Archaeology

Harappan surprise

Print edition : April 17, 2015

A seal made of steatite stone found in one of the trenches in 4MSR. It is a sure sign that the site belongs to the Mature Harappan phase. The seal has the carving of a unicorn standing in front of an incense burner and five Harappan characters on the top part. Photo: S. Subramanium

A view of the mounds at the 4MSR site near Binjor. Photo: S. Subramanium

Sanjay Kumar Manjul, Director of the Institute of Archaeology and also Director of Excavation at 4MSR, examining a painted pot. Manjul is a specialist in ceramics. Photo: Subhash Chandel, ASI

A perforated pot found in a trench. A rare feature of the site is that a perforated jar, a perforated pot and a perforated bowl have been found, all telltale signs a Mature Harappan culture. Photo: S. Subramanium

A.K. Pandey, Deputy Director of Excavation, points to the mud-brick structures and a pestle in a trench. The trench also yielded ovens and hearths. At right is a silo lined with mud for storing grains. Photo: S. Subramanium

A view of the trench with rooms made of mud bricks. Photo: Subhash Chandel, ASI

A view of the trenches, which have revealed mud-brick structures, silos for storing grains, and ovens and hearths. Photo: S. Subramanium

A trench full of pots, jars and other ceramics. It was perhaps a storehouse for grains. Photo: Subhash Chandel, ASI

A razor blade (left) and a broken celt, both made of copper. Harappan culture belonged to the Bronze Age. Photo: Subhash Chandel, ASI

A variety of beads found at the site, which yielded evidence of industrial activity to make beads from semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli, carnelian, faience, agate and steatite. Photo: S. Subramanium

A chert blade. Such blades were used for skinning hunted animals. Photo: S. Subramanium

Painted terracota pottery. Photo: S. Subramanium

A perforated bowl, with a hole at the bottom, a rare occurence in Harappan sites. Photo: S. Subramanium

A potsherd with a painted flower. Photo: Subhash Chandel, ASI

A potsherd with a painting of a lion or an animal belonging to the cat family. The animal's elongated body shows the 'Kulli" style of painting of Afghanistan. Photo: Subhash Chandel, ASI

Ceramics, includinga painted pot with a handle, another rarity. Photo: Subhash Chandel, ASI

Copper rings. Photo: S. Subramanium

A terracota figurine of a humped bull.

Fabric marks on a piece of clay. Spindle whorls have been found, indicating that the residents there knew how to weave fine fabrics. Photo: S. Subramanium

The impression of a seal on clay, indicating that tax had been paid on goods. This confirms that the site had trade with other Harappan settlements. Photo: S. Subramanium

A part of a gold ear ornament. It is rare to find gold ornaments at Harappan sites. However, gold tubular beads have been found at Khirsara and Lothal, both in Gujarat. Photo: S. Subramanium

A cubicular weight made of chert stone. Photo: S. Subramanium

The fire altar, with a yasti made of an octagonal brick. Photo: Subhash Chandel, ASI

An idli-shaped terracota cake that retained heat and was used to keep milk warm for children in winter. Photo: R. Ravindran

The skeleton of a woman, about 40 years old. The ASI archaeologists are identifying the grave goods in the trench to determine whether the skeleton belongs to the Early Harappan, Mature Harappan or a later period. Photo: Subhash Chandel, ASI

Students of the Institute of Archaeology, New Delhi, and staff of the ASI taking part in the excavation at 4MSR. In the back row, A.K. Pandey is seen showing an instrument used in the excavation. On his left is Sanjay Kumar Manjul. Photo: Subhash Chandel, ASI

The discovery and excavation of a new site, 4MSR, near Binjor, Rajasthan, may yield vital clues about the evolution and continuity of the mature and late phases of the Harappan civilisation and their relationship to the painted grey ware culture that followed.

    Related Articles

    This article is closed for comments.
    Please Email the Editor