Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog

Channel Description:

A homage to Hindu civilization.

older | 1 | .... | 351 | 352 | (Page 353) | 354 | 355 | .... | 374 | newer

    0 0

    Rakhigarhi is the largest living archaeological site, over 500 hectares, Rakhigarhi, राखीगढ़ी or Rakhi Shahpur, Rakhi Khas,paṭṭaṇa, port city on major navigable, riverine waterways of Sarasvati Civilization

    This is a tribute to the archaeological team led by Vasant Shinde who are demonstrating living archaeology, exploring a ca. 7th millennium BCE site which is inhabited even today. Such a site is unheard of in the history of archaeological explorations. Two of the seven mounds which account for about 75% of the ancient site of the civilization constituted a merged village of 2013, heralding a 9 millennia old settlement still alive and thriving, buzzing with activities of people of Haryana State in Bharat.

    So, I call Rakhigarhi the largest living archaeological site for nearly 9 millennia, a civilizational event of unparalleled magnificence and splendour when archaeologists relate to the villagers living today on the ancient mounds dating back to 7th millennium BCE to piece together evidences to construct a grand narrative of a civilization.

    By all accounts, Rakhigarhi with 7 mounds is the largest site of the civilization discovered, excavated and being explored. By its location, it is close to two great riverine waterways: Drishadvati feeding into the Sarasvati River System and Yamuna river feeding into Ganga-Brahmaputra river basins. Thus, the site is perhaps Rakhigarhi, राखीगढ़ी or Rakhi Shahpur, Rakhi Khas, paṭṭaṇa, port city on major navigable, riverine waterways of Sarasvati Civilization. The villages of people of 21st century are perhaps legatees of the civilization which dates back to their ancestors of ca. 7th millennium BCE who started their navigation, seafaring activities linking Ancient Far East with the Ancient Near East (and Levant), trading with their wealth of metalwork of the Tin-Bronze-metals revolution and lapidary crafts, apart from the industries related to cotton and silk textiles and agricultural farming of rice, wheat and cereals.

    This is truly a breath-taking encounter of the people of 21st century Common Era with the memories which date back to the lives of their ancestors of ca. 7th millennium BCE.

    Surely, a number of questions arise which are to be answered after detailed multi-disciplinary explorations and investigations. One question certainly relates to the hypothesis framed in this post that Rakhigarh was a port town which linked the navigable waterways of Brahmaputra-Ganga-Yamuna Himalayan riverine waterways with the navigable waterways of Sarasvati, Rann of Kutch (across Indian Ocean), Persian Gulf, Tigris-Euphrates and Mediterranean Sea. Did Rakhigarhi play a role in transporting the three pure tin ingots with Indus Script Inscriptions found ina shipwreck in Haifa, Israel? Was the tin for these ingots sourced from the cassiterite ores of Himalayan rivers Mekong, Irrawaddy, Salween which ground down granite rocks and created the cassiterite placer deposits? If so, was there an ancient Maritime Tin Route linking Hanoi  (Vietnam) and Haifa (Israel), mediated by the ancestors of the present-day residents of Rakhigarhi village?

    The Indus Script inscription with hypertexts has been read as: ranku 'liquid measure', 'antelope' rebus: ranku 'tin' PLUS datu 'cross' rebus: dhatu 'mineral ore' PLUS mukha 'face' rebus: muh 'ingot', thus, the message rendered in metaphors and rebus readings in Meluhha of Indian sprachbund (speech union) is translated as: tin mineral ore ingot. It has been posited that all the 8000+ inscriptions of Indus Script are wealth accounting ledgers, metalwork catalogues of artisans/seafaring merchant guilds of the civilization in 3 volumes:

    For a translation of the cylinder seal found at Rakhigarhi see: 

    "Two villages have merged together and account for about 75% of the ancient site of Rakhigarhi. This is an extraordinary archaeological investigation,since the villages of today are on top of two of the seven mounds of the civilizational site. As Vasant Shinde et al note: “The people of Rakhigarhi are a major stakeholder in the development of archaeological work at the site. They live at the site year round, potentially providing protection for sensitive exposed materials as well as a point of contact for interested visitors who arrive between archaeological fieldwork seasons. They stand to gain the most from any subsequent archaeological work, and as such we strove to make our work transparent and before ahd during our exploration, direct visits to village households to explain what we are doing, and visits to local schools to discuss the importance of the site in relation to South Asian history.” (Shinde et al, p. 47)

    Shinde, Vasant; Green, Adam; Parmar, Narender; Sable, P. D. (2012–2013). "Rakhigarhi and the Harappan Civilization: Recent Work and New Challenges". Bulletin of the Deccan College Research Institute. 72/73: pp.43 to 54. 
    Source: (Annex A Rakhigarhi site: extent and geographical features)
    Location of Rakhigarhi. (After Fig. 11 The Sarasvati River basin in the 5th-2nd millennium BCE showing Hakraware and early Harappan sites, cf. KN Dikshit, 2013, Rise of Indian civilization: recent archaeological evidence from the plains of 'lost' river Sarsvati and radiometric dates, in: Bulletin of the Deccan College Post Graduate Education and Research Institute, Pune, Vols. 72-73, pp. 1 to 42.)
    (After Figs. 30 to 32 in KN Dikshit, opcit.)

    (After Table 3 in KN Dikshit, opcit.)

    Rakhigarhi, राखीगढ़ी or Rakhi Shahpur, Rakhi Khasis a village in Hisar District in the state of Haryana in India, situated 150 kilometers to the northwest of Delhi. [quote] It is the site of a pre-Sarasvati or Indus Valley Civilisation settlement going back to about 6500 BCE. Later, it was also part of the mature period of the Civilisation, dating to 2600-1900 BCE.The site is located in the Ghaggar-Hakra river plain, some 27 km from the seasonal Ghaggar river...Rakhigarhi encompasses a set of seven mounds, and there are many more settlement mounds in the immediate vicinity.(Nath, Amarendra, Tejas Garge and Randall Law, 2014. Defining the Economic Space of the Harappan Rakhigarhi: An Interface of the Local Subsistance Mechanism and Geological Provenience Studies, in Puratattva 44, Indian Archaeological Society, New Delhi, pp. 84 encompasses a set of seven mounds, and there are many more settlement mounds in the immediate vicinity. Not all of them were occupied at the same time. Depending on which mounds to include, the estimates of the size of Rakhigarhi have been given variously as between 80 and 550 hectares. ( Possehl, Gregory L. (2002), The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective, Rowman Altamira, p. 72, "The site is about 17 meters in height. The southern face of the mounds is rather abrupt and steep. The northern side slopes down to the surrounding plain. The contours of the site have led the excavator to divide up the place into five mounds (RGR-1 through 5). RGR-6, a Sothi-Siswal site known as Arda, was probably a separate settlement. I have visited Rakhigarhi and believe that it is 80 hectares in size.";  Nath, Amarendera; et, al (2015). "Harrapan interments at Rakhigarhi" (PDF). Man and Environment. Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies. XL (2): 11) In January 2014, the discovery of additional mounds resulted it in becoming the largest Indus Valley Civilization site, overtaking Mohenjodaro (300 Hectares) by almost 50 hectares, resulting in almost 350 hectares. The size and uniqueness of Rakhigarhi has drawn much attention of archaeologists all over the world. It is nearer to Delhi than other major sites, indicating the spread of the Indus Valley Civilization east across North India. Much of the area is yet to be excavated and published. Another related site in the area is Mitathal, which is still awaiting excavation...There are many other important archaeological sites in this area, in the old river valley to the east of the Ghaggar Plain. Among them are KalibanganKunal, HaryanaBalu, HaryanaBhirrana, and Banawali.[unquote] See: Shinde, Vasant; Green, Adam; Parmar, Narender; Sable, P. D. (2012–2013). "Rakhigarhi and the Harappan Civilization: Recent Work and New Challenges". Bulletin of the Deccan College Research Institute. 72/73: pp.43 to 54. 
    Source: (Annex A Rakhigarhi site: extent and geographical features)

    Jump up

    Move Over Mohenjo-Daro, India Now Has the Biggest Harappan Site In Rakhigarhi  Mugdha Kapoor 
    Updated: May 09, 2017

    The discovery of two more mounds at the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi in Haryana makes it the biggest excavation site of Harappan civilisation, even bigger than Mohenjo-daro (in Sindh,Pakistan). Until now, Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan was considered the largest among the 2,000 Harappan sites known to exist in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. A recent report by the Archaeological Survey of India claims that Haryana’s Bhirrana is the oldest Harappan site and Rakhigarhi the biggest Harappan site in Asia.

    Source: Indiatoday

    Annex A Rakhigarhi site: extent and geographical features

    Shinde, Vasant; Green, Adam; Parmar, Narender; Sable, P. D. (2012–2013). "Rakhigarhi and the Harappan Civilization: Recent Work and New Challenges". Bulletin of the Deccan College Research Institute. 72/73: pp.43 to 54. 

    0 0

    It is appropriate to add a comment on the so-called undeciphered seals of the civilization cited by Vasant Shinde in this exquisite overview of the issues and prospects related to the studies of Harappan (what I call Sarasvati) Civilization. The decipherment or rūpaka 'metaphor' or rebus translation of the inscriptions on two seals cited from Rakhigarhi is presented in this monograph.The River Sarasvati is the epicentre of the civilization with sites like Kunal, Bhirrana,Mitathal, Rakhigarhi on this river basin, taking the roots of the civilization back to ca. 7th millennium BCE. Over 80% of the sites discovered so far are on the River Sarasvati basin.
    Image result for satellite images sarasvati civilization

    Seal 1 and 2 have identical Pictorial motifs: one-horned bull PLUS standard device in front. These pictorial motifs are read as rūpaka, 'metaphors' or rebus renderings in Meluhha.  I suggest that these two seals,like other 8000+ Indus Script inscriptions are wealth accounting ledgers, metalwork catalogues. 

    Hieroglyphs on pictorial motifs of two Rakhigarhi seals, Seals 1 and 2: 

    1. Young bull खोंड khōṇḍa 'A young bull, a bullcalf'; rebus kundaa, 'fine gold' (Kannada); Rebus: kō̃da कोँद'furnace for smelting':  payĕn-kō̃da पयन्-कोँदपरिपाककन्दुः f. a kiln (a potter's, a lime-kiln, and brick-kiln, or the like); a furnace (for smelting). -thöji - or -thöjü -; परिपाक-(द्रावण-)मूषाf. a crucible, a melting-pot. -ʦañĕ -परिपाकोपयोगिशान्ताङ्गारसमूहः a special kind of charcoal (made from deodar and similar wood) used in smelting furnaces. -wôlu -वोलु&below; धात्वादिद्रावण-इष्टिकादिपरिपाकशिल्पी m. a metal-smelter; a brick-baker. -wān -वान्द्रावणचुल्ली m. a smelting furnace.2. Standard device of two joined parts सांगड gaa 'joined parts' (the parts joined are: lathe PLUS portable furnace): sangaa 'lathe' PLUS kammata 'portable furnace' rebus: sangarh 'fortification' PLUS kammata 'mint, coiner, coinage'. (Variant rebus readings reinforcing the nature of the trade transaction recorded on the inscription: jangad ''goods invoiced on approval basis'; jangadiyo 'military guard accompanying treasure into the treasury';samgraha, 'catalogue' of shipment products.)

    Hypertext on text of inscription:
    Seal 1: Sign 397 
    dhāī ''a strand (Sindhi) Rebus: dhatu 'mineral ore' dhāī f. ʻ wisp of fibres added from time to time to a rope that is being twisted ʼ, L. dhāī˜; B. Throw of dice: dāˊtu n. ʻ share ʼ RV. [Cf. śatádātu -- , sahásradātu -- ʻ hun- dredfold, thousandfold ʼ: Pers. dāv ʻ stroke, move in a game ʼ prob. ← IA. -- √] K. dāv m. ʻ turn, opportunity, throw in dice ʼ; S. ḍ̠ã̄u m. ʻ mode ʼ; L.  m. ʻ direction ʼ, (Ju.) ḍ̠āḍ̠ã̄ m. ʻ way, manner ʼ; P. dāu m. ʻ ambush ʼ; Ku. ̄w ʻ turn, opportunity, bet, throw in dice ʼ, N. dāu; B. dāūu ʻ turn, opportunity ʼ; Or. dāudāũ ʻ opportunity, revenge ʼ; Mth. dāu ʻ trick (in wrestling, &c.) ʼ; OAw. dāu m. ʻ opportunity, throw in dice ʼ; H. dāū̄w m. ʻ turn ʼ; G.dāv m. ʻ turn, throw ʼ, āv m. ʻ throw ʼ; M. dāvā m. ʻ revenge ʼ. -- NIA. forms with nasalization (or all NIA. forms) poss. < dāmán -- 2 m. ʻ gift ʼ RV., cf. dāya -- m. ʻ gift ʼ MBh., aka -- dāya-- m. ʻ playing of dice ʼ Naiṣ.(CDIAL 6258) தாயம் tāyamn. < dāya. A fall of the dice; கவறுருட்ட விழும் விருத்தம். முற்பட இடுகின்ற தாயம் (கலித். 136, உரை). 5. Cubical pieces in dice-play; கவறு. (யாழ். அக.) 6. Number one in the game of dice; கவறுருட்ட விழும் ஒன்று என்னும் எண். Colloq. rebus: dhāˊtu n. ʻ substance ʼ RV., m. ʻ element ʼ MBh., ʻ metal, mineral, ore (esp. of a red colour) ʼ Mn., ʻ ashes of the dead ʼ lex., Pa. dhātu -- m. ʻ element, ashes of the dead, relic ʼ; KharI. dhatu ʻ relic ʼ; Pk. dhāu -- m. ʻ metal, red chalk ʼ; N. dhāu ʻ ore (esp. of copper) ʼ; Or. hāu ʻ red chalk, red ochre ʼ (whence hāuā ʻ reddish ʼ; M. dhāūdhāv m.f. ʻ a partic. soft red stone ʼ (CDIAL 6773) Semantic determinative.

    Sign 162: kolmo'rice plant' rebus: kolimi'smithy, forge' Sign 162Sign 397 and possible cognates of 'strand':  

    Seal, Rakhigarhi (Note: For readings of other Rakhigarhi seals see:

    A seal remnant at Rakhigarhi. From l. to r. 

    Image result for rakhigarhi sealsImage result for rakhigarhi seals

    kolom'three' rebus: kolimi 'smithy, forge';  

    kuṭilika 'bent, curved' PLUS dula'pair' rebus: kuṭila,katthīl = bronze (8 parts copper and 2 parts tin) PLUS dul 'metal casting'; 
    (split parenthesis as a circumscript is a break-out of a bun-ingot or lozenge or oval shaped ingot) muh'ingot' PLUS baṭa'quail' rebus: bhaṭa'furnace' PLUS sal'splinter' rebus: sal 'workshop' 
    bicha'scorpion' rebus: bicha'haematite, ferrite ore';  tutta'goad' rebus: tuttha'zinc sulphate'; dāṭu'cross' rebus: dhatu'mineral' 
    karṇaka'rim of jar' rebus: karṇī'supercargo'karṇika'helmsman, scribe,engraver'. 

    Harappan Civilization: Current Perspective and its Contribution – By Dr. Vasant Shinde

    General view of the excavation Harappan site of FarmanaIntroduction
    The identification of the Harappan Civilization in the twenties of the twentieth century was considered to be the most significant archaeological discovery in the Indian Subcontinent, not because it was one the earliest civilizations of the world, but because it stretched back the antiquity of the settled life in Indian Subcontinent by two thousand years at one stroke. Vincent Smith (1904), one of the leading historians of the era, had written, in the beginning of the twentieth century, that there was a wide gap (Vedic Night) or a missing link between Stone Age and Early Historic periods in the Indian History and the settled life in this part of the world began only after 6-5 century BCE, probably during the Stupa (Buddhist) period. The discovery of the Harappan Civilization proved him wrong and the Indian Subcontinent brought to light the presence of the first civilization that was contemporary to the Mesopotamian and Egyptian Civilizations. This Civilization was unique compared to the two contemporary civilizations on account of its extent and town planning. Extent-wise it was much bigger in size than the Mesopotamian and the Egyptian Civilizations put together and spread beyond the Subcontinent. Its town planning consisting of citadel and lower town, both fortified and having a checkerboard type planned settlement inside them, was a unique and unparallel in the contemporary world. Intensive and extensive works have brought to light over two thousand sites till date. The distribution pattern suggests that they were not only spread over major parts of western and north-western Indian subcontinent, but its influence is seen beyond, up to the Russian border in the north and the Gulf region in the west. In true sense this was the only civilization in the contemporary world, which was an international in nature.
    The Indian subcontinent has all the favourable ecological conditions to give birth to the early farming community. The Southwest Asian agro pastoral system with wheat, barley, cattle, sheep and goats had spread through Iran and Afghanistan to Preceramic Mehrgarh in Baluchistan by about 7000 BC. Early Mehrgarh lithics, loaf-shaped mud bricks, female figurines and burial practices all suggest Southwest Asian influence from somewhere in the Levant or Zagros regions. The origins of village life in South Asia were first documented at Kile Ghul Mohammad in the Quetta valley (Fairservis 1956), then at the site of Mehergarh at the foothill of the Bolan pass on the Kacchi Plain on the Indus Valley (Jarrige 1984). Both these sites and numerous other in this region demonstrate cultural development from the seventh millennium BCE to the emergence of the of the Mature Harappan phase in the middle of the third millennium BCE.
    As far as the climatic conditions during the Early-Harappan and Harappan times are concerned there are two conflicting interpretation. The data for paleoclimate reconstruction were obtained from Rajasthan lakes such as Didwana, Lunkarsar, Sambhar and Pushkar. The studies carried out by Singh et al (1990) have suggested that the mid-Holocene climatic optimum coincides with the mature phase of the Harappan Civilization and its end with a sharp excursion into aridity. Most interesting example cited is the occurrence of Cerealia type pollen and finely comminuted pieces of charcoal found in these lakes at 7000 BP, which has been interpreted as evidence for forest clearance and the beginning of agriculture. On the other hand, the studies carried out by Enzel et al. (1999) show that there is no simple correlation between favourable climate and the archaeological data. They have suggested that the most humid phase at Lunkaransar has been dated to between 6.3-4.8 kys with abrupt drying of the late sometime around 4.8 kys. During the period between 6.3-4.8 kys the lake was freshwater and never dried up. Significant shift in the carbon isotope values are also seen in this period. The most flourishing Harappan phase (Mature) is thus does not correlate to the favourable climate but indicates that it rather developed in a period of deteriorating climatic conditions. They have concluded that the Harappan Civilization was not caused by the presence of favourable environment. More data in this respect needs to be generated in nature future.
    Beads from Rakhigarhi
    Excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo Daro commenced in 1920s, but the excavators were unable to assess the antiquity of the remains they were excavating. Leonard Woolley and Earnest Mackey who were excavating in Mesopotamia, had discovered some Harappans seals from securely dated strata. Sir John Marshall got a clue from and announced the discovery of the Harappan Civilization on 20 September 1924 through his article titled “First Light on a Long-Forgotten Civilisation: New Discoveries of an Unknown Prehistoric Past in India” published in the Illustrated London News and since then many scholars and institutions, both from India and outside, have been engaged in unravelling the history of this most important cultural phase in Indian History. No other culture in the subcontinent has received as much attention as the Harappan Civilization has. However, it should be mentioned that what is known today about this civilization is mainly the glimpses of their urban life, as the reconstruction done is based on the data recovered from large settlements identified as either cities or towns. Compared to that very few rural Harappan settlements such as agriculture villages, industrial centres or ports have been excavated systematically on large scale. In order to understand holistic life of the Harappans, sufficient systematic work on sites of different categories needs to be carried out. So far more than 100 sites have been subjected to various degrees of excavations, majority of which are large-size settlements. The work carried out at the site of Mehrgah in Baluchistan has already demonstrated the origin of the culture, which was gradual from the modest beginning of the settled life around 7500 BC (Jarrige et al. 1995). Identification of three phases of the Harappan culture- Early Harappan (3300-2600 BC), Mature Harappan (2600-2000 BC) and Late Harappan (2000-1700 BC) suggests cultural processes –origin, development and decline of the culture.

