After 12 days of digging, no gold yet in treasure hunt

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New Delhi: After 12 days of digging for gold on the basis of a seer’s dream, archaeological excavations have not found any gold trace yet in the bizarre hunt for 1,000 tonnes of the yellow metal supposed to be buried under the ruins of a 19th century fort in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.

Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) ASI Director General Pravin Srivastava said the digging area is now planned to be widened but clarified that the excavation work by his 12-member team has not been stopped.

The excavation work for gold at the fort of former king Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh in Daudia Kheera village has reached a depth of 4.8 metres and yielded only pottery and artefacts supposed to be dating back to first century BC, he said.

“The Archaeological excavation is restricted between the space of two parallel brick wall and continued upto the depth of 4.80 metres below the surface. It has reached a level of kankar (gravel) formation in part of the trench which actually started from 4.60 metres,” Srivastava told reporters here.

He said now subject preparation for photographs and drawings of the trench was in progress.

“We are also planning to extend the area of digging in the same trench, after removing the structure of the bricks wall,” he said adding, excavation is not like boring work, it has to be done meticulously.

He said a team of Geological Survey of India with the consultation of the ASI officials at the site has suggested another area at the site close to river Ganga for trial excavation.”Accordingly, a new trench XA2 has also been laid-out with proper cleaning of the surface and the digging would take place from tomorrow,” he said.

The ASI DG said that few sherds of Black slipped ware, a sherd of Northern Black polished ware along with Red ware sherds of early historical periods were found.

The antiquities that have been recovered so far from this trench includes glass bangles, iron nails, hopscotch (game), fragmentary miniature stone figure of lion, and terracotts arecanut shaped beads.

Also burnt brick structures like Lakhauri-brick wall, burnt brick wall (1.46 metre long) having Brick Size — 47 x 24 x 6.75 cm — Burnt brick wall (0.97 metre long ) having Brick Size -– 48 x 24 x 6.75 cm and two hearthS have been foundso far.

The artefacts belong to first century BC, seventh century AD, 17th and 19th century AD, Srivastava said.

He claimed that excavation work was being done “on the basis of the GSI’s report and considering the potential of the site.”

The work started after cleaning the area as suggested by the GSI experts. The proposed trenches was then laid out and the digging started from October 18, he added.

The gold rush was triggered after a seer Shoban Sarkar claimed that the Raja had appeared to him in a dream and told him that 1,000 tonnes of gold lay buried in the ruins of his fort.

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