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There is a fascinating place near Kolkata (West Bengal, India) where a bustling town from the days of Emperor Asoka is buried under the present day ricefields and village cottages. If you go there, you won't see much at first. But look down on the ground you're walking on, and you'll see something unusual. The ground appears strewn with a variety of potsherds. In fact, whenever the ground of Chandraketugarh is dug to build a house or to dig a pond, a variety of elegant and sophisticated artifacts is routinely unearthed.
All available information points to a mature civilization centered around a busy port, which started flourishing in this area more than 2000 years ago. Indeed, it is thought to belong to the kingdom of a "mighty ruler" of whom Alexander the Great was familiar. Plutarch wrote about a powerful tribe called "Gangaridae" living near a prosperous port "Gange" in the Gangetic delta. From geographical description the Chandraketugarh area can be linked to this port.
The inhabitants of Chandraketugarh achieved spectacular artistic refinement and created artifacts of exquisite beauty. Influence of foreign art raises intriguing questions. The numerous materials collected from this site point to a rich cultural and social life. Why did it vanish without a trace? We embark upon a journey to learn more, especially through the terracotta art of Chandraketugarh.