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Asota Sharif / Kalula Stone Circle (Megaliths)

Jan 22, 2018
Asota Sharif (Kalula) Stone Circle

The Asota Sharif Megaliths in Swabi are perhaps one of the rarest and oldest surviving man-made features in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The standing stones are believed to date back to the Achemenian period (550-330 BCE). However, recent speculation suggests it could date back to the Aryan migration into the Indus Valley beginning in 1800 BCE.

A stone circle is a monument of standing stones arranged in a circle. Such monuments have been constructed in many parts of the world throughout history for many different reasons. The best known tradition of stone circle construction occurred across Western Europe in the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. Stonehenge stands as the most famous of these sites. However, in Pakistan stone circle sites have also been discovered at Bawata in Balochistan and Asota Sharif (Kalula) in Khyber Pakthtunkhwa,

The Asota Sharif site consists of 16 uprights stones, some reaching up to a height of about three metres. Others are shorter and there are a few that seem to have been broken off. Part of the circle, to the east, appears to be missing. 2 more stones are also present (one half buried and one has a base only), so in total 18 stones. Furthermore, another two small stones adjoin two of the larger standing ones, possibly as support.

The stones are in a nearly perfect circle, except for one which stands slightly outside of it. However, as most stones (13) stand on one side, forming a semi-circle, only an archaeological dig could confirm the circle as such. The semi-circle stones are roughly oriented south-west, the one out of line is on the other side, where two more standing and one lying stones can be found on the imaginary circle line. The stones are generally uncut, although some seem to have been shaped into rectangular form with defined corners. They are of granite, which I believe can be found in the mountains nearby although my guide maintained that that type of granite comes from about 20 kilometers away. In total the site is about twelve to fifteen metres across and that would make it about the same size as the one outside Bawata. The stones can also be seen on Google Earth if you're interested - the coordinates are Latitude: 34.238820N Longitude: 72.335640E.

As for how old the site is, we can't be sure. In 2013, the Archaeological Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa erected a fence around the stone circle to preserve the site. However, no studies have yet taken place to determine its age. The site is estimated to have been built anywhere between between 4000 BCE to 330 BCE.

Interestingly, very close by the Asota stone circle is the village of Adina, which in the mid 1990s became famous for the discovery of early Aryan graves dating back to the 14th century BCE, which coincides with the Aryan migration into the Indus Valley. It could very well be that the stone circle could have been built by these people. The connection between the megalith in Asota and the Aryan graves in Adina certainly seems strong, however, until a proper scientific study takes place, all this is just speculation.

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