A team from the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), led by the State Convener A B Tripathy visited the excavation site in the Prachi Valley being done by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The excavation site has revealed a flourishing settlement which was agrarian in nature and also domesticated cattle and engaged in fishing.

Some unique finds include bone harpoons and hooks, stone axes, potsherds besides remains of fauna ranging from sharks to rhinos.

Mr Tripathy said INTACH had realised the relevance of the rich civilisational remains of the Prachi Valley and had launched a project for listing of the monuments and remains of this rich river valley earlier in January this year.

According to Anil Dhir, the Project Head, the entire stretch of this ancient river is being surveyed and every monument, remains, edifices and heritage is being documented and listed.

He said that in the last two months, the team has made many new discoveries, both of tangible and intangible heritages. Dhir said that Intach will share all its findings with the ASI and that the importance of this site will come to light.

He claimed that the evidence unearthed by the ASI shows that the Prachi Valley Civilisation predates the Mohanjo Daro and Indus Valley Civilisation.

According to Dr Biswajit Mohanty, the Prachi was a vibrant navigable river till the early 1940s. Today its a dried up river, which is only visible during the monsoons.

Former bureaucrat Sanjib Hota says that the Prachi, as a sacred river, finds reference in the ancient puranic literature such as Markandeya Purana, Kapilasamhita, Prachi Mahatmya and the Odia Mahabharata.

It is the only place where the unique blend of various religious cults can be found in a chronological order.