Three thousand years ago, a group of Indo-Iranic tribes (called Balaschik at that time) settled in the northwestern Caspian region of Balashagan. Circumstances forced them to disperse and migrate towards the south and eastern parts of Iranian plateau. In medieval times, they finally settled in present-day Balochistan where they became known as the Baloch. During their long and tortuous journey from Balashagan to Balochistan, the Baloch faced persecutions, deportations, and genocidal acts of various Persian, Arab and other regional powers. During the 17th century, after dominating Balochistan culturally and politically, the Baloch carved out a nation state (the Khanate of Kalat). In 1839, the British occupied Balochistan and subsequently it was divided into various parts. In the wake of the British withdrawal from India in 1947, Balochistan regained its sovereignty but soon Pakistan occupied it in 1948.
Balochistan stretches from Southeastern Iran to the east bank of Indus in Punjab, and from the lower reaches of Helmand in Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea. This logical sequel to Naseer Dashti’s earlier ‘The Baloch and Balochistan’ about a conflict with potential to flare up regional tension and instability in a strategically crucial and volatile region that has been subject to violent and protracted conflict.
#baloch #balochistan #iran #pakistan #thebalochconflict#naseerdashti
At Mandikhera on the Arterial Nuh-Ferozepur Jhirka Road take the road leading east towards Nai Nagla village. After about 1.5 kms with mustard fields on either side (in winters) you reach this mound. The mound is in a damaged state after having been abandoned post the excavations in 1997-1998. Said to be from the late Harappan period, the Western portion of the Mound has had earth removed to build embankments to protect from breaches at the nearby Rawli & Kameda Check Dams.
The excavation was carried out to a depth of 16 m from the top having structural phases of different periods with 40 Habitational Layers. The bottom most 4 Habitational Layers unearthed Black-Slipped Ware and Red Ware (associated with the Neolithic, Harappa, Bronze and Iron Age dating to 700-500 BCE). Layers 31 to 36 yielded sherds (broken ceramic) of the Painted Grey Ware (PGW), Grey and Red Ware (Ghaggar-Hakra River Valley Civilization dating to 1300 – 500/300 BCE). The PGW overlapped with the Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW) as terracotta plaques (a lady figurine) were unearthed. Bangles, beads including arecanut shaped ones, bone point and carnelian bead were discovered. NBPW sherds were excavated along the Habitational Layers 27 to 30. Habitational Layers 18 to 26 were brick structures from the Shunga Period (185 – 73 BCE) with iron objects, lower part of the terracotta mould showing human legs, toy cart and crucible exhumed. Habitational Layers 8 – 17 are the early and later Kushan Period (3rd century BCE – 3rd century CE), where burnt bricks, iron arrow head, shell bangle, decorated tile, and a terracotta relief of a male deity (most likely agni-dev or God of Fire) were found. Along the Habitational Layers 1 – 7, mediaeval artefacts, including brick masonry works, Red and Glazed Wares were discovered.
The Western and Southern faces of the wall at the SW corner have a tapering nature, which suggests that it may be the base of a Mauryan Stupa (322 – 185 BCE).