    Origin and Extent

    The earliest excavations and scholars (Mackay, 1928-29; Marshall, 1931; Vats, 1940) interpreted the rise of the Harappans as a result of a Near Eastern or external stimulus based on simple diffusion models (Fairservis, 1956; Gordon and Gordon, 1940; Piggott, 1950; Sankalia, 1974; Wheeler, 1947, 1968). However, today ideas of indigenous development (Durrani, 1986; Jarrige and Meadow, 1980; Mughal, 1974b; Shaffer, 1982b, Shinde, 2006) as a result of regional interactions among the existing earlier groups of people is believed to be the cause for the development of this civilization covering an area of 2.5 million sq. km nearly four times the size of its contemporary Mesopotamian and Egyptian Civilizations.
    Toy Cart frame from Harappan site of Farmana
    Of many excavations undertaken over a long period of time in the Subcontinent, the one carried out at Mehrgarh between 1974 and 1985 (Jarrige et al. 1995) is in a real sense an epoch making. Not only that it has provided the first evidence of a settled life in the Indian Subcontinent going back to the seventh millennium BC, but also solid evidence it has produced supporting the steady growth of the Harappan elements. The evidence that came out of this excavation lay to rest the earlier controversial theory of the Western world being responsible for the emergence of the Harappan Civilization. The excavations have demonstrated seven different stages of development prior to the emergence of the Harappan culture, beginning with the Aceramic Neolihtic. What is evident here is the introduction of various Harappan elements at various different levels at the site throughout the first seven phases, culminating into the emergence of the Harappan culture in the last stage/phase (VIII). Three different phases of the Harappan culture – Early, Mature and Late demonstrate cultural processes from origin-development to decline of the culture. The Mature Harappan phase is most prosperous one in which is found the development of the Civilization/urbanization and evidence from various excavated sites now leads us to believe it has emerged out of the Early Harappan phase. As is evident the process of transformation from Early to Mature Harappan appears to have happened simultaneously over the major Harappan region including Baluchistan, Sindh, Ghaggar and Gujrat.
    The earlier belief that the Harappan Civilization (Mature Harappan phase) was a homogenous has turned out to be a myth. Within the Harappan region we find manifestation of the regional variation and three such regional variations (Domain according to Possehl (2002) can very distinctly be identified. The first scholar to point out this variation within the Harappan Civilization was J.P. Joshi way back in 1984 (Joshi, 1984). However, Possehl (2002) has identified more than 7 domains on account of geography and settlement pattern data. However, on the basis of variations in the material culture, three zones can clearly be distinguished. The excavations at Rojdi by Possehl and Raval (1989) were important from the point of view of identification of the regional variation of the Harappan Civilization in Saurasthra. It was noticed that the material culture associated with the Harappan culture at Rojdi showed some difference compared to that found in the Sindh-Baluchistan region. This was found true for the whole Saurashtra region. This difference was treated as a regional variation of the Harappan culture in Saurashtra and termed as Sorath Harappan (Possehl and Herman 1990). Similar regional difference in the material culture, more particularly in the ceramic assemblages of the Harappan sites in Ghaggar is visible. The sites located in the Sindh-Baluchistan region have classical Harappan elements and form one distinct zone within the Harappan region.
    I can try to explain why such variations have occurred in the material culture of the Mature Harappan period. A number of Early Harappan cultures flourished in various parts of the Harappan region and the Mature Harappan is supposed to be the result of internal development within these Early Harappan cultures. Naturally therefore the features of the Early Harappan cultures persisted through the mature phase in their respective regions. The Early Harappan (4000-2600 BCE) is made up of five regional phases that are thought to be generally contemporary: the Amri-Nal, Kot Diji, Damb Saddat, Sothi-Siswal and Anarta-Padri. They are as follows:
    These are the different regional traditions that came into existence during the Early Harappan phase of the Harappan culture. Simultaneous development and integration as a result of intensive contacts and exchange of goods was happening in all the different zones and around 2600 BCE emerged the Mature Harappan (Harappan Civilization) phase.
    The northernmost site is Manda on the River Beas in Jammu while Bhagtrav on the Tapti in Maharashtra forms its southern boundary. Alamgirpur on the Hindon River near Delhi and Sutkagendor on the Arabian Sea shore near the Iranian border forms its eastern and western peripheries respectively. Today the Harappans are believed to be a complex of many ethnic groups (Mughal, 1990; Possehl, 1982, 1990b; Shaffer and Lichtenstein, 1989; Thapar, 1979), representing several cultural identities with large regional urban centres like Harappa (Punjab), Mohen-jo Daro (Sindh), Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Dholavira (Kutch/Gujarat) and Ganweriwala (Cholistan) (Fig. 1) supported by innumerable craft centers, and smaller village settlements practicing agriculture which supported this urban and international trading economy.
    Structural evidence from Harappan site of Farmana

    Ecological setting

    The environmental setting of the Harappan Civilization includes two major river systems and its flood plains, the Indus and the Ghaggar-Hakra (now dry); the highlands and plateaus of Baluchistan to the west, and the mountainous regions of northern Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India to the northwest and north. These geographical regions include highlands and lowlands, coasts and interior with distribution of land suitable for agriculture and pastoralism, the location of specific resources the procurement of which influenced the patterns of social and economic interaction and helped define social status.


    The Harappan culture cannot be studied as a homogeneous cultural phenomena as the cultural assemblages are varied, and include the Pre/Early-Harappan between 3500-2500 BC; Mature Harappan between 2500-2000 BC and the Post/Late Harappan after 2000 BC. A date of 2600 B.C. marks the approximate beginning of the urban fabric of the Harappans with the unification of the urban settlements, the use of writing, weights, Harappan-type ceramic designs, civic planning, etc and is believed to have disintegrated by 2100-1900 B.C. (Shaffer, 1991).

    The Harappan urbanisation and standardization (2500-2000 BC)

    The urban or the mature Harappan Phase includes a wide range of urban and non-urban rural sites that are varied in size and function but are inherently known for several features like the town planning with defensive walls with impressive gates around the site, two or more divisions of the settlement at the site, drains, baked brick structures, brick size (4:2:1 ratio), pottery, script, similarity in craft products and techniques (etched carnelian beads, copper-bronze artefacts, lithic blades), seals, weights and measures, evidence of external trade etc which help identify and denote them as a Harappan settlement irrespective of their size or urban/rural character. Some of these features have been touched upon in the following section.
    Burials from Harappan site of Farmana

    Town planning

    From excavated remains, it is clear that the Harappan Civilization possessed a flourishing urban architecture laid out on a grid pattern with provisions for an advanced drainage system and the most important innovation was the standardization of the bricks in a size ratio very close to 4:2:1. The citadel, defence walls, dams etc prove to the existence of monumental architecture. Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Rakhigarhi and Dholavira were by far the largest urban centers of the Indus civilization evidently as important political and administrative regional centers. The metropolitan centers were internally divided into two or more parts: the Citadel for rulers and the Lower Town for the common people.
    The private houses were oriented towards a central space, with access from the street by an entrance that blocks the view of the interior of the house. A group of houses are associated with one or more private wells and approximately 700 wells have been identified in the core area of Mohen-jo Daro, (Jansen, 1989). The number of wells and their association with neighbourhoods could indicate a need for discrete and relatively private water sources.
    The large public structures have open access or provide a thoroughfare from one area of the site to another like the “Great Bath” of Mohenjo Daro, and the “granaries” at Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. The “Great Bath” is a large, water-proof tank but its exact purpose remains unknown. The so-called granaries at Mohenjo Daro, Harappa and Lothal are today massive foundation platforms for a superstructure no longer evident.
    The cities and smaller settlements also had carefully designed and well maintained drainage systems. Wells and bathing platforms were lined with bricks, and small drains carried water away from the wells or living area to larger street drains (Fig. 2). The street drains were equipped with sump-pits and the streets had bins for non-liquid waste, which was presumably collected and dumped outside the settlement.
    The sites were laid out on a rectangular grid of main streets and smaller lanes with an efficient drainage system. The grid-like arrangement of the streets and the stark uniformity of the houses suggest rigid state control, the first instance of town planning in the world. Such a layout is not indicative of a town that has developed from village beginnings; rather, it is the sign of a newly conceived, or relocated, settlement (c.f. Gupta, 1997). The citadel was raised on high mud platforms and its architectural units may have functioned like a palace complex combining the functions of defence stronghold, meeting place, storage area, ceremonial centre, and perhaps the site of community feasting. In the major cities a defensive wall made of mud-brick protected the citadel and often the lower towns as shown by the excavations at Dholavira (Bisht, 1993; Gupta, 1997).
    Pottery from Harappan site of Farmana

    Subsistence and Economy

    The economy was largely based on agriculture, animal husbandry and trade with specialized exchange networks for the procurement and distribution of raw materials and manufactured items within and beyond the civilization in existence. All the evidence indicates that the subsistence base of the economy remained much as it had already developed at Mehrgarh some two millennia earlier. The Harappan civilization apparently evolved from their predecessors, using irrigated agriculture with sufficient skill to reap the advantages of the spacious and fertile Indus River basin while controlling the formidable annual flood that simultaneously fertilizes and destroys (Kenoyer, 1991).
    Even though most settlements were located in semi-arid areas with winter rainfall their wealth was based on a subsistence economy of wheat and barley. These winter crops, together with chickpeas, mustard, and field peas, were the staples. The other crops grown were rice, dates, melons, green vegetables (primarily legumes), and cotton. Cotton, a summer crop, was grown for fibre. The Harappans cultivated a variety of grains and harvested two crops a year. Fishing and hunting supplemented the diet. The Harappans developed an elaborate water management system and at the site of Dholavira in Kutch a network of dams, canals and reservoirs were used to manage the meagre and crucial water resources (Bisht, 1993).
    Bone tools from Rakhigarhi


    The Harappan civilization boomed with industrial activity and a wide range of mineral resources were worked at various sites notably marine shells, ivory, carnelian, steatite, faience, lapis lazuli, gold, and silver. Craftsmen made items for household use (pottery and tools), for public life (seals), and for personal ornament (bangles, beads, and pendants) for elite markets and long-distance trade. The crafts were seen as producing standardized artifacts that were distributed throughout the Indus region. Often there is evidence of specialized crafts being segregated in specific sites (Shortugai, a lapis lazuli mining and processing center, Nageshwar, a shell-working site) and also specific areas of the sites (Chanhu-daro had many groups of artisans involved in the production of elite status items such as seals, long carnelian beads and copper objects). The standardization of crafts is attributed to centralized control of production, organized by a state-level organization (Piggott, 1950; Wheeler, 1968) or the result of a conservative ideology (Fairservis, 1984a; Miller, 1985).
    Harappan pottery is perhaps the finest in India and is betoken of the achievement of the Harappan potter. It is made of extremely fine, well-levigated clay, free from impurities, and is uniformly well fired. The surface is treated with a red slip over which designs are executed in black. The painted patterns are rich in variety and the characteristic ones include intersecting circles, fish scales, the pipal leaf, etc but the bulk of the pottery is plain. Typical Mature Harappan shapes include S-shaped jars, the dish-on-stand and perforated cylindrical jars.
    Terracotta figurines of humans and animals are an important part of the cultural assemblage of a Harappan site along with beads.
    Copper/Bronze Metallurgy: Use of copper and bronze for shaping tools, vessels and ornaments was a characteristic feature of the Harappans. Most of the artifacts found are tools of everyday use such as axes, adzes, knives fish hooks, chisels (Fig. 3) including pots and pans and items of personal use such as jewellery in form of bangles, beads diadem strips while relatively few weapons of war have been found. Though the technique of manufacture of these objects is advanced we do not witness any elaborate ornamental decorative aspects to these items and were at large of a simplistic and modest style probably very typical to the Harappan ideology.
    Terra cotta object and Dice
    Interestingly most copper artifacts have been found at larger and economically developed settlements in comparison to small agricultural settlements which indicates that it was not in popular use and could have been a symbol of wealth and status. However, most copper artifacts including ornaments and vessels have been found in a non-hoard context which include burials (out of 168 total copper/bronze ornaments 130 were found in non-hoard context) as against other metal objects especially gold and silver (largely hoards and catches), though some copper vessels and beads in hoards cannot be ignored completely. Also the amount of copper/bronze artifacts found at Harappan sites (burial, on sites and hoards) is much less in comparison to the contemporary civilizations probably as an object of scarce availability and a symbol of wealth and status it was passed over from one generation to another and also recycled as is the case today in the region (Agrawal, 2007).
    The source for this copper has yet not been identified but the Khetri mines on the Aravalli is the most plausible option. Some scholars have also identified the copper mines in northern and southern Baluchistan, Afghan Seistan as an important source since the Harappans seem to have established flourishing trade relations with the Helmand tradition of this region. The Oman peninsula with evidence of Harappan artifacts and short term Harappan settlements is a candidate for the source of Harappan copper as well. Agrawal (2007) considers the Aravallis as the most likely source for the Harappans especially as the Ganeshwar complex sites have yielded more than 5000 copper objects, with some typical Harappan types like thin blades, arrow-heads etc. Besides Mesopotamians imported copper from Melluha which is traditionally identified as the Indus region and hence the idea of a local source holds stronger ground than import from an outside source though the other mentioned sources could also have been tapped for recasting, fabricating and then export to Mesopotamia. However, Kenoyer and Miller argue that there is no direct evidence of Harappan phase mines or smelting sites in the Aravalli copper source areas, even though the area has been explored by numerous scholars (Piggot, 1999) and hence we are still at no particular consensus as far as the source for Harappan copper is concerned.
    The Harappans are referred to as a Bronze Age culture, though they seemed to have preferred use of pure copper since a larger repertory of the artifacts are made of pure copper. Copper alloying though was a common aspect of metallurgy within the contemporary civilizations of the Harappans, only 30% of the 177 copper artifacts analyzed from Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro indicate tin, arsenic, nickel or lead alloying, of which tin is the most common. The amount of tin ranged from 1-12% in the bronze artifacts studied.
    The manufacture of copper/bronze objects involves two- three levels of industry. The first and the foremost is obtaining the metal from its ore through smelting for which we do not have any direct evidence in form of slag or the ore at either, the settlement sites or at the Khetri mines the so-called source for Harappan copper. Hence right from the outset we are at a loss for the source of this metal and it has to be put forth that most likely the Harappans obtained the metal from outside as ingots which could be worked by casting through melting and shaping the molten metal through a stone, terracotta or sand mould or direct fabricating or forging and shaping the metal through heating and beating techniques. There is evidence of plano-convex disc shaped ingots with an uneven puckered top surface from Mohenjo Daro, Chanhudaro, Harappa and Lothal which it seems was further worked by the copper smiths for producing the objects required.
    A detailed analysis of the copper artifacts indicate that the Harappans were aware of the lost wax process or cire perdue as the two dancing figurines and a covered cart without its wheels and another complete with the driver from Chanhudaro are manufactured using this closed casting technique. According to Mackay (1938), a large number of blade axes were manufactured using closed casting technique and “were so faulty and full of blow holes as to be unusable except for re-melting”. However the absence of moulds at any site except Lothal (not accepted by Agrawal, 2007) is suggested as a result of use of sand based moulds which disintegrate when exposed to nature and hence create a vacuum in the archaeological context.
    Several other objects especially the flat celts and axes indicate open mould casting with slow and controlled cooling of the cast metal.
    However the maximum objects are of the forged category which is basically the shaping and modification of non-molten metal using the force of a hammer on hot or cold metal. Forging helps shape and hardens the objects and hence is an important aspect of manufacture of edged tools of every day and industrial use, which are the most common finds at Harappan sites (of 521 objects for Chanhudaro, 645 are tools, 26% are ornaments, 7% were vessels and 3% percent included the miscellaneous objects). The most common example is the Harappan chisel which was forged from a cast copper bars, while thin razors were cut from copper sheets and then forged to form a sharp cutting edge. Most of the copper vessels were also manufacture by beating the copper sheet into the required shape.
    Besides copper the Harappans worked with gold, silver and lead as is exhibited from the artefactual evidence.
    Shell: Gujarat was one of the main centres for production of shell objects from the Turbinella Pyrum which was cut and worked using a bronze saw. Nageshwar, Bagasra, Kuntasi etc. have been identified as important shell working centres for procuring raw material and processing finished goods like bangles, beads-pendants, decorative inlay pieces, spoons and ladles etc.
    Stone: various types of stone was worked for different purposes which varied from lithic tools made of chert and chalcedony, seals carved of steatite for public utility to objects of personnel use especially ornaments like beads, bangles pendants etc. made of, technologically altered and transformed materials like faience, carnelian, paste. Some of this was not only for the local but the international market as well since Harappan carnelian beads have been found at the royal cemetery of Ur.
    The Harappans and their crafts have been identified as a technologically innovative group with an indifference towards the regular precious stones like lapis and turquoise. Jarrige sums up their attitude by saying that “they didn’t like them because they couldn’t play with them” (Agrawal, 2007:323) while Vidale goes on to say “the Indus people are noteworthy of their cultural expression of not power of conquering, but rather power of creating; from abstract universe created in their urban organization to artificial stone of their microbeads” (Agrawal, 2007:323).
    Copper spoon from Harappan site of Farmana


    The evidence for trade/exchange is primarily artifacts made from raw materials with regionally restricted sources, such as marine shell, agate, carnelian, lapis lazuli, turquoise, coloured cherts and jaspers, serpentine, steatite and copper. Transport of objects was probably overland by human porters, cattle carts, and on the backs of sheep, goat, cattle etc. The locations of major settlements were related to the importance of riverine or sea transport as is the case with settlements like Lothal, Balakot, Sutkagendor etc (Ratnagar, 1981; Jansen, 1989),
    Evidence from sites in Mesopotamia suggests that the Harappans (Meluhha) exported wood, shell, ivory, gold, decorated carnelian beads, lapis lazuli and perishable items like textiles, cotton and food grains; and much of this trade would have been routed via the Gujarat coast due to its strategic location at the delta of the Indus River. Other goods found are indicative of the trade networks include gold from southern India or Afghanistan, silver and copper from Oman or Rajasthan, lapis lazuli from Afghanistan and turquoise from Iran and Afghanistan. It is believed that trade existed between Egypt and the Harappans on the basis of two terracotta mummies from Lothal. Also the blue colour used by the Egyptians is said to have come from Indigo cultivated in India (Zarins, 1992), evidence of which is found at Rojdi. Trade with the west seem to have received a major boost around 2300-2200 BC, and this is when the Harappans set-up small industrial centres all along the resource and coastal regions for promoting their trade. However by 1900 BC trade with Mesopotamia started to decline and by 1700 it had completely disappeared (Dhavalikar, 1997). The presence of cubical weights of precise measures and impressions of seals (sealings) also point to a well-developed and structured system of trade with control and distribution methods. The well-developed though un-deciphered script was probably also an integral part of this network.

