The Main aspects of Neolithic Culture in recent Archaeolgy (An overview through actualistic study)


The “Neolithic” (literally the “New Stone Age”) is the common (if imprecise) term widely used to denote the initial appearance in a given region of food-producing—that is, agricultural—economies. For hundreds of millennia before agriculture appeared in Egypt,people lived there by hunting, fishing and gathering the area’s rich profusion of natural
flora and fauna, but about 7,500 years ago people in several areas of Egypt began cultivating wheat and barley and herding sheep, goats, cattle and pigs. The modest farms and crude hoes and grinding stones (two important new forms of stone tools of the “Neolithic”) of these first Egyptian farmers might appear uninteresting and unimportant
when compared, for example, to the great pyramids and funerary riches of the pharaohs who followed them, but, as in all other great civilizations of antiquity, Egypt’s first states were only possible because agriculture provided vastly greater and more reliable amounts of food than hunting and gathering; all the tombs and temples and great cities of pharaonic Egypt were supported by the primitive annual cultivation of wheat, barley and
a few other crops, supplemented by domesticated sheep, goats, cattle, pigs and other animals.How did this transition to agriculture occur, and precisely when? And most interesting of all, why? Generations of scholars have contemplated these questions, and not only in Egypt; agriculture appeared in many areas of the world at about the same time.The key element in agriculture is environmental modification. Hunters and gatherers
modify the environments of plants and animals in a small way, of course, by making camp fires and so forth, but farmers modify environments in much more intense ways. They plow fields, cut and burn forests, irrigate and weed crops, protect their farm animals from predators, and in many other ways alter the “natural” conditions of plant and animal life. Even in Egypt, where the Nile provided a relatively easy form of agriculture in
which seeds could be planted in the wet rich soils left every year by the Nile floods, people still had to weed, build dikes to trap basins of water for irrigation, hand-water some crops, pen cattle, herd sheep and do other simple agricultural tasks. The essence of domestication is mutualism, the increasing dependence of plants, animals and people on each other, often to the point that plants and animals lose their
ability to survive in the wild. Wheat and barley, for example, were altered genetically  during the domestication process so that, among other changes, their seeds remain tightly attached to the plant’s stem. This would be an extremely maladaptive change if these plants had to live in their natural environment, without human help in seeding these crops. Wild wheat and barley had evolved ways of seeding themselves by means of a
brittle grain head that even light wind or the activities of birds and rodents could shatter,spilling the seeds on the ground to germinate the next year’s plants. This ability to reproduce without human help has been largely lost as people have manipulated these crops over the millennia. Some of the initial genetic changes were probably accidental, made by people who did not know that by, for example, harvesting wild cereals more intensively by tapping ripe heads and collecting the grains from the shattering grain heads
they were removing from the genetic population the seeds with this brittle characteristic.But cereals with this tough non-shattering grain head are far easier to collect with sickles than the brittle wild varieties, and at some point people undoubtedly began intentionally to plant seeds from parent plants with desirable characteristics, just as they began to select for sheep with better wool, cows that produced more milk, and so forth. Given this sense of what agriculture and domestication are, we can consider how
Egypt made the transition to an agricultural society. To begin with, farming in Egypt did not start because some genius observed natural reproduction in plants and animals and then domesticated animals and laid out a farm. The transition from hunting-gathering to agriculture in Egypt took place over centuries and involved plants and animals whose domestication required many millennia of both “natural” and intentional selection. Agricultural economies also require the development of specialized tools. Though vague, the “Neolithic” is not altogether an inappropriate term for early farming, because farming called for an entirely different toolkit from that used in hunting and gathering. Sickles and hoes in particular are important cereal farming tools, and archaeologically one of the
most visible signs of changing economies is an increase in the stone mortars and pestles (grinding stones) used by most ancient peoples to make flour from grain. Perhaps the most infallible marker of the growing importance of agriculture is containers. Hunter-gatherers in different areas of the world used gourds, and occasionally stone and wood bowls (and in Egypt, empty ostrich eggs), but farming requires many cheap containers for food preparation, storage, plant watering and a thousand other uses.
Pottery was, of course, the means by which early farmers across the world met this need for containers, and the processes of pottery production were independently invented many times. It now seems very probable that all the major Egyptian farm crops and some of the domesticated animals were domesticated outside of Egypt, mainly in southwest Asia, and then introduced to Egypt. Various scholars have advanced the hypothesis that agriculture appeared later in Egypt than in southwest Asia because the Nile Valley was so rich in native wild animals and plants that there was a “resistance” to farming, especially since we must assume that early farming was a laborious and not always reliable way of making a living in the preindustrial world. However, there is some evidence that ancient
