BHANBHORE: Why would the Italians opt to excavate Bhanbhore?
Prof Valeria Piacentini, the head of the mission of archaeology from Italy, spoke to The Express Tribune about their decision to excavate Bhanbhore. “Personally, when I started here, I was looking for a harbour town,” she said. “Bhanbhore surely is a picnic spot.”
She shared that initially, she never thought that she would come to Bhanbhore as she was involved with archaeology and excavation in Makran years ago.
“All the details about this town that I got were given in or written in Persian and Arabic,” she said. However, it was her years-old, solid association with Kaleemullah Lashari, who helped her with the service. “In 2010, Lashari, as the secretary of archaeology, proposed to me to resume my work in Bhanbhore.”
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Findings on Bhabhore
Talking to The Express Tribune, Prof Piacentini disclosed some rare facts that she discovered during the last four years of her work in the area. “I have found out that this place was raided by nomadic tribes who were led by Mongols during the era of [the] Sasanian Empire,” she said.
She went on to lament that her findings have led her to believe that the then people of Bhanbhore left the place and took refuge near the water of the Indus Delta. “These people got raided and plundered and the Mongols [left this town] loaded with booty,” she shared. “This town thence began to decay and dwellers left for Ranikot area, practically making it almost dead.” However, the ruins stand tall, giving some glimpses of history at the museum, which gives details via pottery about the natives of this town, she added.
Prof Piacentini is a member of the board of directors of the Research Centre on the Southern System and Wider Mediterranean. She has been part of many archaeological missions and is an effective member of the joint Pakistan-French-Italian historical and archaeological research project at Bhanbhore.
The trip was organised under the collaborative efforts of the Sindh culture ministry and the Italian consulate.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2016.