Bhir Mound ( ) is the oldest of the ruins of
Taxila in the Punjab province of
The ruins of Bhir Mound, Taxila,
The ruins of Bhir Mound were excavated from 1913-1925 by Sir
. The work was continued
by Sir Mortimer Wheeler
1944-1945 and by Dr. Mohammad Sharif in 1966-1967. Further
excavations were performed in 1998-2000 by Bahadur Khan and in 2002
by Dr. Ashraf and Mahmud-al-Hassan.
The ruins of the this town form an irregular shape measuring around
1 Km from north to south and about 600 meters from east to west .
The oldest part or layer of these ruins is from the sixth and fifth
centuries BC. The second layer is from the fourth century BC and
existed at the time of the invasion of Alexander
the great. The third layer is from the
time of the Maurya
kings of India (third
century BC). The fourth and topmost stratum contains the
constructions from time after the Mauryan period.
The streets of the city show that they were narrow and the house
plans were very irregular. There is little evidence of planning -
most of the streets are very haphazard. The houses had no windows
to the outside. They opened towards inner courtyards . The
courtyard was open and 15 to 20 rooms were arranged around it
conquered Bhir Mound in 518 BC.
However, this assumption is based upon textual evidence only. In
326 Alexander the Great came to this area and conquered the area.
, it is recorded, entertained the
greek king here. He surrendered to Alexander and offered him a body
of soldiers mounted on elephants. In 316 BC Chandragupta
of Magadha, the founder of the
dynasty, conquered the Punjab
. Taxila lost its independence and
became a mere provincial capital. Still, the city remained
extremely important as centre of administration, education and
trade. During the reign of Chandragupta's grandson Ashoka
, Buddhism became important and the first monks
settled in Taxila. Ashoka is said to have resided here as vice-king
of his father. In 184, the Greeks, who had maintained a kingdom in
Bactria, invaded Gandara and the Punjab again. From now on, there
was a Greek king living in Taxila, Demetrius. .