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Jewellery Factory In Harappan Site: A Valuable Discovery

Researchers of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have been excavating at a site near Rakhigarhi in Hisar District of northern Indian Province of Haryana for decades. The ASI is an Indian Government agency attached to the Ministry of Culture that is responsible for archaeological research, and the conservation and preservation of cultural historical monuments in the South Asian country. They recently tasted success after 32 years of hard work, as the researchers discovered several houses, a kitchen, and a jewellery factory at the site in the first week of May 2022. According to the ASI, these houses and the factory were built at least 5,000 years ago, during the time of the Indus Valley Civilisation.

The site at Rakhigarhi

It may be noted that Rakhigarhi village is one of the oldest archaeological sites, belonging to the Indus Valley Civilisation, in Hisar. It is also the largest archaeological site of the Harappan Civilisation that comes under two modern villages: Rakhi-Shahpur and Rakhigarhi-Khash. Rakhigarhi has been classified as major metropolitan centre of the Harappan culture. Earlier, researchers found various specimens of the Indus period, like small jewellery and cooking utensils, in that village. This time, they have discovered quite a number of houses, a large kitchen and a huge jewellery factory. Copper and gold jewellery were also found that had been hidden for thousands of years. According to the researchers, the region was seemingly an important trade hub of the Indus Valley Civilisation.

Cooking utensils

The ASI has also been carrying out excavation works in Sinauli in Uttar Pradesh, the northern Indian Province, where a Bronze Age wheel was discovered in 2018. Researchers have opined that the wheel was used in horse-pulled chariots. A graveyard was also found in that area. After inspecting the cemetery, the researchers came to the conclusion that Indus Valley Civilisation people used to believe in life after death. A senior ASI official has said that the Indus Valley Civilisation was making steady progress. That is why researchers have discovered thousands of clay pots, royal seals and children’s toys at the site in Rakhigarhi.

Cemetery

Dr Sanjay K Manjul, the Additional Director General (ADG) of the ASI, stressed: “We have done a lot of work on Sinauli, Hastinapur and Rakhigarhi in the last 20 years. You can say that the people of Rakhigarhi were the ancestors of the people of Hastinapur and from this, the culture got development and momentum.

Dr Sanjay K Manjul

Dr Manjul has revealed that two adult skulls have been recovered during excavations in Rakhigarhi. The skulls have already been sent to the laboratory for DNA testing. Researchers believe that these are 5,000-year-old female skulls, as bangles have also been recovered from the site. Dr Manjul told the press that researchers found the skulls near a 20ft deep excavation site at Rakhigarhi.

Adult female skull

The ADG has claimed that the ASI also found a two-and-a-half-feet-wide road in Rakgigarhi during the excavations. Also, there were walls on both sides of the road. “Apart from a space that could have been a jewellery-making unit, the excavations at the site revealed the framework of multi-tier houses, lanes, and a drainage system. These discoveries could point to the existence of a well-planned Harappan city,” insisted Dr Manjul.

Drainage system

Rakhigarhi, located about 150km from New Delhi, is one of the five iconic archaeological sites mentioned by Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her Budget Speech in February 2020. Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh, Sivasagar in Assam, Dholavira in Gujarat, and Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu are the other such sites.

The Minister concerned had said that these sites would be developed with on-site museums.

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