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Post Info TOPIC: India’s biggest ancient burial site 3,800 yrs old


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India’s biggest ancient burial site 3,800 yrs old
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India’s biggest ancient burial site 3,800 yrs old

New Delhi:

Carbon dating tests have confirmed that India’s largest known necropolis in UP’s Sanauli — where 126 burials have been discovered until now — is 3,800 years old. The elaborate burials, which included underground chambers, decorated legged coffins and rice in pots buried with the bodies, belong to an indigenous warrior tribe which inhabited the region, according to the Archaeological Survey of India.

Excavations in Sanauli, 68km from Delhi in UP’s Baghpat district, started first in 2005 and resumed in 2018, paving the way for discovery of horsedrawn chariots, burials, fourlegged wooden coffins, pottery, a copper antenna sword, war shields.

ASI joint director S K Manjul, who led the excavations at Sanauli, told TOI that carbon dating has now confirmed that the burials date back to 1,900 BC.

“Between 2005 and 2006, 116 burials were found while 10 more were discovered in the last two years, making it India’s largest known necropoli,” Manjul said. The burial pits had legged coffins along with systematically arranged vases, bowls and pots.

 
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Burials bear similarities to vedic rituals and Hindu practices

One of the coffins was decorated with eight anthropomorphic figures. A recent report submitted by the Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleosciences in Lucknow to the ASI had said that there are two C-14 (carbon dating) dates — 3815 and 3500, with a margin of error of 130 years — for the Sanauli site. It added, “Carbon dating marks this site as an earliest history of a warrior tribe in the Indian subcontinent (sic).”

While the Deccan College, Pune, and a lab in Hyderabad conducted DNA tests of the human remains, samples were also sent to the Lucknow institute. Scientific techniques such as photogrammetry and ground penetrating radar survey were used while drones and magnetometers were also deployed. The burials bear similarity to vedic rituals, said officials. “What’s startling is the impressions of cloth found on bodies that suggests purification of bodies similar to what we practice in Hindu religion,” said Manjul.

The joint director said that 3 chariots found at the site “have a fixed axle linked by a long pole to the small yoke” and were run by a pair of animals. “The size and shape of the chariots indicate they were pulled by horses. The axle, chassis and wheels show similarities to contemporary chariots,” he said. Historian B R Mani, who oversaw excavations in 2005, said that the site should be looked at “as an interaction of a period of practices of Ganga Yamuna Doab and Indus Valley cultures.”



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இந்தியாவின் மிகப் பழங்கால இறந்தோர் புதைகுழி 3,800 ஆண்டுகள் பழமையானது உத்தரப் பிரதேசத்தில் கிடைத்துள்ளது

 உத்தரப் பிரதேசத்தின் சனோலியில் இந்தியாவின் மிகப் பெரிய இடுகாடு (நெக்ரோபோலிஸ்) - இப்போது வரை 126 உடல்கள் அடக்கம் கண்டுபிடிக்கப்பட்டவை -  இங்கே கிடைத்த தொல் பொருட்கள் கரிம சோதனை கார்பன் 14 சோதனைகள் மூலம் 3,800 ஆண்டுகள் பழமையானவை என்பதை உறுதிப்படுத்தியுள்ளன. விரிவான புதைகுழிகள், நிலத்தடி அறைகள், அலங்கரிக்கப்பட்ட கால் சவப்பெட்டிகள் மற்றும் உடல்களுடன் புதைக்கப்பட்ட தொட்டிகளில் அரிசி ஆகியவை அடங்கியுள்ளன, இந்த பிராந்தியத்தில் வசிக்கும் ஒரு பழங்குடி போர்வீரர் இனத்தைச் சேர்ந்தவர்கள் என்று இந்திய தொல்பொருள் ஆய்வு மையம் தெரிவித்துள்ளது.

Carbon dating tests have confirmed that India’s largest known necropolis in UP’s Sanauli — where 126 burials have been discovered until now — is 3,800 years old. The elaborate burials, which included underground chambers, decorated legged coffins and rice in pots buried with the bodies, belong to an indigenous warrior tribe which inhabited the region, according to the Archaeological Survey of India.

