Malaysian varsity maps 2000-year-old Gandhara civilisation in Peshawar

Kuala Lumpur, July 11, 2013 (PPI-OT): Pakistan High Commissioner to Malaysia Mr. Shahid Kiani has felicitated a team of 30 Malaysian researchers who recently carried out a seminal study of the 2000-year-old Gandhara civilization in Peshawar.

“Pakistan is home to some of the world’s greatest and oldest civilizations and the Gandhara civilization which flourished in north west of Pakistan some 2000 years ago, is one of them and it is great to learn about researchers from Malaysia to go to Peshawar and map the remains of this rich civilization,” he said in a statement on the return from Pakistan of a 30-member team led by Prof Mokhtar Saidin, Director of the Centre for Global Archaeological Research (CGAR) of Universiti Sains Malaysia’ (USM) which conducted this month-long research as part of the USM-University of Peshawar (UoP) framework signed on April 3, 2013.

The research team visited Peshawar from June 4 until July 2, 2013 and mapped the famous Kashmir Smast site besides studying its early civilisation, prehistory and reconstruction of the palaeoenvironment there.

Mr. Shahid Kiani welcomed the research, calling it historic and epoch-making, given the new insights it had provided into the great Gandhara civilisation. He said Pakistan would continue to welcome such initiatives and further encourage academic exchanges and collaborations between Pakistani universities and their counterparts elsewhere in the world to bring out new facets of the rich civilizations which had flourished for centuries in the areas constituting Pakistan.

CGAR director Prof Mokhtar Saidin also hailed the project which allowed the university an opportunity in the studies of early civilisation, prehistory and reconstruction of the palaeo-environment there. The team did a complete magnetic anomaly mapping of the Kashmir Smast Cave (Great Cave), Kashmir Smast monastery, spring water tank and great water tank to identify their future research potential.

During the mapping exercises, the team made two discoveries of Gandhara stone tools inside the UoP campus and an ‘adze’ stone tool at the Kashmir Smast site. The results of the preliminary studies prove the importance of Kashmir Smast in the prehistoric period and early civilisation.

For more information, contact:
Hamid Raza Khan
High Commission for Pakistan in Malaysia
132 – Jalan Ampang, 50450 | Kuala Lumpur
Phone: + 603 – 21611370
Fax: + 603 – 42563906
Mobile: + 601 – 02441963

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