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Potsherds, Menhirs and a Lost Covilisation Discovered in Mizoram's Vangchhia

Guwahati, August 2, 2018: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Thursday presented the discoveries they claimed to have found at Vangchhia historical village in Mizoram's Champhai district, after an excavation that began in 2015.

The ASI said that they have encountered more than 100 structures at different terraces of various shapes and sizes, including 207 menhirs, which were documented with proper measurement and many more discoveries are being archived. The discovery is considered very significant to throw light on the history of the Mizo community.

The excavation at Vangchhia exposed a good number of menhirs, Mizo traditional and megalithic burial structures and one of the most profound discoveries is the water pavilion that comprises multiple circular and square holes.

"We have explored fifteen terraces full of structures, but the discovered water pavilion still remains a mystery. The use of a water pavilion would determine that the culture is the same, which later developed into civilization", said Dr Sujeet Nayan, Head of the archaeological team.

Dr Nayan said that in two years they have explored more than 60 to70 villages and while excavation, we discovered more and more hidden colonial past that could be remains of a full-fledged city. There is need for a more comprehensive study to establish a scientific chronology of the ancient culture of Mizoram, he added.

The archaeologists also found human bones and antiquities from the burial sites at Vangchhia in 2015 and further excavation have unearthed samples such as potsherds dating back to 600 BCE (before common era) and circa 1400 CE to 1750 CE through C14 (radio-carbon).

P. Rohmingthanga, a retired IAS who first noticed the heritage site at Vangchhia in 1973 said, " When I first saw it in while travelling by helicopter, it struck me and I thereby began taking initiatives to bring in an excavation team".

Highlighting on the importance of the new discovery, he said that Mizos do not have recorded documents because of which, they lack in-depth knowledge of their history, but now with the excavation of archaeological remains there would a better understanding of the Mizo culture.

Vangchhia is situated in Champhai district at least 259 kms away from Aizawl, near Indo-Myanmar border. With the vast heritage and cultural traditions, Vangchhia appears as a living museum, resulting into a tourism boon in the area. 

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