April issue 2012
Lecture: An Archeological Enigma
The province of Sindh along the banks of the mighty River Indus has been the location where grand civilisations have prospered for centuries and left behind ancient necropolis, tombs and monuments. While the towns of Thatta and Daybul date back to pre-Islamic Sindh, it is Daybul where Mohammed bin Qasim’s expedition won a conquest in 934 A.D. A commercial port for centuries, the exact geographical location of Daybul changed as the Indus shifted its course in the following centuries.
Professor Monique Kervran, the director for research at the National Centre of Scientific Research (NCSR) of the Sorbonne University in Paris, who has also led the French Archaeological Mission to Sindh, is of the view that another city existed in the area and at a special presentation hosted by Mohatta Palace Museum in collaboration with KTN and Endowment Fund Trust for the Preservation of the Heritage of Sindh, Dr Kervran described the discovery of the town Damrilah — the sister town of Daybul and Thatta. Dr Kervran is of the view that even though Damrilah is quoted several times in the historical sources detailing eastern Islamic dynasties in the 13-14th centuries, the location of this place has puzzled the scholars of Sindh for a long time. Dr Kervran’s presentation detailed the plan of a large mosque designed on the sand in the inter-tidal flats of the Indus delta, south of Bhambore. This mosque and the name Damrilah were identified by the Catalan Portolano (Atlas Catalan) presented to Charles V, the King of France in 1375.
This article was originally published in the April issue of Newsline.
The writer is a former assistant editor at Newsline