Peshawar: The oldest living city of South Asia

PESHAWAR – Known as the oldest living city in South Asia with a documented history of 2,500 years old, Peshawar carries a unique distinction of being a custodian of eight to ten ancient civilizations including Gandhara, making it a centre of attraction for foreign and domes­tic tourists due to its unique archaeological sites and glorious history.

Famous for ancient Balahisar Fort and Qissa Khwani Bazaar, Peshawar was official­ly declared by the Archaeology Department as the ‘Oldest Living City’ in South Asia with its history goes back to 539BC.

Director Archaeology and Museums, Dr Abdul Samad Khan told mediamen that re­cent Gor Kathri’s scientific excavation has disclosed that Peshawar was the oldest liv­ing city in South Asia inhabited by the hu­mans with diversified culture, language and architecture. He said Gor Khatri excavation, architectural designs, food and languages have revealed that eight to ten ancient civili­zations existed in Peshawar.

The excavation at Gor Khatri, which con­tinued for several years and published in British Journal ‘Current World Archaeol­ogy’ titled `The deepest and biggest exca­vation in the world’ has revealed 20 layers that provide a complete profile of the Pe­shawar city ranging from British down to pre-Indo-Greek era.

The excavation discovered that Peshawar was a province of Persian Alchamenian Em­pire in four to six century BC and later came under the influence of Mauryans, Greeks, Scythians, Kushans, Sasanians, White Huns, Ghaznavis, Slave Dynasty, Ghoris, Suri Af­ghans, Mughals, Durrani, Sikhs and the British before the creation of Pakistan. Con­quered by Greeks and ruled by Buddhists, Peshawar had witnessed rebuilding by Brahmins, invaded by Ghaznavis, captured by Mughals, over run by Sikhs and annexed by British in succession.

Despite witnessing the onslaught of wor­riers, kings and invaders that marched from Afghanistan, Central Asian Republics to the Subcontinent through historic Khyber Pass, Dr Samad said that Peshawar’s remained in­tact and a centre of attractions for tourists and traders since its establishment.

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