|Subject of place||Indus-Valley Civilization|
The site of Rakhigarh is one of the five known biggest townships of Harappan civilization on Indian sub-continent. Other four are Harappa, Mohenjodaro and Ganveriwala in Pakistan and Dholavira (Gujrat) in India. Five interconnected mounds spread in a huge area form the Rakhigarhi's unique site. Two mounds, out of five, were thickly populated. This site was excavated by Shri Amarendra Nath of Archeological Survey of India. The archaeological excavations revealed mature Harappan phase represented by planned township having mud-brick as well as burnt-brick houses with proper drainage system. The ceramic industry represented by red ware, which included dish-on-stand, vase, jar, bowl, beaker, perforated jar, goblet and handis. Animal sacrificial pit lined with mud brick and triangular and circular fire alters on the mud floor have also been excavated that signifiest the ritual system of Harappans. A cylindrical seal with five Harappan characters on one side and a symbol of an alligator on the other is an important find from this site. Other antiquities included blades; terracotta and shell bangles; beads of semiprecious stones, terracotta, shell and copper objects; animal figurines, toy cart frame and wheel of terracotta; bone points; inscribed steatite seals and sealings.The excavations have yielded a few extended burials, which certainly belong to a very late stage, may be the medieval times.
Opinion of Dr. Vasant Shinde
“With the discovery of two additional mounds, the total area of the Rakhigarhi site will be 350 hectares,” asserted Professor Vasant Shinde, Vice-Chancellor/Director, Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute, a deemed-to-be university in Pune. The two mounds are in addition to the seven mounds already discovered at Rakhigarhi, about 160 km from New Delhi. The eighth and ninth mounds, spread over 25 hectares each, are situated to the east and west of the main site. Villagers have destroyed much of these two mounds for cultivation. A team of archaeology teachers and students of the Deccan College discovered them when they surveyed the site in January.
Dr. Shinde, a specialist in Harappan civilization and Director of the current excavation at Rakhigarhi, called it “an important discovery.” He said: “Our discovery makes Rakhigarhi the biggest Harappan site, bigger than Mohenjo-Daro. The two new mounds show that the Rakhigarhi site was quite extensive. They have the same material as the main site. So they are part of the main site. On the surface of mound nine, we noticed some burnt clay clots and circular furnaces, indicating this was the industrial area of the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi.”
Dr. Shinde said in an interview with The Hindu: “It was earlier thought that the origin of the early Harappan phase took place in Sind, in present-day Pakistan, because many sites had not been discovered then. In the last ten years, we have discovered many sites in this part [Haryana] and there are at least five Harappan sites such as Kunal, Bhirrana, Farmana, Girawad, and Mitathal, which are producing early dates and where the early Harappan phase could go back to 5000 BCE. We want to confirm it. Rakhigarhi is an ideal candidate to believe that the beginning of the Harappan civilization took place in the Ghaggar basin in Haryana and it gradually grew from here. If we get the confirmation, it will be interesting because the origin would have taken place in the Ghaggar basin in India and slowly moved to the Indus valley. That is one of the important aims of our current excavation at Rakhigarhi.”
The Deccan College team has excavated five trenches on the slope of the mound four and another trench in the burial mound numbered seven. The excavation in mound four has yielded a cornucopia of artifacts, including a seal and a potsherd, both inscribed with the Harappan script; potsherds painted with concentric circles, fish-net designs, wavy patterns, floral designs and geometric designs; terracotta animal figurines, cakes, hopscotches and shell bangles, all belonging to the Mature Harappan phase of the civilization. The five trenches have revealed residential rooms, a bathroom with a soak jar, drainages, a hearth, a platform etc. The residential rooms were built with mud bricks. The complex revealed different structural phases, said Kanti Pawar, assistant professor, Department of Archaeology, Deccan College.[ref]