Archeologists have discovered the ruins of a city in north-western Pakistan linked to Greek warrior Alexander the Great whose army passed through the Himalayan valleys more than 2,000 years ago, officials said on Monday.
A team of Italian and Pakistani professionals has found coins, weapons and pottery in Swat valley in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province after years of excavation, Pakistani archeologist Niaz Shah said.
“We have concluded, based on historic reference and relative archeological facts, that Greek people lived here as a community,” Shah said.
The presence of a defence wall around the city and the caches of weapons suggested they might have been part of Alexander's army.
The city later became a fusion of Indian and Greek civilizations when local Buddhist communities took over the site, the archeologist said.
A 4,000-strong community called Kalasha, thought to be the descendants of Alexander’s soldiers, still lives in Himalayan valleys of Pakistan, but Swat was the first discovery of its kind, Shah said.
“There have been traces of Greek civilization on the route that Alexander followed to India,” he added, “But this is the first planned city we know so far.”