Artefact discovered at Umerkot Fort
UMERKOT: Initiation of exploration and conservation work within the historically important Umerkot Fort led to an early discovery of a two-foot-long and nine-inch-wide stone slab with an image of a horse-rider and a woman on Tuesday.
The artefact seems to be centuries old but there was no one present there to establish or at least guess its age as the pre-conservation work is being carried out by ordinary labourers, though under the supervision of the fort curator, Ghulam Hussain Burdi.
Mr Burdi told Dawn that the work had been started under the Sindh government’s initiative to protect and preserve historical sites in the province. An amount of Rs10 million had recently been allocated for the project, he recalled.
“The discovered artefact has immediately been sent to a museum for research on it,” he said, adding that further exploration work could lead to more discoveries.
He said that the other sites in Umerkot district planned to be preserved and conserved under the fresh initiative included the Tando Fazul and Lakhyan monuments.
Mr Burdi believed that a big treasure of historical importance was buried in the Umerkot Fort and could be discovered by expert hands and supervised by renowned historians.
He said that the walls of the fort were decaying with bricks of their certain portions having fallen down.
Encroachers were occupying parts of the fort’s land and had to be removed, he added.Mr Burdi could not guess which era the newly discovered artefact belonged to.
All he could say was that the inscription below the hand-carved image seemed to be in the Hindi, Gujrati or Gurmukhi language.
“This seems to be a gravestone traditionally placed on the grave or tomb of a prominent personality,” he said, adding that such images and inscriptions could be found on similar artefacts discovered at Jain temples of Tharparkar district.