PIPLYA LORKA (RAISEN) (1983-84)
The Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, M.P., Bhopal, conducted an archaeological excavation at Piplya Lorka (District Raisen M.P.), a Chalcolithic site, during two sessions viz. 1977-78 and 1983-84, under the direction of S/Shri V.K. Bajpal and C. Krishna respectively. During the earlier session only limited area was excavated on accounted of shortage of time. However, during 1983-84, excavation on better scale was undertaken by the Department. The team included S/Shri R.R. Singh, Dr. O.P. Mishra, Vinod Joshi, S.L. Soni, L.P. Kadam and Ram Anjorpal.
Piplya Lorka (lat. 23º long. 77º 37'E) is situated at a distance of 25 km from Bhopal towards Mandideep and 5 km east from Mandideep by cart road. Prof. Shankar Tiwari of the Department of Geography, Hamidia college, Bhopal, made discovery of this site in 1976 during his sporadic survey of Rock-shelters surrounding Bhopal.
The ancient site is situated on the right bank of the Kaliasot a tributary of the Betwa. The whole mound, excepting a small area in western end of the village has been occupied by modern habitation. Their left over area was selected for excavation. The total height of the mound is approximately 15 m.
In all six trenches were laid viz. PLK I, II and III during 1977-78 and PLK IV, V, VI during 1983-84. PLK IV measuring 9 x 6 mts was laid on the top of the mound, PLK VI and VI were laid towards south of the PLK IV and near PLK II on the slop. Natural soft was traced at the depth of 9.10 m in PLK IV and 7.40 m in PLK VI. on the basis of pottery and antiquarian remains the following cultural sequence of the site was established ;
Period 1. - Chalcolithic Cultures.
Period 1 — Chalcolithic Cultures
Phase 1 : It is lowermost deposit of this site yielding painted Black-on- Red ware (in minority), lustrous Red Ware engraved on exterior, Chocolate ware and painted White -on- Red ware in various shapes and sizes. Regarding antiquarian remains, an important micro-beads of gold has been unearthed from this phase. Other antiquities included microliths viz., fluted cores, blades, lunates and burins made of chert and jasper.
Phase II: It is an important phase of the Chalcolithic deposit with presence of pottery types and other antiquities unearthed from layer (14) to (18) in PLK IV. The varieties of pots included bowls , dishes, shallow bowls, dish -on- stand, painted and plain. White painted black -and- red ware are quite similar to the Ahar Chalcolithic pottery types. Antiquities recovered from, this beads made on terracotta, steatite and stone in various shapes and sizes. Hexagonal round, barrel and flat shaped beads are the main types. The stones used for bead making are chert, jasper, agate and chalcedony and these must have been imported from somewhere in India.
Phase-III : The main characteristic of this phase is the find of painted black-on-red ware with white border on black paintings. Such paintings have not been encountered in any of the Chalcolithic settlements in India in general and Madhya Pradesh in particular. Apart from this painted black-on- red were, black- and red ware, black- slipped ware, red - slipped ware, and grey ware with fine and coarse texture, have been noticed. It is noteworthy that similar fine grey ware shreds have been noticed an Amakheda Excavation (Vidisha). It is located in layers (10) to (13) in PLK IV at Piplya Lorka. Terracotta objects, beads, microliths of various types and design have also been found in this phase.
Phase IV : It is the topmost phase of the Chalcolithic settlement at Pipalya Lorka. The pottery are orange, black, black-and -red and red slipped wares in various shapes and sizes in frequency. The paintings on pottery are lesser than phases II and III. Antiquities and potteries are common as reported previously,.
The Chalcolithic Pottery from Piplya Lorka .
Period II — Historic Period
An outstanding sculpture of Nayika shown in standing posture and holding a lotus stalk and flower in the left hand and right hand downwards, was procured from the upper historic level of the site. Artistically it may be placed around circa 9-10th century A.D.