Ancient City Threatened by Brick Recycling

Posted on August 29, 2012


Built 2,500 years ago, the ancient city of Pundranager was once a renowned area of learning. Monks from China and Tibet frequented the city where they were trained in ancient Buddhist teachings.

Today, the city’s ruins are under what is now the Bangledeshi village of Mahasthangarh. This village is currently listed within Asia’s top 10 endangered sites. Despite its rich history, the site is reportedly being destroyed by modern day residents.

Residents have been stealing bricks from the site to use in their own homes, as well as scavenging the site for artifacts to sell at market. Residents claim that scavenging such sites has always been considered an acceptable way to make a living.

Resident Abdus Sattar explained that “hundreds of houses were built from these old bricks. We didn’t steal them, they are everywhere here. Everyone does it.” As to the artifacts, Sattar further explained that “families have always picked things like beads, stones, coins that come to the surface after heavy rains. They are like endless resources, they never end.”