Pakistan-France Marked 60 Years of Cooperation in Archaeology

Islamabad, April 19, 2019 (PPI-OT): A special event to mark the 60 years of archaeological cooperation between Pakistan and France was held at the Embassy in Paris. This function was the first formal event organized by the Association of Friends of Pakistan after its establishment last year. The event was attended by the officials of the French Foreign Ministry, members of French archaeological mission, scholars, researchers and media persons, says a press release received from Paris here today. Dr. Aurore Didier, the current Head of the French Archaeological Mission in the Indus Basin (MAFBI) was the key note speaker.

Tracing the history of the French archaeological mission in the Indus Basin founded in 1958, she said that it had excavated major archaeological sites in Pakistan such as Amri in Sindh, Mehrgarh Nindowari, Nausharo, Miri Qalat and Shahi Tomb in Balochistan. She said the mission especially take pride in its discovery of Mehrgarh in Balochistan which was the most ancient civilization in the entire South Asian region. Dr. Didier said that the extensive research and deep studies carried out during the last 60 years by the French and Pakistani archaeologists have produced invaluable data, highlighting the existence of thousand of years old civilization in the region which is now Pakistan.

The Ambassador of Pakistan to France Mr. Moin ul Haque speaking on the occasion conveyed his congratulations on reaching this important milestone in the long history of strong and continuous cooperation between France and Pakistan in the field of archaeology. Noting that the important discoveries made by the French team in Balochistan and Sindh, had greatly contributed to understanding of ancient cultures and civilizations in Pakistan, he specifically thanked Prof. Jean-Francois Jarrige and Roland Besenval, the two French archaeologists, who were the pioneers in setting up the French Archaeology Mission and discovering Mehrgarh.

The Ambassador conveyed his special thanks to Mrs. Fredrika Sundberg, President of the Association of Friends of Pakistan and other members of the Association for organizing this excellent event. He also appreciated the support of MAFBI and the French government for training of the Pakistani students and researchers and imparting them with latest excavation techniques, skills and knowledge in the field of archaeology. Later, Ambassador gave special memento shields to the widow of Prof. Jarrige, son of Mr. Besenval and Dr. Didier to mark the 60 years of French Archeology Mission in Pakistan.

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