Dhaka, March 24 : Archaeologists have found an ancient brick-built structure with floor and artefacts under the basement of the Paharpur site temple in Bangladesh, which they believe was built during the pre-Pala era.
According to a report in The Daily Star, the structure was found in the northeast corner of more than 1,200 years old main temple "Somapura Maha Vihara", which is locally known as Paharpur Monastery.
"Most probably, the structure of temple was built by followers of Jain religion," said Dr Md Shafiqul Alam, director, Department of Archaeology.
Archaeologists of the archaeology department believe the recently discovered structure was the part of the Jain temple.
In support of this theory, archaeologist Dr KN Dikshit said that there was a Jain monastery at Paharpur, but no traces have survived.
Though there has so far been no structural existence of Jain temples in Bangladesh, Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang saw several Jain structures during his visit to Pundranagar in Bogra and adjacent areas in 639-645 AD.
Nahid Sultana, custodian, Rabindra Kacharibari, Sirajganj and member of the excavation team, said that the 2.1-metre width brick-built structure crossed the basement of the main temple built by King Dharmapala in the eighth centaury.
In other findings, a huge number of potsherds have been found under the monastic cell no-21 in the northeast corner of the Vihara
"Probably, these were used over 1,500 years ago," said Md Mahabub-ul-Alam, assistant custodian, Paharpur Museum and excavation team member, adding that it is likely to be the first habitation over the virgin soil in this area.
Earlier, two brick-built structures of Gupta dynasty were found during an excavation, according to archaeologists of the Department of Archaeology.