Pyu Cities: Beikthano-Myo, Halin, Tharay-Khit-taya (Sri Ksetra)
Department of Archaeology
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These ancient cities built along the Ayeyawady Valley belong to the Pyu, a people speaking a language closely related to Myanmar and now extinct. They were built from the 1st to the 9th centuries AD. The stone inscriptions found in some of their monuments provide the only knowledge of this language. The Pyus built large cities enclosed by ramparts. Each city is located at the centre of a cleverly designed irrigation network of channels, connected by sluices to the local rivers. The Pyu culture is characterized by um burial and specific artifacts (coins, ceramic, metalware). Archaeological evidence confirms the emergence of Buddhism in Myanmar during the Pyu period. Beikthano-Myo : Excavated in 1959-63. The quadrangular city wall, with gateways, has a side of 3km. Several brick structures have been unearthed, including the first Buddhist monuments built in Myanmar (stupas and monasteries). Numerous burial sites. Halin. Excavated in 1904, 1929-30 and 1962-67. Rectangular city wall in brick, 3 by 1,5 km, with palace site at the centre. Stone incriptions and sculptures and bases of brick structures. Tharay-khit-taya (Sri Ksetra). The largest Pyu city, enclosed by a circular city wall in brick with a diametre of 4,4 km, contains several brick monuments (stupas and temples). First excavations in 1904. At the centre the foundations of the royal palace have been excavated in 1991. Numerous stone, gold and bronze sculptures and metal artifacts. Inscriptions on stone and gold leaves in Sanskrit, Pali and Pyu. An archaeological Museum is maintained on the site.