MARDAN - Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan Archaeology Department has discovered a 1,000-year-old village at Mian Khan area of tehsil Katlang, Mardan.

"This village is the oldest area in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province," Abid-ur-Rehman, Field Director and Muhammad Ashfaq, Field Officer, told The Nation during a visit to the site. Javed Ali, Field Assistant accompanied by Amir Zeb and Riaz Khan, senior master students of the Tourism Department, AWKUM and Abid Mahmood, Media In-charge AWKU, were also present on the occasion.

They said the staff of AWKU started archaeological excavations on May 2, 2014 at the site of Koi Tangay Kandaray located at the Mian Khan Village of Tehsil Katlang, Mardan under the supervision of Prof Dr Ihsan Ali, a well-reputed archaeologist, aimed at finding out the cultural profile of the area and to unearth hidden treasure which will be displayed at AWKUM Museum and to train students and researchers on various field techniques. "The Mian Khan village itself is very well known to the world in terms of archaeological and historical importance," they added.

In 1962, late Prof Ahmad Hasan Dani's excavation at Sanghao Cave which is located in the Mian Khan Village revealed the earliest evidence of mankind in the whole Khybar Pakhtunkhwa province dating back to 40,000 years before present. "It means that this village is the oldest in the whole province," Abid-ur-Rehman told. "So keeping in view the historical importance of the area, we started excavations and in our one and half month progress reached up to Indo-Greeks level (190 BC)," he added.

Abid-ur-Rehman said that the chronology we developed so far is Mughal on top followed by Hindu Shahi's then Sythians, Kushans and lastly the Indo-Greeks where Demetrious coin was found. Among recovered antiquities a total of 243 coins, stucco Buddha head, stucco panel pieces, headless sculpture, pieces of stone panels, ear ring, finger ring, potsherds, bones and iron objects found. The chemical analysis of all coins and other metal objects are under examinations of the department of Chemistry, AWKUM. This process will allow us at one side to shape the final report of this excavations and another side this will open new ways for researchers to look into the material evidence and evaluate the past. This excavation will continue for couple of months. So students, scholars and researchers are requested to join us and explore the past glories.

Farhad Ali Khawar, who is working on Mardan history, told that it was a town of a big city of Mora, which belongs to the Aryan period. He added that during the visit of Sikandari Azam this village was settled. He said that during the excavation coins of that Aryan period were also found.