New Finds at Rakhigarhi - A Harappan Site

A recent three-month-long excavation (in 2022) at Rakhigarhi – a 5,000-year-old Harappan site has revealed new insights of this settlement.

So far, seven mounds have been excavated in Rakhigarhi, each of which has revealed a range of artefacts. This time, the digging was done in three of the seven mounds, out of which mounds number 6 and 7 have been notified by ASI as sites of national importance.

New Finds

  • Jewellery-Making Unit: The highlight among the finds this time seems to be that of a jewellery-making unit/factory.
  • Walled Settlement: At burnt-brick wall has been traced leading to a possibility of a walled settlement.
  • The antiquities found at mounds include steatite seals, terracotta unbaked sealing with relief of elephants and Harappan script.
  • The structures and frameworks of tiered houses, a kitchen complex, lanes, a drainage system, graveyards, thousands of clay pots and seals, terracotta toys, statues and figures, as well as jewellery of copper, gold, agate and other semi-precious stones have also been found all over the site.
  • Skeletons of two Women: The skeletons of two women were found at mound number 7 (named RGR 7 by the Archaeological Survey of India), believed to be nearly 5,000 years old. Pots and other artefacts were also found buried next to them in a pit, part of the funerary rituals back in the Harappan Civilisation era. The outcome of the DNA analysis will help tell about the ancestry of the people who lived at this ancient city, whether they were native or had migrated from elsewhere to settle.
  • Animal bones were also found at the site.

Cultural Span of Harappan Civilisation

  • The cultural span of Harappan Civilisation can be broadly subdivided into three periods — early (3300 BC to 2600 BC), mature (2600 BC to 1900 BC), and late (1900 BC to 1700 BC), as per archaeology experts.
  • Five major urban sites — Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Ganweriwala, all three sites now in Pakistan, and Rakhigarhi and Dholavira in India, have been identified as regional centers of the Harappan Civilisation.

Rakhigarhi: One of the Five Iconic Sites

  • Rakhigarhi site is one of the “five iconic sites” declared by the central government as per the Union budget 2020-21.
  • The iconic sites which would be developed are Rakhigarhi in Haryana, Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh, Shivsagar in Assam, Dholavira in Gujarat, and Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu.