Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Ancient Bengali Broadway Volume 57 Number 4, July/August 2004


The discovery of the oldest road ever found in Bangladesh may reveal important information about trade and industry in the region. It's the first evidence of an ancient travel route across the often-flooded river valley where the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal. Found by archaeologists in a village about 20 miles from the capital city of Dhaka, the 60-foot-long, 50-foot-wide stretch of road dates to 450 B.C. and was made of crushed brick and broken ceramics, then cemented by brick dust. A bunker-fortified citadel was found nearby. Archaeologists think the road may have marked the eastern edge of the Mauryan Empire, the first to control virtually the entire Indian subcontinent.

© 2004 by the Archaeological Institute of America