New findings at Rakhigarhi

MAY 10

Preliminary   > Art and Culture   >   Miscellaneous   >   Archaeological sites

Why in news?

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has made significant discoveries at the Rakhigarhi site - an archaeological site belonging to the Indus Valley Civilisation.

Background:

  • Archaeologically, the span of the Harappan Civilisation is subdivided into three periods — early (3300 BC to 2600 BC), mature (2600 BC to 1900 BC), and late (1900 BC to 1700 BC).
  • Five urban sites — Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Ganweriwala (now in Pakistan) and Rakhigarhi and Dholavira (India) — have been identified as centres of the Civilisation.

What is Rakhigarhi?

  • Rakhigarhi is a village and an archaeological site belonging to the Indus Valley Civilisation in Haryana.
  • It was part of the mature phase of the Indus Valley Civilisation, dating to 2600-1900 BCE. The site is located in the Ghaggar-Hakra River plain.

What are the recent significant discoveries made at Rakhigarhi?

  • Skeletal Remains:
    • The skeletons of two women were found at Mound No. 7 believed to be nearly 5,000 years old.
    • Pots and other artefacts were found buried next to the remains, part of funerary rituals back.
    • DNA samples might provide clues about the ancestry and food habits of people who lived in the region thousands of years ago.
  • Signs of Settlement:
    • This is the first time excavations have been done on Mound No. 3 which has revealed what appears to be “an aristocratic settlement”;
    • In all Harappan sites excavated so far, there have been similar signs of three tiers of habitation:
      • ‘Common settlements’ with mud-brick walls
      • ‘Elite settlement’ with burnt brick walls alongside mud-brick walls, and
      • ‘Middle-rung settlements’.
  • Jewellery Unit: 
    • A large number of steatite beads, beads of semi-precious stones, shells, and objects made of agate and carnelian have been recovered.
    • This discovery signifies that trading was also done from the city.
  • Other noteworthy findings:
    • Steatite seals, terracotta bangles, terracotta unbaked sealing with relief of elephants and the Harappan script also found.
    • The team also recovered some Harappan sealings (impression of a seal on a surface) indicating that seals were used to mark objects belonging to a set of people or community as they are today.

PRACTICE QUESTION:

In the context of Indus Valley Civilization, consider the following statements:

1. Burnt bricks were used for construction of houses

2. Seals were used to mark objects belonging to a set of people or community

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer – C