After digging five metres deep and hitting the natural gravel (kankar), the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has called off the gold hunt at Daudiya Khera village in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, which it was virtually coerced to undertake.
The ASI could not find even an ounce of gold after painstaking excavation spread over 12 days.
It is now up to union minister of state for agriculture and food processing Charan Das Mahant, seer Shobhan Sarkar and the Geological survey of India (GSI) to find the gold treasure of Raja Ram Bux Singh in Daudiya Khera village of Unnao and keep alive the hope of millions of Indians.
Holding on to this view perhaps, the GSI has not given up hope and has suggested the ASI another area at a site closer to the river Ganga for trial excavation.
Subsequently, the ASI has dug a new trench and it has also been laid-out with proper cleaning of the surface and the digging would take place from Wednesday.
“But we are looking for cultural deposits also at the site. We are hopeful of finding cultural deposits of missing period at the site to fill in the missing gaps,” said an ASI official.
Declaring the end of excavation at the present site of Daudiya Khera, director general of ASI, Pravin Srivastava, stuck to the official line and said the decision to excavate the site was based on the findings of the GSI, and not on the dreams of a seer, that had indicated presence of metal at the site with the help of scientific instruments.
However, the ASI’s excavation has not gone in total vain. The excavation has established a new historical age of the site by taking it back by seven to eight hundred years. Founder of the ASI Alexander Cunningham had marked Duadiya Khera as 7th century AD after finding evidence of Ayomukh, a township that existed during Emperor Harshavardhan era.
“The current excavation establishes historical age of the area to 1st century BC. We have found black-ware and red-ware pottery belonging to the Shunga and Kushan period. By that stretch, it is an important excavation as it takes back the historical age by at least eight centuries from the established age of 7th century
AD,” said B R Mani, additional DG of ASI.
The ASI findings also include glass bangles, iron nails, fragmentary miniature stone figures of lion, terracotta beads and burnt brick structures belonging to different eras. The ASI will close the site for excavation on Wednesday or the day after once it completes the remainder work.