Charsadda (Pakistan) Project: the Bala Hisar

 

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The Bala Hisar or "High Fort" is located on one of Asia's great thoroughfares in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province. Commanding the road from Delhi to Kabul, it is an imposing 20 metre high mound. The mound was excavated by Sir Mortimer Wheeler in 1958 to examine the origins of Asiaís Early Historic cities. He suggested that it was founded by the Persians in the sixth century BC as they consolidated the east of their empire. As Wheeler worked before radiocarbon dating, Durham, Bradford, Leicester and Peshawar Universities re-excavated part of the site with support from the Society for South Asian Studies, The British Academy, the Ancient India and Iran Trust and the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. Analysis of dates from its lowest levels indicate that the site was first occupied in c. 1300 BC and that far from having being a colonial outpost, was strongly linked to local communities in the northern valleys of Pakistan.

This website provides a summary of the recent joint British-Pakistani Excavations at the Bala Hisar, and provides a link with the recently published monograph. The volume is dedicated to the memory of the late Professor Fazand Ali Durrani, Vice-Chancellor of Peshawar University, who provided the vision and inspiration for this collaborative project together with Professor Farid Khan and Dr Raymond Allchin of Cambridge University. Professor Durrani’s energy and dedication led to the creation of one of the strongest Departments of South Asian Archaeology at Peshawar and endowed it with a superb University museum.