உத்தரப்பிரதேசத்தின் பாக்பத் மாவட்டத்தில் டெல்லியில் இருந்து 68 கி.மீ தூரத்தில் உள்ள சனாலியில் அகழ்வாராய்ச்சி 2005 ஆம் ஆண்டில் முதன்முதலில் தொடங்கி 2018 இல் மீண்டும் தொடங்கியது, குதிரைகள் கொண்ட ரதங்கள், அடக்கம், நான்கு கால் மர சவப்பெட்டிகள், மட்பாண்டங்கள், ஒரு செப்பு ஆண்டெனா வாள், போர் கவசங்கள் ஆகியவற்றைக் கண்டுபிடிப்பதற்கு வழி வகுத்தது.

Excavations in Sanauli, 68km from Delhi in UP’s Baghpat district, started first in 2005 and resumed in 2018, paving the way for discovery of horsedrawn chariots, burials, fourlegged wooden coffins, pottery, a copper antenna sword, war shields.

சனோலியில் அகழ்வாராய்ச்சிக்கு தலைமை தாங்கிய ஏ.எஸ்.ஐ(ASI) இணை இயக்குனர் எஸ் கே மஞ்சுல், டோஈ இடம் கார்பன் டேட்டிங் இப்போது அடக்கம் செய்யப்பட்டவை கிமு 1,900 க்கு முந்தையது என்பதை உறுதிப்படுத்தியுள்ளது என்று கூறினார்.

ASI joint director S K Manjul, who led the excavations at Sanauli, told TOI that carbon dating has now confirmed that the burials date back to 1,900 BC.

"2005 மற்றும் 2006 க்கு இடையில், 116 அடக்கம் கண்டுபிடிக்கப்பட்டன, மேலும் 10 கடந்த இரண்டு ஆண்டுகளில் கண்டுபிடிக்கப்பட்டன, இது இந்தியாவின் மிகப்பெரிய அறியப்பட்ட இடுகாட(நெக்ரோபோலியா)க மாறியது" என்று மஞ்சுல் கூறினார். புதைக்கப்பட்ட குழிகளில் கால்நடை சவப்பெட்டிகளும் முறையாக ஏற்பாடு செய்யப்பட்ட குவளைகள், கிண்ணங்கள் மற்றும் பானைகளும் இருந்தன.

“Between 2005 and 2006, 116 burials were found while 10 more were discovered in the last two years, making it India’s largest known necropoli,” Manjul said. The burial pits had legged coffins along with systematically arranged vases, bowls and pots.

 அடக்கம் வேத சடங்குகள் மற்றும் இந்து நடைமுறைகளுக்கு ஒற்றுமையைக் கொண்டுள்ளது

Burials bear similarities to vedic rituals and Hindu practices

சவப்பெட்டிகளில் ஒன்று எட்டு மானுட உருவங்களுடன் அலங்கரிக்கப்பட்டது. லக்னோவில் உள்ள பீர்பல் சாஹ்னி இன்ஸ்டிடியூட் ஆப் பேலியோசைசன்ஸ் ஏ.எஸ்.ஐ.க்கு சமீபத்தில் சமர்ப்பித்த அறிக்கையில், சான உல் லி தளத்திற்கு 3815 மற்றும் 3500 ஆகிய இரண்டு சி ௧4 (கார்பன் டேட்டிங்) தேதிகள் உள்ளன என்று கூறியுள்ளது. இது மேலும் கூறியது, “கார்பன் டேட்டிங் இந்த தளத்தை இந்திய துணைக் கண்டத்தில் (ஸிச்) ஒரு போர்வீரர் பழங்குடியினரின் ஆரம்பகால வரலாற்றாக குறிக்கிறது.”

One of the coffins was decorated with eight anthropomorphic figures. A recent report submitted by the Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleosciences in Lucknow to the ASI had said that there are two C-14 (carbon dating) dates — 3815 and 3500, with a margin of error of 130 years — for the Sanauli site. It added, “Carbon dating marks this site as an earliest history of a warrior tribe in the Indian subcontinent (sic).”

