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‘The remains of Harappan civilization found in Rakhigarhi and the finest specimens of townships show that our ancestors were masters of engineering and architects’

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Recently, Harappan ruins found in Rakhigarhi area of ​​Hisar district of Haryana have not only revealed a systematic outline of township planning, but also have evidence of commercial and industrial activities of that time. The Rakhigarhi site has been included by the government as one of the five iconic sites in the country. Joint Director General of Archaeological Survey of India leading the recent excavation team at Rakhigarhi Dr. Sanjay Manjul from Manjari Chaturvedi Conversed. Here are the highlights:

How important are the remains found in Rakhigarhi from the point of view of Indian archeology?
The civilization that developed on the banks of the Indus and Saraswati rivers in the Indian subcontinent was named the Indus Valley or Harappan Civilization. The remains of Mohenjodaro and Harappan civilizations found on the banks of the Indus river went to Pakistan. On the other hand, Harappan remains have been found in Rakhigarhi, Banawali, Kalibanga, Pinjore, Lothal and Dholavira in India. Among them, the Rakhigarhi site is the most widespread, and has been found here from early Harappan to Harappan and post-Harappan periods (1900 to 5000 BC). It was situated on the banks of the Drishvadvati river, a sub-section of the Saraswati (presently Ghaggar) river. This suggests that Rakhigarhi may have been the largest center or one of the major centers of the Harappan civilization.

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How and in what large area have the complete remains been found from here?
Rakhigarhi is spread over 350 hectares. Seven mounds have been marked in it. In this round, mound number one, three and seven have been excavated. Mound number two and six have already been excavated. The largest mound (number four and five) has not been excavated here, because at present the villages are settled here. It is believed that the layers of cultural deposits will be found at about 18 meters or more. Township planning has come to the fore in mound number one and three, while the evidence of graveyard has been found largely in mound number seven.

Haryana: Rakhigarhi dig in Hisar village gives evidence of a planned Harappan-era city

Remains of Harappan civilization have been found in Rakhigarhi, Haryana.

What did you see in the evidence of townships that have been found from here?
One thing is clear that our ancestors were masters of engineering and architects. The best specimens of townships have been found in Tila-1 and 3. In these, things like roads, streets adjoining them, paved drains built along the roads, houses built in the streets, outlines of houses have been found. Whatever structures have been found, in addition to bricks made of raw clay, baked bricks, stone has been used. Evidence of planning has also been found from the early Harappan to the advanced Harappan period. Things like drains, soak pits attached to them show the drainage system and waste disposal plans at that time. The same ratio of 1:2:4 has been kept for keeping bricks from road to house building, which is used even today. There are roads, streets and drains cut at right angles.

And what kind of evidence has emerged that shows the way of life of the time?
From here we have found utensils made of clay and stone, toys like bull, dog and pig figures, toy cart wheels etc. Apart from these, factory evidences, semi-precious stones such as carnelian, lapies and gold beads, a piece of mang belt made of gold, ornaments made of conch shells and bones, seals or seals made of clay (which have something written in Harappan script on one side) And on the other side, crocodiles, elephants etc. have been found holding fish in the mouth. Apart from these, objects of copper or bronze have also been found. In addition to earthen stoves, tandoors, graveyards and male skeletons have also been found. These suggest that Rakhigarhi may have been an important city and commercial center of the Harappan period.
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You said that you have also found graves from here. How important can skeletal evidence be?
Tila-7 has emerged as a graveyard. Earlier 50 graves or skeletons were found from here. In this excavation, two new skeletons of women have been found. In her hands are bangles made of conch shell. In one’s hand is a conch shell. A small copper mirror has also been found near a skeleton, which shows the aesthetic sense of the society of that time. Most importantly, a crescent-shaped settlement made of clay from the early Harappan period has been found under this graveyard, in which things like tandoor and stove have been found in addition to houses. The people who had lived here earlier, must have been displaced from here due to floods etc. and this settlement turned into rubble. Several hundred years later, when the area was repopulated, this place was used as a cemetery. We have taken the DNA of these skeletons, from which it may be known whether these people were from here or had settled from outside, or there were different species of humans here.

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Is there any relation between the different sites of archeology, such as Kalibanga, Dholavira, Pinjore or Hastinapur etc.?
In addition to the sites of the Harappan civilization, the evidence found in other sites also comes out in the form of diversity and similarity. Rakhigarhi is believed to have been connected by water or land route. From township planning to the remains of utensils, their material, the bead or measure of weight found here are such things, in which there is a lot of similarity. These show the mutual trade and cultural ties between these places. For example, the lapies found here are originally found in Afghanistan, conch shells are found in the sea areas, beads came here from Gujarat, similarly the stone came from the mines of Rajasthan. Whereas the copper may have migrated from the inhabited areas in the Saraswati Valley to other places. All this shows that in those times people used to use things available at other places apart from the things available here.

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