Brahmi inscription of Ashokan period found in Manjira Valley near Medak

Researchers discovered a terracotta object containing Brāhmī inscription written in Prakrit language and in characters of the 3rd century B.C.

By   |  Published: 24th Nov 2020  5:58 pm

Hyderabad: In a landmark epigraphical discovery that is significant for Telangana State, a Brahmi inscription of Ashokan period was found in Manjira valley near Medak.

Researchers discovered a terracotta object containing Brāhmī inscription written in Prakrit language and in characters of the 3rd century B.C. This inscription reads “dēvānaṁ” prefixed with a symbol of ‘nandipada’. The word “dēvānaṁ” indicate a part of the title of the emperor Aśōka of Mauryan dynasty.

According to a statement released here on Tuesday, history and archaeology researcher M A Srinivasan and his team comprising B Shankar Reddy, B Nagaraju and N Arun Kumar discovered this terracotta antiquity on the banks of Manjira River which is a tributary of Godavari River located at Kulcharam in Medak district. The present ancient mound is located in the island formed by the two streams of river Manjira.

The inscription on the pottery has been studied and read as “dēvānaṁ” of Mauryan period by Director, Epigraphy, Archaeological Survey of India, Dr D Surya Kumar, the statement said. This discovery of Brāhmī script paleographical assignable to Mauryan period on the terracotta is a rare and landmark epigraphical discovery in India in general and in Telangana State in particular.

“This discovery unveils a new chapter in the history of Telangana as this is the first time we found such precious evidence in Manjira valley,” Srinivasan said. He urged the Department of Heritage and the Archaeological Survey of India to take up survey and excavations of the site to bring out more evidence to light.

Three Buddhist label inscriptions were also found in rock shelters just a km away from the site where this antiquity was found. These inscriptions are in Prakrit language and Brahmi script of 1st BC-1st AD. They read ‘Henamo Buddeya’, ‘Dhama’, ‘He Jama’ and are found on rock boulders. The researchers found them after cleaning these rocks. This rock shelter has evidence of the Neolithic period too.

Finding of the terracotta antiquity inscribed with Mauryan Brāhmī letters happened in the process of finding a supporting ancient habitation site for Buddhist rock shelter. The site is spread over an area of about 100 acres and is likely to yield a large number of archaeological materials besides evidence like fortification wall, terracotta objects such as different pot-shreds of red slipped ware, black polished ware and dull red ware.

The team of researchers along with some students took part in this months-long exploration under the guidance of Y Bhanu Murthy of the Department of Heritage.


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