Egyptians were not simply passive recipients of foreign domesticates, for they appear to have domesticated several plants and animals. The best evidence for this is the result of many years of research by Fred Wendorf,
Romauld Schild, Angela Close and their associates, in the Western Desert, the area in modern Egypt’s southwest quarter. Their work has given us a detailed picture of the hunter-gatherers who roamed the fringes of the Nile Valley before agriculture appeared. About 11,000 years ago Africa’s southern monsoon rain belt shifted northward, so that much more rain fell each year in the southern part of what is now the eastern Saharan
Desert. By about 9,500 years ago, people began moving into the areas bordering the Nile Valley, into the rich grasslands that supported great herds of gazelles, wild cattle and other animals. The evidence is sketchy but it seems to suggest that people moved out into these grasslands from the Nile Valley itself, which at this time teemed with huge catfish,
hippopotami, waterfowl and many other animal and plant resources. At Kōm Ombo,Wadi Kubbaniya and other southern Egyptian sites, stone tools and other remains have been found that represent sedentary communities of people who relied heavily on animals and plants whose environments they significantly modified. The mortars, sickle blades and other implements found at these sites suggest substantial plant use, but the adaptation appears to have been a mobile one, based on small groups pursuing a diversified hunting- gathering economy. The earliest evidence of forms of subsistence, settlement and technology in northeast Africa that differed significantly from those of the late Pleistocene comes from the desert areas of Bir Kiseiba and Nabta in what is now southwest Egypt. On the basis of evidence from this area, Wendorf, Schild and Close
note that both cattle and pottery were known here as early as anywhere else in the world. Thus, as early as 9,000 years ago, ancient Egyptians seem to have been in the process of domesticating plants and animals and developing the ground stone tools and other implements of an agricultural economy. But these local domesticates appear to have been displaced at some point after about 8,000 years ago, when domesticated strains of wheat and barley were introduced into Egypt, along with domesticated sheep and goats (there is no reliable evidence that the wild ancestors of either sheep (Ovis orientalis) or goats
(Capra hircus) lived in North Africa). We do not know—and may never know—if people using these domesticated plants and animals immigrated to Egypt or whether these domesticates were simply introduced along trade routes that had been in operation for many centuries before farming appeared. Once established, however, the farming communities quickly spread through the Delta and Nile Valley, displacing both those
hunter-gatherer groups that might have remained as well as groups that were already highly dependent on local plants and had developed something of an agricultural technology. The growing aridity of the period after about 7000 BC may well have forced people into the Nile Valley from the increasingly barren desert margins, and perhaps they
brought with them both domesticated cattle and the ground stone tools that would have been especially productive when combined with southwest Asian domesticated crops and animals. These technological changes and the contrast between non-agricultural and agricultural economies is vividly illustrated in Egypt’s Fayum Oasis, which contains some of the earliest and most extensive remains of agriculture in Egypt. Around the
ancient shorelines of the lake that used to fill this oasis are the remains of hundreds of camp sites of people who hunted, fished and foraged this rich lacustrine environment between about 9000 and 6000 BC. These camp sites are marked by countless small stone tools, many of them in the form of blades about 10cm long, and the animal bones found amidst these tool scatters are from the native wild fauna of the region, principally fish,
crocodiles, hippopotami, birds and wild forms of cattle. There are no grinding stones, pottery fragments or other evidence that they grew crops, and no evidence that they raised domestic animals. However, along other, later shorelines of the Fayum lake are the remains of settlements of people who lived partly by farming. In 1925–6, Gertrude Caton Thompson
and Ellen Gardner excavated several of these Neolithic sites (later dated to about 5000 BC) on the northern side of the ancient Fayum lake, and near these sites they found many evidences of primitive agriculture. In one area, for example, they found 165 pits, many of them lined with coiled straw “basketry” and some of them containing wheat (emmer wheat, Triticum dicoccum) and barley (Hordeum sp.). These pits averaged 91–122cm in
diameter and 30–61cm in depth. Inside some of the silos were agricultural tools, including a beautifully preserved sickle of wood and flint. So well preserved was some of the grain that investigators at the British Museum tried (unsuccessfully) to germinate it. In the sites near these silos are innumerable potsherds, hundreds of limestone grinding stones, sickle blades, and the remains of the domesticated sheep, goats, pigs and other
animals that these Fayum people used to complement their grain crops.
Encyclopedia of the archaeology of ancient Egypt.These evidences from the Fayum are still among the very earliest signs of agriculture
known in Egypt, but no evidence was found by Caton Thompson, or by any of the later researchers in this area, that the people living in the Fayum “invented” agriculture and made the transition to farming there. The wheat, barley, sheep and goats of the Neolithic Fayum appear to be of strains domesticated in southwest Asia, not Egypt, and there seems to have been a period between the hunter-gatherers and the first farmers when the