    The Harappan script

    The urban Harappans can be easily differentiated from their predecessors and successors on the basis of their use of writing which was used for identification of ownership of goods or economic transactions, accounting, the recording of socio-political or ritual events (Fairservis, 1983; Parpola, 1986). The origins of this writing system is not clear and till date has not been deciphered due to the lack of a bilingual text and also because the inscriptions are very short, usually only of about five discrete symbols (Parpola, 1979).
    However this has not restricted academic debate and linguists suggest affinities with Proto-Dravidian or Indo-Aryan language (Fairservis, 1983; Parpola, 1986) without any consensus or proof. Though now it is generally agreed that writing was from right to left and is most commonly found on the intaglio seals, made of carved and fired steatite, steatite, clay or faience tablets and numerous incised tools and ornaments and often on pottery before or after firing, stamped on pottery, terra-cotta cakes or terra-cotta cones (Joshi and Parpola, 1987).
    These writings or symbols regardless of its understanding by the modern scholars do represent a shared belief and ideology that was distributed over an extremely large area which was undoubtedly a key factor in the integration of the urban and rural populations spread over varied ecological settings.
    Terra cotta Bangles from Rakhigarhi


    Wheeler (1968) emphasized that religious and secular activities were indivisible concepts, and this fact applies not just to ancient past but even today as can be often seen from the religious symbolism of modern Indian sub-continent. Even today several tools and toys used in secular form acquire a “ritual status” with changing contexts. Many objects and symbols have been seen as representing Harappan “religious” beliefs and practices and include seals, horned male deities, Mother Goddess figurines, fire-altars, etc. However all attempts to correlate these objects and scenes to Indian mythology and religion or to the contemporary Mesopotamian religious belief have failed due to lack of deciphered text (Allchin, 1985; Ashfaque, 1989; Dhavalikar and Atre, 1989; Fairservis, 1975, 1984b; Parpola, 1984, 1988).
    Religious traditions and beliefs are also witnessed in the death rituals and Harappan burials also indicate localized patterns (Kennedy and Caldwell, 1984). The cemeteries are small and do not appear to represent the entire society, hence, it is possible that certain groups practiced burial while others used cremation or exposure while variation in the mode of burial and the quantity of grave goods also indicate difference of social and religious norms.
    Wheeler (1968) had put forth local cults and a state religion, which is similar to what he witnessed in the living traditions of numerable local cults and a larger religious ideology pantheon which is all inclusive. Fairservis (1986) proposed that cities such as Mohenjo-daro were primarily ceremonial centers and that “religion” was an integrating factor using a complex system of shared beliefs and rituals legitimizing the economic and political control.

    The Harappan Society and Polity

    It is still impossible to do more than guess at the social organization or the political and administrative control implied by this vast area of cultural uniformity. The evidence of widespread trade in many commodities, the apparent uniformity of weights and measures, the common script, and the almost common currency-of seals, all indicate some measure of political and economic control probably originating from the large regional centres. The presence of status objects throughout the Indus region indicates a strong socio-political and religious system of beliefs that demanded and prompted the acquisition and use of such items. A sufficient supply would have been ensured by economic networks and the spread of specialized artisans and technologies to major sites and interestingly there is no evidence for acquisition by force which is obvious in the near absence of weapons of war. The acquisition of exotic goods must be seen as the accumulation of grain or livestock surplus – in an increasing status differentiation between those who have and those who have not.
    There is no clear idea about the composition of Harappan population in spite of the fact that a number of their grave-yards have been excavated. The sites like Harappan, Kalibangan, Rakhigarhi, Lothal, Farmana (Shinde et al. 2009) (Fig. 4) have produced separate cemeteries, but due to lack of sufficient scientific analyses such as DNA, Isotope and Trace Element, etc. features like genetic aspects, health and diet of the people is not sufficiently known yet. However, social stratification is evident in their burials.

    Recent Researches on the Harappan Culture in the Ghaggar Basin

    The Harappans favoured the region of Ghaggar/Hakra the most as is evident from the presence of high density of the Harappan settlements there. The region, particularly on the Indian side of the Ghaggar basin is yet to be systematically surveyed and the work on settlement patterns and systems is still in its infancy. Numerous sites have been reported by the earlier workers, which cannot be visited and studied now. This is simply because either majority of the co-ordinates mentioned by the earlier researchers are wrong, or most of the sites have been completely razed either in the process of converting them into agricultural fields or due to various developmental projects initiated by State or Central Governments.
    Among the many factors responsible for the development of the Harappan Civilization, congenial climate and surplus production of food grains are considered to be the most significant. The Ghaggar basin was very potent for the surplus production of food grains as it has very thick cover of fertile alluvium soils and the rivers are perennial due to their rise from the Siwalik Hills. Even today, this region is considered to be part of an “Agricultural Bowl” of India. A large number of Harappan sites located in the proximity of arable land can be interpreted as Agricultural settlements. They are relatively large in size and have considerable thick deposit. However, sites like Rakhigarhi and Farmana, very extensive and under occupation for thousands of years may have played an important role in the socio-economic organizations of the Harappans. The site of Rakhigarhi, by virtue of its location, which is almost in the centre of the region and having vast catchment around it, has grown into most probably a large “Regional Centre” of the Ghaggar basin. It may have controlled administration and overall economy of the region. The site of Farmana may have acquired importance and grown into a town because of its proximity to the site of Rakhigarhi, which is roughly 40 km away and also due to very congenial ecological conditions.
    The site of Farmana was selected for large-scale excavation mainly because it has both the Early and Mature Harappan phases and thus an ideal candidate where one can undertake study of cultural processes. Besides, for last many decades the farmers who own the site have been modifying landscape of the site for agricultural activities. As a result, once a prominent habitation mound is being reduced to almost a flat ground now. The excavation thus aims to salvage archaeological record before it is completely destroyed. For the first time this excavation has produced evidence that is enabling understanding of the origin and the factors causing regional variations. The regional cultures like Siswal, Regional Hakra Culture Tradition and Sothi may have evolved in the Ghaggar basin as a result of interactions with the early Neolithic cultures, either from the Baluchistan region or Kashmir.
    Excavations carried out at Farmana have thrown immense light on the town planning and the burial customs of the Mature Harappans at this site. The orientation of the town in NW-SE direction closely resembles the one at Kalibangan, whereas overall pattern of the drainage, streets and structures are close to the planning at the site of Harappa. Since only the foundations have survived, it is not possible to visualize the nature of walls and superstructure. The walls above could be either of burnt bricks, which may have been completely robbed by the present villagers, or mud-bricks. The traces of settlements found at Farmana are in general agreement with the usual grid town planning associated with the Harappan Civilization (Shinde et al. 2008a and 2008b, 2010, 2011a 2011b).
    It is interesting to note, that the Harappans at Farmana were very fond of geometric structures and features. Majority of the pits including storage, fire and burials found at Farmana are rectangular in shape. These pits are perfectly rectangular with perfectly vertical sides and flat bottom. All the rectangular fire-pits found in the structures are certainly used as domestic hearths and they are usually found in one of the corners or along the inner margin of the wall of structures. Besides, very often a water storage jar and a small rectangular storage pit are found close to the fire-pits. Some of the fire-pits are close on all four sides and considerably large in size. In order to accommodate smaller pot on these fire-pits, they may have used bricks for support of cooking vessels, the evidence of which is found in a few cases. They do not appear to be associated with religious beliefs of the people as their context includes fragments of cooking and storage pots and splinters of charred animal bones would indicate.
    On the basis of the presence of large number of artefacts at Farmana, it appears that Farmana was one of the flourishing Harappan centres. It has a strong agricultural base as its catchment is covered with very fertile alluvium soil and has ample source of fine clay for manufacture of pottery and bricks. The site may have been a major regional centre for the manufacture of terracotta objects, including pottery. The lapidary and copper working may have been the other industries at Farmana. It may have acquired semi-precious stones from Gujarat, gold from Karnataka and copper from Khetri region of Rajasthan. The site appears to have flourished because of the major agricultural and industrial activities here. One of the beautifully decorated etched carnelian beads found at Farmana is exactly identical to the one found at Ur in Mesopotamia. This discovery is very important and even leads one to surmise that Farmana played an important role in Harappan Civilization’s international trade with Mesopotamia (Shinde et al. 2008b).
    The study of the faunal samples revealed the presence of several animal taxa. Out of the 30 species in the collection, eight wild mammals (wild pig, gazelle, antelope, chital, rat, Indian Hare, four-horned antelope and nilgai) and one reptile (turtle) were found. The six domesticated species include cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat, pig and dog. Molluscs like lamellidens, pila globosa and some fishes which could not be identified at this stage were also found at Farmana. Among the many birds bones recovered, only one that is Busulous ibiscould be identified. Though no Laboratory analysis of the grain and plan remains are available, wheat, barley and rice grains were identified during sampling at the site. Thus it is clear that the subsistence of the people of Farmana was based on agriculture but supplemented with animal diet. Further analysis and more work at the site will be able to generate sufficient data to tackle some of the research problems identified.
    The site of Farmana is one of the few Harappan sites in the subcontinent that has Mature Harappan cemetery located in its vicinity. There are two more cemeteries, one at Bedwa and the other at Puti Seman, located in the vicinity of 5 km. Cemeteries at Bedwa and Putti Semen belong to the Late Harappan phase as the entire deposit of the Late Harapan at Farmana has been razed, there is no way to connect them to the site of Farmana.
    The ancient site (29°02’22”N and 76°18’21”E) that falls in the jurisdiction of three different villages- Farmana, Seman and Bhaini Chandrapal (Badi Bahen) all in the jurisdiction of Meham block of Rohtak district in the state of Haryana (Fig. 1), is locally known as Daksh Kheda. Since major portion of this site lies in the jurisdiction of Farmana village, it is considered a part of that village. The site is 4 km to the west of Farmana on the metal road between Farmana and Semen. It is 2.5 km to the east of the village Seman. The site is in the Chautang river basin, but roughly 30 km away from the river. There are lakes in the vicinity of the site. The Harappans may have relied for their water needs on such lakes.
    The survey, which was carried out, revealed a very extensive area under occupation measuring over 18 hectares in size (Shinde et al. 2008a-b). The major portions of the site particularly along the periphery and also the upper levels of the Mature Harappan period have been destroyed as the entire site is under cultivation. The total habitation deposit survived now varies from 2.5 m to 3.5 m.
    The site (Fig. 2) has been extensively damage along its periphery area and therefore we are not able to trace the outline of the fortification wall. The excavations carried out at the site has revealed two distinct phases of the Harappan Culture: Early Harappan (Period-1- Regional Hakra Culture) and the Mature Harappan (represented by three sub-phases- Period-IIA, IIB and IIC). The site which was in the form of a prominent mound some 50 years ago is being constantly damaged by the farmers. In the process of converting the site into an agriculture land, the entire Early Historic, Painted Grey Ware, Late Harappan and part of the upper Mature Harappan (Period-IIB) levels have been completely damaged. The site is so rich that the structural remains and features are found immediately below the ploughing zone. This is the ideal site for Horizontal excavation.
    Statue seal from Harappan site of Farmana
    Two periods of the Harappan culture have been survived at the site. They are as follows:

    Period- I Early Harappan (Regional Harkra Culture Tradition) (3500-2600 BC)

    This is the period which was called Pre-Harappan in the Farmana excavation report published last year (Shinde 2008b). However, after evaluating its contribution to the development of Mature Harappan phase, it was clear that most of the elements of this phase continued in the succeeding phase as it is or with minor modifications. It is because of this that this early phase is treated as a formative stage of the Harappan Culture and hence the term Early Harappan. The last three layers at the site (Layers 10-12) belong to the Early Harappan phase (Period- I). The following are some of the AMS dates from the Early Harappan levels from Frmana, Girawad and Mitathal:
    These dates are not consistent and hence are not of much use to decide the general chronology of Period-I. There are a number of dates from the early occupation at the site of Bhirrana, which is the closest to Farmana and Girawad. Most of the dates for this period are quit early in age at Bhirrana. It is therefore safe to presume that the Early Harappans flourished in this part in the middle of 4th millennium BC and continued until the emergence of the Mature Harappan phase around 2600 BC.
    The kind of pottery, structures and other material recovered from the sites of Farmana is reported from other sites like Bhirrana (Rao, et al. 2004-05), Girawad (Shinde, et. al. 2008a, 2011b) and Kunal (Khatri and Acharya 1995). The excavated evidence from these sites suggests that the early settlers began their lifestyle with modest dwellings consisting of mostly underground structures, either circular or oval in shape dug in natural level. The one excavated at Farmana is an oval in shape, large in size and 90 cm deep. The sides are perfectly vertical and bottom flat. A couple of post-holes were noticed on the periphery. This suggests that there were superstructures on these pit-dwellings. The evidence of charred bones, cooking pottery along with fine variety in them are indicative of their use for dwelling purposes. They used very advanced pottery making and firing technology and produced a variety of wares such as Mud Appliqué, Incised, Chocolate Slipped, Reserve Slipped, Grooved, etc. The copper and lapidary crafts were well developed and the people had already developed long distance trade contacts for acquiring suitable raw materials and circulating finished goods. This no doubt suggests that the first settlers came to the site from elsewhere with ready craft technology. The excavation carried out at Farmana and a few other sites in the Ghaggar basin revealed that the early culture remained rural in character. The urbanization was a gradual process in this region and it was fully achieved only in the Mature Harappan phase in the middle of the third millennium BCE.
    As limited excavation was carried out in the early stages at the site it is difficult to discuss about their life-style including social and economic aspects at this stage.
    Sling Balls from Rakhigarhi

    Period- II Mature Harappan (sub-divided into Period-IIA, Period- IIB and Period-IIC)

    The Mature Harappan period at the site is represented by a thick deposit of more than two meters. A large number of artefacts, pottery, structures and features of this period have been excavated. There appears to be some variation in the material remains from the beginning to the end of the Mature Harappan occupation at the site. This variation coupled with stratigraphy, enable identification of sub-phases. This sub-phase is quite clear in their burials. The Mature Harappan therefore has been sub-divided into Period- IIA, Period-IIB and Period-IIC. No radio carbon or AMS dates are yet available for this period, but tentatively on the basis of the study of data from the site as well as on comparative analysis Period-IIA can be dated between 2600-2400 BC, Period-IIB to 2400-2200 BC and Period- IIC, which has been completely scooped out from the site can be dated between 2200-2000 BC. This division of the Mature Harappan period and dating will have to be supported by additional data and dates. Tentatively layers 6-9 could be assigned to Period-IIA and 1-5 to Period-IIB. No layers of the last Mature Harappan period have survived at the site.
    The Mature Harappan period at the site marks the culmination of the cultural process that began in the early stage at the site, which is reflected in their settlement pattern and cultural material. The entire 18 ha area was occupied during this period suggesting expansion of the population and attainment of prosperity. There is a gradual transition from Early Harappan to the Mature Harappan at the site which is clearly evident in their structures and pottery. The pit-dwelling in the lowermost level at the site was replaced by mud-brick rectangular structures in the subsequent levels. Between the pit-dwellings and the beginning of the Mature Harappan phase (IIA) are noticed a number of floor levels indicating gradual development. In the level between Early Harappan and Mature Harappan, which can also be termed as Transition, are found small rectangular possibly independent structures with circular fire places. Elaborate remains of well planned and built mud and burnt-brick structural complexes, streets, drainages, rectangular fire places and storage areas came into existence right from Period-IIA at the site (Shinde et al. 2011a). The brick size that was used right from the Early Harappan until the end of Period IIB is in the ration of 1:2:4. The so called Early Harappan brick ratio of 1:2:3 is almost absent in the Ghaggar basin, except at the site of Banawali in Hissar District (Bisht 1993), which was excavated on a large scale. Large horizontal area of Period IIB has been excavated which has unearthed a part of the well-planned settlement of the Mature Harappan people at Farmana.
    The partially handmade and not well finished pottery found in the Early Harappan period was refining gradually and became superior ceramic assemblage with more typical Harappan shapes in the Mature Harappan phase. The classical painted Harappan Red ware makes its appearance. The seals are completely absent in Period-I, but appears from the beginning of Period-II. The presence of seal and sealing, elaborate evidence for town planning, rich cultural material excavated so far, advance technology and practice of elaborate burial customs during Period- II all point towards the attainment of urbanization in this period.
    The site of Farmana is one of the few Harappan sites in Indian Subcontinent having its cemetery in the proximity. The Harappan Cemetery at Farmana was discovered accidently in 2007-08 season and a few burials (7 in all) were excavated then (Shinde et al. 2008, 2010, 2011). The preliminary survey carried out then had indicated its spread over a large area (approximately 3 ha). This cemetery was accidentally discovered, when the owner of the land (Mr. Ramdhari from Seman village) was ploughing this land for lifting the soil. The cemetery is located to the northwest of the habitation site at a distance of 900 m from the datum point located in the centre of the habitation site. It is located to the right hand (north) of the Farmana-Seman motor-capable road. There are many sites in the Ghaggar basin such as Kalibangan, Rakhigarhi, Tarkhanewala Dera, Sanauli, Bedwa, Putti Semen, etc. where Harappan cemeteries were discovered. It is now confirmed that the cemetery at Bedwa, Putti Seman and Sanauli belong to the Late Harappan period, whereas Kalibangan, Rakhigarhi and Tarkhanewala Dera have Mature Harappan cemeteries same as that found at Farmana.
    In order to understand various customs and socio-religious aspects of the Harappans from the burials it was decided to excavate their Cemetery on much larger scale this year. As the data is large, it is also proposed to undertake DNA, strontium, pathology, starch grain and residue analyses pottery to understand composition of population, their health and diet.
    The cemetery as Farmana is in the natural field. The burial pits were dug in the natural alluvium soil, which is brownish/yellowish in colour. The colour of the soil, filled after placing dead bodies in them, turned slightly greyish/blackish, which is very easy to distinguish from the natural soil (Fig. 3). The dead bodies were placed in pits dug to varied depth. Some to the pits are as deep as 1 m, some 50 cm and some very close to the surviving surface level. It is observed that some dead bodies were placed in clay box (coffin), the traces of which have survived in many cases. Remains of seventy burials were uncovered in the area spread over 35 m by 21 m, of which Nos. 1-7 were excavated in the second season (2007-08). Also there are a few burials, the pit-lines of which have been traced and numbered, but not excavated. The burial pits have three different orientations- northwest-southeast, north-south and northeast-southwest. On the basis of the pottery and ornaments found in burials, their chronological positions have become clear. They belong to three different sub-phases of the Mature Harappan period. The burials belonging to Period-IIA have more Early Harappan pots, particularly Kot Diji type round bodied, flat-based rimless or with very short rim. The burials of Period- IIB have some Kot-Diji type pots, some typical Harappan and very few local varieties. The Burials of Period-IIC are devoid of Kot Diji type pots but contain only typical Harappan and the local pots, almost 50-50. The pottery and ornaments found in burials clearly indicate that these burials are comparable with cemetery R-37 found at Harappa.
    The burials found at Farmana can be divided into three categories, i.e. primary, secondary and symbolic. In the case of the primary burial, the dead body was placed in a pit in a supine position with head towards the north and the legs towards the south. The primary burial therefore contains full skeleton in situ. The secondary burial usually contains a few bones. It is quite likely that the dead body was kept in open for some time and later the surviving bones were collected and buried in a pit ceremoniously. There are some burials which are devoid of any skeletal remains but contained pottery and ornaments. Such burials have been termed as symbolic burial. It is quite likely that the body of the person was not retrieved but they thought it fit to give ceremonious burial without the dead body. All the burial pits excavated so far are of the human life-size and rectangular in shape with their sides cut perfectly vertical and the bottom flat. This has been the hallmark of the site of Farmana, as all the small pits, including fire-pits, no matter whether they are connected with the burial or habitation activity, are usually rectangular in shape. The number of pots and jewellery found in burial pits varied from burial to burial, depending possibly on the social and economic status of the individual. The presence of burial goods clearly suggests that the Harappans believed in life after death.
    Terra cotta animal figurines from Harappan site of Farmana

