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The Archaeological Survey of India brings out a variety of publications since its inception, both annual and special with subject matters ranging from archaeological researches in excavations, explorations, conservation,special with subject matters ranging from The Archaeological Survey of India brings out a variety of publications since its inception, both annual and special with subject matters ranging from archaeological researches in excavations, explorations, conservation,special with subject matters ranging from The Archaeological Survey of India brings out a variety of publications since its inception, both annual and special with subject matters ranging from archaeological researches in excavations, explorations, conservation,special with subject matters ranging fromThe Archaeological Survey of India brings out a variety of publications since its inception, both annual and special with subject matters ranging from archaeological researches in excavations, explorations, conservation,special with subject matters ranging fromThe Archaeological Survey of India brings out a variety of publications since its inception, both annual and special with subject matters ranging from archaeological researches in excavations, explorations, conservation,special with subject matters ranging from
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Excavations

Excavation at Pattadakal (Bachinagudda) (2004-2005):

I Excavation at Pattadakal (Bachinagudda)  (2004-2005):

In continuation of previous year work (2003-04), Dharwad Circle has resumed the excavation under the direction of S.V. Venkateshaiah, assisted by J. Varaprasada Rao, M. Kasturi Bai, Kishore Raghubans, Praveen Singh, Ramesh. S Athani, Basavaraj Byadagi,  Basavaraj Mayachari, Basavaraj Badigar and Sunil Kumar.   Some of the grids of last season’s excavation are continued in this year, in addition to the newly laid ones in Lower, Middle and Upper Terraces.  In the Lower Terrace, the old trench is extended towards west, north and east in order to expose the entire plan of the brick structure exposed last year along with peripheral activities.  In the Middle Terrace (MT.II), a part of the old trench was opened and extended by two more grids towards east in north south axis in order to study Megalithic habitation in larger area.  The Upper Terrace trench was also extended on west and north to understand the land use pattern during Early Historical period.  During this season, it is planned to lay test pits on the entire length of the mound at different intervals covering all the terraces to obtain quick results and to extend horizontally based on the potentiality of the localities.  In addition to the extension of the old trenches, three test pits (TP 4-6) in Lower Terrace, seven test pits (TP1 to TP7) in Middle Terrace (MT II) and two test pits (TP 1 and TP2) in Upper Terrace are laid.

Lower Terrace

In the previous season, a brick temple (early medieval) consisting of a Cell and a Sixteen Pillared Mandapa with an entrance platform on east, was unearthed on plan.  This structure has been further excavated to identify different phases of structural activity and other associated features like Nandi Mandapa, entrances, pillar bases and floors out side the temple.  It is found that the temple is further extending towards west and also northwest and east with some more additional structures, which requires further probing in the next season to finalize the phasing of the structure. 

Entrance Platform of the Temple
The partly exposed entrance feature of the temple has been further probed and uncovered the entrance brick platform with various phases.  The earliest entrance was concealed by the later additions that was exposed in a cut and fill feature, in the form of brick pavement laid abutting the eastern face of the mandapa wall with a pillar base on the northwest side.  Up on this, subsequently raised two rectangular steps of brick, enclosed by a brick wall.  Further, this feature was added on east by a single width brick retaining wall using brickbats as a core fill, there by enlarged the size of the entrance feature on east, north and south.  In due course, it was further extended towards east with two more similar retaining walls with a brick flooring on top.     The latest entrance platform (context No.1501) is rectangular in shape measuring 5.56 m (NS) and 4.40 m (EW) and consisted of 6 courses of bricks on its northern and eastern elevation, while the southern face of it was partly damaged and missing. The eastern face of the entrance platform is partly buried and unexcavated due to bund laid as a boundary to the field.  Out side the entrance, corresponding to developmental phases of the entrance, a series of rammed lime plaster floors was found. 

Rooms East of the Pillared Mandapa 

         Towards eastern side of the Mandapa and the entrance platform, encountered two brick rooms belonging to two different phases. The early phase room (1534) seems to be contemporary with the first phase of the entrance feature and existed prior to the construction of the buttress wall of the mandapa.  It was located 3.90m east of the mandapa wall. The later phase room (1353) seems to have been built during phase 3 of entrance platform and after the construction of the buttress wall.  The complete plan of the rooms could not be excavated due to the boundary of agriculture field.  These rooms must have existed in front of the mandapa in different phases, perhaps served a common purpose like entrance room or meant for entrance deity, which may be revealed in future excavation.  

