Archaeological Investigations 
   in the Kingdom of Bhutan 
      by the Swiss-Liechtenstein Foundation for Archaeological Research Abroad

News Reports 
    We would like to recommend a short article, brought published on June 17th, 2000, by Mr. Palden Tshering, journalist from the Bhutanese national newspaper Kuensel, (Thimpu, Kingdom of Bhutan). 
    Another article was brought up in the daily newspaper La Liberté (Fribourg, Switzerland) by Thierry Jacolet,on April 25th, 2000. 
    Both article were very welcome, but our preference goes to the one in Kuensel. Although much shorter, most of the reported facts are precisely described ! We expect more to come, so we shall keep this compilation up-to-date.
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Author:    Palden Tshering 
Editor:     Kuensel (newspaper): Thimpu, Kingdom of Butan 
Date:       June 17th, 2000 
Text:        follows 
Swiss Team Dates Archaeological Finds   

    Radiocarbon tests, conducted by a Swiss archeologist and an anthropologist, have dated the archeological finds at Jakar, Bumthang, to two periods: end of the eighth to the beginning of the ninth century and the mid-16th century.  
    Archeologist Reto Blumer and his anthropologist wife Frederique Vial returned to Bhutan earlier this year, with a geologist and a biologist from the Swiss-Liechtenstein Foundation for Archeological Research Abroad, to continue their research. 
    Last year they identified the four structures first found while excavations were being carried out for the construction of a new RNR-Research Centre in Jakar two years ago and have made more discoveries recently. 
    The first, an underground stone masonry structure about 5.3 metres in height, has been confirmed to have been built between the eighth and ninth centuries while the second, a partly exposed stone wall 1.2 metres in width and 26.5 metres in length, is believed to have been used as a fort wall. 
    The third is a platform-like structure surrounded by a peripheral stone wall, encompassing a trapezoid surface, believed to have been used for rituals. But the archeologist is yet to relate the trapezoid shape to others in Bhutan. 
    Many pottery remains were unearthed inside the 2.8 by 2.5 metre chamber of the platform structure. At the bottom a possible painting on the mud floor was discovered but, Mr. Reto Blumer said, it had been preserved very badly.  
    The fourth structure is believed to be a tower foundation.  
    Last year Mr. Reto Blumer and his wife found remains of camp fires inside the first and second structures, proving that it was used by persons who probably had camps in and around the fortifications. They also discovered that after the use of the fortifications the structures were filled up with stones to make it difficult for any one else to use at a later stage. 
    The Swiss team has also managed to collect small broken pieces of pottery and a grinding stone that helped date the period of the structures. 
    Mr. Reto Blumer said it was hard to say exactly who had built the structures but, having dated to the 16th century, it was probably built by the local population who inhabited the area at the time. 
    The on-going excavation involves the SDC/Helvetas, the National Commission for Cultural Affairs, and the Swiss Liechtenstein Foundation. 
    More discoveries are expected.  

By Palden Tshering
..back to top of article
Article in Kuensel, the Bhutanese National Newspaper
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Author:    Thierry Jacolet 
Editor:     La Liberté (newspaper): Fribourg, Switzerland 
Date:       April 25th, 2000 
Text:        too large scans to be downloaded ! We are sorry. But the following titles and subtitles were appearing: 
Deux jeunes Fribourgeois auscultent le Bhoutan
    Archéologie - Des fouilles vont être menées pour la première fois au Pays des Dragons. Reto Blumer, archéologue, et Frédérique Vial, étudiante en ethnologie, sont partis arracher les secrets de cette "Terra incognita". 
Le Bhoutan ouvre les portes de son passé
à un couple gruérien
Article in La Liberté, Friburgese Daily Newspaper (Switzerland)
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