Ancient ruins in Mizoram

Ancient Ruins in India May Be Lost Civilization of Mizoram

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Researchers in the Indian state Mizoram recently made an exciting discovery – the remains of what may be a lost civilization.  According to The Times of India , the general director of the Archaeological Survey of India (“ASI”) visited the city of Vangchhia, located in the Champai district of Mizoram, India in November 2015.  His visit led to an excavation of the area, which revealed an important archeological find.  Over the following months, researchers came to the area to try to uncover the secrets of the city that may have once existed there.  According to the Assistant Superintending archaeologist at the Archaeological Survey of India Delhi, Sujeet Nayan, the discoveries at the site may reveal previously unknown information about Mizoram, and the Northeast.

“We were exploring what lay beneath the bushes and thick foliage. The entire site could hold traces of a lost city or a greater lost civilization. It is amazing to stumble upon so many things. We need more time and research to reach a final conclusion,” said Nayan.

While more research is needed, the excavation team has gleaned some interesting and helpful information from the area already. They found more than 50 structures and nine terraces or retaining walls.  The structures contain depictions of human, animal, and floral life.  The terraces are constructed with large stones, and range from 10 to 25 feet tall.  Upon exploring eight of the nine terraces, the team has concluded that they may have served as burial sites.  They also discovered what appears to be a water pavilion, similar to those found in Mughal structures like the Taj Mahal. 

Example of a Mughal era water pavilion

Example of a Mughal era water pavilion. ( splendidpak)

Further studies are planned in the area, in hopes of learning more about the lost civilization.  For example, fragments of charcoal were removed so scientists can conduct scientific testing, such as carbon dating.  This testing may be the key to learning more about the ancient civilization that may have lived there.

Mizoram is located in northeastern India, and is bordered by Myanmar to the east and south, Bangladesh to the west, and the states Tripura, Assam, and Manipur to the north.  It is also known as “Land of the Mizos.”  It is a hilly area with many forests and a great deal of foliage.  Modern Mizoram is populated by Scheduled Tribes, although it is one of the more sparsely populated states in India. The discovery of the lost city in Mizoram may reveal significant information about the ancient civilizations that lived there and in surrounding areas, which would have been influenced by the topography of the area and the climate, as well as provide insight into the origins of the modern-day tribes in Mizoram.

Mizoram landscape is mostly rolling hills with major valleys. Most villages and town are located on hill sides.

Mizoram landscape is mostly rolling hills with major valleys. Most villages and town are located on hill sides. ( public domain )

As Nayan and other researchers continue to explore the lost city in Vangchhia, and testing commences on the items found in the area, they are hoping to learn more about the people that lived there, when and why they came to the area, what type of structures they lived in, what they ate, and why they left. This information will be a significant contribution to the history of Mizoram, and to India.

Featured image: Ancient ruins in Mizoram. Credit: Northeast Daily

By MRReese

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