Nandi Mandapa
Towards the eastern end and in the nave portion of the Mandapa, was built a rectangular rammed platform bordered by a brick wall (Nandi Mandapa). The inner area of the platform was packed and rammed with stone pebbles and brickbats. The brick wall was built of full size bricks and preserved on the south (472), partly on the west (1436) with an extant of 5 courses and east (1520) and requires further probing of Nandi Mandapa.    It measures 4.92 m in NS and 4.00 m in EW. It was bonded with the mandapa wall on the eastern side indicating its contemporaneity with the mandapa. Presently there was a big tamarind tree occupying in the center of the platform, which prevented probing of the other associated features. 

Entrance to the Cell (Garbhagriha)
Entrance feature was provided at the center of the eastern wall of the Cell and shows two phases of activity. The early phase entrance (1425) had two steps flanked by balustrades on either side. The entrance was renovated by adding two more steps and also raising the height of the balustrade in late phase (465). Each tread had two courses of bricks. The entrance feature measures 1.78m in north south and 1.16m in east west direction.

Enclosure wall

This enclosure wall seems to have been built attached to the western wall (back wall) of the Cell on its northern and southern ends, when the back wall was collapsed. The evidence on the north west corner of the Cell shows that this enclosure wall was raised right up on the extant bottom most two courses of the damaged back wall, running from south to north and taken turn to west, while the evidence on the south west corner is lost due to cut and fill feature. These walls are partly preserved.  The extant length of southern wall (1446) measures 8.08 m x 1.10 m and the northern wall (1445) measures 3.13 m x 0.88 m while on the west, yet to be probed.   These walls are enclosing the square Chamber (1447) and the Pradakshanapatha.

Brick Chamber on western side of the Cell                 
Extension of the previous season’s trench on the western side unearthed a square brick Chamber (1447) measuring 2.45 x 2.55 m, behind the Cell (Garbhagriha) built in the same axis.  A test pit inside the above Chamber, exposed 9 extant courses of bricks laid in regular masonry.  The four corners of the Chamber were provided by a single brick width apron on its exterior as a support to the main wall and consisted of 7 courses of bricks from bottom to top. 
This square brick Chamber seems to have been enclosed by a brick enclosure wall and the latter is partly preserved.  As per the evidences revealed on the site, this chamber was built later than the Cell, when the back wall (western wall) of the Cell was collapsed.  The Cell could have served as a Garbhagriha in the early phase, which was damaged due to some calamity there by necessitated to build a new Garbhagriha (sanctum) towards further west in the same axis.  When the new sanctum was built, the floor level of the Cell and the Pradakshina patha around the new sanctum was raised with thick greyish brown clayey silty sand deposit. It seems the width of the Pradakshina patha around the sanctum was limited subsequently by laying stone pebble-packing (960, 1512, 1514 and 1515) with intermittent postholes as an enclosure in side the brick enclosure wall. This feature is yet to be probed.

Roof Tiles Deposit
During previous season excavation, out side the Mandapa wall on north, a scatter of roof tiles were encountered and left unexcavated.  This season, the dig is extended towards further north and exposed a large spread of roof tiles to an extent of 3.00 m in width, 25.00 m in length that indicates a tiled roof over the brick structure, which was collapsed later on. These roof tiles belong to the latest phase of the temple. Three varieties of tiles have been noticed and they are flat having bent at right angle on one end; while the other end shows either petal, pronged or square end and measures 22 x 14 x 2.5 cm.