Fayum was not occupied. So where did these Fayum farmers come from, and when? How did they initially take up agriculture? The answers to these questions, unfortunately, may be lost or deeply buried in the Nile
alluvium. Because of the Nile’s scouring effects and because of the intensity of occupation and cultivation of the Nile’s margins, as well as the thick layer of silt that presumably covers the earliest occupations of the Delta and other areas of the Nile channel, very little is known about early agriculture in Egypt in areas beyond the Fayum and Merimde Beni-salame. If the radiocarbon date of about 4700 BC from samples taken by means of an auger from several meters below ground level (from just above a layer
containing pottery) in the far eastern Delta is representative, the earliest agricultural communities in Egypt are far under the groundwater levels, beneath thick layers of silt. Once domesticated wheat, barley, sheep, goats, pigs and cattle were well established in Egypt, probably at least by 5000 BC, the cultural landscape began changing rapidly.The Fayum agriculturalists, for example, seem never to have made the transition to a
fully agricultural way of life based on village communities, perhaps because the productivity of the lake made primitive agriculture a somewhat marginal improvement, but also probably because annual floods made the lake shore a less attractive farming area than the flood basins along the Nile itself. Although the shift to agriculture quickly resulted in a majority of food being produced from cereals and domesticated animals, Egyptians continued to rely heavily on fish. In fact, fish bones are a common component of nearly every ancient Egyptian archaeological site from the Neolithic period to the recent past. Animals in the Nile and
the desert margins also continued to be hunted throughout antiquity, although eventually hunting hippopotami, lions, gazelles and other animals became more of a royal sport than a subsistence activity. Wild fowl, especially ducks and geese, were an important element in ancient Egyptian diets, and early in Egyptian antiquity ducks and geese were penned
and kept both for eating and for their eggs (domesticated fowl was not introduced to Egypt until Roman times). By 4000 BC there were farming communities at el-Badari, Merimde Beni-salame and probably hundreds of other places as well. These early communities seem at first to have
been made up of simple round or oval pit-houses made of wood, thatch and mud, but soon rectangular buildings made of mudbrick and sharing common walls—the classic Middle Eastern architectural form—appeared, and within a few centuries most of Egypt’s people lived in such communities. This type of farming community has shown great
stability and continuity of form and function. The remains of farming communities of 2000 BC greatly resemble those of AD 1000, and even into modern times the Egyptian farming village shows strong resemblances to ancient communities. If, as seems likely, ancient Neolithic Egyptian communities resembled those that are known from their earliest representatives, they were small clusters of reed huts or, later,
mudbrick houses that were probably occupied by members of several extended families, with a total community population of a few hundred at most. The similarity of styles of artifacts suggests cultural connections among these communities but there were probably no political or economic authorities or institutions—that is, no “chiefs” or other hereditary rulers—until after 4000 BC. The natural richness of the Nile Valley would
have allowed these Neolithic communities to subsist without much exchange of foodstuffs among them. As in later Egyptian history, the core of the Neolithic diet was probably bread and beer. Later texts show that beer was, of course, drunk in part for its intoxicating properties, but the beer made in ancient Egypt was also a good nutritional complement to
the diet. Beer was made from bread that was crumbled into water, mixed with yeast and perhaps a few other substances, and then simply allowed to ferment; once fermented, it was strained. Thus beer making was an efficient way to use stale bread and surplus grain. It is difficult to define either a beginning or an ending to the “Neolithic” period, since
at least a few Egyptians appear to have been domesticating plants and animals and doing some minor agriculture as early as 10,000 years ago, and in a sense the “Neolithic” economy of mixed grain farming and livestock raising that was well established by 5000 BC was not basically changed until the Romans introduced many new crops and farming
techniques 5,000 years later. Research on Egypt’s agricultural origins continues, and in the future there is hope that some of the major questions can be resolved. Studies of the DNA of ancient Egyptian cereals may show precisely from what strains of southwest Asian variants they were derived.
                        Pic of some Neolithic Tools
Understanding the origins of Egyptian agriculture is just one piece of a much larger puzzle, of course, for at the same time cereals and herd animals were being domesticated in southwest Asia and introduced to North Africa, many other animals and plants were being domesticated in south and southeast Asia, and in North and South America. Certainly the climatic changes that occurred worldwide at the end of the last Ice Age,
some 10,000 years ago, may have been directly or indirectly involved in agricultural origins, but in each case a somewhat different combination of climatic change, population growth, evolving tool technologies and other factors seems to have been the basis for this momentous transition in human history.
Md. Adnan Arif Salim Aurnab 
Grad student, Blogger and 
Online Archaeologist .
Jahangirnagar University.
Bangladesh.

