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Excavations – 2000-2005 – Rajasthan


Chak-86, dt.Sri Ganganagar
Chak 86 (Lat 29.14 North and Long 73.14 East) lies on the right bank of the dried up ancient river (Ghaggar) Sarasvati in Anupgarh Tahsil of Ganganagar district of Bikaner Division, Rajasthan at a distance of 6 km. north from tehsil headquarter Anupgarh. The site was excavated by A. Ghosh in 1951. Further excavation at this centrally protected site was carried out during the field season 2003-2004.

The mound approximately measures 250 x 250 sq.m in area with a height of about 3.5 mts . Three trenches viz. AI, A2 and ZA1 were excavated in the central part of the mound with a view to establish cultural sequence. Out of 3 trenches, Trench ZAI was dug up to the maximum depth of 3.8 m to reach the natural soil. The excavations have revealed cultural deposit of Painted Grey Ware immediately below the humus.

Five circular huts measuring from 1.80 m to 2.02 m in diameter with thickness of wall varying from 17 cm to 25 cm. were found in P.G.W. level . Out of these five, two were fully exposed and remaining three were partially excavated. Traces of some postholes indicate the support to the structures was provided by accreted wattle and daub. Besides the concentration of charred bones along with fire activities took place in outside and inside of huts as evidenced through the ashy deposit.

Among the antiquities recovered mention may be made of beads of terracotta, carnelian, lapis-lazuli, glass bangles, terracotta bangles, terracotta animal figurines, bone points, shell and faience bangles, all belonging to P.G. W level.

The Painted Grey Ware constitutes about 3% to 5% of total ceramic repository. Other associated wares include black ware, black and red ware, plain grey ware, red ware etc. The P.G.W is basically wheel turned and made of well levigated clay. The painting in black designs are arranged from a simple band around the rim through a variety of oblique of criss cross lines, wavy lines, vertical strokes, dots, concentric circles, intersecting circles, maltese cross, loop motifs etc. The paintings are found in both interior and exterior of the pots. The fabric varies from fine to medium range.

The common shapes of this ware are the dishes and bowls. The associated ware of the P.G.W is red ware whose interior is decorated with deep incision and impression designs including concentric circles, leaf pattern, tree /plant pattern, chequered motif, loops net like incision, oblique/horizontal ridges etc. Their shapes include vase, handi, storage jar, tiny pot, jar, spouted vessel, knobbed lid etc. The black-and-red ware constitutes yet another important but limited ceramic assemblage of the site which comprises dish, vase and miniature pot. These are generally devoid of any design/motif. Its shape include dish, bowl, tiny pots etc.

Tarkhanewaladera, dt. Ganganagar
Tarkhanewala Dera ( Lat 29°.14′ North and Long. 73°.14′ East) is located on State Highway No. 3, 6 km. north of Anupgarh Tehsil in Ganganagar district of Rajasthan. The virtually flat tabloid Harappan site on the right bank of dried up river Ghaggar(Sarasvati) is a centrally protected site. Due to human vandalism , a large and important portion of the site has been converted in to modem brick kiln industry and the rest repeatedly tilled by tractors. Hence the scope of archaeological spade work has been restricted to a great extent.

The cremation area of Tarkhanewala Dera was excavated in the past by Late A. Ghosh in course of his survey of ancient Sarasvati river in 1951. It is noteworthy to mention here that the Harappan site of Tarkhanewala Dera is separated from Chak 86 by a canal called 86 G.B. It is about 250 m away from the Chak 86.

Further excavation was conducted at the site during the field season 2003-04 with a view to throw further light on Harappan culture of this region. A small north-western portion of the flat surfaced site has been taken up for digging. Accordingly seven trenches were dug. The excavation has revealed remains of mature Harappan matrix. The excavation has unveiled mud brick structures possibly for residential purpose. The houses are square and rectangular in plan .The dimension of bricks used in this construction is 7 x 14 x 28 cm which, conforms to the 1 :2:4 ration of Harappan standard. The structures exposed, include rooms, kitchen filled with earthen utensils, mud-floors, mud platform like structures, hearths, two pyriform structures (potter’s kilns) inside the residential complex with two broken terracotta stele (like Kalibangan and Rakhigarhi). One pyriform kiln was plastered with mud having a central stele measuring 36 x 36 sq cm and 55 cm in height. Besides, fire pits were recovered inside rooms.

One terracotta stele is rectangular, faceted with its upper portion broken (11 x 7 x 18 cm) and plastered with clay, while the other is damaged.

The pyriform kilns are filled up with brickbats, mushtikas, terracotta cakes and potsherds. Apart from these, rectangular mud brick rooms, mud platform have also been exposed partially.

An inscribed terracotta sealing is among the notable antiquity of the excavation. One more seal impression on terracotta lump reveals a unicorn with usual Harappan script. The important antiquities comprise terracotta objects viz. beads, pendants, terracotta bangles, terracotta cakes, mushtika etc. wheels, toys, animal figurines, amulets, spools” babyfeeder, tablets, female figurine etc. The terracotta female figurine deserves special mention.

Other antiquities include bangles, tablets and balls of stone. Beads, pendants of carnelian, faience, steatite were also found from the excavation. Typical chert blades, chert touchstone, beads of amethyst, pearl, lapis-lazuli, drill bits, amulets of serpentine etc. are akin to the antiquities of Harappan characters. Several bone objects like points, spearhead, needle, chisel, amulet, fishhook, bangle, rod, ring of copper are some of the other interesting finds.

The ceramic repertoire, by and large the distinct Harappan pottery range from red ware to dull red ware and grey ware to a few pieces of black-on-red ware. Typical Harappan forms like the perforated jar, goblet, beaker, small necked-jar, dish-on-stand, dish, vase, miniature pot, tiny bowl, cup, lid with central knob are typical pots of the site. All these pots are utilitarian in character. The slip varies from thin to thick coating in red and cream colour. Especially their upper part is covered with the slip and the lower half is left either with rough surface or decorated with cord impressions. The associated ware include grey and black and red ware. Although a very few specimens of painted Harappan pottery were recovered, they are represented by their typical and usual painting designs in black pigments viz. horizontal bands, dots, loops, net like pattern, chain pattern, linear and geometrical pattern with vigorous depiction of floral and faunal motifs including peepal leaf, tree, deer, peacock etc. These paintings in black pigments are invariably arranged in horizontal pattern on red background. The cord impression is generally found in heavy and sturdy storage jars and basins.

Ojiyana, dt Bhilwara
Previously the site was excavated in the season 1999-2000 which had revealed remains of Chalcolithic cultures. The recent excavation conducted at the site in 2000-01 has yielded white painted black and red wares, white painted terracotta bulls, cow figurines, copper chopper, beads of faience, carnelian, agate, shell, steatite, stone and terracotta and bangles and pendant of copper belonging to Chalcolithic cultures ranging from 3rd millennium B.C. to 2nd millennium B.C.

Chavad, dt. Udaipur
Excavation at the site during 2003-04 has unearthed remains of ruined palace of Maharana Pratap along with water structure.

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