Key to why Harappans moved east lies in excavations


Pottery and other cultural material, dating back to over 2000 BC that was found at an excavation site in Uttar Pradesh’s Sakatpur village by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) between January and March this year could help archaeologists understand why people from the late Harappan civilisation moved eastwards as the civilisation disintegrated.

Key to why Harappans moved east lies in excavations
Excavations in Sakatpur village of Saharanpur district [Credit: HT]

During the excavation, officials of the Agra Circle of the ASI found a host of materials, including six copper axes, over four kilns, pottery, beads and stone material.

Superintendent Archaeologist of the Agra Circle, Dr Bhuvan Vikrama, says that the ASI carried out the excavation at the site after construction workers stumbled upon dated brick material. He adds that the findings could point at either a late Harappan civilisation, which ranges from 1800 BCE to 1700 BCE, or at the 2nd millennium BC Ochre Coloured Pottery culture (OCP).

Key to why Harappans moved east lies in excavations
Pottery shards found at Sakatpur [Credit: DNAIndia]

“The stone material and beads that we found at the site is typologically different from the Harappan civilisation, and is yet contemporary to the late Harappan period. The findings could also reveal a culture along the Yamuna with linkages to Harappan civilisation,” said Dr Vikrama. He added that the ASI has now sent material from the site for carbon dating, and while 2000 BC is a tentative date, it could also be pushed back further.

Dr. Mayank Vahia, a scientist at the department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the TATA Institute of Fundamental Research, says that the findings could help archaeologists study why the late Harappan Civilisation moved eastwards.

Key to why Harappans moved east lies in excavations
The copper axes, thought to date to 2000 BC, from Sakatpur 
[Credit: The Hindu]

“Sakatpur will not be the first finding from the period, and there have been several findings in Central Maharashtra dating to periods between 1700 and 1900 BCE. Yet, the study is significant because little is known about why people moved towards Eastern India when the Harappan Civilisation was in its last days,” said Dr Vahia.

Author: Amrita Madhukalya | Source: DNA India [October 05, 2017]