University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh is a pioneering university in the archaeological field.
ULAB Professor and Archaeologist Dr. Shahnaj Husne Jahan has obtained permission from the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to conduct a systematic archaeological exploration and excavation at Bhitargarh in Panchagarh district for five years.
ULAB is one of few universities, public or private, to support saving Bangladesh’s ancient heritage by specifically allocating university funds for excavation. It also supports the excavation by allowing students to participate via an archaeology course titled “Experiencing the Past,” under the General Education Program.
Under the supervision of Dr. Shahnaj Husne Jahan, the excavation team has already discovered foundations of a Buddhist stupa and a temple roughly dated to the 6th or 7th century CE.
It is the most important archeological discovery in the region, which is expected to shed significant light on the past cultural landscape of Panchagarh district in particular, and Bangladesh in general.
Besides excavation, the ULAB team has successfully employed various strategies at Bhitargarh for creating consciousness among the local inhabitants regarding cultural resources, heritage preservation and conservation.
Signboards displaying heritage awareness slogans were also put up by ULAB at various strategic points of the villages including the structural remains to enhance public education.
A number of local inhabitants, especially the landowners of the excavation sites, were also trained in archaeological excavation techniques, so as to make it possible for them to be a part of the excavation and thus stake a rightful claim to their own heritage.
ULAB and its Center for Archaeological Studies are affiliated with the Bhitargarh Promotional Society (BgPS), an online resource for information on the Bhitargarh walled city.