Taking help from (Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt)

       For more You can Read.
Butzer, K.W. 1976. Early Hydraulic Civilization in Egypt. Chicago.
Caton Thompson, G., and E.Gardner. 1934. The Desert Fayum. London.
Eiwanger, J. 1982. Die neolithische Siedlung von Merimde-Benisalame. MDAIK 38:67–82.
Hoffman, M.A. 1991. Egypt before the Pharaohs. New York.
Encyclopedia of the archaeology of ancient Egypt 22
Krzyzaniak, L., and M.Kobusiewicz, eds. 1984. Origins and Early Development of Food-
Producting Cultures in North-Eastern Africa. Poznan.
——. 1989. Late Prehistory of the Nile Basin and the Sahara. Poznan.
Wenke, R.J. 1991. The evolution of Egyptian civilization: issues and evidence. JWP 5(3): 279–329.

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বাঙলা লেখায় স্বাচ্ছন্দ বোধ করার পরেও কেন আমরা বাঙলা ব্যবহার করি না??? এই প্রশ্নের একটি সহজ উত্তর বাঙলা লেখা খুব বাজে ভাবে ছোট দেখায়। মাঝে মাঝে ভাবি এটা যেন ইলেকট্রন অনুবীক্ষনযন্ত্রের নিচে রাখলেও দেখতে কষ্ট হবে। এই ঝামেলার সমাধান দিতেই এ ক্ষুদ্র প্রচেষ্টা। বন্ধুরা তোমরা যারা ইউনিকোড বাংলায় তৈরী করা
যাবতীয় ওয়েবসাইট ব্যবহার করে আসছ তাদের জন্য বলছি।এই সকল ওয়েবসাইটের ‘বাংলা অক্ষর’ ছোট দেখার হাত থেকে বাঁচতে তোমরা  বেছে নিতে পার ইউনিকোড বাংলা ফন্ট Siyam Rupali/কালপুরুষ. কে । আমি অনেকদিন হতেই এটি ব্যবহার করে আসছি। এমনি এর অবয়বও বেশ দৃষ্টিন্দন।  সারা বিশ্বের সকল ইউনিকোড বাংলা ফন্টগুলোর মধ্যে Siyam Rupali-ই সম্ভবতঃ এখনো পর্যন্ত একমাত্র ইউনিকোড বাংলা ফন্ট যা তার দৃষ্টি নন্দন অবয়বের সঙ্গে সঙ্গে Corresponding Size -এর ইংরেজী স্টান্ডার্ড ফন্টগুলোর আকার বা আকৃতির সঙ্গেও সমান সামঞ্জস্য বজায় রাখতে সমর্থ্য হয়েছে।
  বন্ধুরা তোমাদের প্রয়োজনীয় ফন্টটি ডাউনলোড করতে পার এখান থেকে
সিয়াম রুপালী ফন্ট

তারপর
copy > start menu >control panel >font > Paste.
ব্যস কেল্লা ফতে।
তবে অল্পএকটু ঝামেলা আছে। ব্যাপকভাবে ব্যবহারের ক্ষেত্রে তোমাকে প্রথমেই নিশ্চিত হতে হবে যে, তোমার ব্যবহৃত ব্রাউজারটির ডিফল্ট ফন্ট হিসাবে  Siyam Rupali-কেই নির্বাচিত বা সিলেক্ট করা হয়েছে কি না।
এর জন্য সহজ উপায় বলতে চেষ্টা করছি আমি ।
১. Firefox ওপেন কর।
২.Tool>Option>content এ যাও ।
৩.ডিফল্ট ফন্ট হিসেবে ডাউনলোডকৃত কালপুরুষ বা সিয়াম রুপালীকে সিলেক্ট কর।
৪. OK বাটন চেপে একবার রিফ্রেশ দিলেই এর সুফল পাবে।

ধন্যবাদ সবাইকে। সবাই উপভোগ করতে থাক। এই সুবিধা।

মোঃ আদনান আরিফ সালিম অর্ণব
লেখক ও প্রত্নতাত্ত্বিক
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Feminism and Gender Studies In Archaeological Perspective. (Women, sexuality, and representation of gender in so called classical art and archaeology)

While the academic term “feminism” within archaeology can indicate simply the study of women’s roles in society and women’s relationships with others, obviously including men, it usually connotes as well a strong desire to view the world from a new perspective. This new perspective is predominantly female, but also emphasizes the point of view of groups  regarded as marginal or outside the cultural mainstream. Its goal is
generally to challenge
a particular male-centred, usually white European or Anglo-American, point of view. This can be an uncomfortable experience for those whose ideas are being questioned. Linda Nochlin( 9), in her introduction to Women, Art, and Power, described feminist art history as “there to make trouble” and, at its strongest, “a transgressive and anti-establishment practice, meant to call many of the major precepts of the discipline into question.”As feminists attempt to see antiquity with new eyes, however, simple inversion of the status quo (women finally on top) has rarely been their goal. Rather, one of the aims of feminism has been to look at the “big picture” from the perspective of the many different people in it, and not just that of the (white, heterosexual) men. Archaeologists, especially within the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) – and classical archaeologists in particular – have only recently become aware of feminist issues. Preferring “gender studies,” many have shied away from the term “feminist” as an indicator of an unseemly and unnecessary critical stance; after all, women are highly visible within the organization, and research on Women in Antiquity has been carried out for a long time. “Gender studies” sounds safer, more inclusive of and friendly towards men. Although in practice it is sometimes the same enterprise as “feminist studies,” it is less likely to represent a perspective grounded in women’s experiences of “otherness,” or to be directed towards undermining
the status quo. Unlike archaeologists, many art historians, classicists, and anthropologists have confronted feminist issues for decades, and have long faced the problems associated with perceived or actual feminist
aggressiveness. Scholars in these fields lament the ways in which feminism has been prematurely subsumed into the more inclusive, supposedly (but usually not) neutral field of gender studies, which is often less judgmental and political.Both feminist studies and gender research have been cited by archaeologists in polarizing ways, as positive signs of an appropriate openmindedness or as symbols of negative trends in the field. An increasingly widespread acknowledgement of gender research seems to be related to archaeologists’ broader acceptance of multicultural and anticolonialist perspectives, reflected in other fields of social science and the humanities, and in society at large. As evidenced in several contexts, through the agendas of committees, the subjects of publications and public lectures at annual conventions, and the many recent communications on the Internet, increasing numbers of archaeologists agree that research on women and gender is not a sideline to the study of society. Ironically, through ignoring almost two decades of feminist debate, many archaeologists have skipped from a masculinist world-view directly into the new, supposedly genderneutral one, without having to experience the discomfort of confronting impolite feminist perspectives. Meanwhile, classical archaeologists in particular continue to avoid feminist theory, and indeed theoretical debates of all kinds. The reasons are illuminated by the history of interpreting ancient images of women and of attitudes towards engendering ancient material culture.

