Sites & cities that bear the name of Barikot


Today in : Pakistan
First trace of activity : ca. 11th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 3rd century C.E
Recorded names : Bazira, بریکوٹ‎

Description : Barikot (Urdu: بریکوٹ‎) is a town located in the middle course of Swat River in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. It is about 20 km (12 mi) away from Mingora and from Butkara. It is the entrance town to middle Swat valley with a population of 25,000 approximately. Barikot is the ancient Bazira of Alexander the Great, with Chalcolithic remains since c. 1700 BC, and an Early Historic period town since c. 500 BC. The Italian Archaeological Mission (renamed ISMEO), founded by Giuseppe Tucci has been excavating ruins of the ancient town of Bazira under Barikot since 1984. The expeditions in the 1980s and 90s discovered an Indo-Greek town from around the time of King Menander I in the 2nd century BC. The 2nd century BC town covered, at its peak, an area of about 12 ha (30 acres) including the acropolis, or about 7 ha (17 acres) without. It was surrounded by a defensive wall with massive rectangular bastions. Beginning in 2011, an excavation in the south west corner of the site discovered several older settlements. One pre-Indo-Greek level was dated to the mid 3rd century BC or in the middle of the Mauryan era. It was thought the oldest layer under Barikot was a village which has been dated to 1100-1000 BC, but previous Chalcolithic pit structures are attested since 1700 BC. Early Iron Age proto-urban layers were found, and dated to eleventh-eight centuries BC, archaeologists also found that the fortified urban settlement in Barikot (lower area and acropolis) was established around mid-first millennium BC. The excavations have discovered a number of artifacts which document the daily life of the residents, including coins, pottery and weapons. Several large artifacts including, a large green-schist statue of Siddhartha Buddha riding his horse Kanthaka and a carving of a stupa with two lions, document the Buddhist history of Bazira. Another statue depicting an unknown deity sitting on a throne, with long, curled hair, holding a wine goblet and a severed goat head in his hands may represent Dionysus, the Greek god of wine or another local deity. Kushan Times Under the Kushan Empire it grew into a major town before a series of earthquakes in the 3rd century AD devastated it. Probably due to the damage from the earthquakes as well as the decline of the Kushan Empire, Bazira was abandoned by the end of the 3rd century.

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