Srinagar, Apr 03: The state chapter of the Archeological Survey of India is yet to recover nine precious terracotta tiles that had gone missing from the ancient Buddhist site at Harwan here in 1989.
Historians claim that these nine terracotta tiles have been of immense archaeological value and dated back to third to fourth century.
“The tiles with figural and symbolic forms are various precious and dated back to 3rd-4th century AD. It represented an independent local artistic tradition and depicted a high degree of sophistication,” Author and Historian, Khalid Bashir Ahmad told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said that no traces of these terracotta tiles have been known yet with concerned department “doing less” in recovering them.
“The related norms suggested that historical artifacts should be kept in a museum at the place of its discovery. Even I filed an RTI in this regard, but it wasn’t responded to by the concerned department,” Ahmad said.
“Harwan site belongs to ASI where from they took maximum number of such historical representations to other places,” Ahmad added.
Harwan identified with these terracotta tiles is believed to be the Centre of the fourth Buddhist Council held during the reign of Kanishka.
The antiquities found include terracotta figures, and fragments of Buddha image and a few clay tablets bearing miniature stupa in relief.
Ahmad earlier also sought the recovery of the mammoth fossils traced at Galandhar, Pampore in 2000, which has been illegally taken and kept at display in Jammu University.
Later Governor, N N Vohra called for report from University over the stolen mammoth fossil.
Director Archeology, Archives and Museums, Mohammad Shafi Zahid, said that these artifacts were lying with the ASI in different museums outside the state.
He said they were in a process to recover them to keep them at display in Srinagar museum.
“They have not been stolen but are lying with ASI in New Delhi and some are here as well. In Srinagar Museum we have some 10 to 30 such tiles. They have agreed to return some artifacts of Burzhama on an extended loan basis,” Zahid said.
He said that the way to ensure return of all these precious artifacts will also be chalked out.