The Punjab Archaeology Department in Pakistan will begin the archaeological excavation of the ancient Buddhist site of Mound Dillu Roy, and complete the construction of a 6,400 feet long boundary wall around the site, in January. Mound Dillu Roy is located at the junction of Rajanpur and Dera Chazi Khan districts in the tehsil (administrative division) of Jampur in Punjab.
The Express Tribune reports that of the Punjab Archaeology Department’s overall Rs17.036 million (approx. US$121,000) plan for the site, a sum of Rs10 million (US$71,210) had already been released during the fiscal year of 2017-18. Malik Ghulam Muhammad, sub-divisional officer of the Punjab Archaeology Department’s incharge of the excavation, said that while the boundary wall was being constructed at the site, Punjab Archaeology Department would be executing a plan to conduct the archaeological excavation of the mound, the establishment of a camp office, the preservation and restoration of excavated remains, purchase of machinery, and hiring staff.
Mound Dillu Roy was once part of a sophisticated settlement of traders, fishermen, and farmers, and the area hosted various religious cults. Ghulam noted that the site remained a hub of activity until the 16th century. According to Malik, the site was occupied by Buddhists during the Scytho-Parthian period, which dates back to the 1st century BCE to 2nd century CE. It could also have been part of the Kushan Empire (30-375 CE), which ruled a vast expanse of multicultural territories in Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent.
“It [the site] lies 2.5 miles north-west of Jampur and consists of two mounds, roughly 100-150 feet apart. The larger one measuring 1460 x 800 x15 feet marks the site of the city and the smaller one about 380 feet north-south and 950 feet east-west has been identified as the remains of a fort,” said Ghulam. “Both the mounds were dug by local farmers, following which the historic plan of houses and streets was exposed. The mud brick walls have escaped complete destruction while some of the walls with traces of mud plaster stand as high as 12 feet.” (Pakistan Today)
Mound Dillu Roy was listed as a protected site in February 1964 under the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act of 1904. In 2016, an attendant was employed to protect the site. A subsequent study carried out on the site revealed ancient artefacts (which included sling balls, dabbers, oil lamps, spoon handles, and terracotta with a curved flange and conical knob at the top) were quite similar in all respects to the types recovered from the Scythe-Parthian archeological strata of Bhanbhore, Taxila, and Pitalkora in India. Also found was the fragment of a plaque depicting a lady in a high-head dress and wearing earrings, and a sculpture in white limestone that is hypothesized to be a celestial being or a “Buddhisattva.” All these antiquities are presently the care of the Harappa Museum in Punjab.
Buddhist-era site’s archaeological exploration likely to begin next month (Pakistan Today)
Mound Dillu Roy exploration to begin soon (The Express Tribune)
Dillu Roy — Buddhist era site in DG Khan to be excavated (Dawn)
Buddhist Site’s Archaeological Exploration Begins Next Month (UrduPoint)