What new finds at Harappan site could mean

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What new finds at Harappan site could mean

The latest round of excavations at the 5,000-year-old Harappan site of Rakhigarhi in Haryana’s Hisar has revealed the structure of some houses, lanes and a drainage system, and what could possibly be a jewellery-making unit, say Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials leading the project.

Skeletal remains

  • The skeletons of two women were found at Mound No. 7, believed to be nearly 5,000 years old.
  • Pots and other artefacts were found buried next to the remains, part of funerary rituals back.
  • DNA samples have been sent for tests, whose outcome might provide clues about the ancestry and food habits of people who lived in the region thousands of years ago.
  • The mound had yielded around 60 burials in previous excavations.

Signs of settlement

  • This is the first time excavations have been done on Mound No. 3, which has revealed what appears to be “an aristocratic settlement”.
  • In all Harappan sites excavated so far, there have been similar signs of three tiers of habitation — ‘common settlements’ with mud brick walls, ‘elite settlement’ with burnt brick walls alongside mud brick walls, and possible ‘middle-rung settlements’.


  • Steatite seals, terracotta bangles, terracotta unbaked sealing with relief of elephants, and the Harappan script.
  • Some Harappan sealings (impression of a seal on a surface), indicating that seals were used to mark objects belonging to a set of people or community were also recovered.
  • About 1,000-odd objects recovered this season come from the mature-Harappan period.
  • Archaeologically, the span of the Harappan Civilisation is subdivided into three periods:
    • Early (3300 BC to 2600 BC)
    • Mature (2600 BC to 1900 BC)
    • Late (1900 BC to 1700 BC).
  • 8 Five urban sites — Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Ganweriwala (now in Pakistan), and Rakhigarhi and Dholavira (India) — have been identified as centres of the Civilisation.

Jewellery Unit

  • A large number of steatite beads, beads of semi-precious stones, shells, and objects made of agate and carnelian have been recovered.
  • Possible remains of a 5,000-year-old jewellery making unit have been traced, which signifies that trading was also done from the city.
  • Manjul said that since there was no quarry of stones like lapis lazuli or shells in the region, the discovery shows extensive trade from areas as far away as Afghanistan, where lapis was found.

Exam Track

Prelims Take Away

  • Indus Valley civilisation
  • Important sites of IVC