    Contributions of the Harappan Civilization to the World History

    Since the discovery of the Harappan Civilization in 1920s there have been sporadic attempts to discuss about overall lifestyle and socio-economic and religious organizations. But all previous attempts have failed to discuss about the significant contribution made by the Harappan Civilization to the history of the region and the World. Generally it is observed that the domestic and international tourist prefer to travel to Egypt and Mesopotamia to see the monumental architecture, life sized sculptures and very rich royal tombs created by Egyptian and Mesopotamian Civilizations who were contemporary to the Harappans. Such creations are absent in the Harappan sites and therefore tourists do not find these sites attractive. Harappan archaeologists have not made any systematic effort in conveying the practical and philosophical thinking and the contribution made by them to the history. Technologically and economically Harappans were capable of creating such monumental architecture and sculptures. The available evidence indicates that they were getting lot of wealth from the West through international trade. This wealth was used by the Harappans very practically and wisely to create world class cities and basic amenities for all classes of the people in the society. Probably they thought that creation of monumental architecture or burying huge wealth along with dead bodies could be wastage of the resources as they were not beneficial to the society. They use this wealth or prosperity for sustainable development not only within cities and towns but all over the Harappan region. It also enables them to create some sort of uniform culture over a vast territory. This aspect of philosophy and practical consideration of the Harappans needs to be highlighted and brought to the notice of the world. These features of the Harappans will be showcased at the site of Rakhigarhi, where the author has embarked on a very ambitious project. The Harappans are credited to innovation and implementation of basic sciences and technologies, which became a source for a number of contemporary cultures in South Asia. Most of the technologies and traditions developed by these people are so relevant to South Asia that they have continued till date and the significance has not diminished a bit. The roots of the development of South Asia in the field of science, technology, social and economic sphere lie in the Harappan Civilization. It is amazing to see cultural and historical continuity in South Asia at least for 5000 years which makes the Indian History unique in the context of World History. It is because of the emergence of Harappan Civilization that South Asia gained tremendous significance in the world of ancient civilizations. Some of the important contributions of the Harappans to the world history have been listed below:
    1. Development of First Empire in South Asia: The period roughly from 4000 BCE to 2600 BCE is considered to be a formative stage of the Harappan culture. A number of regional cultures like Hakra, Kot Diji, Amri, Sothi, Padri/Anarta, etc. came into existence during this period in different parts of the region where Harappan Civilization flourished. They shared some common cultural features but they could be distinguished mainly on account of their painted ceramic traditions. All these cultures could be integrated at around 2500 BCE and the Harappans managed to create a huge Empire (Civilization) over North-western and Western part of the subcontinent over an area of roughly 2 million sq. km. This is a unique example in the contemporary world of an Empire solely created by peaceful means and not by force, which is usually the case with most of the Empires in the world, including India.
    1. Scientific Construction Method: For the first time in the world, the Harappans produced bricks for construction in the ration of 1:2:3 and 1:2:4 required to undertake scientific construction activity, which is known as “English Bond”. This so called English Bond construction method, in which one line of brick is placed horizontal and the next vertical, was first introduced in the world by the Harappans. It is because of this scientific construction method, the Harappans managed to create very well planned usually referred to as “Grid Planned” cities and towns. This is considered to be the characteristic features of the Harappan town planning. All the public and private structures found in the Harappan lebels were built by following this technique. This is considered to be the beginning of the modern construction method.
    1. Civic Amenities: Well laid out streets and side lanes equipped with drains are one of the most outstanding feature of the Harappan cities. The Harappan cities were very clean and hygienic as they had devised means to dispose of dirty water and solid waste out of the city wall. The cities and towns were provided with a network of closed as well as open drainage system, which was connected to the main drainage line. The drains made of baked bricks, connected with bathing platforms and latrines of private houses. The open drains flowed into larger sewers in the main street which was covered with bricks of dressed stone blocks. Corbeled arches allowed the larger drains to cut beneath streets or buildings until they finally existed under the city wall, spewing sewerage and drain water into the outlying plain. At Harappa a sequence of four drains build one after the other has been found in the existing city at the main gateway between mound E and mound ET (Kenoyer 1998: 61). The main line emptied the dirty water outside the city which kept them clean and hygienic. This provision of civic amenities developed was unique in the contemporary world and one can easily identify this as their contribution to the world.
    2. Pioneers in Water Management and Harvesting– one of the earliest evidence of water harvesting and management comes from the Harappan city of Dholavira, located on Khadir Island in the Runn of Kutch, Gujarat. This city was established in the desert part and hence always faced scarcity of water. There are two ephemeral streams flowing by the side of the city, Manhar and Mansar, the catchment area of which lies about 10-12km away in the hills. The Harappans constructed three check dams (1, 2 and 3) near the site across the stream Manhar with rubbles and masonry stones and the flash flood water, gushing through the river during monsoon was diverted to the 4-6 m high reservoirs in the city. One check dam (no 4) was built on the Mansar stream, which fed 1, 50,000 sq. km of area for agricultural purposes. The check dams built by the Harappan at Dholavira were conducive not only diverting rain water into the city landscape and reservoirs but also for holding sweet water back in the river bed for some time so that the sub soil water of the area rises and get sweetened for agricultural and domestic use. The ground water of the region is otherwise relatively hard and brackish, which gets worse with each passing years if rains fell. The Harappans excavated a series of reservoirs in all the three parts of the city. Some of the reservoirs were built of stone blocks and were provided with flight of steps whereas some were found cut into solid rock with limited use of stone masonry in weak zones of the structure. The different water reservoirs spread over length and breadth of the city were connected to each other by underground closed water channels which were built either of stone slabs or burnt bricks. The reservoirs were meant for storing diverted water from the stream for domestic use it appears that the Harappans make sure that the water remain circulated throughout the city through underground water channel system. This is the earliest evidence of water harvesting and management of such magnitude anywhere in the world. The city of Dholavira though located in desert part remains active and flourished because of provisions of water harvesting made by the Harappans.
    3. Dockyard– A large hydraulic structure measuring 215m in length and 37m width with a depth of 3m was constructed at the site of Lothal (Rao……). The entry of boats to the dockyard at high tide was from the inlets in the northern and eastern walls measuring 12m and 7m respectively. The dock was connected with a nala and a channel to Bhogavo River with emptied in the Gulf of Cambay. For the exit of extra water at high tide there was a spill channel in the eastern wall with a sluice gate. The boats plied during the high tide period. The modern dockyard at Gogha, at Bhavnagar in Saurashtra work on the same principle. This was great engineering feet. With the discovery of marine shells from the dockyard, a few massive anchor stones and the absence of any landing steps into the dock suggest that it was a dockyard for the berthing of the boats. Rear admirer (retd) Bindra in a research paper has scientifically analysed all aspects of controversy with regards to the dockyard raised in last four decades. He says ‘there are four specific constructional features, which distinguish this structure as a ship berthing basin from other similar structures: (i) the two inlets (northern and eastern; (ii) the spill way with its dwarf walls; (iii) the verticality of the inner walls with science of a uniform level on the walls; (iv) the post holes in the enclosure suggesting a tie posts for the ships. Lothal possesses all the essential prerequisites for its identification as an ancient port. We therefore only support the nomenclature “Lothal: A Harappan port town” and further opine that no other tile would have perhaps better explain the commercial and maritime function performed by the Harappans.’ (Bindra 2002-2003:1-18)[Bindra S.C., 2002-2003. A Harappan Town Revisited, Purattatva: volume [1-18].
    1. Earliest Silk Production in Eurasia: Analysis of silk thread found at Harappa and Chanhu daro have indicated that the Harappans did develop sophisticated technique for the production of silk. This research offers new insight on the extent and antiquity of sericulture. Specifically, these finds indicate the use of wild indigenous silkmoth species in South Asia as early as the mid-third millennium BCE. At least two separate types of silk were utilized in the Indus in the mid-third millennium BCE. Based on SEM image analysis there are two thread forms in the samples from Harappa, which appear to be from two different species of silkmoth (Antheraea ). The silk from Chanhu daro may be from yet another South Asian moth species Philosamia spp. (Eri silk). Moreover, this silk appears to have been reeled. The variety in type, technology and thread forms of these few rare examples of silk, offers us a glimpse into the extent of knowledge about sericulture in the Indus Civilization during the Mature Harappan phase. By careful analysis of archaeological silk fibre surface morphology, one can distinguish between the source silkworm species. Through this type of study we can also begin to better understand the origins of silk use further to the East. The discoveries described here demonstrate that silk was being used over a wide region of South Asia for more than 2000 years before the introduction of domesticated silk from China. Earlier models that attribute the origins of silk and sericulture exclusively to China need to be re-examined and revised (Goods et al. 2009)
    1. Lesson to learn from Trade Strategy of the Harappans- one of the regions for the flourishment of the Harappan Culture into Civilization is the wealth generated through hinterland and international trade. As most of the basic raw materials required for manufacturing a variety of different crafts were located outside the Harappan region and controlled by the contemporary Neolithic/Chalcolithic people long distance trade was established by the Harappans. Long distance trade provides individuals or social groups with opportunities to enhance their own wealth and or social status. The Harappans manage to get uninterrupted flow of raw materials from their contemporaries located in hinterland area. They had developed technologies both pyro and non-pyro for the production of a variety of finished goods including pottery, stone beads, stone tools, seals, terracotta objects and variety of stone objects etc. it appears that the Harappans provided finished goods to the same people from whom they acquired basic raw materials. As there was greater demand for the objects made of semi-precious stone, copper, shell etc they established, for the sake of mass production, settlements exclusively for manufacturing purpose. They has developed very well organized trade network and carried trade with Persian Gulf, Mesopotamia, Central Asia and even Egypt with ease. The available data, both archaeological as well as literary evidences indicate that more Harappan goods were sent to West Asia suggesting a surplus trade which was beneficial to the Harappans. This strategy of the Harappans helped them in generating lot of wealth which was used for the development for the cities and towns and welfare of the common people. This is one of the earliest example of the world where it was demonstrated that trade can be important tool for development of the culture and society. Post World War II, Japan followed the same strategy as the Harappans did and became a world economy power in a span of 15 years.
    1. Introduction of new subsistence strategy- there were two major agricultural zones within the Harappan region, the black cotton soil zone in Gujarat and Rajasthan and the alluvium zone in the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra basin. The choice of two important agricultural zone by the Harappan was conscious as they had realised that one of the two zones will always be available to them at the time of natural calamities. The Harappan culture was constantly developing from 4000 BC onwards and because of the congenial conditions there was tremendous growth in the population. They realised that to support the growing population and culturally further developed from a rural to urban phase a large amount of food grain will be required. It is therefore they introduced a double cropping system in the Indian subcontinent and sophisticated agricultural implement for this purpose. By this strategy they were able to grow surplus amount of food grains and so forth a large groups of craftsman and other people who were not participating in basic subsistence activities. This is the type of model which was developed by the Harappans came handy at the time of second urbanization in Indian subcontinent. The double cropping system and agricultural methods developed by the Harappans is so relevant that it has continued without much change to the modern time. The Harappans were pioneers in the development of concepts which helped the society to move forward.
    2. Pioneers in the development of basic technology- most of the basic technologies required to manufacture pottery, metal artifacts, stones beads, ornaments of variety of different materials and some of the important domesticate objects were introduced with the settled life at around 7000 BC. These technologies were being constantly developed gradually and in the middle of the 3rd millennium BC they attained full maturity. From the available evidence it is clear that the Harappans had played important role in perfecting basic technologies including pottery making and metallurgy. It appears that they became source for basic technologies to a number of contemporary cultures flourished on the eastern and western peripheries.
    In conclusion, a short survey of the Harappan achievements indicates a sufficiently advanced socio-economic and technological fabric capable of developing a complex economic infrastructure and political organisation which involved international relations. As technologically and economically advanced people they were able to expand into a number of Eco zones with different environmental variables and economic potential as shown by the location of most of the sites in areas of importance such as resource areas or on trade routes. The Harappans were traders par excellence, which to a certain extent formed the basis of their urbanised status through trade contacts.
    Sealing impression from Harappan site of Farmana

    Climate and Decline of the Harappan Civilization

    The decline of the Harappan Civilization was as dramatic and enigmatic as was its emergence. Of the many reasons, the climate appears to be the major villain in the decline of this great civilization. The reconstruction of the Holocene climatic sequence in the Indian subcontinent, particularly in the Thar Desert area of Rajasthan demonstrated lowering of annual rainfall around 2000 BC that may have caused major decline of the most flourishing first civilization of the Subcontinent. Scholars like Bryson and Swain (1981), Singh et al. (1990), Agrawal (1992) have emphasised the role of climate and environment in affecting habitations, especially the Harappan culture. Studies in respect to the reconstruction of climatic sequence carried out in various parts of the world suggest it was not only the Indian subcontinent that was affected, but the whole glob. In other words it was a major Global Climatic Change Phenomenon around 4000 BP or 2000 BC. Yasuda (2001) believes that it is not only the Harappan but all the civilizations of the Eurasia declined around 4000 BP as a result of dry climate.
    Studies of regional late Holocene vegetation history have shown that the most drastic changes in the vegetation pattern and cover, an important indicator of climate change, appeared around 2000 BC in different parts of the world. In north-eastern China in the Changbai Mountain region, the most noticeable event of the Late Holocene forest development around 2000 BC was expansion of Pinus koraientsis (Sun et al., 1990). Vegetation reconstruction at Kurugai site (northern Sichuan, China) in the eastern part of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau revealed retreat of forest and spread of open areas at about 2000 BC (Gotanda, 1998). Around the same time in warm temperate forest zone located at lower elevation in the southern Sichuan, sclerophyllous drought adapted taxa expanded, suggesting weakening of the East Asian Monsoon activity with decrease in spring and summer precipitation (Jarvis, 1993). The oxygen isotopes analysis from the lake sediments in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and North Xinjiang provinces recorded maximum aridity between 4500-3500 cal. yrs BP (Wei and Gasse, 1999). In parts of Europe, particularly in the Great Poland Plain the Carpinus betulus indicating dry climatic conditions, began its spread around 4100 BP and since 3500 BP has been dominating species in the forest and the lowering of the lake levels began at the same time there (Makohonineko, 1998). The results of pollen analysis from the Ghab valley and El-Rouj basin in Syria show that the climate became dry after around 2000 BC. This dry climate caused a drought and reduced the production of olives, wheat, and barley. People in northwest Syria abandoned their habitation sites completely in the Late Bronze Age because of drought (Yasuda, 2001).
    In the Indian Subcontinent a few studies on climate reconstruction carried out also suggest similar trend of aridity around 2000 BC. A work on the core from the oxygen minimum zone off Karachi in Pakistan at water depth of 700 m has produced a unique record of monsoon climatic variability covering the last 5000 years (von Rad et al., 1999). They further noticed that the period from 3900 BP is marked by varve thickness minimal and low termite activity, which they interpret as indicators of low precipitation and decreased river run-off. Thus, the results obtained by various independent researches in different part of the globe do indicate deterioration of climate, which must have had adverse impact on the human cultures including of course the Harappan Civilization.
    The deteriorating climatic condition had adverse consequences. One of the mighty and important rivers for the Harappans, the Saraswati dried down and even though the exact contribution of the deteriorating climatic conditions to this effect is not known. There is a possibility of the main river Saraswati (represented by Ghagger-Hakra today) and its main tributary the Drishdvati, changing their courses and merging with other main rivers like Yamuna due to some tectonic upheaval in the upper reaches. However, the fluctuating climatic conditions may also have contributed to the drying up of the Saraswati. This was perhaps the biggest blow to the Harappan civilizations as nearly three-forth of the settlements were located in the basin of this river. Good fertile arable land and ample supply of water made the basin of river Saraswati most attractive and the Harappans were able to produce surplus food grains here. It will not be far-fetched to conclude that the Saraswati River was a life-line of the Harappans. After losing their agriculture base, the Harappans scattered and migrated more to the region having readily available pasture land.
    There has been a strong debate going on whether the sea level receded around 2000 BC and if so by how many metres? No satisfactory work has been carried out on this so far. But it seems possibly due to decrease in rain fall, the sea level fluctuated. Whether it was a world phenomenon or a regional phenomenon is not yet clear. But a number of Harappan ports on the Makran coast fell into disuse as they became almost inland sites after the receding of sea level. This must have adversely affected their international trade with the Gulf and subsequently with Mesopotamia and Egypt. As is well known, the international trade which was surplus in favour of the Harappan, was one of the major causes of the prosperity.
    After the drying of their international trade, the pace of the decline of the Harappans hastened. The economic decline affected overall Harappan life-style, which is reflected in their material culture. As they lost their agricultural base in the Saraswati basin, they began shifting their settlements away from the banks of the main rivers. New area such as the western part of Uttar Pradesh and the pasture rich area of Gujarat such as Jamnagar District, was preferred by the Harappans in the later stage (Sinha-Deshpande and Shinde, 2005). The culture got mixed up with different local cultures and slowly and gradually merged with them.
    Seal from Rakhigarhi

