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Patharghata  an archaeological site, rather a complex of sites, located in panchbibi upazila under joypurhat district of Bangladesh, extends over an area of approximately 9 sq km on both sides of the Tulsi Ganga river. The remains apparently comprise some mounds ¾ Mission mound, Uchai mound, Baharampur mound, Majar of Nimai Shah, Bader dhap, Santal para mound, Kasiabari mound, Kusumba group of mounds, Gangria group of mounds, Bridhigram group of mounds and Bharampur mound. The mounds, located on the lateritic Barind tract, show traces of architectural remains. The whole area is strewn with ancient potsherds, glazed wares, bricks, brickbats, fragments of terracotta plaques and stone sculptures and other minor artifacts.

Besides the brick structures, the scattered architectural pieces like door jams, door sills and pillars of granite, sand stone and black basalt bear testimony of building activities in the area. A number of solid stone blocks scattered over the riverbed imply the existence of a stone-built bridge or a landing stage at this point. A recent exploration has revealed some more interesting findings like stone flakes and chips, semi-precious stone beads, iron slugs, glass lumps, copper objects like bangles, antimony rods, terracotta balls, coins and a brick made landing platform/ghat. It has been inferred that iron, glass and stone might have come to Patharghata from other region (s) of the sub­ continent. The Tulshi Ganga, which is still connected with the Karatoya, might have played an important role in goods trafficking. The discovery of profuse stone flakes and chips indicates the existence of a stone sculpture-manufacturing centre in the Patharghata area.

The history and chronology of this potential archaeological site has not yet been established firmly. However, on the basis of a few NBPW pieces (?) and a female torso of Kusana style Patharghata may be placed in the early historic period. Some artifacts also belong to Gupta, Pala and Sena periods. Although Brahmanical sculptures are more in number but a few Buddhist icons are also present. An inscription of the Sultanate period has also been reported from Patharghata.
[SS Mostafizur Rahman]

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