புனேவின் டெக்கான் கல்லூரி மற்றும் ஹைதராபாத்தில் உள்ள ஒரு ஆய்வகம் ஆகியவை மனித எச்சங்களை டி.என்.ஏ பரிசோதனைகளை மேற்கொண்டபோது, ​​மாதிரிகள் லக்னோ நிறுவனத்திற்கும் அனுப்பப்பட்டன. ட்ரோன்கள் மற்றும் மேக்னடோமீட்டர்களும் பயன்படுத்தப்பட்டபோது, ​​புகைப்படவியல் மற்றும் தரை ஊடுருவி ரேடார் கணக்கெடுப்பு போன்ற அறிவியல் நுட்பங்கள் பயன்படுத்தப்பட்டன. அடக்கம் வேத சடங்குகளுக்கு ஒற்றுமையைக் கொண்டுள்ளது என்று அதிகாரிகள் தெரிவித்தனர். "இந்து மதத்தில் நாம் கடைபிடிப்பதைப் போன்ற உடல்களை சுத்திகரிக்க பரிந்துரைக்கும் உடல்களில் காணப்படும் துணிகளின் பதிவுகள் என்னவென்றால்," மஞ்சுல் கூறினார்.

While the Deccan College, Pune, and a lab in Hyderabad conducted DNA tests of the human remains, samples were also sent to the Lucknow institute. Scientific techniques such as photogrammetry and ground penetrating radar survey were used while drones and magnetometers were also deployed. The burials bear similarity to vedic rituals, said officials. “What’s startling is the impressions of cloth found on bodies that suggests purification of bodies similar to what we practice in Hindu religion,” said Manjul.

அந்த இடத்தில் காணப்படும் 3 த்ஹெஎர்கள் (ரதங்கள்) “சிறிய நுகத்துடன் நீண்ட கம்பத்தால் இணைக்கப்பட்ட ஒரு நிலையான அச்சு உள்ளது” என்றும் அவை ஒரு ஜோடி விலங்குகளால் இயக்கப்படுகின்றன என்றும் இணை இயக்குனர் கூறினார். “ரதங்களின் அளவும் வடிவமும் அவை குதிரைகளால் இழுக்கப்பட்டதைக் குறிக்கின்றன. அச்சு, சேஸ் மற்றும் சக்கரங்கள் சமகால ரதங்களுடன் ஒற்றுமையைக் காட்டுகின்றன, ”என்றார். 2005 ஆம் ஆண்டில் அகழ்வாராய்ச்சிகளை மேற்பார்வையிட்ட வரலாற்றாசிரியர் பி ஆர் மணி, இந்த இடத்தை "கங்கா யமுனா தோவாப் மற்றும் சிந்து சமவெளி கலாச்சாரங்களின் ஒரு கால நடைமுறைகளின் தொடர்பு" என்று பார்க்க வேண்டும் என்று கூறினார்.

The joint director said that 3 chariots found at the site “have a fixed axle linked by a long pole to the small yoke” and were run by a pair of animals. “The size and shape of the chariots indicate they were pulled by horses. The axle, chassis and wheels show similarities to contemporary chariots,” he said. Historian B R Mani, who oversaw excavations in 2005, said that the site should be looked at “as an interaction of a period of practices of Ganga Yamuna Doab and Indus Valley cultures.”

 



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ASI unearths treasure at U.P. site

Coffins inside the burial chambers at the excavation sites in Sanauli.

Coffins inside the burial chambers at the excavation sites in Sanauli.  

 

4,000-year-old rice, dal, sacred chambers and coffins found in Sanauli

The Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) ongoing excavation of 4,000-year-old burial sites in Uttar Pradesh’s Sanauli has unearthed underground “sacred chambers”, decorated “legged coffins” as well as rice and dal in pots and animal bones buried with the bodies, ASI Institute of Archaeology director S.K. Manjul said on Tuesday.

The excavation in the Baghpat district of U.P. was first started in 2018 and resumed in January this year, Dr. Manjul said, adding that the process of listing and preservation at the site was on at the moment.

He said three chariots, some coffins, shields, swords and helmets had been unearthed, pointing towards the existence of a “warrior class in the area around 2,000 BCE”.

