A Buddhist stupa atop Dhagolia hill in Gujarat’s Taranga range was excavated in May 2018 by the Archaeological Survey of India. Photo courtesy of ASI

VADNAGAR, India (RNS) — For generations, folk tales passed down by northern Gujarat’s nomadic goat herders described an ancient well atop Dhagolia hill in the Taranga mountains.

Then, last May, Abhijit Ambekar, a deputy superintending archaeologist with the Archaeological Survey of India, hit upon something that corresponded to the herders’ stories while excavating the weather-beaten site.

“It was like unraveling a mystery in layers. We found a structure that resembled a Buddhist stupa about 8 meters in diameter,” says Ambekar.

“There were tiers of burnt bricks, chipped stones and small boulders, which may be dated as far back as

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