Wed. Apr 14th, 2021

‘Treasure hunters’ are stealing ancient artifacts in Darel Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan


GILGIT/CHILAS: Groups of locals are busy digging ancient sites in different parts of the Diamer district to hunt for ‘treasures’.

It has reliably been learnt that a number of groups are involved in digging ancient sites in different parts of Diamer district, particularly Darel Valley, to unearth artifacts, and remains of societies that existed thousands of years ago.

According to a document prepared by Robert Kolachi Khan Associates, the Gichi Nala area of Diamer has artefacts as old as 6,000 years BC.

Some locals, requesting anonymity, have reported that even casual digging by amateurs can unearth Urns, beads, pottery and other artifacts. They have accused the state, and the relevant departments, of not doing enough to protect and promote the region’s ancient history.

“People here (Diamer) don’t understand the historical significance of the artifacts, and the ancient sites of bygone civilizations”, a concerned local from Diamer told Pamir Times. He did not want to be named because of his professional obligations. “Many of the locals look at the artifacts, the rock-carvings and the sites of ancient cemeteries, temples and other establishment as signs of paganism and Buddhism. Therefore, they don’t respect the region’s past, as that to them appears to be irreverence for their own faith (Islam).”

He said that by raising awareness among the masses, and by identifying and protecting the ancient sites, the region’s history can be protected from destruction.

While the state looks the other way, ‘treasure hunters’ are busy plundering historical artifacts for quick money.


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