Luca M. Olivieri

The Archaeology of Early Historic Swat: Activities and Challenges of the Italian Mission 2000-2010

This illustrated lecture will present an overview of the archaeological research carried out by the Italian Archaeological Mission to Swat, Pakistan between 2000 and 2010. Swat Valley in northwestern Pakistan has been the center of militant insurgency beginning as early as 1998, but archaeological work continued up through 2006 at sites such as Barikot and Udegram. The site of Barikot is often associated with the conquest of this region by Alexander, but no Macedonian occupation levels have been found. The site
continued to be an important urban center contemporaneous with the site of Taxila. It was occupied from the 2nd century BC to the 5th century A.D. On the acropolis of the city a later Brahmanic temple has been excavated (7th-11th century A.D.). The site of Udegram is also possibly identified with the city of Ora that was conquered by Alexander, and it continued to be occupied up through Indo-Greek and Kushana periods. During the 8th-10th centuries, it was a major military center of the Hindu Shahi rulers and continued to be occupied as late as the 12th century. One of the earliest mosques in Swat Pakistan was discovered and excavated at Udegram. Plans for future research programs in Swat will also be discussed.