“As an excavator, I think this is different from Harappan culture. It is contemporary to the last phase of the mature Harappan culture. These findings are important to understand the culture pattern of the Upper Ganga-Yamuna doab. We found copper swords, helmets, shields and chariots,” said Dr. Manjul.

The excavators have found rice and urad dal in pots, cattle bones, wild pig and mongoose buried along with bodies, he said.

“These may have been offered to the departed souls. We also found sacred chambers below the ground. After the procession, they put the body in the chamber for some treatment or rituals,” he said.

Right now, the ASI is in the process of carrying out DNA, metallurgical and botanical analysis of samples and ground penetrating radar survey of the site, Dr. Manjul said.

Largest necropolis

While Dr. Manjul said he felt the site was different from the Harappan culture, an ASI statement on the excavation said: “Sanauli is located on the left bank of the River Yamuna, 68 km north-east of Delhi which brought to light the largest necropolis of the late Harappan period datable to around early part of second millennium BCE”.

In one of the burial pits, the excavators found a wooden legged coffin that was decorated with steatite inlays with a female skeleton, the ASI said. The pit also contained an armlet of semiprecious stones, pottery and an antenna sword placed near the head.

Another area of the site included remains of four furnaces with three working levels and the “overall ceramic assemblage has late Harappan characters”, the ASI statement said.



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 ASI-Excavated Sanauli Chariots Have Potential To Challenge Aryan Invasion Theory

Recent discovery of three ‘pre-Iron Age’ carriers in Western Uttar Pradesh has excited the world of ancient history. But equally interesting would be the result of a search: were they horse-ridden?

ASI-Excavated Sanauli Chariots Have Potential To Challenge Aryan Invasion Theory
 

A week has passed since the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) claimed to have stumbled upon three pre-Iron Age chariots that can challenge the famed Aryan invasion theory, lending sharper focus on to whether it were horses or bulls that pulled these carriers estimated to be from 2000-1800 BC.

The copper remains of the chariots, found inside burial pits in a quiet spot along the Gangetic plains in present-day Western Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district, date further back to the Bronze Age. That would mean an antiquity of 4,000 years—and a possible hint at their similarities of what existed during the civilisation in faraway Mesopotamia in Western Asia, according to ASI officials.

The latest round of a three-month-long excavation in Sanauli, 75 km west of Delhi, began in March this year, and has unearthed eight burial remains as well. Out of these, three are coffins, archaeologists reveal. All the burials have pottery kept around the body: big pots near the legs and small bowls close to the head—indicating their lying in northwest direction, reveals Dr Sanjay Kumar Manjul, director of the ASI’s Institute of Archaeology, in charge of the excavation.

As for the discovery of the chariots, a conclusion about the animal that pulled them is important. Why? The answer lies in the cultural history of India. For, the discovery of a horse chariot, dated back to 2000 BC, would challenge some of the basic premises of the construct of the ancient Indian history. Historians who support the Aryan invasion theory claim that horses were brought in by the invading Aryan army around 1500 to 1000 BC. Chariots pulled by horses had given the Aryans the edge over the Dravidians and the power to conquer the North Indian plains by pushing them to south of the peninsula.

According to these historians, the Vedic culture was brought into India by the invading Aryans from central Asia. The Rig Veda, for instance, carries references to horses, they point out about the ancient Hindu text said to be composed during the same period (1500-1100 BC) when the Harappan civilisation was on its decline.

This argument gets empirical support: there was hardly any evidence to show the presence of horses in the Harappan civilisation. Clay seals of different shapes and sizes with figures of bulls and dancing girls had been unearthed in large numbers at the Harappan sites, but none with the figure of a horse. This is one of the prime arguments that support the Aryan invasion theory.

Of late, several Indian and foreign historians have challenged it, saying that this theory is being floated by Western historians to attribute India’s ancient Vedic culture to the invaders from Central Asia. The Aryan invasion theory will face a more serious challenge if the archaeologists get scientific proof to the presence of horse-ridden chariots dating back to 2000 BC.

