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Archaeologists start research on culture of ancient Swat

MINGORA: To understand the lifestyle, fashion and technological use in vitreous materials, ornamental culture and ceramics used in the ancient Swat, international archaeologists launched different research studies in Swat.

The international archaeologists from the universities of Italy and United Kingdom have launched three different researches with the scientific agreement between the Italian Archaeological Mission in Pakistan (ISMEO) and the KP Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, with the aim to understand the use of technology, material, types and techniques in ceramics, ornamental stone beads, glass beads, bangles and other material used by the ancient people from Achaemenids to Kushanas living in the ancient Swat.

Professor Ivana Angelini from the Department of Cultural Heritage in the University of Padova, Italy, along with another scholar Cinzia Bettineschi said that they undertook the vitreous materials from Barikot in the framework of the Indo-Pakistani and Mediterranean glass technology and trade routes.

“The aim is to understand the evolution of this high-status craft, in terms of typology of the materials, compositional recipes and working/production techniques,” they told this correspondent.

They said that the ornamental objects from Swat showed a wide variability of colours, shapes and technological solutions which testified early contacts with the Mediterranean basin, but also a noticeable local taste in the choice of the most widespread typologies of bangles, beads and pendants.

Another researcher Mubariz Ahmad Rabbani, who has undertaken his PhD research on the stone beads of Barikot from the University of Reading, UK, said that he was investigating, for example, how the beads were manufactured and how they developed across at that periods.

“I am also trying to find out how the inhabitants of Barikot used the beads to adorn themselves and how they used them to express their identity.Gandharan beads especially from Swat have never been scientifically and comprehensively studied before. Thus this study will shed light on a presently unexplored chapter of Gandharan archaeology,” he said.

He added that the study would eventually highlight that Gandhara was indeed an important centre of international connections, diversity, openness and learning.

At the same time two young researchers, Emanuele Lant and Irene Caldana of the Padova University under the supervision of Prof Massimo Vidale have undertaken a research study on the ceramics of Aligrama Swat.

They said that their research was focused on typological study of the ceramics from Aligrama site which was excavated from 1966 to 1983.

The researchers thanked KP Archaeology and Museum Department director Abdul Samad and curator of Swat Museum Faizur Rahman for assisting them in their researches.

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