Peshawar, Apr 28 : Illegal excavation, which has already destroyed at two least two Budhist sites and a monastery, continues in Mardan in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) unabatedly.
Groups of people can be seen carrying out excavation in Mardan using dynamites and metal detectors to find coins and antiquities.
The illegal excavationists mostly use power generators and dynamites to blast the Kashmir Smust, some 7000 feet above the sea level, for coins and antiquities, reported The News.
Local people said rare coins of Buddhist and Kushan periods had been found at the site during the illegal excavation.
Digging at the archaeological site in the Sra Dhery mountains has destroyed the walls and rooms of the settlement. It is learnt that rare antiquities have been found at the site, but the nature of the antiquities could not be known.
In the Buner district, bordering Mardan, illegal excavation is being done at archaeological sites in Gokand, Malikpur, Chamla and Bagh, where rare gold coins of the Kushan period have been recovered from the sites.
Usman Mardanvi, an archaeologist of the Mardan identified, expressed concern that if the illegal excavation continued the sites, belonging to the Buddhist, Hindu Shahi, Greeko-Bactrian, Kushan and early Muslim periods would be ruined.