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Chhattisgarh’s Tarighat was earliest urban centres in country

RAIPUR: Age-old artefacts found 20 foot below the surface at a recently discovered 2500-year-old ancient city at Chhattisgarh\'s Tarighat excavation site, has indicated it as one of the earliest urban centres in the country back in 2nd and 3rd century BC.

Not only was Chhattisgarh one of the richest trading centre but also a hot spot of affluent lifestyle. With the latest females terracotta figurines unearthed from site, archaeologists claim that women were fond of different hairstyles and rich costumes. Nearly 12 different sorts of hair styled women\'s figurines have been discovered which they combed with ivory from Tarighat, located 30 kilometres away from capital in Durg district.

The images carved in stone plaque showcases ancient residents\' affluent lifestyle being located at the international urban trading centre authenticated with Indo-Greek coins yielded from site.

Excavation director and archaeologist in culture department of Chhattisgarh, J R Bhagat said, \"Chhattisgarh was the earliest urban centres on bank of Kharun river like other discovered centres of Mathura, Hastinapur and Takshashila on the banks of river tributaries. Women of that era were fond of different hairstyles, jewellery and costumes. The figurines retrieved from Tarighat till now give clues about rich lifestyle of those people adorned with ornaments, who used to wear turbans.\"

More than 15 varieties of beads found in large number ranging above 2000 of unusual sizes, styles and shapes were retrieved recently which signifies that Chhattisgarh served as a significant beads manufacturing centre which is also called as lapidary centre and people used to trade them to different places, Bhagat said adding that it may be the place with maximum varieties of beads found till date.

Types of beads found are ghat, amalak, cylindrical and round-shaped. Pendants, ornaments, bangles of gold, silver and copper have also been unearthed from site which is presently under supervision of department guards.

Bhagat claimed that on the land of five acres it may take more than five years of excavation, revealing more such surprises depicting rich culture of tribal Chhattisgarh. He said it was a chance discovery during his personal visit to Tarighat in 2008 when he found some old coins, beads, pottery items, bones and some structural features on the banks of Kharun River. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has approved excavation of the area, based on the initial findings.