For more You can read..

1.Barber, E. J. W., Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth and Society
in Early Times, New York, Norton, 1994.
2.Betterton, R., “Introduction: Feminism, Femininity and Representation”, in R.
Betterton (ed.), looking On: Images of Femininity in the Visual Arts and Media,
New York, Pandora Press, 1987,
3.Bonfante, L., “Votive Terracotta Figures of Mothers and Children”, in J. Swaddling
(ed.), Italian Iron Age Artefacts in the British Museum, London, British
Museum Publications, 1985,
4.Cohen, B., “The Anatomy of Kassandra’s Rape: Female Nudity Comes of Age in
Greek Art”, Source: Notes in the History of Art, 1993,
5.Garrard, M. D., “Leonardo da Vinci: Female Portraits, Female Nature,” in N.
Broude and M. D. Garrard (eds), The Expanding Discourse: Feminism and Art
History, New York, IconEditions, HarperCollins, 1992,
6.Halperin, D. M., One Hundred Years of Homosexuality and other Essays on Greek
Love, New York, Routledge, 1990.
7.Miller, B. D, “The Anthropology of Sex and Gender Hierarchies,” in B. D. Miller
(ed.), Sex and Gender Hierarchies, New York, Cambridge University Press,
1993.
8. Koloski-Ostrown & C, L. Lyons, NAKED TRUTHS (Women, sexuality, and gender in
classical art and archaeology)
9.Nochlin, L., “Eroticism and Female Imagery in Nineteenth-Century Art,” in L.
Nochlin (ed.), Women, Art, and Power and Other Essays, New York, Harper
and Row, 1988, pp. 136–44. Reprinted from T. B. Hess and L. Nochlin (eds),
Woman as Sex-object: Studies in Erotic Art, 1730–1970, New York, Newsweek
Books, 1972,

The Famous Archaeological Site `Salban Vihara ‘, Mainamati Bangladesh

With great Homage and Respect to late
Prof. M Harunur Rashid 

Mainamati an isolated ridge of low hills in the eastern margins of deltaic Bangladesh, about 8 km to the west of Comilla town is a very familiar name in our cultural heritage, where archaeological excavations have revealed very significant materials. A landmark of or ancient history, it represents a small mass of quasi-lateritic old alluvium. The ridge, set in the vast expanse of the fertile lower Meghna basin, extends for about 17 km north-south from Mainamati village on the Gumti River to Chandi Mura near the Lalmai railway station. In its widest parts, the ridge is about 4.5 km across and its highest peaks attain a height of about 45 metres. These highlands were once thickly wooded with an abundance of wild life, but modern developments have rudely disturbed its serene and idyllic setting. 

The Discovery During the course of rebuilding the old axial road through these hills in 1875, workers accidentally uncovered the ruins of what at that time was thought to be ‘a small brick fort’. It was actually a Buddhist monastery. Some 72 years earlier (1803), from the same area, was discovered the first Mainamati relic, the copperplate of Ranavankamalla Harikaladeva, dated 1220 AD, which records a description of the capital city of Pattikera as ‘adorned with forts and monasteries’. The name now survives in the modern Patikara pargana of the locality.
 
