Recent findings in Mustang in Western Nepal have uncovered ancient human remains, dating back at least 3,000 years. An international team has been researching in the area since 2008. The recent findings of remains in caves suggest an independent civilisation had lived in Upper Mustang thousands of years ago, as cave settlements were not popular in any other places near around that time. Up to now it had always been thought all civilisations in Nepal had come from either India or Tibet on their trade routes.
The scientists also uncovered a unique burial culture: Bodies were found buried in square coffins, along with jewellery and utensils of daily life. Until quite recently, the people of Mustang were keen treasure hunters, and many of the graves had been dug up by them before. The caves also held religious treasures: ancient Buddhist shrines have been uncovered, with exquisitely painted frescoes and thousands of pages of religious texts in Tibetan.
The caves only have small entrance halls, but inside they expand into vast labyrinths and are several metres high. To reach the entrances, however, is a difficult task, as most of them are high above the ground.
The leader of the excavation team and archaeologist at University of California, Mark Aldenderfer, claims people have been living in the Mustang valley for 10,000 years. It is suggested to protect the area, to stop treasure hunting in the caves and find out more about Nepal’s ancient civilisation. If you are interested in archaeology, why not visit Mustang? Contact us for more information.