Archeologists discovered a large Buddhist complex in the Najigram area of Swat district of KPK province dating back to the Kushan era which believed to be an important archeological finding.
Archaeologists consider it to be the largest complex of its kind found so far in the region and is estimated to be at least 2,000 years old resembling the Kushan-era architecture.
The gouging was first initiated during the 1930s by Italian experts who soon abandoned the project due to limited resources.
However, in 1955 another Italian mission visited the site and declared it very important and large in size. The complex is placed around 25 kilometers away from Mingora city in Aabba Sahib Cheena village in the Najigram area.
A vihara has also been unearthed which is a stupa with two minarets or towers. Utensils have been found made of clay but not burnt in an oven.
“This is the only Buddhist site discovered so far which has four stupas located in one area, a huge hall, dwelling units, and a monastery. There are chapels that have Buddhist statues in it,” said archaeologist Dr. Ashraf.
“The importance of the site has been recorded in scores of historical journals like East and West Journal published from Rome and in the writings of famous archeologists of Italy,”
“It was first discovered in the 1930s and in December 2020 we started work on it again and we are astonished to see the outcome,” he said.
The archaeologists have also claimed that the discovery of the 1st century intact murals from a Buddhist site in Swat was a landmark achievement in the history of the Gandhara civilization in Pakistan.
They mentioned that the discovery of the murals was a breakthrough in Buddhist archaeology and was of immense importance.
“It showed that about 2000 years ago, residents of this area were using the fresco painting techniques. Thanks to the archeologists that they discovered the murals intact. There is no other example here in Gandhara of finding intact paintings,” he said.
Mr. Samad said that apart from the murals, rare Kharosthi script inscriptions and coins have also been discovered by the archaeologists and that most often the archaeologists developed the dating on the stylistic basis of the art in Buddhists sites.
But, for the first time, the development of the dating of the Buddhist site was carried out on the basis of artifacts, coins, inscriptions, and paintings during the scientific excavation of the site.