    Concluding Remarks

    Some of the basic issues that have been discussed here are important and they need to be taken seriously and the future researchers will have to design research strategy in such a way that these aspects are taken into consideration. The focus of research will have to shift from Mega Site Archaeology to Small Site Archaeology and sufficient number of sites of the latter category needs to be researched on large scale. Large amount of data from these sites will only help in projecting holistic picture/history of the Harappan culture. There have not been many multi-disciplinary approaches to the Harappan archaeology in India. Archaeological research on the Harappan culture needs support and active participation of scholars from various other fields including geology, environmental science, zoology, botany, physics, chemistry, anthropology, geography, linguistics, Sanskrit studies, ethnology, etc. Systematic scientific research in the Saraswati basin is needed. Excavation of few sites in this basin is not enough but systematic survey to record settlement patterns, reconstruction of site typologies and generation of archaeological data and their co-relation with the Vedic texts needs to be undertaken in a sustained manner. A systematic and scientific study to find out exact causes of the disappearance of the Saraswati and Drishadvati rivers is must. There is no sufficient data to know about the exact climatic conditions during the Harappan times and its impact on the origins, development and decline of the Harappan culture. A lot of palynological data needs to be cored from the Saraswati basin proper for the reconstruction of the climate of that period. Considering various basic issues it appears there is no alternative but to undertake multi-disciplinary research strategy in various Harappan regions.
    Pottery is one of the most important artefacts dug out from ancient sites and the Harappan sites are not an exception to that. Huge amount of pottery is found in the explorations and excavations. These potteries are classified and described by those scholars who either collect them from the surface of the site or dig out from sites. The various criterion and parameters considered for classification and analysis of pottery and the style of describing forms and rim shapes of pottery differ from scholar to scholar. As a result there is no uniformity in the use of either term for the ware or description of pottery form or rim style. In fact there are as many terms and ways of description as there are scholars describing them. I order to bring uniformity in the use of term and description style, we suggest following the work on pottery from Mohenjo-daro done by Dales and Kenoyer (1986). Because of this problem, sometimes it is hard to use pottery data for interpretation. Finally, it is suggested that future research on the Harappan Civilization needs to be problem oriented and multi-disciplinary.
    Pottery kiln from Harappan site of Farmana


    Agrawal, D.P. 1992. Man and Environment in India Through Ages. New Delhi: Books and Books.
    Bryson, R.A. and A.M. Swain 1981. Holocene variations of monsoon rainfall in Rajasthan. Quaternary Research, 16: 135-145.
    Cleuziou, S. and M. Tosi. 1994. Black boats of Magan: Some thoughts on Bronze Age water transport in Oman and beyond from the impressed bitumen slabs of Ras-al-Junayz. In South Asian Archaeology 1993 (Eds.) A. Parpola and P. Koskikallio, pp. 745-61. Helsinki: Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae, Series B, Vol. 271, 2 vols.
    Dales, G.F. and J.M. Kenoyer 1986. Excavations at Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan: The Pottery. Philadelphia: The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania.
    Enzel, Y., L.L. Ely, S. Mishra, R. Ramesh, R. Amit, B. Lazar, S.N. Rajaguru, V.R. Baker and A. Sandler 1999. High-Resolution Holocene environmental changes in the Thar Desert, Northwestern India. Science 284:125-128.
    Gotanda, K. 1998. Pollen Analytical Study of the Eastern Part of Tibetan Plateau. M.Sc. Dissertation. Kyota: Kyoto University.
    Jarrige, C., J-F. Jarrige, Richard Meadow and G. Quivron. 1995. Mehrgarh: Field Reports 1974-85- From Neolithic Times to the Indus Civilization. Karachi: Department of Culture and Tourism of Sindh, Pakistan and Department of Archaeology and Museum, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    Jarvis, D.I. 1993. Pollen evidence of changing Holocene Monsoon climate in Sichuan Province, China. Quaternary Research 39: 325-337.
    Joshi, J.P. 1984. Harappan culture: emergence of new picture. Puratattva 13-14: 51-54.
    Makohonienko, M. 1998. Late Holocene Natural and Antropogenic Vegetation Changes in the Gnienzo Region, Great Poland. Ph.D. Thesis, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun.
    Meadow, Richard, J.M. Kenoyer and Rita P. Wright 1999. Harappa Excavations 1998. Report submitted to the Director General of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Pakistan. Harappa: Harappa Archaeological Research Project.
    Meadow, Richard, J.M. Kenoyer and Rita P. Wright 2001. Harappa Excavations 2000-2001. Report submitted to the Director General of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Pakistan. Harappa: Harappa Archaeological Research Project.
    Parpola, Asko. 2005. Study of the Indus script. Paper presented at the 50th International Conference of Eastern Studies, 19 May 2005.
    Possehl, G.L. 2002. The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
    Possehl, G.L. and C.F. Herman, 1990. The Sorath Harappan: A new regional manifestation of the Indus Urban phase. In South Asian Archaeology 1987, (Eds) M. Taddei, pp. 295-320. Roma: Instituto Italiano per il Medio Estremo Oriente, Serie Orientale.
    Possehl, G.L. and M.H. Raval, 1989. Harappan Civilization and Rojdi. New Delhi: Oxford and IBH and the American Institute of Indian Studies.
    Shinde, Vasant. 1998. Pre-Harappan Padri culture in Saurashtra- the recent discovery. South Asian Studies, 14:1-10.
    Singh, G. 1971. The Indus Valley culture seen in the context of Post-Glacial climate and ecological studies in northwestern India. Archaeology and Physical Anthropology in Oceania 6(2): 177-189.
    Sinha-Deshpande, Shweta and Vasant Shinde, 2005. Gujarat Between 2000-1400 BCE, South Asian Studies 21: 121-136.
    Singh, G., R.J. Wasson and D.P. Agrawal 1990. Vegetational and seasonal climate changes since last full glacial in the Thar Desert. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 64: 351-358.
    Smith, V.A. 1904. The Early History of India. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    Sun, X.J., S.M. Yuan, J.L. Liu and L.Y. Tang 1991. The vegetation history of mixed Koean Pine and Deciduous Forests in Changbai Mt. area, Jilin Province, Northeast China during the last 13000 Years. Chinese Journal of Botany 3(1):46-61.
    Von Rad, Ulrich, Michael Schaaf, K.H. Michels, H. Schultz, W.H. Berger and Frank Sirocko. 1999. A 5000-yr record of climate change in varied sediments from the oxygen minimum zone off Pakistan, Northeastern Arabian Sea. Quaternary Research 51: 39-53.
    Wei, K. and F. Gasse 1999. Oxygen isotopes in lacustrine carbonates of West China revisited: implications for post glacial changes in summer monsoon circulation. Quaternary Science Review 18: 1315-1334.
    Wheeler, R.E.M., 1968. Indus Civilization. 3rd ed. Supplementary volume to the Cambridge History of India. University Press, Cambridge.
    Yasuda, Yoshinori. 2001. The Changing pulse of Monsoon and the rise and fall of the ancient civilizations in Eurasia. Monsoon and Civilization (Abstracts), (Ed.)Y. Yasuda and Vasant Shinde, New Delhi: Roli Books.
    Ajitprasad and V.H. Sonawane 1994. The Harappan Culture in the North Gujarat: A Regional Paradigm. Paper Presented in the seminar on “The Harappan Culture and Gujarat” (In Press).
    Kharakwal J. S., Y. S. Rawat and Toshiki Osada 2012, Excavation At Kanmer 2005-06 – 2008-09. Kyoto, Japan: Nakanishi Printing Co. Ltd.
    Possehl, G.L. 2004. Rojdi: A Sorath Harappan Settlement in Saurashtra, Marg 55 (3): 80-88.
    Possehl, G.L. 1993. The Harappan Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective in Harappan Civilization A Recent Perspective (G.L. Possehl Ed.) pp.15-28. New Delhi: Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Pvt.
    Possehl, G.L. and C.F. Herman. 1990. The Sorath Harappan A New Regional Manifestation of the Indus Urban Phase. In Maurizio Taddei (Ed.), South Asian Archaeology (pp.295-319). Rome: Instituto Italiano Per IL Medio Ed Estremo Oriente.
    Potts, D.T. 1993. South and Central Asian Elements at Tell Abraq (Emirate of Umm al-Qaiwain, United Arab Emirates) C. 2200BC-AD 400. In Asko Parpola and Petteri Koskikallio (Eds.), South Asian Archaeology (pp.615-628). Helsinki: Finland Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia
    Shinde, V.S. 1998. Pre- Harappan Padri Culture in Saurashtra; The Recent Discover. South Asian Studies 14: 173-182.
    Shinde, Vasant and Sonya Bhagat Kar. 1992. Padri Ware: A new Painted Ceramic Found in the Harappan Levels, Man and Environment XVII (2): 105-110.
    Shirvalkar, Prabodh 2013aPre and Early Harappan Culture of Western India. Delhi: Agamkala Prakashan.
    Shirvalkar, Prabodh 2013b. Development of Sorath Harappan at the site of Padri in Sivasri:
    Perspectives in Indian Archaeology, Art and Culture (D. Dayalan Ed.) pp. 215-241. Delhi: Agam Kala Prakashan.
    Shirvalkar, Prabodh 2009. Pre-Early Harappan Cultures of Gujarat with Special Reference to
    Gulf of Cambay Region. Ph.D. thesis, Pune: Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute.
    Shirvalkar, Prabodh and Y.S. Rawat 2012. Excavations at Kotada Bhadli, District Kachchh,
    Gujarat: A Preliminary Report, Puratattva 42: 182-201.
    Sonawane, V.H. and Ajitprasad 1994. Harappan Culture and Gujarat, Man and Environment 19 (2):129-139.
    Granery from Rakhigarhi

    0 0

    I recollect an 18 year old monograph suggesting the name Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization, ca. 3000 BCE. (Annex A)

    Archaeological work done during the last two decades calls for a re-look at the present-state of knowledge about the civilization and the relationship between so-called Neolithic cultures and Ironworking regions of Ancient India, in the context of the phases of Sarasvati Civilization (generally restricted to the Sarasvati River basin in NW India, consistent with the names such as Indus Valley or Harappa Civilization).

    It has been shown that reference to Ganga Basin and Brahmaputra Basin occur in Rgveda. Unfortunately, these have not received adequate attention. 

    I submit that the Copper Hoard Culture normally identified with the Ganga-Yamuna doab relates to these Ganga and Brahmaputra River Basins which were inhabited by people of Sarasvati Civilization, contemporaneous with the 2000+ settlements identified on the Sarasvati River Basin, west of Rakhigarhi. 

    I submit that further researches should focus on iron ore belts of India, considering the fact that over 8000 Indus Script Inscriptions are wealth accounting ledgers, metalwork catalogues.
    Related image
    It is clear that iron smelting work was in progress not later than 1800 BCE in Ganga River Basin.
    Karen/Dong Son Bronze drums with Indus Script Hypertexts

     Tin ingots, Haifa with Indus Script Inscriptions

    I submit that we have to re-evaluate the cultural and trade contacts between the people of Sarasvati River basin and the river basins of Ganga-Yamuna doab and Brahmaputra. There are clear indications that iron was worked on in Sarasvati Civilization (pace the work of Praveena Gullampalli and Gregory Possehl); that the Ancient Far East might have been the source of tin for the Tin-Bronze Revolution of Eurasia from the largest tin belt of the globe in the Himalayan river basins of Mekong, Irrawaddy and Salween (pace the finds of three pure tin ingots with Indus Script inscriptions in a shipwreck in Haifa, Israel and the display of Indus Script hypertexts on Dong Son and Kren Bronze drums).



    I suggest that the contact areas of Sarasvati River Basin included the Ganga-Yamuna Doab copperhoard sites and the bronze age sites on Brahmaputra River Basin. Austro-Asiatic speakers map which correlates with Bronze Age sites of Ancient Far East
    Image result for pinnow mapImage result for bronzeage sites northeast
    Bronze Age sites, India. Ancient Far East

    BB Lal has pointed out the possibility that the floods mentioned in ancient texts may explain the huge volumes of sediments found in sites such as Bahadarabad, on Ganga-Yamuna doab, copperhoard culture.

    Brahmaputra, Ganga, Sarasvati, Sindhu have been riverine waterways for maritime trade and such riverine movements and contacts of people may explain the movements of Videgha Mâthava and Gotama Rahuga who migrated from Kuruketra to the Ganga river basin (Kāśi) and Brahmaputra River Basin, respectively. (See the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa reference discussed below).

    It is notable that the cluster of Ochre COloured Pottery (OCP) sites are close to Rakhigarhi (on the banks of Chautang/Drishadvati of Sarasvati River System). It is possible that these OCP sites on the Yamuna Basin relate to Chautang and Somb rivers as tributaries of Yamuna.

    Image result for copperhoard culture
    Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa states that 
    1. River Sarasvati formed the boundary between Kosala and Videha; 

    2. Videgha Mâthava migrated from Kurukṣetra to the Ganga river basin (Kāśi);
    3. Gotama Rahugaa migrated from Kuruksetra to the Sadānīra river basin (Amarakośa identifies the river as Karatoya, see map to identify it as a tributary of River Brahmaputra, the river basin now in Bangladesh).

    "Mâthava, the Videgha,  was at that time on the (river) Sarasvatî. He (Agni) thence went burning along this earth towards the east; and Gotama Râhûgana and the Videgha Mâthava followed after him as he was burning along. He burnt over (dried up) all these rivers.  Now that (river), which is called ‘Sadânîrâ,’ flows from the northern (Himâlaya) mountain: that one he did not burn over. That one the Brâhmans did not cross in former times, thinking, ‘it has not been burnt over by Agni Vaisvânara.’ Now-a-days, however, there are many Brâhmans to the east of it. At that time it (the land east of the Sadânîrâ) was very uncultivated, very marshy, because it had not been tasted by Agni Vaisvânara.Now-a-days, however, it is very cultivated, for the Brâhmans have caused (Agni) to taste it through sacrifices. Even in late summer that (river), as it were, rages along: so cold is it, not having been burnt over by Agni Vaisvânara.Mâthava, the Videgha, then said (to Agni), ‘Where am I to abide?’ ‘To the east of this (river) be thy abode!’ said he. Even now this (river) forms the boundary of the Kosalas and Videhas; for these are the Mâthavas (or descendants of Mâthava). (Śatapatha Brāhmaa 1.4)



    করতোয়া নদী

    Amara Kośa asserts Sadānīra to be synonym of Karatoya River. See: सदानीरा स्त्री सदा नीरं पेयमस्याः । करतोयानद्याम् अमरः । “अथादौ कर्कटे देवी त्र्यहं गङ्गा रजस्वला । सर्वा रक्तवहा नद्यः करतोयाम्बुवाहिनी” स्मृत्युक्तेः
    तन्नदीजलस्य सदापेयत्वात् तस्यास्तथात्वम् । Source:वाचस्पत्यम्

    Karatoya Mahatmya refers to the sacredness of this river. Rivers Kosi and Mahananda joined the Karatoya and "formed a sort of ethnic boundary between people living south of it and the Kochs and Kiratas living north of the river." (Majumdar, Dr. R.C., History of Ancient Bengal, First published 1971, Reprint 2005, p. 4, Tulshi Prakashani, Kolkata.) 

    Śatapatha Brāhmaprovides a detailed account of the movement of people (Videgha Māthava, Gotama Rahugaṇa) from River Sarasvati to River  Sadānīra. The location of this river is central to the history of Pre-Mauryan era Bhāratam Janam (RV 3.53.12). The region of these people has been identified in this monograph and relates to the ironwork of the Bronze Age Sarasvati Civilization. It is possible that both Brahmautra and Ganga river systems were waterways which provided for maritime transport of tin ore from the Himalayan riverbasins (Irrawaddy, Salween, Mekong) which contain the richest and largest tin belt of the globe (as the rivers ground down graniterocks to create the cassiterite -- tin ore -- deposit accumulations as placer deposits). Sources of tin were critical to unleash the Tin-Bronze Industrial Revolution of ca. 4th millennium BCE.
    পুন্ড্রবর্ধন with capital city: মহাস্থানগড় Môhasthangôṛ
    See Bogra on the banks of Karatoya (spelled Korotoa on the map) river.  
    মহাস্থানগড় Môhasthangôṛ is close to Bogra.

    The most startling discovery reported is about the iron workings in Ganga Basin in sites such as Malhar, Raja-Nal-ki-Tila, Lohar Diwa.

    Annex A

     Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization (c. 3000 B.C.)


    The objective of this article is to promote an understanding of and further researches into delineating the courses of the `lost' Sarasvati river from Siwalik ranges to the Rann of Kutch (sAgara) and to gain deeper insights into an ancient civilization that flourished on the Sarasvati and Indus river valleys circa 3000 BC.
    This work substantiates the insights provided in N. Mahalingam's article in Tamil which appeared in Amuda Surabhi, Deepavali issue, 1995: carittirangaLai uruvAkkiya sarasvati nadi (sarasvati river which created histories), citing the work done by Swami sAkyAnanda of advaita ashram, Trichur affirming that north-western region nurtured by the Sarasvati river is the ancient civilization which is the heritage of South Asia.  
    The intent is to circulate this to all scholars interested in exploring further into the ancient cultures which flourished on the Sarasvati-Sindhu river valleys.

    Organization of the article

    The monograph is organized in the following sections:
    1. Defining the expanse and locus of the Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization using archaeological and philological evidence, including the Rks.
    2. Analyzing landsat imagery and studies in earth sciences to provide leads to determing the course of the ancient, `lost' Sarasvati river and areas for further scientific, research work.
    4. Hypothesizing on the interlinkage of the Vedic and Harappan civilizations with some leads on the decipherment of the 'cult object' on Harappan seals and providing leads for further researches and approaches to the decipherment of other pictorial motifs and signs of the Harappan script..


    Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization flourished circa 3000 to 1700 BC on the river valleys of Indus and Sarasvati rivers. The drying-up of the Sarasvati river led to migrations of people eastwards to the Ganga-Yamuna doab and southwards from the Rann of Kutch and Pravara (feeder into the Godavari river near Daimabad in Maharashtra) river valley, along the Arabian sea coast.
    The search for the language of the times may have to be based on identification of the ancient lexemes, starting from a study of comparative morphemes (with similar sounds and similar meanings) of the present-day languages spoken in South Asia. A start has been made with a Comparative Multi-language dictionary of South asian languages, 1995 (in press on CD-ROM).