Excavated Sites
Most important among the excavated sites is shalvan vihara, which lies about the middle of the ridge in the vicinity of the present day Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD) at Kotbari. Excavations have exposed a large paharpur type Buddhist monastery and a wealth of material objects datable from the 7th to 12th centuries AD. The discoveries from the site include eight inscribed copperplates, about 400 gold and silver coins, many terracotta and baked clay seals and sealings, a large number of sculptural specimens in stone, bronze and terracotta found in situ or otherwise. The grand monastery together with its central shrine was built by Shri Bhavadeva, the fourth ruler of the early deva dynasty of devaparvata, sometime towards the end of the 7th or early 8th century AD.
At kutila mura, the highest mound in the northeastern part of the ridge near ananda vihara, were unearthed the most attractive monuments in Mainamati The excavated monuments include three principal stupas and a number of subsidiary chapels and chaitya-halls built around them, all of which were enclosed by a massive boundary wall. Interesting and intricate structural forms and decorative styles have been preserved at the site. Excavations have not yet been completed here; the monastery in the northern end and two grand stupas in two wings of the site remain to be cleared yet. The excavated evidence suggests 7th century AD as the date of the beginning of these monuments. The site continued to be occupied till the 13th century AD as indicated by an Abbasid gold coin recovered from an upper level of the site.
charpatra mura is an interesting small site, situated in the northern part of the ridge in about the centre of the Cantonment area, where was uncovered the remains of a small Hindu temple dated in the Chandra period (10th-11th century AD). It is one of the earliest known examples of Hindu temple architecture in Bangladesh. Four copperplates were discovered in this monument and hence the name Charpatra (four plates) Mura.
Largest among the Mainamati monuments is the Ananda Vihara. Situated in the archaeologically rich Kotbari central area, it represents a huge religious-cum-educational establishment of viharas, stupas and chapels all around. Together with the largest water tank in the area, this Vihara complex was built by Shri Anandadeva, the third ruler of the early Deva dynasty, sometime at the end of the 7th or beginning of the 8th century AD. Military contractors and brick hunters damaged this great establishment with its central shrine beyond recognition in 1944-45. Subsequently, the process of Cantonment building seriously affected the site. Excavations carried out here for a few seasons in the late seventies on a limited scale were incomplete in nature.
Next to Shalvan Vihara and Ananda Vihara, the third most important and extensive monastic establishment in Mainamati is the bhoja vihara, situated almost in the centre of the Kotbari area adjacent to BARD. A huge water tank lies on its east. Excavations have revealed the outlines of a square monastery with a large cruciform shrine in the centre of its open courtyard, very similar to Shalvan Vihara and Ananda Vihara.
Queen ‘Maynamati’s Palace Mound is the largest and highest mound in the northern extremity of the ridge near to the village that still bears the name of the queen, just east of Brahmanbaria road. The site is traditionally associated with the legendary Chandra queen Mainamati, mother of the last-known Chandra king, govindachandra. Excavations on a limited scale have uncovered here parts of a massive defense wall round different parts of the site, probably a citadel, and the corner of a substantial structure, probably a palace, at the centre of the site. This is probably the only site in Mainamati that has revealed structures of secular nature.
rupban mura, an important site, lies on a hillock between modern BARD and BDR establishments in the Kotbari area on the south of the Comilla-Kalirbazar road. Excavations have revealed here the remains of a remarkable semi-cruciform shrine together with other subsidiary structures. Deep diggings have revealed three main periods of building and rebuilding, the earliest of which correspond to c.6th – 7th centuries AD. Very little of the last period remains (10th – 11th centuries AD) survive now in this very heavily disturbed site. Significant discoveries from the site include, besides the colossal stone Buddha, five debased gold coins of Balabhatta, the Khadga ruler.
The archaeological remains of itakhola mura lie in three terraces on the hillock opposite to the Rupban Mura site across the Kotbari road. It served for long as a quarry for old bricks and hence the name. Excavations have revealed here a grand stupa complex with an attached monastery to its north. Of the five cultural phases the earlier three lie buried underneath the later remains. Mentionable antiquities from the site, besides the stucco image, are three round pellets of solid gold (19 tolas) and a copperplate, which is still to be deciphered.
Just near the Mainamati Bus Stop, north of the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, lies mainamati mound 1a, where limited excavations have revealed six long walls, straight and cross roads, gateways and other scant remains. The non-religious and secular features of the remains suggest the existence of a garrison barrack (?) here.
Unexcavated Sites Among the many unexcavated sites, mention may be made of the Bairagir Mura, a medium sized high mound directly to the west of Kutila Mura in the Cantonment. Brickbats, potsherds and fragments of stone images found scattered on the surface strongly indicate its archaeological importance. The site has been badly damaged by the construction of two huge water tanks on its top for water supply to the Cantonment. A number of objects were discovered during construction work; only two (dated in the Chandra period) have found their place into the local museum – the lower part of an inscribed colossal stone image standing on a lotus throne, and the bronze life-size head of a Bodhisattva image.
