Around 25 caves and rock art sites belonging to the prehistoric period has been discovered during a research by the Archaeological Survey of India in Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary on the outskirts of Odisha’s capital.
A team led by ASI’s Bhubaneswar circle deputy superintendent D.B. Garnaik revealed that there was human habitat in the hill caves located in the north-west of the forest, approximately 4,000 years ago. During a three-month-long research in the wildlife reserve, the team found ancient stone carvings.
“The rock arts are no less than a treasure trove. The paintings are red ochre, yellow and white in colour and while the engravings in the caves are very prominent. Since similar rock arts have been found in Lekhamoda and Ushakothi region in Sundergarh district, we believe the new discoveries are dating back to Neolithic and Chalcolithic period,” said deputy superintending archaeologist D B Garnayak. The samples will be sent for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry test, a more precise technique of radiocarbon dating to ascertain the exact age, he added.
Primary statistics revealed that the artwork on reptiles, weapons and geometrical signs prove that people were living in Parthapur, Kusapangi and Gayalbank, 20 km away from Cuttack and 40 km from Bhubaneswar, at least 3,500-4,000 years ago. The artworks found from the site are assumed to be of the new Stone Age and Copper Age.
“There are the caves of sand and limestone at Chandaka. For the first time, such an ancient civilisation was discovered in coastal Odisha,” he said.
The Archaeological Survey of India completed the first phase of research. Further research will be conducted in the areas adjacent to Bhubaneswar. “We are expecting to find ancient artwork from some places in Chandaka wildlife sanctuary,” Mr Garnaik said.