    The National Atlas of India (Hindi), Calcutta, 1957, Govt. of India publication; Bharat-BhUracanA map depicts a short trace of Sarasvati-Ghaggar in Haryana, in dotted lines apparently to denote dried-up river beds.
    Harappa was a `city' site; but the Sarasvati and Sindhu rivers had nurtured a large number of `village' sites. The state of archaeological knowledge has grown enormously since the Harappan site discovery in the 1920's. The cumulative achievement of archaeological work allows us to redefine the Harappan civilization as Sarasvati-Sindhu Civilization.
    ``Evidence from many sources, including that of archaeological remains associated with old river courses, indicates that a major river, stemming mainly from the same sources as the present Sutlej, flowed through Northern Rajasthan, Bahawalpur and Sind-- to the southeast of the present course of the Sutlej and the Indus -- in the third to second millennium BC. This river, known as the Sarasvati in its upper course, at different times either joined the lower course of the Indus in Sind, or found its way independently into the Arabian Sea via Rann of Kutch.'' (Allchin, B., Goudie, A., and Hegde, K., 1978, The prehistory and palaeogeography of the Great Indian Desert, London, Academic Press, p. 198).
    Prof. Ahmad Hasan Dani writes (Ed. Indus Civilization -- New Perspectives, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, 1981, pp.3- 12): `To him (John Marshall) goes the credit of coining the term The Indus Civilization. But his geographic horizon no longer holds good and the term deriving therefrom is open to question ... . The wide-spread nature of the Indus Civilization throughout Panjab and Sind had already expanded the meaning of the original term. Still later in the post-1947 period the Indus Civilization sites have been discovered in large number outside the present Indus region right up to the very borders of Yamuna in the north-east (Alamgirpur on the Hindon, a tributary of the Yamuna about 30 miles north of Delhi), along the dried-up bed of the river Ghaggar in northern part of Rajasthan, and in Gujrat right upto the mouths of Narbada and Tapti rivers'.
    Ghaggar which reached the Hakra branch in Bahawalpur, is traditionally identified with the Sarasvati river. [cf. Sir Aurel Stein's explorations in the valley: Ancient India, no.5, 1949, pp. 12-30; A. Ghosh discovered 25 Harappan sites (Indian Archaeology--a Review, 1962-63) in the ``region beginning right from the Pakistan border (eastwards) up to midway between Hanumangarh (bhaTner or bhattinagara) and Suratgarh in the Sarasvati valley and about 25 kms. east of Bhadra in the Drishadvati valley''; Dr. Mughal discovered more than 300 sites in the Bahawalpur area)]. Banawali excavated by Bisht is 15 km. northwest of Fatehabad, near the Sarasvati river and about 120 km. east of Kalibangan. Bhagwanpura, Dist. Kurukshetra, is located on the right bank of the Sarasvati river south of Rupar and is a site excavated by Joshi.
    Etymologically, sarasvati means `abundance of lakes (saras)'. The synonym of sarasvatI (goddess of vAk = speech or language) is brAhmI which is the name given to the early scripts used in aSOka's epigraphs of circa 300 B.C. .
    The sUkta 6.61 of the Rigveda is a dedication to sarasvatI river; sUkta 75 is the nadi sUkta dedicated to sindhu river. The trio: drshadvatI, Apaya and sarasvatI are extolled in Rk 3.23.4. Other Rks dedicated to the river are: 1.3.10, 1.3.11, 1.3.12, 2.30.8, 7.95.1, 8.21.17 and 18. References are made to yajnas performed by king citra on the banks of the river.[Apaya may be a branch of the Chitang river; this may also have yielded the sememe: ab, Ap = waters].

    Glimpses of life in the vedic period (Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization)

    The best source for the description of life in the vedic period is the veda itself, Rgveda, in particular.
    It was a cooperating society among the yajnikas and others, both endeavouring to generate wealth:
    samAne Urve adhi sangatAsah sam jAnate na yatante mitha-s-te te devAnAm na minanti vratAnyamardhanto vasubhir-yAdamAnAh (RV. vii.76.5)
    being united with common people they become of one mind; they strive together as it were, nor do they injure the rituals of the gods, non-injuring each other they move with wealth. (SAyaNa explains samAne Urve as cattle -- common property of all: sarveSAm sAdhAraNe go-samUhe).
    The vedic period was a nascent material culture: the period had weavers; the words sirI and vayitrI denote a female weaver. (RV. x.71.9; PB, I.8.9); tasara is reffered to which is a shuttle (RV. xiv.2.51). Reference to women weaving is provided: tantum tatam samvayanti (RV. ii.3.6). Gold (hiraNyapiNDAn, hiraNyayuh) was highly valued (cf. RV. vi.47.23, vii.78.9). DivodAsa gave golden treasures to the Rsi Garga. Rigveda refers to niSkagrIva (RV. v.19.3) which is a golden ornament on the neck and necklaces of gold reaching down to the chest. HiraNya (pl.) means gold ornaments (RV. 1.122.2). Gold was smelted from the ores (PB, xviii.6.4, JB I,10) which evoke the Indian alchemical tradition enshrined in the soma rasa, later elaborated as the science of alchemy: rasa-vAda. In Tamil soma-maNal means, sand containing silver ore. In Egyptian, assem means electrum; in Gypsy, somnakay means gold. Gold was won from the river-beds: Sindhu is called the hiraNmayI (RV. x.75.8); SarasvatI is called hiraNyavartanI (AV. vi.61.7). [cf. the reference to vasatIvari waters in vedic hymns related to soma, an apparent reference to panned-gold from the SarasvatI river-bed.] It is notable that in 1992, Rafiq Mughal (Pakistan archaeological department) has discovered a site, Guneriwala, an industrial site on the dried-up river bed of the Sarasvati across the Rajasthan border). This site is reportedly as large as Mohenjo-daro. The vedic people had used ships to cross oceans: anarambhaNe... agrabhaNe samudre... SatAritram nAvam... (RV. I.116.5; cf. VS. 21.7) referring to aSvins who rescued bhujyu, sinking in mid-ocean using a ship with a hundred oars (nAvam-aritraparaNIm). There is overwhelming evidence of maritime trade by the archaeological discoveries of the so-called Harappan civilization, which can now be re-christened: Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization. Some beads were reported to have been exported to Egypt from this valley (Early Indus Civilization, p. 149); Sumerians had acted as intermediaries for this trade (L. Wooley , The Sumerians, pp. 46-47; cf. Ur Excavations, vol. II, pp. 390-396).which extended to Anatolia and the Mediterranean.
    The Sarasvati-Sindhu rivers supported the cultivation of wheat and barley, as evidenced by the archaeological finds. ( John Marshall, Mohenjo-daro and the Indus Civilization, vol. 1, p.27) Sunam nah phAla vi kRsantu bhUmim... SunASIrA Sunam-asmAsu dhattam: the ploughshare ploughing makes the food that feeds us and with the feet cuts through the path it follows (RV. iv.57.5-7).
    Many vedic people were herdsmen, pastoralists: jAto-yad-agne bhuvanA vyakhyah paSun na gopA: agni looks upon the people of the world as a herdsman watches his cattle. (RV. x.19.3-5).

    Rigvedic(Rk,Rca,or rk) hymns on Sarasvati.

    The Rigvedic(rk) sources which refer to Sarasvati river are as follows:
    yastE stanah SaSayo yo mayobhUyemna viSvA pushyasi vAryANi yo ratnadhA vasuvidyah sudatrah sarasvati tamiha dhAtave kah (RV 1.164.49)
    Oh Sarasvati offer that breast of yours for our nourishment here which is on your body, which spreads happiness by which you nourish (those who praise you) with all the choicest things, the one which holds all the beautiful things, which knows the enemies' wealth and which offers good gifts.
    pAvakA nah sarasvatI vAjebhirvAjinIvatI yajnam vashTu dhiyAvasuh (RV 1.3.10)
    May Sarasvati be our purifier may she who holds food offer us food, the holder of wealth may desire yajna.  
    cOdayitrI sUnrtAnAm cetantI sumatInAm yajnam dadhe sarasvatI (RV 1.3.13)
    The Sarasvati inspirer of good acts and good thoughts holds yajna.
    maho arNah sarasvatI pra cetayati ketunA dhiyO viSvA vi rAjati (RV 1.3.12)
    Sarasvati is known, by the flag (course) of great water. All prayers shine very much.
    sarasvatI tvamasmAm aviDDhi marutvatI jeshi SatrUn tyam cicchardhantam tavishIyamANamindro hanti vrshabham SaNDikAnAm (RV 2.30.8)
    Oh Sarasvati you protect us. You who are joined with Maruts, who are a great fighter conquer our enemies. Indra kills that famous and powerful of Shandikas who despised us.
    iyam SushmebhirvisaravAyi rujatsAnu giriNAm tavishebhirurnibhih pArAvatahnImavase suvrktibhih sarasvatImAr vivAsemadhItibhih (RV 6.61.2)
    We serve the Sarasvati who with flames and tides destroyed the peaks of mountains (the fortified towns) like one who plucks lotuses, with good prayers and with good nets for food. [ ... by her force and her impetuous waves, has broken down the sides of the mountains like a digger of lotus fibres.]
    ni tvA dadhe vara A prthivyA iLAyAspade sudinatve ahmAm drshadvatyAm mAnusha ApayAyAm sarasvatyAm revadagne didIhi (RV 3.23.4)
    Oh Agni, you were placed on the earth on an auspicious day on the best of the places on the earth. Blaze with wealth among the men (on the banks of) Drshadvati, Apaya and Sarasvati.
    imam me gange yamune sarasvatI Satudri stomam sacatA parushNyA asikanyA marudvrdhe citastayArjIkIye SrNutdyA sushomayA (RV 10.75.5)
    Oh Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Sutudri with Parshi, Marudvridha with Asikni; Arjikiya with Vitasta and Sushnoma hear this praise.
    ambitamA ... naditamA (RV. 2.41.16)
    best of mothers ... best of rivers ... Ascertaining the wishes of the great sages the best of rivers (the Sarasvati) incorporated AruNA with her own body; formerly the flow (of the AruNA) was hidden. Afterwards (the Sarasvati) inundated the divine AruNA wih its own waters.
    A yat sAkam yaSay vAvaSnAh sarasvati saptathI sindhumAtA yAh sushvayanta sudughah sudhArA abhi svena payasA pIpyanah (RV 7.36.6)
    May the seventh (stream), Sarasvati, the mother of the Sindhu and those rivers that flow copious and fertilizing, bestowing abundance of food, and nourishing (the people) by their waters, come at once together.
    prakshodasA dhAyasA sasr eshA sarasvatI dharUNamAyasI pUh prabAbadhana ratthyeva yAti vishvA apo mahina sindhuranyA (RV 7.95.1)
    This Sarasvati, firm as a city made of Ayas (copper) flows rapidly with all sustaining water, sweeping away in its might all other waters, as a charioteer (clears the road). Alternative: AyasIh pUh : (Sarasvati is) like a great fortified town. [With her fertilizing stream the Sarasvati comes forth. (She is to us) a stronghold, an iron gate. Moving along, as on a chariot, this river surpasses in greatness all other waters.]
    ekAchetat sarasvatI nadInAm SuchIryati giribhya A samudrAt rAyaSchetantI bhuanasya bhurer ghrtam payo dudue nAhushAya (RV 7.95.2)
    Sarasvati, chief and purest of rivers, flowing from the mountains to the ocean, understood the request of Nahusha and distributing riches among the many existing things, milked for him butter and water. [Alone among all rivers Sarasvati listened, she who goes pure from the mountains as far as the sea. She who knows of the manifold wealth of the world has poured out to man her fat milk.]
    [cf. Max Mueller, Sacred Books of the East, xxxii.60: ``Here we see Samudra used clearly in the sense of sea, the Indian sea, and we have at the same time a new indication of the distance which separates the Vedic age from the late Sanskrit literature. Though it may not be possible to determine, by geological evidence, the time of the changes which modified the southern areas of the Punjab and caused the Saraswati to disappear in the desert, still the fact remains that the loss of the Saraswati is later than the Vedic age, and that, at that time, the waters of the Saraswati reached the sea.''] cf. RV 10.64.9 BaudhAyana's DharmasUtra (I,1,2,9) describes MadhyadEsa as lying to the east of the region where sarasvatI river disappears, to the west of the black forest: kAlakavan, to the north of the pAripAtra mountain and to the south of the Himalayas.
    MahAbhArata (BhIshmaparva, 6.49,50) refers to seven divyagangas: nalinI, pAvanI, sarasvatI, jambu, sItA, gangA and sindhu. The epic locates kurukshetra to the south of sarasvatI and to the north of DrshadvatI (iii,83.204). [This area is defined as Brahmavarta in Manu Smriti 2.17]. The doab formed by these two rivers thus becomes the locus of the Bharata war of kurukshetra (fought on five lakes: samanta-pancaka; said to be the northern sacrificial altar of brahmA: MB, Vana, lxxxiii). [Alberuni found, in 1000 A.D., a holy lake in Kurukshetra]. The epic provides an account of Balarama's sojourn along this river dotted with centers of learning and austerities. [The dividing line of Drshadvati is at Chunar near Varanasi; the modern name is Rakshi].
    The dried-up bed -- wadi -- of sarasvatI might have constituted the great road between hastinApur and dvArAvatI (dwAraka). Part of this road would have constituted the road from Sind to Delhi via Bahawalpur, MaroT, Anupgarh, Suratgarh, Dabli, KAlibaggAN, BhaTner (Hanumgarh), Tibi and SIrsa suggested by Major F. Mackeson in 1844 to the British government (Report on the Route from Seersa to Bahawulpore, JAS, Beng., XLII, Pt.I, 1844, No. 145 to 153)]. A synonym of sIrsa is sarsuti < sarasvatI; at this place, about 100 miles below Rassauli, a fortress was built.
    Hieun Tsang's reference to `five indies' is amplified by Cunningham to define northern India to comprise the Punjab proper including Kashmir and the adjoining hill states, eastern Afghanistan beyond Indus and the Sutlej states to the west of the sarasvatI river.
    Geographically, the sarasvatI basin can be traced to the currently known: ghaggar-nALI-hakDA-rainI-nArA-wAhindA-mihrAn-purAN channels. Ghaggar might have been a stream that rose in the Siwaliks and that joined the sarasvatI. This network runs parallel to the Indus across Sind. The river flowed from the Himalayas to the Rann of Kutch. [cf. Oldham, C.F., JRAS, 1893, p.49 on the Lost river of the Indian desert; Sir A. Burnes, Memoir n the Eastern Branch of the River Indus, given an Account of the alterations produced on it by an earthquake, also a Theory of the formation of the Runn, Trans. RAS, III,1834, pp. 550-88].
    Geologically, the entire sarasvatI river bed, and the arm of the Arabian sea (formerly spanning into saline Ranns of kutch) into which the river fell are on an earth-quake belt; an earthquake could have upraised this entire river-sea-bed profile, drying up the river. [This may explain the formation of the Thar desert on the left banks of the river in earlier earthquakes; also, perhaps of the Thal desert in Pakistan. Did some tracts of the thar desert support cultivation in ancient times? Geological surveys do indicate subsoil water in some tracts. Even today, over 2 million people in Rajasthan live in these tracts! The Sanskrit name is maru-sthalI. cf. Tamil maruta-nilam??].
    Was this event of the dried-up sarasvatI linkable to the 12 years of drought in the Santanu reign -- an anecdote in the Mahabharata? Could this explain the migrations of the Indus-Sarasvati people to other parts of the sub-continent?
    Another possibility is that the head-waters of sarasvatI were captured by sutlej (sutudrI) shrinking the water-volume carried by sarasvatI. [cf. H.Raychaudhari, The Sarasvati, in Science and Culture, VIII, 12, June 1943; Studies in Indian Antiquities, Calcutta University, 1958, pp. 121-41]. Yamuna is also considered a tributary of the sarasvatI (Wadia, D.N., Geology of India, London, 1949, p.41).

    Could the Indo-Aryan migrations, attested in a number of scholarly studies, have been caused by the (gradual?) drying-up of the river?

    Linguistically, was this Indus\-Sarasvati a region which had synthesized the Indo-Aryan (Gypsy, Dardic, Panjabi, Gujarati), Dravidian (Brahui, Tamil) and Munda language streams, before internal migrations began circa 1700 B.C.? Was this a south asian linguistic area, circa 2500 B.C.? In the lingua franca, was the river called khal = stream (Tamil)? [khAyal (Malayalam); khADI (Gujarati); khAl (Hindi)]? Was drshadvatI like gangA, a term absorbed from Munda? [The absorption of the Dravidian retroflex sounds render the Indo-Aryan tongues to be distinct from the IE; also, cf. references to Indian sememes in Turner's comparative indo-aryan dictionary and the author's work: Comparative Etymological Dictionary of South Asian Languages (in press)].
    What are the dates of the formation of the Rann of Kutch? What are the dates of the drying-up of the Sarasvati river? Do the vivid landsat pictures of the lost river skirting the Indian desert convey enough information to unravel the geological causes of the drying-up?
    Maybe, further researches to firm up these dates will hold a clue to unravel the apparent discontinuity between Indus-Sarasvati proto-historic culture (circa 3000-1700 B.C.) and the linguistic evidence of the historical periods (circa 300 B.C.) of the region. [Recent excavations in Banawali and Dholavira seem to establish the continuity of settlements bridging this apparent gap between circa 1700 and 300 B.C. belying some theories about the abrupt disappearance of the Harappan tradition, say, caused by floods on the Indus?]

    Defining the course of the ancient, `lost' Sarasvati river

    The following extracts, principally from earth sciences' and LANDSAT literature establish the existence of Sarasvati river contiguous to the Indus river valley and the area of Rann of Kutch and the Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat. This region is studded with many Harappan culture sites.


    Harappa is a site on the west bank of Ravi; Kalibangan is a site on the right bank of Sutlej; Amri is a site on the west bank of Indus (close to the Arabian sea); Banawali is located 15 km northwest of Fatehbad, near the Sarasvati river and about 120 km east of Kalibangan; Lothal and Rangpur are sites below the Rann of Kutch.

