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LAHORE: An archaeology team of the Punjab University has found 'authentic' artifacts that have suggested the historic Talajah Fort in Soon Valley was built around 2,000 years ago instead of 5,000 years. The artifacts came to light when an archaeology team of the PU Khushab chapter recently started work on the outskirts of tehsil Nowshera to discover archaeological and historical sites, artifacts and developing tourist points.

Punjab Archaeology Department Chairman Dr Muhammad Hameed said that according to local traditions, Talajah Fort was built 5,000 years ago but according to the preliminary research it was about 2,000 years old. He said the architecture of the houses and the artifacts discovered in Talajah Fort gave traces that the Muslim population was settled there.

"It is a presumption that archaeological and historical sites before the Muslim era in South Asia can also be discovered from Talajah Fort," Dr Hameed said in a statement issued on Sunday. He added that according to local tradition, Muslims lived in the Fort before the arrival of Jalaluddin Khwarazm, the ruler of Central Asia.

"An authentic statement can be possible after excavation and research of the residential block and rest of the city located at 22-acre of land in Talajah Fort," he said, adding that the discovery of the Fort can reveal many facts for the archaeologists besides promoting tourism.

According to Dr Hammed, the research team has also discovered engraved manuscript on the stone of Mehmood Ghaznavi era during an excavation in Nandana Fort. Commenting on the matter, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said in a statement that discovery and preservation of thousands of years old archaeological and historical sites in Punjab are being carried out. "As a result of archaeologists' successful expedition, thousands of year's old authentic artifacts have been discovered from Talajah Fort in Soon Valley," he added.

According to the CM, the discovery of archaeological and historical sites and artifacts will help them in making Punjab "a tourism hub". He said the discovery of archaeology will attract foreign tourists and researchers in Pakistan and the local economy will be boosted by promoting tourism in the province.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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