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Further in 1964-65 also the excavation were carried out in different areas namely in BSN-1, BSN-3, and BSN-4. The objectives of the present season's work, however, were three-fold :

  • To ascertain the nature and extent of the chalco-lithic deposit, already revealed by surface-indications;
  • To lay bare the plan of the temple adjacent to the Heliodoros pillar; and
  • To find out the extent of the massive wall exposed last year in cutting BSN-1.

With the discovery of the chalcolithic deposits in cuttings BSN-1 and BSN-4, the incidence of the cultures at Besnagar is now complete.

The chalcolithic phase (Period I) is characterized by the use of black-painted red and black-and-red wares, short microlithic blades, mostly on crystalline quartz and a terracotta bead with incised decoration. A few sherds of grey ware, two of them belonging undoubtedly to the well-known Painted Grey Ware, came from the upper levels of the deposit, thereby suggesting contemporaneity, at least in that region, of the early phase of the Painted Grey Ware with the later phase of the chalcolithic culture.

Of the structural remains exposed this season, the following are noteworthy:

In the cutting BSN-1, the massive wall excavated last year was further exposed to-wards the north and the south to a length of 63 m. and to an average width of 3.75 m. Originally built of dry rubble-masonry, it was provided with passages and drains and was twice rebuilt in brick with supporting buttresses. More than half a dozen large-sized stone-balls, recovered from either side of the wall and used perhaps as sling-stones, may perhaps indicate its function also as some sort of a defence-wall, besides an enclosure-wall of a palace-complex. Two ring-wells, of which one has already been reported last year, were encountered in the strata of Period III (the Northern Black Polished Ware phase). Of the finds obtained from this cutting, a number of punch-marked and Kshatrapa coins from the Maurya, Sunga and Kshatrapa deposits and a fragmentary terracotta image housed in a shrine, ascribable to the Gupta period (Period-VI) are note-worthy.

At BSN-3, the discovery of the plan of a temple, represented by two rows of grooves in an elliptical outline with a passage in between serving as the prada-kshina-potha, is an important landmark in the history of Indian architecture. A detailed study of the plan of the grooves and the post-holes, besides iron nails and rings, would show that the superstructure of the temple must have been made largely of timber. The outer groove was found to project forward to form an antarala in front of the garbhagriha facing east. This temple was destroyed some time by the close of the third century B.C. Two small sherds of the N.B.P. Ware and six punch-marked coins were recovered from the floor of this complex which, however, did not yield any cult-object.

In the next phase, the temple was marked by a brick platform on a raised plinth, retained by free-built rubble-walls, the core being made up of clay filling. Remains of some brick-built structures, contemporary with the retaining-wall, were also exposed. Stratigraphically, the Heliodoros pillar standing nearby and a portion of the stone railing, exposed in an earlier excavation by D. R. Bhandarkar, belonged to this phase. The retaining-walls on all the sides lean outwards, as a result, perhaps, of a thrust from inside due to water-stagnation.

At BSN-4, two trial-trenches excavated this year revealed, besides a large quantity of chalcolithic pottery, a small baked-brick structure belonging to Period III, perhaps a furnace with plenty of charred wheat, charcoal, burnt copper objects and pottery. It con-firms the occurrence of a large-scale conflagration postulated last year in BSN-1. The Sunga period (Period IV) was represented by a 18-cm. thick floor composed of successive layers of pebbles, brick-bats and lime-plaster. From the deposits of Period-V, only a Kshatrapa coin was recovered.

Further in 1975-76 the Circle resumed excavation at the site with a view: (i) to assessing the nature of the 1-50 km long fortification wall on the western side; and (ii) to confirming the overlap of the chalcolithic and the Painted Grey Ware cultures, noticed earlier.

The culturel sequence, obtained this season, was similar to the one found earlier, except that no chalcolithic pottery or Painted Grey Ware was encountered.

The excavation across the fortification wall, which protects the western side of the city (the other three sides being encircled by the rivers Betwa and Bes) revealed that it was constructed of boxes of rubble walls of 1-0 m width, filled with small rubbles, brick-bats and pebbles. The basal width of the fortification wall was 35 m. A number of large-sized stone balls, weighing 10 to 15 kg, probably used as missiles to be hurled against the enemy, were found during the excavation. The fortification wall is assigned to second century B.C.