LAHORE: Archaeologists have unearthed a Shahi Hammam (Royal Bath) of Mughal emperor Akbar’s reign in Lahore’s ancient Shahi Qila Palace.
The discovery was made by the Lahore Walled City Authority (LWCA) officials from the grand palace.
The artifact was found after clearing over 100,000 cubic feet of rubble, LWCA officials told Express News on Sunday.
The bath is situated at the backyard of Emperor Jahangir’s tomb. It was built from red sandstone owing to which the the structure’s remains have been preserved to date.
The water channels and chimney built for steam bath are still visible in the palace.
The grand bath at Shahi Qila is made in a pattern similar to the royal bath built at the Delhi Gate of Lahore, with the former being relatively smaller.
Open baths, similar to this one had also been found at Shahi Qila before, however, they could not be restored and preserved by archaeologists thus far.
According to Sania Qureshi, the spokesperson for Lahore Walled City Authority, the grand bath was discovered during the restoration and maintenance work of the royal fort.
Documentation for the new discovery will soon be completed, she said, adding that the grand bath is being preserved in line with the UNESCO standards after which it would be opened for public.
The authority is preserving and restoring different parts of the palace through support from international NGOs and donor agencies.
The projects include ancient warehouse for artillery, royal kitchen, basement and tunnels as well as the grand picture wall, which is one of the largest royal palace walls in the world.
Most of these projects have already been completed but the work for many parts is still in process.
According to a senior officer of the archeology department, the new discovery is not a royal bath but a toilet used by the Mughals.