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Archive for the ‘Ancient History’ Category

Few years back, Marine Archaeologist S R Rao found evidence of a city under the sea in Dwaraka and since some of the specifications matched the description of Dwaraka mentioned in Harivamsha, a prologue of Mahabharata, people thought that they had found Krishna’s Dwaraka.

There is a new article which tells the details of how scientists at the NIOT (National Institute of Ocean Technology, of the Department of Ocean Development) found the submerged city while working for British Gas in the Gulf of Cambay region.

Samples collected include artefacts, wood pieces, pottery materials, hearth pieces, animal bones. They ere sent to Manipur University, Oxford University, London, Institute of Earth Sciences, Hanover, Germany for analysis and dating. The results were astonishing. It was found beyond doubt that the samples belonged to a period varying from 7800 to 3000 years (BP) Before Present !

The even more flooring discovery happened soon. NIOT, which carried outside scan and sub-bottom surveys in the year 2002-03, established beyond doubt the presence of two large palaeochannels (river channels which existed once and later submerged under the sea) in the Gulf of Cambay. Alluvium samples were collected from different locations in the areas of the palaeochannels by the gravity core and grab method.

Prof.Gartia (The Journal of Indian Ocean Archaeology, No.2 of 2005, Pg.144) after conducting extensive investigations concluded that Gujarat region had experienced at least three large killer earthquakes about 1500, 3000 and 5000 years BP respectively. Geomorphological evidences also show beyond doubt that the North-Western part of the Indian landmass was seismically active during the last 10,000 years. These killer quakes are likely to have caused the shifting of the rivers and sea level fluctuation including the sinking of the legendary city of Dwaraka, capital of the Lord-King Krishna. [How marine archaeologists found Dwaraka]

Other people have suggested that Krishna’s Dwaraka was not in Jamnagar, but in Junagad and apparently there are nine sites in Gujarat which claim to be Krishna’s Dwaraka.

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Archaeologists excavating in Lahuradeva in Uttar Pradesh have found remains of carbonised material containing grains of cultivated rice along with wild grass dating back about 10,000 years. If this is true, then Middle Ganga Valley could be the home of the first farmers in the world.

Previously it was believed that agriculture began in West Asia in a region known as the Fertile Crescent with the domestication of barley and wheat. Later a new Fertile Crescent was discovered in China where rice cultivation began much before agriculture in West Asia. In the Indian subcontinent wheat and barley cultivation began in Kachi Plain in Baluchistan(Pakistan) in the seventh millennium B.C.

The findings at Lahuradeva were discussed at an International archaeology conference in Lucknow last month.

But none of these theories is fully confirmed or accepted by everyone in the field, and P.C. Panth, former professor of archaeology with Benares Hindu University, pointed to just this as he made a bold claim. “It is possible that middle Ganga valley was the home of the first farmer,” he told The Telegraph.

State archaeology director Rakesh Tiwari echoed him: “The studies at Lahuradewa and Sanai tal (a nearby lake) indicate this settlement could be (the site of) the earliest genesis of agriculture developments than ever found before elsewhere in the world.”

The international experts — who included Professor Peter Bellwood of the Australian National University and Dorian Q. Fuller of the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London — were non-committal. But they agreed that agriculture may have begun at more than one site about roughly the same time. [Enter UP kisan in farm origin debate]

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Historians who do not believe the Aryan Invasion Theory say that folks who believe in it are biased towards Europeans. Folks who believe in Aryan Invasion Theory think that others are biased towards Indians. But in this biased word of history, have you heard of people who are biased against millets? Who can be so stone-hearted to be biased against those small-seeded species of cereal grown around the world for food and fodder?

Such evil people do exist and the people who do this are rice and wheat lovers. In fact, if you look at the history of millet farming you may be able to identify the period and place of the first farmer according to Steve Weber of Washington State University.

‘These are the facts. In Southern India, millets were being cultivated as old as 3000 BC to 2500 BC, while rice came into existence only by 500 BC. and in North India, millet cultivation was even there before it made an entry in South India” said Fuller. Weber added, “There have been sites in Gujarat, India, and even a few Harappan sites, which have been primarily millet-dominant.”

Weber says that since millets were more nutritious and were even drought- resistant, perhaps more and more people started cultivating them before anything else. “In India, China and South Africa, millets were the staple diet. And surprisingly, the so very Indian millets like ragi, jowar and bajra actually come from South Africa.”

“The British started researching with rice and wheat and even today, organisations like the UN and FAO concentrate on that. This may have been because rice and wheat are bigger grains and easier to identify, whereas millets were smaller and more time-consuming to find,” they opined. [Millets older than wheat, rice: Archaeologists]

A recent discovery of a grain of rice in India may prove Weber to be wrong. Excavations in Lahuradeva in Uttar Pradesh have shown that people of this region took to farming and domestication of animals about 10,000 years back.

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