The discovery of a colossal bronze bell, large dressed stone square blocks (presumably pillar bases), one copperplate, and one stone plaque inscriptions, and a number of bronze and terracotta sculptures clearly indicate the importance of the Rupban Kanya Mura, situated in the middle of the Kotbari area. But the site has now been levelled to accommodate the parade ground and garages of the Cantonment.
The Kotbari Mound showed clear traces of a Shalvan Vihara type monastery with a cruciform shrine in the centre. A grand mosque and its attached graveyard have taken over the site.
Pakka Mura is an important unexcavated site (274m by 91m, 15m high) on the western edge of the ridge, about a mile and a half southwest of the Kotbari ruins. The importance of the site lies in its subsequent extension to its lower base on the west, presumably after the river had dried out or changed its course. A part of the silted up riverbed was turned into a huge water reservoir called Tara Dighi, the deeper central part of which has now been turned into two modern tanks. While constructing the larger tank, about two acres in size, two interesting black stone images of Visnu, one life-size and the other slightly smaller, showing mature Sena-Deva characteristics, were found. Among other associated finds most significant is a copperplate inscription of Dasharathadeva (13th century), son and successor of Damodaradeva of the later Deva dynasty.
The extensive high mound on the western edge of the ridge, about 2.5 km to the northwest of the southernmost site of Chandi Mura, locally known as Rupban Mura, had visible structural remains in the shape of a circular dome at the top of the mound. Removal of bricks by local inhabitants has already caused destruction of the exposed structural remains. The site has the potential of yielding important remains.
At the extreme southern end of the ridge, about 1.6 km to the northwest of Lalmai railway station, is a prominent mound (457m by 183m, 18m high), locally called Chandi Mura. The site derives its name from the twin temples of Chandi built on the summit of the mound, some 250 years back by a Maharaja of Tripura. The archaeological character of the site is undisturbed; the mound probably contains the remains of a large temple. The top of the mound was badly damaged, first by the construction of the Chandi temples, and later by modern constructions undertaken by people associated with the temples. However, the archaeological remains at the lower levels may still be intact.
Among other unexcavated sites, mention may be made of Mainamati Mound 2, Abbas Ali Mura, Station Commander’s Residence, Hatigara Mound, Ujirpur Mound, Ghila Mura and Balaghazir Mura. All these sites have yielded evidence of remains of archaeological importance. Most of these sites are now in bad shape due to willful or unwillful negligence of the people occupying the mounds or their neighbourhood.
Antiquities The Mainamati excavations have yielded an exceptionally rich harvest of valuable antiquities including twelve copperplate grants and shorter image-inscriptions, over 400 gold and silver coins, innumerable terracotta and clay seals and sealings, some Neolithic stone axes and chisels, a large collection of stone, bronze, stucco and terracotta sculptures, stone and terracotta beads, gold, silver and bronze ornaments, decorative terracotta and architectural pieces, metal and earthenware pots, pans, vases and utensils, oil lamps and a variety of other objects of everyday use. The majority of these objects comes from Shalvan Vihara, the most systematically excavated site. Together, they contribute significantly to our knowledge of ancient Vanga-Samatata, covering a period of about seven hundred years from the 6th to 13th centuries AD. 
Mentionable among the numismatic finds are a few Gupta and post-Gupta imitation gold coins, a rare silver coin of shashanka, about a dozen gold coins of the Khadga ruler Balabhatta, few Arakanese and hundreds of harikela and ‘Akara’ dynasty coins, and one gold, and a few silver coins of Abbasid Caliphs. 
The sculptural finds in stone, bronze, stucco and terracotta represent the largest single group of antiquities other than pottery. Stone sculptures are rare, but include a fine stucco sculpture though damaged, it is an interesting specimen. The bronzes primarily represent religious art and show a perplexing variety of iconographic types, revealing the gradual transformation of the popular faith Mahayana to Tantric and ultimately to polytheistic forms in which Buddhism became inextricably mixed with Hindu and aboriginal elements. The sculptured terracotta plaques are the most numerous, attractive and representative of local folk art. They are remarkable both for their crude but vigorous style and local characteristics.
About a dozen ground and polished narrow-butted hand-axes and chisels, mainly of fossil wood, have been recovered from the excavations. Recent explorations have uncovered a few Neolithic settlements in the southern part of the Mainamati ridge. The collected specimens must have originally come from there. They show clear affinity with the Neolithic industries of West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
Mainamati excavations have, thus, thrown a flood of light on almost every aspect of the life and culture of the southeastern part of Bengal. It has supplied detailed information regarding the social, political and economic condition of the region and has led to the discovery of the remarkable early Deva dynasty and of Balabhatta, the founder of Devaparvata. It has settled a number of historical and geographical questions, for instance, concerning the extent and bounds of Samatata, the location of Devaparvata, Pattikera and Lalambi-vana, and the situation of Harikela. More important, with the studies and analysis of terracotta and the classification and sequence dating of the pottery types and other common objects, Mainamati has now provided set a workable basis for further investigations and research in the field. Mainamati finds have no doubt broadened the horizon of our understanding of our past.
The primary significance of this collection lies in the fact that it represents the only available authentic and contemporary stratified materials from southeast Bengal that provide for the first time a dependable archaeological basis for the reconstruction of the history and civilisation of this region of Bengal. 
This Article is From Banglapedia .(National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh)