    Landsat photographs analyzed

    Bimal Ghose et al (1979) use images taken in 1972. Plate V traces the wide valley of the Sarasvati running from Suratgarh through Anupgarh to Fort Abbas and Ahmadpur East. From Anupgarh another wide belt of discontinuous patches of dark grey tone runs southwestward upto Sakhi. From Sakhi, the remnant of a former valley can be traced towards the west ... the imagery reveals the presence of a narrow zone of saline/alkaline fields, partly obliterated by the overlying sand dunes, extending upto Khangarh. To the south of Khangarh, a narrow strip of green vegetation, producing a slightly darker tone than the surroundings, can be identified. It runs from Islamgarh, through Dharmi Khu, Ghantial, Shahgarh, Babuwali and Rajar to Mihal Mungra. This was the course of the Sarasvati from the Himalaya to the Rann of Kutch after the river severed relations with Luni. South of Mihal Mungra, the course could be traced up to the present Hakra channel and there are indications of its having even crossed the Hakra channel (Plate VI). This signifies that the course of the old Saraswati might have been somewhere to the west of the present Hakra ... The other major courses of the Saraswati could be identified further to the west, through Mithra and Sandh, the remnants of which are now known as the Raini and the Wahinda rivers. Here also the river shifted its course several times, and, at one time, flowed to the east of the Wahinda river, through Mundo. Finally, the river ceased to flow southward and met the Sutlej to the west of Ahmadpur East.
    Ramasamy, Bakliwal and Verma (1991) show satellite photographs mosaiced, planimetrically controlled ... Figure 1 shows the last tongue of the Saraswati river ... The study of remotely-sensed data in the desert tract of Rajasthan shows that there are plenty of paleochannels with well sprung-up tentacles throughout the desert (figure 3). On the northern edge of the Thar-Great Indian desert at the Ganganagar-Anupgarh plains a well-developed set of paleochannels are clearly discernible in satellite photographs (figures 1 and 4). Bakliwal et al (1988) have explained that these well sprung-up paleochannels are traces of the mighty Saraswati river which once ruled the desert. Yashpal et al (1980) have argued that the paleochannels observed in the Anupgarh plains are the arm of the Saraswati river, which has been displaced by the present day Gaggar river ... that the Saraswati river once flowed close to the Aravalli hill ranges and met the Arabian Sea in the Rann of Kutch, that it has migrated towards the west, the north-west and the north and has ultimately got lost in the Anupgarh plains ... Yash Pal et al (1980) present in Figure 3 a synoptic view provided by the Landsat of the northwestern Indian subcontinent showing 6-8 km wide paleochannel of the Saraswati ... ; Figure 4 shows the old bed of the Sarasvati river ... Figure 7 shows a synoptic view of the Indus valley showing possible course of the Sarasvati beyond Marot through the Nara into the Rann of Kutch ...

    Ringstones in ancient time in Gulf of Cambay

    Alex Rogers, 1870. A few remarks on the Geology of the country surrounding the Gulf of Cambay in Western India, Quarterly Journal of Geological Society of London, 26: 118-124 who was perhaps among the earliest observers of the geology of the Gulf of Cambay (close to Lothal), points out that from the geological formation of the country bordering on the Rann, it appeared that the drainage of the PanjAb once flowed into it: `` ... The rapid silting up of the Gulf of Cambay gives particular interest to an inquiry into the geological conditions which probably shaped it in remote ages ... (The head of the Gulf) comprises within itself te Great Runn of Cutch ... primary or metamorphic rocks are traceable in its immediate vicinity only in a small tract on its west coast ... even the highest points of the granite peaks show signs of weathering, and probably also of the erosive action of waves ... Many considerations point to the existence in former ages of some large river flowing down from the north, and falling into the Indian Ocean somewhere in the position of the present Gulf of Cambay: and it is not improbable that that river may have been the Indus. It may have been that the original course of the Indus from the Punjab was in a more south-easterly direction than that of the present day ... (In this Gulf), coinciding to a large extent with the black-soil belt, there can be clearly traced a natural depression in the surface of the country for some twenty miles from the head of the Gulf, terminating in a shallow lake of brackish water called the Null ... Shells of the genus CERITHIUM, an estuarine form, are found lying loose in the black soil many miles from this point (Bhogava); and the records of the old Revenue Survey of Goozerat state that there were formerly found in the Null large stones with holes through them, which had evidently served as anchors for boats of some size ... [cf. the ring stones found in Mohenjo-daro] ... there is historical and well-known proof of the alteration of the level of the larger of these salt flats as the consequence of an earthquake in AD 1819 ... only a much more violent action would have separated the laterites of the high and low levels ... this rock, again, appears at precisely the same level on the opposite sides of valleys in the Concan and Deccan, giving ample proof of dunudation ... at the time (some of the Vedas) were composed, the Suruswuttee, the most easterly of the Punjab rivers, which now loses itsels in the desert of Rajpootana, flowed into the Indian Ocean. This confirms to come extent the theory of the case of the alluvial deposit at the head of the Gulf of Cambay.''
    Raverty, H.G.Major, Bombay Army, 1893, The Mihran of Sind and its tributaries: a geographical and historical study, Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. lxi, Pt. 2, pp. 155-297: `` ... to notice some of the numerous fluctuations in the courses of the Sindhu, Ab-i-Sind, or Indus, and of the rivers of the Panj-ab. The changes in the courses of two of these rivers, together with the drying up of the Hakra, Wahindah, or Bahindah were so considerable that they reduced a vast extent of once fruitful country to a howling wilderness, and thus several flourishing cities and towns became ruined or deserted by their inhabitants ... the old course of the Biah, or `Bias' previous to its junction with the Sutlaj, when both rivers lost their names and became Hariari , Nili or Gharah ... why the army of Islam marched along the bases of the mountains, for the route was long, and the way by Sasruti and Marut was nearer? He (Mangu Khan) was answered that the numerous fissures on the banks of the river rendered the way impossible for the army ... Sarasti is the ancient name of Sirsa: Sursuti is the name of a river, the ancient Saraswati ... Sutlaj was a tributary of the Hakra or Wahindah ... Hakra ... appears to be the modified form of Sagara, the letter S being pronounced H in Rajputana and Sindh ... Sagar is the Sanskrit for `ocean', `sea' etc., and it is still known as the Sind-Sagar near the sea coast. Tod calls it the `Sankra', which is another form of the name; and it is called Sankrah in the treaty entered into by Nadir Shah, and Muhammad Shah, Badshah of Dihli, when ceding all the territory west of it to the Persians ... Hakra did once run through the so-called `Indian Desert' ... Ghag-gar, the Sursuti and the Chitang were also the tributaries of Sind-Sagar or Wahindah or Hakra ... Mansuriyat ... this city is situated among the branches of the Mihran river, and from that place the river unites with the ocean by two channels. One is near the town of Loharanj, and the other bends round towards the east in the confines of Kaj (Kachch) and is called the Sind Shakar (Sind-Sagarah) which means the The Sea of Sind. The river Sarasat unites with the ocean to the east of Suminath. This last named river is, of course, the Saraswati, which falls into he sea near Pattan Som-nath, not the classical river, the tributary of the Ghag-ghar, described farther on, the sacred river of the Brahmans ... At Thatha the Sind is called Mihran ...''
    Leshnik, Lawrence S., 1968, The Harappan Port of Lothal: Another View, American Anthropologist, 70, 1968, pp. 911-921: `` ... The Volkerwanderung that brought the Harappans to Lothal (2450 BC) is conceived of as a sea passage from the Indus ... This dating is, however, questionable and exploration of the Kutch area has brought to light a number of Harappan sites there (Joshi, J.P. 1966, Exploration in Northern Kutch, Journal of the Oriental Institute, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, 16: 62-67), so the arrival- by-sea theory will have to be reconsidered ... In Mohenjo-daro there is a linear representation of a man using the shaduf, so that its presence is documented for the Harappan civilization as well ... Marshall describes the Mohenjo-daro ringstones as having slots that were used to fasten stones to something that passed through the central aperture. This could have been the arm of a shaduf, to which the stone weights were lashed by rope or leather thongs. The shaduf is still employed near Lothal, although the stones are no longer pierced, but simply secured with rope. Pierced stones continue however to be used in this way in Eastern India ... A note on the Lothal tank as an irrigation reservoir ... ''
    R.D. Oldham, 1886, On probable changes in the geography of the Punjab and its rivers - a historico-geographical study, J. Asiatic Soc. Bengal, 55: 322-343: `` ... we have now seen that a dry river bed can be traced, practically continuously, from Tohana in Hissar district to the Eastern Narra in Sind ... `` C.F. Oldham, 1893, The Saraswati and the lost river of the Indian Desert, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, pp. 48-76: `` ... local legends assert (that Sarasvati) once flowed through the desert to the sea. In confirmation of these traditions, the channel referred to, which is called Hakra or Sotra, can be traced through the Bikanir and Bhawulpur states into Sind, and thence onwards to the Rann of Kach ... attested by the ruins everywhere overspread what is now an arid sandy waste. Throughout this tract are scattered mounds, marking the sites of cities and towns. And there are strongholds still remaining ... Amongst these ruins are found, not only the huge bricks used by the Hindus in the remote past, but others of a much later make ... Freshwater shells, exactly similar to those now seen in the PanjAb rivers, are to be found in this old river-bed and upon its banks ... After entering Sind the Hakra turns southward, and becomes continuous with the old river-bed generally known as Narra. This channel, which bears also the names of Hakra or Sagara, Wahind and Dahan, is to be traced onward to the Rann of Kach ... Tha Hakra varies in different parts of its course from about two to six miles in width, which is sufficient for a very large river ... The only river near Marot was the Hakra ...

    Lost courses of the Sarasvati

    Bimal Ghose, Amal Kar and Zahid Husain, 1979, The lost courses of the Sarasvati river in the Great Indian Desert: New evidence from Landsat Imagery, Geographical Journal, 145: 446-451: ``Interpretation of LANDSAT imagery and field investigation in the western part of Jaisalmer district in India have revealed some hitherto unknown abandoned courses of the former Saraswati river. It has been suggested that these courses were alive before the Saraswati occupied the Raini or the Wahinda courses, and contributed to the alluviation of the region. The subsurface water in the region is contributed mainly by the Himalayan precipitation flowing subterraneously through the former courses of the Saraswati ... .''

    River migrations in Western India

    Ramasamy, SM, PC Bakliwal and RP Verma, 1991, Remote Sensing and River migrations in Western India, Int. J. Remote Sensing, Vol. 12, No. 12, 2597-2609: ``The art of remote sensing has opened up many vistas in the study of river migration as satellite photographs, both in their normal and digitally enhanced modes, vividly show the rivers and their migratory signatures. The rivers migrate for various reasons amongst which tectonic movement is one of the main causes ... The study has shown that Western India sow considerable signs of Quaternary tectonics ... `` ... (Landsat photographs, on a 1:1 000 000 scale) ... the palaeochannels were interpreted, as exhibiting linear, curvilinear and loop-like features with typical black ribbon-like stripes ... The Landsat imagery studies show that the Indus river has a very wide flood plain on either side of its course up to a maximum width of 100-120 km in the east and south-east. To have such a wide flood plain on only one side shows that the Indus river has preferentially migrated towards the north-west in the northern parts and towards the west in the central and southern parts. The study of remotely sensed data in the desert tract of Rajastan shows that there are plenty of paleochannels with well sprung-up tentacles throughout the desert. On the northern edge of the Thar-Great Indian desert at the Ganganagar-Anupgarh plains a well-developed set of palaeochannels are clearly discernible in satellite photographs. (Bakliwal PC , Ramasamy, SM, and Grover, AK, 1983, Use of remote sensing in identification of possible areas for groundwater, hydrocarbons and minerals in the Thar desert, Western India, Proceeding volume of the International conference on prospecting in areas of desert terrain, The Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Publications, 14-17 April, Rabat, Morocco, 121-129) have explained that these well sprung-up palaeochannels are traces of the mighty Saraswati river which once ruled the desert ... . (these and) the present study show clearly that the Saraswati river once flowed close to the Aravalli hill ranges and met the Arabian sea in the Rann of Kutch, that it has migrated towards the west, the north-west and the north and has ultimately got lost in the Anupgarh plains ...
    `` ... When the Aravalli hills are traced back to the foothills of the Himalayas the water divide of the Yamuna and Saraswati rivers becomes apparent. Hence, it follows that the drifting of the Saraswati river from its easterly flow towards the Great Indian Desert would have been initiated by such a rise in the Aravalli mountains and that due to the subsequent Luni-Sukri cymatogenic arching, the Saraswati migration towards the north-west would have been accelerated ...
    `` ... it seems that climatic changes have also played a subordinate role in shifting the (Sarasvati) river towards the north. When the Saraswati flowed in a southwesterly direction it was flowing against the northeasterly moving sand advance in the Thar desert. It can be concluded, therefore, that the Saraswati river could not overcome such a sand advance and hence that it started drifting towards the north with a rotational migration in a clockwise direction until ultimately it was buried in the Anupgarh plains ... ''
    P.C. Bakliwal and A.K. Grover, 1988, Signatures and migration of Saraswati river in Thar desert, Western India, Rec. Geol. Surv. Ind., 116: Pts. 3-8, pp. 77-86:
    `` ... Remote sensing study of the Great Indian Desert reveals numerous signatures of palaeochannels in the form of curvilinear and meandering courses with feeble to contrasting tonal variations. The Saraswati river, which is believed to be lost in the desert, could be traced through these palaeochannels as a migratory river. Its initial course flowed close to the Aravalli ranges and successive six stages took west and northwesterly shifts till it coincides with the dry bed of Ghaggar river. The groundwater, archaeological and pedological data with selected ground truths also corroborate these findings. The migration of river Saraswati seems to be caused by tectonic disturbances in Hardwar-Delhi ridge zone, Luni-Surki lineament, Cambay Graben and Kutch fault facilitated by contrasting climatic variations. The stream piracy by Yamuna river at later stage is responsible for the ultimate loss of water and drying up of the Saraswati river ... ``

    Secrets of the Thar desert

    Singhvi AK and Kar, Amal eds., 1992, Thar Desert in Rajasthan: Land, Man and Environment, Bangalore, Geological Society of India, Bangalore: `` ... In the south it (Thar desert) has a sharp natural boundary with the world's largest saline waste - the Great Rann of Kahchh, while in the north the riparian sub-Himalayan plains define its boundary ... Quaternary continental sediments in the Thar desert of Rajasthan comprise a succession of fluvial, fluvio-lacusrine and aeolian deposits ... The neogene tectonic movements ... are considered as responsible for controlling the origin, configuration and development of basins of deposition ... Occurrence of aligned earthquake epicentres of different dates from 1879 to 1976 AD along it (Luni-Sukri lineament from the Rann to the Sambhar lake) in the Kachchh area suggests its neotectonic potentiality ...`` ... The dry bed of the Ghaggar is conspicuous on the satellite imagery of north Rajasthan and adjoining parts of Pakistan as a continuous wide belt running through Suratgarh and Anupgarh in India to Fort Abbas and Ahmadpur East (in Pakistan) [(Ghose et al., 1979, The lost courses of the Sarasvati river in the Great Indian Desert - new evidence from Landsat imageries, Geographical Journal, 145 (3): 446-451); Balkiwal, PC and Grover, AK, 1988, Signatures and migration of Sarasvati river in Thar desert, western India, Rec. Geol. Surv. India, 116 (3-8)]. Some south-flowing earlier courses of this stream were detected through the western part of Jaisalmer district and in the Bikaner-Sardarshahr tract further east. Buried courses of another Himalayan stream, R. Drishadvati (which was also a tributary to the Saraswati) were found in the Churu-Nagaur tract. The rivers had several tributaries joining them from the Aravallis and other rocky areas within the desert. Recent SEM analysis of the Quaternary sediments of the northeastern part of the desert indicate considerable glacial, as well as fluvial, transport of some of the sediments [Raghav, KS, 1991, Quaternary history of a part of the northeast fringe of the Thar desert of India, Ann. Arid Zone, 30(4)]. The survival of the Saraswati-Drishadvati courses depended to a large extent on the perennial supply of water from the mightier Sutlej (the Satadru of Vedic literature) which shifted its course several times in the sub-Himalayan plains due to neotectonism, change of grade etc. (Valdiya, KS, 1989, Neotectonic implication of collision of Indian and Asian plates, Ind. J. Geology, 61: 1-13). A detailed account of former streams in the region is provided by Kar (Kar, A., 1992, Drainage desiccation, water erosion and desertification in northwest India, in: Desertification in the Thar, Sahara and Sahel Regions, AK Sen ed., Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur). Some of the buried stream segments are potential ground water aquifers.. The course of the Saraswati to the west of Jaisalmer has an estimated reserve of about 3000 mcm water awaiting a judicious exploitation ...
    `` ... Mughal M.R. (1982, Recent archaeological research in the Cholistan desert, in: Harappan Civilization, GL Possehl, ed., Oxford, pp. 85-95) has located a large number of settlements of the Hakra Ware culture, dating to the fourth millennium BC., and of the Harappan culture, dated to the third millennium BC, on this (Ghaggar-Hakra) river in Pakistan. Nearly two hundred settlements of the Harappan culture have been located by Indian archaeologists on the Ghaggar river and is tributaries in Punjab, Haryana and northern Rajasthan [Ghosh, A., 1952, The Rajasthan Desert - its archaeological aspect, Bulletin of the National Inst. Sci., I : 37-42; Bhan, S., 1973, The sequence and spread of prehistoric cultures in the upper Saraswati basin in: Radiocarbon and Indian Archaeology, DP Agrawal and A. Ghosh eds., TIFR, Bombay, pp. 252-263] ... Kalibangan was abandoned at the beginning of the second millennium BC., probably due to the drying up of the river and shifting of the Sutlaj away from it (Lal. B.B., 1979, Kalibangan and Indus civilization, in: Essays in Indian Protohistory, DP Agrawal and DK Chakrabarti eds., BR Publ., Delhi, pp. 65-97).
    Bhan, Suraj., 1973, The sequence and spread of prehistoric cultures in the upper Saraswati basin in: Radiocarbon and Indian Archaeology, DP Agrawal and A.Ghosh eds., TIFR, Bombay, pp. 252-263: `` ... The Kalibangan I culture (c. 2300 - 2100 BC) ... The Siswal A ware was recovered from 16 sites in the south-western part of Haryana adjoining northern Rajasthan. It extended to Jind and Paoli in the north-eat. The comparative preponderance of the ware in the Drsadvati valley suggests the preference of the pre-Harappan folk for smaller river valleys as in north Rajasthan ... But the absence of the Late Harappan ware from north Rajasthan and the adjoining regions of Haryana (south of Vanawali near Fatehabad in the Sarasvati valley and Alipur Kharar near Hansi in the Drsadvati valley) suggests the survival of the Harappa culture in our region (as also in the north-eastern Panjab and western UP), after the lower and mid zones of the Sarasvati basin had been deserted. The desertion of the semi-arid zone of north Rajasthan and Bahawalpur by the Harappans or the Harappa-influenced kindred folks, and their subsequent expansion further north-east seems to have been forced by the growing desiccation of the Sarasvati basin consequent upon the changes in the courses of the Sarasvati, Drshadvati and the Yamuna rivers. It was this second phase of the Harappan expansion which was largely responsible for the colonization of the ancient Madhya Desa which ensued with the settlements of Daulatpur I, Alamgirpur I etc ... With more than 90 OCP or Late (degenerate) Harappan sites reported from the doab it would be difficult to agree with Agrawal (1967-68) that the doab was first colonized by the iron-using PGW people.''
    Yash Pal, Baldev Sahai, R.K.Sood and D.P. Agrawal, Space Applications Centre, and PRL, Ahmedabad, 1980, Remote sensing of the `lost' Sarasvati river: Proc. Indan Acad. Sci. (Earth and Planetary Sci.), Vol. 89, No. 3, Nov. 1980, pp. 317-331: `` ... delineation of the palaeochannels of the Satluj, the Yamuna and the Ghaggar to trace the `lost' Sarasvati. Study of Landsat imagery shows that the Satluj once flowed into the Ghaggar; it is also probable the Yamuna too was flowing into the Ghaggar river at the same time. The bed of this river is traceable upto Marot, from where it is likely to have extended through Hakra/Nara bed to the Rann of Kutch. The present dried bed of the Ghaggar was thus part of a major river, anciently known as Sarasvati. Analysis of satellite imagery supports the above hypothesis regarding the course of the `lost' Sarasvati ...
    `` ... Satluj and Yamuna are perennial rivers ... the rivers Ghaggar, Sarasvati, Markanda and Chautang all rise from the Siwalik Hills and are non-perennial. They flow mainly during the monsoon. At present none of them reaches the sea or joins any major river as a tributary ... `` ... The sharp westward right-angled bend in the course of Satluj is suggestive of its diversion in the past, as at the point of river capture or stream diversion similar elbows develop ... There is a sudden widening of the Ghaggar Valley about 25 km. south of Patiala ... can be explained only if a major tributary was joining Ghaggar at this place. The satellite imagery does show a major palaeochannel joining the Ghaggar here ... Our observations are supported by the field data of Singh (Gurdev Singh, 1952, The Geographer, 5,27) who mentions a channel starting near Ropar and leading towards Tohana (29.35N, 75.55E). The area along this old course of the Satluj is called `dhaia' meaning an upland or high bank ... It might have required only a little tectonic movement to disturb its previous course and force it into its present channel ... Our studies show that the Satluj was the main tributary of the Ghaggar and that subsequently the tectonic movements may have forced the Satluj westward and the Ghaggar dried. Wilhelmy (H., 1969, Z. Geomorphol. Suppl., 8, 76) considered ... the second alternative, i.e., river capture. The Satudri (Satluj) might have been a tributary of the Vipasa (Beas) and through headward erosion captured the waters of the river coming down the Himalayas near Ropar. Tectonic movements may have aided the river capture ...
    `` ... the Landsat imagery of the Indus system and it appears that the confluence of the Satluj with the Indus may not be an ancient feature. The palaeochannel of the river Beas, which is quite conspicuous in Landsat imagery, joined the Indus independent of the Satluj. There is a distinct palaeochannel which seems to suggest that the Satluj flowed through the Nara directly into the Rann of Kutch ...
    `` ... The ancient bed of the Ghaggar has a constant width of about 6 to 8 km. from Shatrana in Punjab to Marot in Pakistan. The bed stands out very clearly having a dark tone in the black-and-white imagery and reddish one in false colour composites. There is a clear palaeochannel southeast of the river Markanda which joins the ancient bed of the Ghaggar near Shatrana ... Another channel which corresponds to the present Chautang (Drishadvati) seems to join the Ghaggar near Suratgarh. Near Anupgarh the ancient Ghaggar bed bifurcates and both the plaeochannels come to an abrupt end; the upper one terminates near Marot and the lower one near Beriwala. These two terminal channels of the Ghaggar seem to disappear in a depression which is suggested by salt encrustation and the physiography of the area ...
    `` ... Palaeo-Yamuna was alive during the Painted Grey Ware (PGW) period (c. 800-400 BC) as indicated by the distribution of the PGW sites on its banks (Gupta SP etal., 1977, Ecology and archaeology of Western India eds. DP Agrawal and BM Pande, New Delhi, Concept Pub., p. 79). Both the Chautang and the Ghaggar beds have archaeological mounds on their banks (Pande BM, ibid, p.55). The Ghaggar continued to be a live river during the pre-Harappan (c. 2500-2200 BC) and the Harappan times (c. 2200-1700 BC). Even during the PGW times, there is some indication of habitation along the palaeochannel, though the PGW mounds follow a very narrow river bed, perhaps indicating a dwindling water supply. The archaeological evidence for dating the Chautang is not very definite yet, though the late Harappan mounds along it appear to be a clear indication that it was a living river during at least the late Harappan time (c. 1700-1000 BC) ...
    `` ... For miles and miles around Marot one finds numerous place names with a suffix toba, which in the local language means a playa (or rann) ... It is obviously improbable for such a mighty river to vanish into a shallow depression (or khadins in the local languages) in its heyday. There is, therefore, a good possibility that the Ghaggar flowed into the Nara and further into the Rann of Kutch without joining the Indus ... `` ... If the bore-hole samples from these areas are analysed, one is sure to come across mineralogical compositions reflecting the signatures of the ancient Satluj and the Palaeo-Yamuna when they flowed through the Sarasvati bed ... A multidisciplinary approach employing archaeological, mineralogical, chemical and thermoluminescence, combined with remote sensing techniques can provide a clear and consistent history of these changes in the palaeochannels of northwestern sub-continent in an absolute time-frame.''
    R.L. Raikes (a hydrologist) and R.K. Karanth (a geologist) found at Kalibangan (in 1967) through a drilling program, that at a depth of 11 m. below the present flood-plain level, a coarse, greyish sand very similar in mineral content to that found in the bed of the present-day Yamuna. It extended over a width at least four times that of the bed of the present-day Yamuna and down to a depth, at one point at least, of 30 m. ..the material in short is typical flood-plain deposit of the kind being laid down today at a rate of about 2 m. per thousand years. (R.L. Raikes, 1968, Kalibangan: Death from Natural causes, Antiquity, 42, pp. 286-291).

