“An ancient riddle will be solved and historical chronology will change.’’
Few months back we reported on a Harappan burrial site in Baghpat, in Uttar Pradesh. There was a mummified body wearing copper bracelets and the site had pottery and other artefacts dating back to the Indus Valley civilisation. Here is another report with some more details.
‘‘It is the first Harappan burial site to be found in Uttar Pradesh,’’ says Sharma. Previously Harappan cemetries have been unearthed at Kalibanga and Lothal. Says Upinder Singh, reader in the department of history at St Stephen’s College, Delhi: ‘‘This is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much new evidence coming in that archaeologists may have to re-think on many counts.’’
The burial ground could shed new light on the funeral practices of the Harappans. ‘‘It could also point to a larger habitation. Also the pots found here are all unpainted. These should be co-related to the pots found in other burial sites. That exercise is yet to be done,’’ says Singh.
At Sinauli, the skeletons lie with their arms crossed and feet close to each other, head facing north-west. The burial site has many layers. ‘‘In archaelogical terms it means it was in constant use,’’ says Sharma. Evidences of the Harappan civilisation have earlier been found in UP in Saharanpur and Alamgirpur but Sinauli’s haul is much richer.
Sinauli has also marked another first. Says Sharma: ‘‘There is a copper hoard culture that is presumed to be late Harappan or said to follow it. But no one is sure of its authorship. Now two antenna swords belonging to this culture have been found next to a corpse. This could mean that the copper hoard was a contemporary or belonged to the mature Harappan period. An ancient riddle will be solved and historical chronology will change.’’
‘‘What is also interesting is that the soil found here shows that this site was on the banks of the Yamuna. The river now flows 8 km away,’’ says Sharma. It will take a while to tie up all these threads blown astray by time. At present, a team from Kolkata’s Anthropological Survey of India is conducting DNA and other tests on the ancient bodies.[UP village offers a fresh clue to solve a Harappan puzzle]