My Favorite Poet Robert Frost

Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California. His father William ––––Frost, a journalist and an ardent Democrat, died when Frost was about eleven years old. His Scottish mother, the former Isabelle Moody, resumed her career as a schoolteacher to support her family. The family lived in Lawrence, Massachusetts, with Frost’s paternal grandfather, William Prescott Frost, who gave his grandson a good schooling. In 1892 Frost graduated from a high school and attended Darthmouth College for a few months. Over the next ten years he held a number of jobs. Frost worked among others in a textile mill and taught Latin at his mother’s school in Methuen, Massachusetts. In 1894 the New York Independent published Frost’s poem ‘My Butterfly’ and he had five poems privately printed. Frost worked as a teacher and continued to write and publish his poems in magazines. In 1895 he married a former schoolmate, Elinor White; they had six children.
Robert Frost
 From 1897 to 1899 Frost studied at Harvard, but left without receiving a degree. He moved to Derry, New Hampshire, working there as a cobbler, farmer, and teacher at Pinkerton Academy and at the state normal school in Plymouth.  When he sent his poems to The Atlantic Monthly they were returned with this note: “We regret that The Atlantic has no place for your vigorous verse.”
In 1912 Frost sold his farm and took his wife and four young children to England. There he published his first collection of poems, A BOY’S WILL, at the age of 39. It was followed by NORTH BOSTON (1914), which gained international reputation. The collection contains some of Frost’s best-known poems: ‘Mending Wall,’ ‘The Death of the Hired Man,’ ‘Home Burial,’ ‘A Servant to Servants,’ ‘After Apple-Picking,’ and ‘The Wood-Pile.’ The poems, written with blank verse or looser free verse of dialogue, were drawn from his own life, recurrent losses, everyday tasks, and his loneliness.
While in England Frost was deeply influenced by such English poets as Rupert Brooke. After returning to the US in 1915 with his family, Frost bought a farm near Franconia, New Hampshire. When the editor of The Atlantic Monthly asked for poems, he gave the very ones that had previously been rejected. Frost taught later at Amherst College (1916-38) and Michigan universities. In 1916 he was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. On the same year appeared his third collection of verse, MOUNTAIN INTERVAL, which contained such poems as ‘The Road Not Taken,’ ‘The Oven Bird,’ ‘Birches,’ and ‘The Hill Wife.’ Frost’s poems show deep appreciation of natural world and sensibility about the human aspirations. His images – woods, stars, houses, brooks, – are usually taken from everyday life. With his down-to-earth approach to his subjects, readers found it is easy to follow the poet into deeper truths, without being burdened with pedantry. Often Frost used the rhythms and vocabulary of ordinary speech or even the looser free verse of dialogue.
In 1920 Frost purchased a farm in South Shaftsbury, Vermont, near Middlebury College where he cofounded the Bread Loaf School and Conference of English. His wife died in 1938 and he lost four of his children. Two of his daughters suffered mental breakdowns, and his son Carol, a frustrated poet and farmer, committed suicide. Frost also suffered from depression and the continual self-doubt led him to cling to the desire to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. After the death of his wife, Frost became strongly attracted to Kay Morrison, whom he employed as his secretary and adviser. Frost also composed for her one of his finest love poems, ‘A Witness Tree.’Frost travelled in 1957 with his future biographer Lawrance Thompson to England and to Israel and Greece in 1961. He participated in the inauguration of President John Kennedy in 1961 by reciting two of his poems. When the sun and the wind prevented him from reading his new poem, ‘The Preface’, Frost recited his old poem, ‘The Gift Outright’, from memory. Frost travelled in 1962 in the Soviet Union as a member of a goodwill group. He had a long talk with Premier Nikita Khrushchev, whom he described as “no fathead”; as smart, big and “not a coward.” Frost also reported that Khrushchev had said the United States was “too liberal to fight,” it caused a considerable stir in Washington. Among the honors and rewards Frost received were tributes from the U.S. Senate (1950), the American Academy of Poets (1953), New York University (1956), and the Huntington Hartford Foundation (1958), the Congressional Gold Medal (1962), the Edward MacDowell Medal (1962). In 1930 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Amherst College appointed him Saimpson Lecturer for Life (1949), and in 1958 he was made poetry consultant for the Library of Congress.
At the time of his death on January 29, 1963, Frost was considered a kind of unofficial poet laureate of the US. “I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover’s quarrel with the world,” Frost once said. In his poems Frost depicted the fields and farms of his surroundings, observing the details of rural life, which hide universal meaning. His independent, elusive, half humorous view of the world produced such remarks as “I never take my side in a quarrel”, or “I’m never serious except when I’m fooling.” Although Frost’s works were generally praised, the lack of seriousness concerning social and political problems of the 1930s annoyed some more socially orientated critics. Later biographers have created a complex and contradictory portrait of the poet. In Lawrance Thompson’s humorless, three-volume official biography (1966-1976) Frost was presented as a misanthrope, anti-intellectual, cruel, and angry man, but in Jay Parini’s work (1999) he was again viewed with sympathy: ”He was a loner who liked company; a poet of isolation who sought a mass audience; a rebel who sought to fit in. Although a family man to the core, he frequently felt alienated from his wife and children and withdrew into reveries. While preferring to stay at home, he traveled more than any poet of his generation to give lectures and readings, even though he remained terrified of public speaking to the end…”