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Thread: East, SE, and South Asian Archaeology and History News

  1. #51
    Registered Users

    Quote Originally Posted by parasar View Post
    Yes same site.
    It is a pretty massive site.
    And, Sarnath.
    Sarnath? that's interesting. What will study of Sarnath be about? have they actually found any skeletons there?

  2. #52
    Gold Class Member

    Scientists from the India Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, and the Archaeological Survey of India, have uncovered evidence that the Indus Valley Civilisation is at least 8,000 years old, and that pre-Harappan civilisation existed for at least 1,000 years before this. They also believe climate change ended the civilisation about 3,000 years ago.

    Anindya Sarkar, head of the department of geology and geophysics at IIT-Kharagpur, says: "We have recovered perhaps the oldest pottery from the civilisation. We used a technique called 'optically stimulated luminescence' to date pottery shards of the Early Mature Harappan time to nearly 6,000 years ago and the cultural levels of pre-Harappan Hakra phase as far back as 8,000 years."

    The team's excavations at an unexplored site - Bhirrana - also yielded large quantities of animal remains like bones, teeth, and horn cores of cow, goat, deer and antelope.

    The researchers believe that the Indus Valley Civilisation spread over a vast expanse of the sub-continent. While earlier phases were represented by pastoral and village farming communities, and mature Harappan settlements were highly urbanised with organised cities, a developed material and craft culture, and regular trade with Arabia and Mesopotamia, the Late Harappan phase is characterised by large-scale de-urbanisation, drop in population, abandonment of established settlements, lack of basic amenities, violence, and even the disappearance of the Harappan script.

    The study shows that the pre-Harappan humans started inhabiting this area in a climate favourable for settlement and agriculture. "The monsoon was much stronger between 9000 years and 7000 years ago, and probably fed these rivers making them mightier with vast floodplains," explains Arati Deshpande Mukherjee of Deccan College, which helped analyse the finds. The researchers say that, with the declining monsoon, the Indus Valley people shifted their crop patterns from large-grained cereals like wheat and barley to drought-resistant species like rice. As the yield diminished, the organised storage system of the Mature Harappan period gave way to more individual household-based crop processing and storage systems, acting as a catalyst for the gradual decline of the civilisation rather than any abrupt collapse.

    Edited from Times of India (29 May 2016)
    Circum-Indian ocean hydroclimate at the mid to late Holocene transition: The Double Drought hypothesis and consequences for the Harappan
    "The first drought was an abrupt 300-year long winter rainfall drought between 4.26 and 3.97 kyr BP, associated with the 4.2 kyr event, propagated from the Mediterranean and Middle East. This led to Harappan site abandonment in the Indus valley and the end of Mature Harappan period. The second drought was a more gradual but longer lasting reduction in summer monsoon rainfall beginning 3.97 kyr BP leading to the further site abandonment at sites in Gujarat, a transition towards a more rural society, and the end of the Late Harappan. The consequences for the new mid to late Holocene Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point in a stalagmite from Meghalaya are explored."

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  4. #53
    Gold Class Member

    Quote Originally Posted by parasar View Post
    The Greeks reported immense armies with chariots and horses and mentioned large cities such as Palibothra.

    "The third division has charge of the foot-soldiers, the fourth of the horses, the fifth of the war-chariots, and the sixth of the elephants."
    "The chariots are drawn on the march by oxen, but the horses are led along by a halter, that their legs may not be galled and inflamed, nor their spirits damped by drawing chariots."
    "In addition to the charioteer, there are two fighting men who sit up in the chariot beside him."
    "Of the women, some are in chariots, some on horses, and some even on elephants, and they are equipped with weapons"
    "The greatest proficients test their skill driving a chariot round and round in a ring"
    "The people who live in the furthest-off part are the Gangarides, whose king possesses 1000 horse, 700 elephants, and 60,000 foot in apparatus of war."
    "In the Ganges there is an island extremely populous, occupied by a very powerful nation whose king keeps under arms 50,000 foot and 4000 horse."
    "The Prasian nation, which is extremely powerful, inhabits a city called Palibotra ... king keeps in his pay at all times 60,000 foot 30,000 horse, and 8000 elephants."
    "In India there are herds of wild horses, and also of wild asses."
    "The horsemen are equipped with two lances like the lances called aaunia ...But they do not put saddles on their horses, nor do they curb them with bits like the bits in use among the Greeks or the Kelts, but they fit on round the extremity of the horse's mouth a circular piece of stitched raw ox-hide studded with pricks of iron or brass pointing inwards, but not very sharp"
    "The animals used by the common sort for riding on are camels and horses and asses, while the wealthy use elephants, — for it is the elephant which in India carries royalty. The conveyance which ranks next in honour is the chariot"

    None, or very little, of this is present in the archaeological record. And women formed a part of the fighting force (Shak?). But no horse, no chariot, and some limited and doubtful ramparts of Palibothra have been found!

    So what are we to think, all the Pauraniks, the Greeks, Kautilya's war manual, later Chinese are all telling tales?
    Shung ( period:
    India, West Bengal, Chandraketugarh region, circa 100 B.C.

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  6. #54
    Gold Class Member

    Mature Indus period bricks were found on the Raghopur diara (island) - very surprising as the area was supposed to have been occupied only after the Late Harappan period.
    "Digging for piling work to build a house at the diara, around 10km north of Patna, the landowner, whose name is not being disclosed, came across thousands of large bricks. He used some and kept the rest as samples out of curiosity."
    "Atul Verma ... examined the bricks himself and also showed it to the former joint director general of the Archaeological Survey of India K.N. Dikshit. Mr Dikshit confirmed the Harappan identity of the bricks after checking their thickness, width and length ratio which is 1:2:4, a typical “mature Harappan” trait ... The main question doing the rounds is that if the sites in Uttar Pradesh are known as late Harappan sites, how can mature Harappan civilization travel further eastward?"

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