Why in News:
- DNA samples collected from two human skeletons unearthed at a necropolis of a Harappan-era city site of Rakhigarhi in Haryana have been sent for scientific examination, the outcome of which might tell about the ancestry and food habits of people who lived in the Rakhigarhi region thousands of years ago.
- Rakhigarhi is among the five iconic sites announced by the Union Finance Minister during the Budget Speech in 2020. The other sites are Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh, Sivasagar in Assam, Dholavira in Gujarat and Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu.
Major findings about Rakhigarhi
- The cultural span of the 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), according to archaeological experts.
- Five major urban sites — Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Ganweriwala, all three sites now in Pakistan, and Rakhigarhi and Dholavira(Gujrat) in India have been identified as regional centres of the Harappan Civilisation.
- Rakhigarhi is the biggest site of the Harappan civilisation found till date
- Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report claims that the oldest site is at Bhirana village Haryana (dated to 7570-6200 BC) and the largest site is Rakhigrahi
- Excavations are underway at Rakhigarhi to trace the site’s origins and investigate its steady history from 6000 BCE (Pre-Harappan era) to 2500 BCE.
- The mature Harappan phase at Rakhigrahi was discovered by archaeological excavations, which revealed a planned settlement with mud-brick and burnt-brick dwellings and a functional drainage system.
- ASI’s excavation at Harappan site of Rakhigarhi reveals drainage system, copper and gold jewellery, terracotta toys, besides thousands of earthen pots and seals.
- A mud-brick-lined animal sacrificial pit, as well as triangle and circular fire altars on the mud floor, have been discovered, indicating the Harappan ritual system.
- An noteworthy item from this site is a cylindrical seal with 5 Harappan letters on one side and an alligator symbol on the other.
- Red ware represented the ceramic industry, which created dish-on-stands, vases, and perforated jars, etc.
- Blades; terracotta and shell bangles, semi precious stone beads, and copper artefacts; animal figurines, terracotta toy cart frame and wheel; bone points; engraved steatite seals are some of the other artifacts found
- Recently Dholavira has attained UNESCO World Heritage site tag.