Govt takes over 300-year-old building in Ctg
The government has decided to take over a 300-year-old building located on Nazu Miah Lane at port city's Patharghata for preservation due to its archaeological importance.
The archaeological importance was known when the present owners of the building went to demolish it to replace it with a multi-storey building last week.
When part of the basement was dismantled, locals found that the one-storey building stood on a number of clay pots.
It is known that Shariat Ullah Saodagar, a merchant of Chattogram, built the building around 300 years ago. His fourth generation descendants are its owners at present.
"I don't know why egg-shaped clay pots were used under the building's basement," said septuagenarian Md Faruk, one of Shariat Ullah's descendants. "The technology makes us wonder."
Aliur Rahman, chairperson of Chattogram History and Culture Research Centre, told The Daily Star that he rushed to the spot and found that 34 pots were recovered.
"We think around 120 pots might be under the basement. It's interesting that the pots hold the building's weight of around 2,500 tonnes," he said.
"Due to the structure's archaeological importance, we contacted the district administration and archaeological department," he added.
Archaeologist Dr Ahmed Abdullah, also director of Ethnological Museum, Chattogram, visited the site yesterday.
He told The Daily Star that he found the structure's importance and informed it to the deputy commissioner of Chattogram. "We are primarily convinced that the building was built around 300 years ago."
As per instruction of the prime minister to protect archaeological objects, the government decided to take over the building as it is at present and preserve it as an archaeological structure of the Mughal era, he said.
He also mentioned that the building owners will be compensated in this regard.
Asked about the use of pots, he said the same technology was found in Idrakpur Fort at Munshiganj.
"The clay pots would be used in the basement to control its temperature. It is a technology used during the Mughal era," he said. "Besides, these pots protect the structure from earth quakes and flood."
Contacted, Town Planner Subhash Barua echoed Abdullah.
"The clay pots have been designed to be egg-shaped, and so they can hold the weight of the building under the basement," he said. "If you put pressure on an egg vertically, it will not break. This science was used in this case."