about the kingdom. We are very much hopeful that we will find more ruins from the site,” Deori added.
According to historians, the Salastambha dynasty ruled in ancient Assam from 675 AD to 725 AD.
Avanti Varman, also known as Salastambha, was the founder of the dynasty.
On the other hand, the Ahom dynasty founded by Chaolung Siu-Ka-Pha ruled Assam for almost 600 years from 1228 AD to 1826 AD.