The swords, daggers, copper-chest shields and helmets confirm the presence of a warrior population in the Gangetic plain—these also challenge the theory of an easy invasion by Aryans from Central Asia.

The dusty pocket in UP’s Sanauli was first excavated in 2004-05, leading to the discovery of 116 burial remains. Following that, authorities decided to undertake more trail excavations to understand the extent of the burial site and the habitat, points out Dr Manjul, who initiated the excavation. He is of the opinion that the latest findings will aid “recalibrate” India’s position on the map of ancient global history.

Globally, excavations have unearthed chariots dating back to 2000 BC, near the burial sites of Mesopotamia and Greek civilisations, but such a discovery is pioneering for the Indian subcontinent, says Dr Manjul.  These chariots have many similarities with those unearthed in Mesopotamia (which has sites tracing back to the initial period of the Neolithic Revolution of 10000 BC). “This would give a new dimension to our history and ancient culture,” he adds.

“The 2005 excavations helped us discover pottery of different sizes, besides beads and other materials that were similar to those of the Harappan civilisation, but a chariot near a coffin is not seen anywhere in the Harappan sites. That way, this is a “path-breaking” discovery, Dr Manjul adds.

In Sanauli, decorated copper-plated anthropomorphic figures having horns, peepal-leafed crowns and even a torso shaped armour made of copper have been found near the coffins, indicating the possibility of the site featuring a “royal burial”, the expert says. Apart from this, researchers have discovered four copper antenna swords, two daggers, three copper bowls, combs, mirrors and beads of different shapes and sizes.

The ASI, which functions under the Union government’s ministry of culture, has been surveying the area for the past two decades. The 116 Sanauli burials shed light onto the settlement pattern of Protohistoric period of this region, where they “are very much similar” to those discovered in Harappa and Mohenjo-daro (2500 BC) besides Dholavira (in today’s Gujarat state), also of the Indus Valley civilisation.

Yet, coffins with copper decorations, and chariots have never been discovered anywhere in the subcontinent. “It was during one of our visits to Western UP that some villagers informed us of their having found a few pieces of pottery and traces of copper in their fields. This prompted us to start excavations in Sanauli,” says Dr Manjul, revealing how scientists stumbled upon this discovery. On whether the chariots were run buy a bull or a horse, the expert says more research can ascertain the matter.

The swords unearthed at Sanauli have copper-covered hilts and medial ridge making it strong enough for warfare. The chariots discovered have two wheels fixed on an axle that was linked by a long pole to the yoke of a pair of animals. A super structure was attached to the axle consist of a platform protected by side-screens and a high dashboard. The wheels were found solid in nature, without any spokes, Dr Manjul says. “This is just a trail excavation. Now we are planning to have more detailed excavations in this area.”

Local youths are also roped into the excavation activities. The villagers are excited to see their sleepy, backward village grabbing global attention now. The chosen among them have been given basic training to support the ASI’s field staff camping at the site for the past three months.

Locally, many people believe that Sanauli is one of the five villages that the mythological Krishna unsuccessfully negotiated with the Kauravas to avoid the epic war of Kurukshetra. The Mahabharata carries many references of horse-ridden chariots. In fact, a popular image of Lord Krishna is of him revealing the essence of the Bhagavat Gita to the Pandava prince Arjuna, while sitting in his war chariot. That apart, Dr Manjul refuses to link the discovery of a chariot to any mythical story. “As a scientist, I can’t support any such overarching links without having valid scientific evidence,” he says. 

People from the nearby areas are coming in large numbers to see the site.  “They are influenced by the Mahabharata serial aired by Indian television channels,” shrugs Dr Manjul, with a smile. “Many who had come here to see an impressive golden chariot are disappointed after seeing the shape and size of the unearthed chariot.” However, for archaeologists Sanauli is much more than a point of ephemeral historical interest.


(The writer is a Delhi-based television journalist.)



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Mahabharata much older, say ASI Archaeologists

Mahabharata could date back to 1500-2000 BCE. The claim follows the findings at the excavation site of Sanauli, 68 km away from Delhi, last year. The findings were discussed by Sanjay Manjul, who had carried out the Sanauli excavation.



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