JAMMU, Feb 3: Quick on the heels of recovery of the statue of Lord Vishnu Ji from the 12 BC archaeological site of Semthon, Bijbehara in Anantnag district of South Kashmir recently, the State Archives, Archaeology and Museums Department has recovered two more sculptures from this site some days back.
The sculptures were recovered during the digging by locals who later informed the police and the Department of Archives and Archaeological of the State and handed over the same to them official sources said.
The sculptures are in the custody of the Department which has placed them in Sri Partap Singh (SPS) Museum, Srinagar for preservation to posterity, sources added.
Sources said the two fragmentary sculptures one of Lord Vishnu is in 13 inch in height, four inch in width and 2.5 inch in depth is without legs and arms and another sculpture wearing war dresses riding on elephant is 2-4 inch height, 13 inch width and 4-6 inch depth.
The sculptures date back to Kashmir School of Sculptures as dagger is clearly depicting this. The documentation of these objects is under process of the Department, sources added.
In the past various archaeological objects have been discovered by the Department from this site. The site is archaeologically rich, sources said.
Semthon is Centrally Protected Monument by archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and in past many artifacts have been recovered from this site dating back to Harpan Civilization.
The artifacts recovered from Semthon included read ware -portray and black ware portray which is lying with ASI. However, State Government wants to bring them back official sources said that efforts are on in this regard.
Commenting on the two fragmentary sculptures recovered from Semthon, Director Archives, Archeology and Museums, Mohammed Shafi Zahid told Excelsior that it is more delicate than the eighth century statue of Kartikey recovered from ASI site of Pandrathan in Srinagar in late fifties which is also wearing the same kind of armory.
In addition to Semethon ASI site, there are two other ancient settlements of Neolithic period at Burzahama in Srinagar and Gufkral in Tral Tehsil in South Kashmir district of Pulwama. From these two sites the artifacts of stones, bones and portray were unearthed representing the ritualistic practices of that period, he added.
Zahid said that recovery of arms throws light on the armory and anthropological studies of man and his environment in the State.
The Department will seek help and cooperation of art historians regarding the arms and armory worn by the riders and the elephant, he said, adding iconographical details are being checked out with historians and archaeologists of the State in this regard.
Zahid said he himself visited the Semthon site after the recovery of the sculpture of Lord Vishnu Ji and two fragmentary sculptures on the directives of Minister of State for Education, culture and Tourism Priya Sethi to take them into the custody.
It may be recalled that in last month a beautiful sculpture of Lord Vishnu was also unearthed from the site.