Often referred to as a paradise unexplored, northeast India is indeed a culturally and historically rich territory, a treasure trove for explorers, nature lovers, trekkers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. A team of archaeologists from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) just proved just how unexplored it really is a few days ago, however. The team excavated seemingly mysterious structures at Vangchhia, in the Champai district of Mizoram, which they hold to believe may belong to a city that comprised of a much greater and lost civilisation that might have once existed there.
Vangchhia is overrun with lush forests and hills, located near the Myanmar border. As reported by The North East Today, the team has documented over fifty structures at Vangchhia, Mizoram’s only ASI-protected site. The excavation project was undertaken after the Director General of ASI visited the site in November 2015, with the objective to study structures that have floral, animal and human depictions on them.
"We were exploring what lay beneath the bushes and thick foliage. The entire site could hold traces of a lost city or a greater lost civilization. It is amazing to stumble upon so many things. We need more time and research to reach a final conclusion," said Sujeet Nayan, Assistant Superintending archaeologist at Archaeological Survey of India Delhi and Director of the excavation at Vangchhia. The excavation ended on Wednesday, and fragments of charcoal and pottery that were collected are being sent to specialised laboratories for carbon dating and further scientific analysis.
The archaeological team came across burial sites that looked like water pavilions and terraces, resembling palatial buildings. Made of big stones, the average height of each terrace ranged from ten to twenty five feet. "The terraces might have served as burial sites, but this can't be ascertained as of now," Nayan said. "There are nine terraces. We explored around eight. We also found evidence of what seems to be a water pavilion. We presume people here liked their environment and the water pavilion is comparable to those found in Mughal structures," he added further.
Nayan stated that this was one of the most important archaeological finds of the present time and it held the key to hitherto-unknown facts about the northeast, and we couldn’t agree more. The team is said to return soon to the site for further research and study, and we’re excited to see what else might be discovered about these people when they do.
Words: Sara Hussain