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ASI to dig Mizoram-Myanmar border

Aizawl, Jan, 2015: For the first time since its formation 27 years ago, the Archaeological Survey of India will carry out excavation in Mizoram along Indo-Myanmar border at what is known by locals as the 'Great Entranceway’.

It is the first attempt at recording the state's history and tracing the roots of Mizos who are anthropologically of Tibeto-Burman ethnicity.

The excavation is planned near menhirs of Vangchhia located in Champhai district in Vangchhia village. This is the only ASI protected site in Mizoram and even this came under protection only three years back.

An ASI team headed by DG ASI Rakesh Tewari recently visited the site. Work is likely to start on January 3. "The excavation should help in constructing history of Mizoram and connecting it to the main land of India, Myanmar. It will also help in establishing the antiquity of civilization here and the migration patterns," a senior ASI official said.

The actual spot where the menhirs stand is known as Kawtchhuah Ropui, literally translated as the great entranceway. "There is a local folktale that this entranceway is connected with a. stone, pathway that runs all the way till the Tiau river," said P Rominthanga, former IAS officer and Mizoram convener of Intach, a nonprofit dedicated to preservation of India's culture and-heritage. It is said that it was from here the Tibetan-Burmian population migrated from.

Menhirs are vertical stones put up prehistoric people and may or may not be carved with scripts or pictorial signs. Menhirs are found in Nagaland and Andhra Pradesh. The stones at Vangchhia have pictorial engravings of huntinG scenes. (Source: Newslink Vol. XVII No. 1
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