Friday, November 9, 2012

Evidence That Foundations of Indus Civilization Older Than Thought

Indus Valley 2,000 years older than thought

New Delhi, Nov. 4 -- The beginning of India's history has been pushed back by more than 2,000 years, making it older than that of Egypt and Babylon. Latest research has put the date of the origin of the Indus Valley Civilisation at 6,000 years before Christ, which contests the current theory that the settlements around the Indus began around 3750 BC.
Ever since the excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro in the early 1920s, the civilisation was considered almost as old as those of Egypt and Mesopotamia.

The finding was announced at the "International Conference on Harappan Archaeology", recently organised by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in Chandigarh.

Based on their research, BR Mani, ASI joint director general, and KN Dikshit, former ASI joint director general, said in a presentation: "The preliminary results of the data from early sites of the Indo-Pak subcontinent suggest that the Indian civilisation emerged in the 8th millennium BC in the Ghaggar-Hakra and Baluchistan area."

"On the basis of radio-metric dates from Bhirrana (Haryana), the cultural remains of the pre-early Harappan horizon go back to 7380 BC to 6201 BC."

Excavations had been carried out at two sites in Pakistan and Bhirrana, Kunal, Rakhigarhi and Baror in India.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.


Well, I expect this will start a good rip-roaring argument in certain circles!  For myself, I'm open to the idea.  Take a look at this map from Wikipedia:

It is well established that people were living in the Iranian Plateau and making beautiful pottery/clay vessels dating to as early as c. 8000 BCE.  I am no expert in this area, by any means, but I don't find it impossible to imagine migration from the Caspian Sea area to the coast on the Arabian Sea.  Notice the location of the Indus area in relation to the ancient areas of Baluchistan and Sind.  In fact, some late 19th century writers thought that chess originated in Sind (in today's world, southeast Pakistan)

See Art of Pottery in Iran at Iran Review. 

Whenever I see Baluchistan in print, I think of Shar-i Sokhtah (spelled in myriad different ways) and the wonderful miraculously preserved wooden game board of 20-squares that was about 4300 years old.  Notice on the map above the location of Shahr-e-Suchte (a/k/a the Burnt City) and Mohenjo Daro of the Indus civilization.  I blogged about this remarkable gameboard, formed by the bodies of interwoven serpents carved into the wood, back in 2010:

Sorry, not the best photo, but it's right out of a print report from back in the 1970s when the news was first published - unfortunately, the source below did not cite to the original report:

A well-preserved wooden 20-squares gameboard (the serpent gameboard) was excavated from Shar-i Sokhtah near the borderlands of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the late 1970's I believe, and dated to about 2400 BCE. Also known as the "Burnt City," Shar-i Sokhtah was a trading hub as well as a center of decorative arts and crafts. Image: "Evidence of Western Cultural Connections from a Phase 3 Group of Graves at Shar-i Sokhta", M. Piperno, S. Salvatori, Mesopotamien und Sein Nachbarn, Band 1, Dietrich Reimer Verlag, Berlin 1997, pgs. 79-84, Tafel XXII. The illustration (Fig. 4) is described as "The wooden gaming board found in grave IUP 731 at Shahr-i Sokhta. The board features an engraved serpent [on a rectangular board] coiling around itself for 20 times, thus producing 20 slots for the game."  From June 10, 2010 blog "Author Fudging on Game Board Fragment in Article on Harappan Site"
The game of 20-squares was made famous when Woolley excavated the remains of a couple of different boards from the royal tombs of Ur, dated to roughly the same period as the gameboard from Shar-i Sokhtah. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...