Directorate of Archaeology, Archives and Museums

Government of Madhya Pradesh


The Department of Ancient Indian History Culture and Archaeology, University of Sagar under the direction S.K. Pandey and Directorate of Archaeology under the direction of M.D. Khar and K.K. Chakravarty carried out excavation at Nandur on the river Betravati, 12 km South - West of Mandideep, between Bhopal and Itarsi junction. Two trenches viz. NDR - 1 and DDR - II were  dug which yielded the following sequence :

Period I (c. 5th to 4th century B.C.)
This period was characterized by wheel-made pottery represented by deep and thin bowls in black and red ware, besides a few black ware bowls of fine fabric.

Period 1 B (c. 4th to 3rd century B.C.)
This period indicates the use of red, black - and - red and black - slipped wares in addition to wares associated with NBP. However, the excavation did not yield any NBR shards. Important antiquities included cast and punch -marked coins, one carnelian bead, bone stylus, copper antimony rod and a terracotta human figurine. 

Period II (c. 2nd century B.C. to 1st century A.D..)
In this  period there was continuity of the earlier ceramic tradition along  with the introduction of new types like lid - cum- bowl and wide mouthed basins. Other finds include copper coins, shell and terracotta bangles, terracotta beads and iron objects.

Period III (c Ist century A.D. to 4th century A.D.)  
This period is marked by the presence of painted and stamped pottery and some inscribed seals belonging to Kusana Ksatrapa times.

Period IV (c. 4th century to 6th century A.D.)
This yielded grey ware pottery, scales and sealing's bearing various inscriptions. The excavation was continued during 18981-82 leading to exposure of several architectural remains, a brick well and a ringwell, besides pottery and other finds. The pottery consisted of NBP ware, red ware bearing yellowish cream slip and painted with black bands, black and red ware and coarse red ware. The excavation yielded terracotta sealings assignable to Gupta - Ksatrapa period. One of the sealings bearings legend in box - headed characters. The name may be Dattanaga. The second sealing records dasgama, devadasa, meaning perhaps 'Devadasa, the ruler of ten villages'. Last year a signet ring of this ruler (Devadasa) was found on the surface. The third sealing bears maharajaraut in Brahmi characters. The fourth sealing bears the legend matrasena while the one from the Ksatrapa level bears the legend nigamasa. Finds include : punch marked, cast and  Naga coins, silver coins  of the Mughal times, ivory and terracotta female figures, terracotta animal figurines, beads of terracotta and semi- precious stones, copper wheel, antimony rod, arrow- heads and iron objects of daily use.
As a result of the excavations,  the following periods could be established :

  • Period IA - Pre Mauryan (7th to 4th century B.C.)
  • Period  IB - Mauryan (4th to 2nd century B.C.)
  • Period II - Sunga - Satavahana (2nd century B.C. to 2nd century A.D.)
  • Period III - Kshatrapa - Naga (end to 4th Century A.D.)
  • Period IV - Gupta (4th to 6th century A.D.)Period V - Medieval (7th century A.D.)

The excavations were continued during 1982-83. The excavation at NDR - V revealed the position of Pre-Mauryan levels in the light of previous results. The sequence yielded was the same as in NDRI and II. The notable antiquities included bricks measuring 20 x 15 cms from the Kshatrapa levels (layers 3), brick structure iron nails, head scratchier with 'MA' symbol, copper coins, stone torso of Vishnu and beads.

In NDR III, eighteen trenches measuring 24 x 12 were laid towards south naming NDR VI to find out the extension of the structure. During the horizontal dig all the structural deposits of NDR III, i.e. , Muslim, Gupta and Kshatrapa were noticed.

The deposit of Gupta phase yielded brick walls with two different sizes of bricks, drainage system with earthen conduits showing the flow of water from east to west and perhaps a part of a compound wall. the top layer yielded a masonry wall and some coins of Muslim period.