With the publication of the Archeological Survey of India report on the excavations in Ayodhya, Archeology and religion have shot up in ratings. Here is a roundup of various articles:
“Dilip K. Chakrabarti”:http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_354171,00120001.htm, a lecturer in Archaeology, Cambridge University writes in Hindustan Times
bq. To cast a slur on the findings of what is undoubtedly the best and most dependable professional archaeological organisation in the country is an act of pure political expediency. Whatever we can accuse the ASI of, conscious falsification of data cannot be one of them.
He also has written about the history of Ayodhya from ancient times till 1856. Really worth reading.For those of us who could not read the long ASI report, here is the “sumBook Review: Pakistanof the report”:http://www.hvk.org/articles/0803/231.html. What does it say about if there was a temple underneath ?
bq. Now viewing in totality and taking into account the archaeological evidence of a massive structure jut below the disputed structure and evidence of continuity in structural phases from the tenth century onwards upto the construction of the disputed structure alongwith the yield of stone and decorated bricks as well as mutilated sculpture of divine coupe and carved architectural members including foliage patterns, amalaka, kapolapali doorjamb with semi-circular pilaster, broken octagonal shaft of black schist pillar, lotus motif, circular shrine having pranala (waterchute) in the north, fifty pillar bases association of the huge structure, are indicative of remains which are distinctive features found associated with the temples of north India.
But this report has been contested by historians “Irfan Habib and Suraj Bahn”:http://web.mid-day.com/news/nation/2003/august/62686.htm. There is lot of interesting discussion here was well, for example
bq. Habib points out lime mortar was used in the making of floors and bonding of bricks for the first time by the sultans of Delhi in the early 13th century.
bq. History books mention that lime mortar was used from the 2nd century BC in Stupa at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh. Nalanda in Bihar and Kausambhi in Uttar Pradesh are two well-known examples of lime-mortar use. The mixture was extensively used by Gahadval kings of 11th and 12th centuries in temples at Sarnath as well.
Now why would a historian like Irfan Habib, who was twice the chairman of ICHR and five times its member not know that lime mortar was used in India from as early as 2nd century BC ?
Answer coming up tomorrow.