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Last Updated : Jul 30, 2018 01:20 PM IST | Source:

ASI finds relics dated 1800-2000 BC in UP, could belong to ‘Mahabharata-era’

The Archaeological Survey of India dug up swords, chariots, coffins, human and animal remains and more from the Sanauli site in Uttar Pradesh

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Representative image
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Remains and findings at an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) site at Sanauli, Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh, are said to be linked to the Mahabharata era.

Archaeologists unearthed chariots, skeletal remains, swords, three coffins and other materials from the site; all items are currently stored at the Red Fort in Delhi.

Early analyses traced the findings back to sometime between 2000 and 1800 BC – the Bronze Age. Although the findings have not been officially linked to any race or civilisation, Sanauli’s proximity to Hastinapur - the capital of the Kauravas – is compelling people to conclude that they belong to 2000 BC. Ongoing studies are directed at figuring out who was buried at the site and how they died.


According to a report by India Today, director of the Institute of Archaeology Sanjay Manjul led this exploration and he said that these discoveries could give a new dimension to India’s past. He informed that this is the first time a chariot has been unearthed at an excavation site in the entire Asian subcontinent. He added that such chariots were previously found in Mesopotamia and Greece only.

The swords, also found for the first time, have a distinct hilt design, while the coffins have four legs and feature copper leaf designs. The archaeological team also discovered eight burial pits at the site, which included burials for a pair of twins and a dog. Each pit was stocked with food and items like beads, gold and mirrors, preserved for the afterlife.

Sanjay explained that these entombments were more elaborate than the ones at Harappan sites like Lothal and Rakhigarhi. He added that the Sanauli site could shed light on the elusive Ganga-Yamuna doab habitations and also provide knowledge on the time period between the Harappan civilisation and the Buddha’s birth.

Superintending archaeologist, and Sanjay’s wife, Arvin Manjul said that X-ray, in-situ CT scan and infrared photography were all used for the first time to analyse the burial sites. She added that further DNA tests would tell if the people were of Indian, Mongolian or Aryan origin and whether or not they died in the war.

Metallurgical tests are also being carried out on the tools and weapons to determine the percentage quantities of copper and bronze in them. These tests could also pinpoint where the metals may have been mined from.

Soil samples, from cloth shreds and broken pottery, will reveal what the people of the time farmed and consumed. Paleobotanists are also on the site to study the animal remains and determine whether they were bred for consumption, farming or just as pets.

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First Published on Jul 30, 2018 01:20 pm
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