Welcome to the Urban Archaeology blog. Chiz Harward provides a range of archaeological services including desk-based assessments, evaluations, excavations, watching briefs and post-excavation services, training and development work, and archaeological illustration. This weblog will carry news of projects as and when they happen as well as wider thoughts on archaeological issues, especially recording, stratigraphy and training.

Reconnaissance survey in west Nepal

In 1998 and 2000 Chiz Harward carried out a reconnaissance survey of medieval monuments in west Nepal for the Central Himalaya Project. This remote area of the Himalayas was once home to the medieval Khasa Malla kingdom, who established a winter palace in the foothills at Dullu, and a summer palace site in the mountains at Sinja. The two sites were joined by a royal road, part of a network of trading trails that criss-cross the Himalaya.

The survey involved trekking from Dailekh in the foothills along the royal road to Sinja (see maps), a journey that took nearly a month. A basic survey was made of monuments discovered en route, which included many temples (upper figure), waterpoints (lower figure), dharamsala (guesthouses) and standing stele or pillarstones.

A return visit in 2000 concentrated on monuments in the vicinity of the summer palace at Sinja, with more detailed recording of standing stele and pillarstones unfortunately cut short by the Maoist insurgency.

The survey discovered many new monuments and complexes, as well as re-recording monuments first discovered by Professor Guiseppe Tucci in the 1950s. The survey was a part of wider ongoing research work by Tim Harward (Central Himalaya Project) with Cambridge Archaeology Unit of Cambridge University, and the Institute of Archaeology, UCL.