Middle Terrace

Of the three localities the Middle Terrace (MT),  the  Locality 1 (MT.I) lies on the extreme southern slope, Locality 2 (MT.II) on the middle portion and Locality 3 (MT.III) on the extreme north of the mound.  Last year the Locality 2 (MT II) had yielded evidences for Megalithic habitation.  Hence this year (2005) more area is taken up for excavation by laying seven test pits to study the Megalithic settlement system in MT.II. 
In the Test Pits 2 and 3 encountered the Megalithic habitation levels with intact floors.  Later these two test pits were joined covering an area of 15m x 20m for horizontal digging.  After removal of the three surface deposits, encountered three major deposits running in northwest and southeast direction.  The western part of the excavated area was occupied by a thick, less compact pale grey clayey sandy silt deposit laid against the centrally occupied pebbly cobbly gravel deposit, the latter had the intrusions of weathered coarse sand/gravel of pinkish colour deposit. The eastern side was occupied by brown silty sand deposit laid abutting central  pebbly, cobbly gravel deposit.   The above deposits lying on west and east sides were stratigraphically later than the centrally occupied pebbly, cobbly gravel deposit. The pebbly cobbly gravel deposit was running in slightly northwest and southeast orientation and measuring 25.00m in length and width is yet to be determined. This feature was identified as a bund (1133), which was intentionally laid to store the rainwater that used to drain from the hill slopes on the west  (rain water harvesting). This bund measuring 15.00m was encountered further south in one of the grids at a distance of 42.5 m, there by the total extant length of the bund is calculated to 82.5 m.   
Some evidences belonging to the late phase of Iron age were encountered  in the southern side grids of TP.2 and 3 in the  form of fire places with vitrified clay and ash indicating some temporary episode features, wherein burnt bones and pottery were recovered. These occurrences were noticed on the intermittent deposits while laying the bund. This evidence confirms that the laying of the bund belongs to Late Megalithic phase. Two small terracotta anthropomorphic figurines are the significant finds from the late Megalithic levels, which recall the Megalithic burial practices.  In fact, this bund was raised right on the regular occupation deposits of the Megalithic period.  These deposits are yet to be excavated and studied in the next season.

Further north of test pits 1-3, just below the Upper Terrace, 4 test pits were laid (TP 4-7).  Test Pit 7 was subjected for vertical digging to find out the cultural sequence of the area.  The Test Pits 4, 5 and 6 were joined later on for horizontal digging measuring an area of 17.00m x15.00m, since these have yielded good evidences for early Historic habitation.   The results in the extended area include rammed floors with postholes making rectangular house plans, hearths, fireplaces, pits and dumps. There are 4 units of house plans arranged in such a way leaving a central courtyard for common usage.  Shallow pits were found cutting in to the floor and dumped with kitchen waste comprising of broken pots, broken bones of cattle, birds, fish and fresh water shells along with ash.  There are a good number of broken and full pots and bowls recovered from the pits. The pottery includes red, black, russet coated painted ware and black-and-red ware. The small finds include coins of uninscribed and inscribed belonging to Maharathis along with beads of semi precious stones and terracotta, bangles of shell and iron tools.

Upper Terrace

            This area is the highest point of the mound yielding evidences for Early Historical period.  During last season’s dig series of rammed floors were unearthed running in northwest and southeast direction covering the entire diagonal length of the trench.    These floors were raised repeatedly having different smith’s activities on either side.  The last year trench is extended on west and on north making 20.00m x16.00m trench to know different Early Historical activities.    In the present season (2005) the above series of rammed floors are reidentified as a road or pathway raised successively, based on the circumstantial evidence series.  On either side of the pathway or road encountered number of furnace activities yielding lime slags, iron slags/ore and vitrified clays with an evidence of intensive burning activity.  The extant length of the road measures 25.00 m having a width of 3.00 m.
Of the two test pits laid on this terrace towards further west, north west, the test pit 2 is excavated more than a meter, which has yielded scree with sub angular pebbly cobbly gravel indicating non-use of the surface during early Historical times.  The test pit 1 which is nearer to the old trench has yielded substantial evidence for Early Historical period in the form of floors with hearths and fire places, dumps and pits consisting of broken pots, lot of bones, ash and limestone slags.  The excavation is incomplete.
The Early Historical deposits have yielded uninscribed and inscribed lead and copper coins and a few silver punch marked coins.  A few names of new Maharathi kings have come into light in a stratified context, which can throw some light on the genealogy of the dynasty at this site.  Besides, beads of various semi precious stones, glass, shell and terracotta, shell bangles, couple of terracotta figurines and iron tools were obtained.  A half broken terracotta sealing is found with partly preserved inscription mentioning ‘Ma ha ra thi sa na ya …’.  A tiny terracotta locket depicting a round figure of a goddess in yoga mudra is worth mentioning found from Chalukyan levels.


   
 
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