Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has appointed Dr Abdul Samad, head of department of archaeology and school of cultural heritage and creative technologies at Hazara University, as director of the provincial directorate of archaeology and museums.
Perhaps the youngest archeology director during the last decade or so, the 33-year-old doctor accepted the responsibility to takes care of the rich archaeological wealth of the Gandhara Civilisation. He had to drop an offer of Fulbright Scholarship for the job.
During the last three years, three teachers of archaeology department of University of Peshawar worked as directors at the directorate of archaeology and museums after sudden death of archaeology director Saleh Mohammad in 2011.
“Peshawar Museum traditionally had the world renowned archaeologists as its founders and curators like Sir Aurel Stein, Hargreaves and DB Spooner. However, we have sunk to such mediocrity that appointments are made on political basis rather than merit. It is time merit should prevail,” said an official, on condition of anonymity, about deputation of officials as director of archaeology during the last couple of years.
Dr Samad, an assistant professor who is also a gold medalist of University of Peshawar, gained rich experience in the field of archaeology during his 10-year career. The young archaeologist also worked as a consultant with the provincial department of archaeology and museums from Jan 2011 to Dec 2012. He supervised activities like publication and administration of museums and also initiated different heritage awareness programmes by involving local community.