The Archaeological Survey of India has documented 732 unprotected monuments across the country, some dating back to the Iron Age and early historical ages, during the village-to-village survey relaunched after a hiatus of over a decade.
The survey, re-launched by the ASI last year, covered about 2066 villages during 2014-15.
While Karnataka topped the list with 177 unprotected monuments and archaeological sites, it was followed by Tamil Nadu with 72 and Madhya Pradesh 62.
According to ASI officials, during the course of the survey the authorities have documented an early historical period site in Amethi district of Uttar Pradesh dating back to the eighth century BC. The archaeological mound situated in Samaha village spreads across an area of approximately 40 acres.
Similarly, in Kanarpur village of Buxar district of Bihar, the officials have surveyed an ancient site spread over 500 metres on the banks of river Ganga. The surveyors have recorded vital antiquities such terracotta human heads and parts of animal figurines. Based on the technique and shape of the pottery and antiquities, the officials observed that those might belong to the early historical period.
Another significant site that was documented during the survey includes inscribed and uninscribed Sati pillars in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh, the officials said.
Other important finds include an Iron Age site, where 25 megalithic burials sites comprising stone circles and cairn circles were discovered.
“The surveyed villages, where antiquarians have been found, are documented digitally. Even as our target was to survey 5000 villages in five years, our officials were able to survey over 2000 villages in just a year,” a senior ASI official said.
ASI circles in different parts of the country have been asked to send additional details of some of the important sites that were documented during the survey, he added.
Though ASI used to conduct village-to-village surveys in the past, the practice was discontinued about 10 years ago owing to paucity of manpower, officials said. However, it has been renewed in an attempt to bring the unprotected archaeological remains to light.