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'Rakhigarhi is the largest Harappan site ever found'

'Rakhigarhi is the largest Harappan site ever found'

Author: Express News Service
Publication: ExpressIndia.com
Date: February 23, 2007
URL: http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=223720#

The excavations in Rakhigarhi, situated in Hisar, Haryana, have pushed back the history of civilisation by more than 500 years. "It is the largest Harappan site ever found," said the director of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), New Delhi, Dr Amerendra Nath, while delivering a lecture on 'Rakhigarhi - A Harappan Metropolis' at the ICSSR Complex, Panjab University, today. The lecture was organised by the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, PU.

"The site yielded finds of the early Harappan and mature Harappan phase," said Dr Nath. He said that features like knowledgeof writing, use of wedge-shaped bricks and town planning, earlier thought to be present in the mature phase i.e 2500 BC, were discovered to be present in the early phase i.e 3000 BC. Evidence of well-planned towns were found, he said.

Dr Nath designated two periods in the early Harappan phase - pre-formative and formative. "The pre-formative period yielded circular structures and showed no formal planning. Whereas, the formative period exhibited planned structures. Burnt bricks were much in use during the early Harappan phase," said Dr Nath.

The mature Harappan phase yielded a granary, with evidence of grain, fire altars and potters kiln. There was evidence of various crafts such as bead- making, bangle making, seal manufacturing, gold making, carpentry and terracotta making, practised by the people. Fish hooks were also discovered, pointing to the fact that the people practised fishing. Mirrors, tops, whistles arrowheads, rattles and tops were found. There is evidence to show that hopscotch was also played.

Dr Nath said this site is very rich in antiquities and extensive excavations in future can throw more light on various debatable issues. He however added that limited excavation was taken up because people are residing on the area.

The ASI has compiled a catalogue of symbols occurring in the Harappan context. The other projects include refurbishing of museums, preparing plans for management of World Heritage sites and undertaking conservation projects. Some projects are also in progress in Cambodia and Pakistan.

Prof Devendra Handa in his presidential remarks stressed on the need to excavate the site on a larger scale, which would acquaint us with detailed picture of this site and broader picture of rich Harappan civilisation.

Chairman of AIHC and Archaeology, Prof Ashvini Agrawal also spoke on the occasion.

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