6/6/2018 2:49:00 PM
|written By : Team India Se|
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has for the first time found the remains of chariots dating back to the Bronze Age (2000-1800 BC) at Sinauli village of Baghpat district in Uttar Pradesh about 70 km from Delhi.
The archaeologists, who have been excavating the site since March, have also unearthed eight burial sites and several artefacts, including three coffins, swords, daggers, combs, and ornaments. The three chariots found in burial pits indicate the possibility of “royal burials” while other findings confirm the population of a warrior class here, officials said.
Excited about the findings, the archaeologists said the discoveries are set to give a new dimension to Indian history and date of the Mahabharata period, and also into the origins of chariots and horses in the Harappan age.
“The discovery of chariots puts us on a par with other ancient civilisations, like Mesopotamia, Greece, etc where chariots were extensively used. It seems a warrior class thrived in this region in the past,” said SK Manjul, co-director of Excavations and ASI’s Institute of Archaeology in Delhi.
“This is also for the first time in the Indian sub-continent that we got royal burial pits,” he added.
Asked whether bulls or horses were used to pull the chariots, Manjul said, “It could be a bull or a horse, but the preliminary understanding points to the horse. The chariot is a lookalike of the ones found in contemporary cultures like Mesopotamia. It is a solid wheel with no spokes. In one of the pits, the crown or helmet worn by the rider of the chariot has been recovered.”
Manjul called the discovery “path-breaking” also because of the ornate decorations on the coffins. “For the first time in the entire sub-continent, we have found this kind of a coffin. The cover is highly decorated with eight anthropomorphic figures. The sides of the coffins are also decorated with floral motifs,” Manjul said.
While coffins have been discovered during past excavations in Harappa, Mohenjo-daro and Dholavira (Gujarat), they did not include copper decorations, he added.
The new site lies 120 metres from an earlier one in the village, excavated in 2005, where 116 graves belonging to the Indus Valley Civilisation were found along with swords and pottery.