    Climate change

    Gurdip Singh, 1971, Archaeology and Physical Anthropology in Oceania, 6, 177-189: The Indus Valley Culture seen in the context of post-glacial climatic and ecological studies in North-West India: suggests that `` ... the significant increase in rainfall at the beginning of the third millennium BC, attested by palaeoecological evidence, played an important part in the sudden expansion of the Neolithic-Chalcolithic cultures in north-west India, ultimately leading to the prosperity of the Indus culture ... The present evidence would suggest that the onset of aridity in the region around 1800 BC probably resulted in the weakening of the Harappan culture in the arid and semi-arid parts of north-west India ... ''
    Amal Kar and Bimal Ghose, 1984, Geographical Journal, The Drishadvati river system of India: an assessment and new findings, 150: 221-229: `` ... there are indications that the riveer formerly flowed southwards, through the desert, and was supplied from streams originating in the Aravallis, thus explaining the distribution of alluvium in the region ... Drishadvati ... means a stream with a pebbly bed ... The interfluve between the Saraswati and the Drishadvati used to be known as Brahmavarta and was sacred ... Sir Alexander Cunningham (1871, The ancient geography of India, repr. 1979, Indological Book House, Varanasi) first identified the Drishadvati with the modern Rakshi ... ``
    Aurel Stein, 1942, A survey of ancient sites along the `lost' Sarasvati River, Geographical Journal, 99: 173-182: `` ... the sketch-map based on the latest survey shows how great is the contrast between the very scanty volume of water brought down by the Ghaggar and the width of its dry bed within Bikaner territory; over more than 100 miles it is nowhere less than 2 miles and in places 4 miles or more. This bed is lined on both sides by dunes varying in height ... the Ghaggar bed above Hanumagarh, one notes that the number of mounds marking ancient sites long abandoned is here distinctly smaller than farther down the old river bed ... (mounds) known as ther or theri ... Archaeological facts prove cultivation, and with it settled occupation, to have been abandoned much earlier on the Hakra than on the Ghaggar ... trial excavation at Sandhanawala Ther, 3 miles to the north-west of Fort Abbas ... some sherds with incised characters which appear on many inscribed seals from Mohenjodaro and Harappa, chief sites of the Indus Valley cultre ... The great height and size of several others indicate prolonged settlement ... the evidence shows that down to historical times the Ghaggar carried water for irrigation under existing climatic conditions much farther than it does now. This makes it intelligible how the Sarasvati has come in hymns of the Rigveda to be praised as a great river ... upper portion of the ancient bed ... drying up during historical times ... hastened by diversion of flood water for irrigation brought about by more settled conditions and the resulting pressure of population. Lower down on the Hakra the main change was due to the Sutlej having in late prehistoric times abandoned the bed which before had joined the Ghaggar: the result of a law affecting all rivers whose course lies over alluvial plains ...
    D. A. Holmes, 1968, The recent history of the Indus, Geographical Journal, 134: 367-382: ``.. Lambrick (H.T., 1967, The Indus Flood-plain and the `Indus' civilization, Geographical Journal, 133,4: 483-95) believes that the union of the Sutlej with the Beas (and thence with the Indus) in the West Punjab had already occurred prior to the time of Alexander. It must be assumed that the Nara was continuing to flow as a result of seasonal overspill from both the Indus and the Sutlej, the latter floods using the now dry Ghaggar channel (which is a remnant of the Sutlej-Nara system) ... ''

    The 'cult object' on Harappan seals

    What was this `cult object' which occurs on Harappan seals `called' in the lingua franca of circa 2500-1700 BC? What does it connote?
    Using the `rebus' principle for decipherment of glyphs is a method that proved successful in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics. This principle has been modified and extended to cope with the Harappan glyphs (e.g. svastika) and other pictorial motifs (e.g. unicorn, `cult object', animals occupying the `field' of the seals with inscribed sign sequences).

    What does the cult object look like?

    It is a portable device that could be carried with hands aloft the shoulder of the carrier, as evidenced in Harappan tablets where this object occurs also as a field symbol by itself (without the ubiquitous `unicorn'). The structure has two elements.
    It depicts a `flow' or a `churning motion' on the upper element. The upper element ends in a tapering, sharp-pointed edge as it is rests (or just floats) on the lower element.
    The lower element is a bowl which also depicts some `spilling' or `drops' or alternatively, some `smoke or dust' and `dotted droplets'.
    Mahadevan calls the structure a `filter' and sees echoes of `soma process.
    The author of this author calls it a `drill-lathe-stove', the lapidary's tools of trade. The upper element looks like a drill used by the lapidary to drill holes in, say, faience beads. The lower element is the stove to bake the inscribed object.
    The rationale for this interpretation is as follows: The upper element is the sharp-pointed drill bit depicted with zig-zag lines in a churning motion. The lower element is a portable stove depicted with flames or smoke emanating and bits of `drilled' articles depicted with dotted circles around the bowl.

    What was the cult object called? What does the homonym 'mean' in Hara

    ppan Economy
    There is a word in Gujarati (and cognate words of South asian languages which can be semantically clustered) which connotes both a `drill-lathe' and a `portable stove'. The word is sangaDi.
    Rebus: jangaDi is an extraordinarily specific, technical-professional term in Gujarati. It connotes an armored guard who accompanies the treasure brought into or taken out of the treasury. A cognate Sanskritized morpheme is jagada = a guard. cf. also jagati = pedestal.


    Instead of providing conclusions with definitive statements on the proto-historic problem of great importance, the following simply-styled questions will be raised and possible answers indicated. The tentative, often hypothetical nature of the answers and the plethora of unanswered questions are intended to provoke further research work.
    What is the saraswati river civilization?
    After the discovery of the first archaeological site at Harappa in 1920, the civilization was referred to as Harappan culture. With the discovery of another major site at Mohenjo-daro in the same decade, it was re-christened as Indus civilization. Since 1950's a number of new type sites have been located. In particular, the sites of Rupar, Kalibangan, Lothal, Dholavira and Banawali. The characteristic feature of the location of these sites is that these are on the banks of or very close to the `lost' sarasvati river. Hence, the civilization should be re-christened as Indus-Sarasvati civilization. Sarasvati river is extolled in the Rigvedas(Rks).
    Does the river exist in part and rest of it has disappeared?
    A part of the river exists as Ghaggar in Haryana; the rest of it has disappeared in the fringes of the maru-sthalI or the thar desert.
    Where were the geological excavations done?
    Landsat pictures have revealed the traces of the lost river right upto Hakra river and the Rann of Kutch. Geological surveys in a number of locations along the `lost' river course have established the existence of a river flowing down from the Siwalik ranges and also the changes in the courses of the Indus tributaries and the Yamuna rivers. As Yamuna and Sutlej captured the water sources, Sarasvati might have dried up, aided by the upraisings of land caused by earthquakes.
    What was found in the process?
    The cumulative knowledge gained through geology, landsat and archaeological finds establishes the vast expanse of this great civilization. Kalibangan and Lothal may not be as grandiose as the urban Harappa but are typical Indus\-Sarasvati civilization sites.
    How does it relate to Harappan civilization?
    Seals of the type found in Harappa and Mohenjo-daro are also found in the Sarasvati river sites. Kalibangan also shows a ploughed field and fire-altars.
    What research work needs to be done?
    More researches need to be done in identifying the civilization that flourished along the Sarasvati river. Balarama's sojourn along this river up from the Rann of Kutch is depicted in the Mahabharata. This has to be studied further. Sanskrit literature will have abundant material on the importance of sarasvati. Siddha-mAtrka is the name of the BrAhmi script. BrAhmi is another name for Sarasvati. Without apriori assumption that brAhmI was derived from the Indus\-Sarasvati seal inscription script, it should be possible to postulate a hypothesis that sarasvati river played a significant part in the sustenance of the civilization circa 3000 to 1700 B.C. This may mean a new paradigm in our protohistoric studies. Aryans and Dravidians and perhaps Mundas lived in harmony in this civilization. The so-called indo-aryan and so-called dravidian languages may have originated from the common lingua franca spoken by these people on the Indus and Sarasvati river valleys. Thus, common words of Tamil can be found in Sanskrit/Vedic. The author claims to have established that the Dravidian etymological dictionary with 5000 entries can cease to exist since many of these words have cognates in vedic/munda and many south asian languages.
    What research is going on to find the remains of the civilization?
    Hopefully, this perspective should lead to more intensive geological and archaeological work on the banks of the lost river which has hundreds of unexplored sites.

    Assistance and critical comments from the readers are requested

    There should be an awareness that there is an essential unity that binds the south asian culture. Scholars should help build up on these strands of unity.
    People should provide with information on cultural habits of the peoples of the region traversed by the rivers. For e.g. the festival bhogi celebrated on winter solstice is not only a South Indian festival. Bhogali bihu is celebrated in Assam; RohRi in Punjab. On the same day, mahAvrata is celebrated according to aitareya brAhmaNa. What is the ancient significance of this day? What are the practices followed by the womenfolk and agriculturists? Is something done about land rights on this day or is it just restricted to the distribution of winter crop produce?
    Why is Sarasvati revered as goddess of speech? What are the anecdotes linked to Brahma? Why are so many brahma temples found along this river? What kind of research is already done?
    A number of claims of decipherment of Indus (Sarasvati-Sindhu) script have been made. Mahadevan counted upto 40 such claims in 1992. Each new claim renders every one of the 40+ claims suspect. The problem is acute because we do not have a `rosetta stone' or multilingual inscriptions to authenticate the correctness of a decipherment. The next problem is that the sample is rather small -- only 2500+ inscriptions have been reported, with an average of six signs recorded on each seal/table inscription. The next larger problem is the so-called cleavage between the so-called Indo-Aryan and so-called Dravidian languages which has led to two distinct language groups in decipherment claims. [Is this cleavage valid in `semantic' terms? Any Prakrit dictionary will attest to thousands of words common to both language streams?]

    Which are the supporting organizations?

    Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia has a group working on this problem. Prof. Asko Parpola in Helsinki a keen enthusiast. Mahadevan in Madras has dedicated his entire life to this problem. Univ. of Aachen has a team working on the architectural aspects of Mohenjodaro.
    What kind of research can foreign organizations support?
    Areas which can be supported are: research into languages of south asia and comparative lexemes and grammatical features; archaeological explorations, more landsat analyses and geological drillings of more sites along the sarasvati river.
    Why the reference to the cult object?
    The earlier message, providing a possible word for the cult object as sangaDi is intended to re-kindle an interest among a large group of scholars to indicate if there are words in the south asian languages which may fit with the pictorial motif. From an artistic point of view, is the interpretation valid? Are there alternative readings? What indeed were the Indus-Sarasvati people trying to convey through such seal messages?

    Are there words similar to Gujrati sangADi in other South asian languages and what do the words mean?.

    Maru is the Sanskrit name of the desert that lies between the Indus-Sarasvati river valleys of south Asia. It is also called thar in India and thal in Pakistan.
    For a maritime civilization, a zone exterior to the habitation is the marsh, the inundated area, and by extension, the sea. The recent geological studies and analysis of satellite images show the tracts of sub-soil water-channels in the thar desert and the channels of the dry-beds of the 'lost' sarasvati river which merge with the hakra [(cf. sAgara = ocean (Sanskrit)] channels in to the Rann of Kutch and the possibility that these zones supported agriculture and hence, habitations in ancient times (circa 3000 B.C.)
    These analyses add a new significance to the interpretation of the term 'maru' as marsh-land; cf., marutam = agricultural tracts (Sangam Tamil).
    Is there a proto-south asian (indic) root word which explains the word: maru = desert? also, ocean-shore (rann)?
    The proto-dravidian/indo-aryan forms are found in etyma with the semantic cluster = land boundary: maryA = boundary (Sanskrit); mariyAdA = boundary, limit, shore (Pali); varampu, varappu = limit, boundary; a low ridge or bank to retain water in fields for irrigation (Tamil); barangayI = borough or county in the Philippines (Tagalog); barhA, barhetA = land of a township or village farthest from the inhabited portion, constituting the third class of land (Hindi -central and upper doab); baruA, barwA = sandy soil of inferior quality, a mixture of sand and clay (Hindi).
    A semantic cluster = water/shore is found in the following lexemes: bAr = water (Hindi); vAri = water (Sanskrit); bArAn = rain (Hindi); bArAni = land watered by rain (Hindi); bharu = sea (Pali, Sanskrit); maru = desert; sand-desert (Pali); mariyAdA = shore (Pali); [cf. Indo-European lexemes for sea: mare (Latin); muir (Irish); marei (Gothic); (are-)morica (Gaulish); mArEs (Lithuanian); morje (Slavonic).
    Jean Przyluski, in VaruNa, god of the sea and the sky (JRAS, July 1931, pp. 613-622) provides an etymological excursus to reconcile the occurrence of similar-sounding words in the north-western Indo-European dialects and also in Indo-Aryan by suggesting a proto-Austro-Asiatic root for the words. For e.g., he suggests "the non-Aryan word bharu, like its Sanskrit synonym kaccha, signifies low-lying land, shore, swamp; and, in fact, the compound bharu-kaccha designates a region adjoining the sea and the capital of that region. bharu(kaccha) and maru(bhUmi) form part of the geographical nomenclature of the mahAbhArata... After the tIrthas of the Sindhi the 'Bengali' recension (of dig-varNana of the rAmAyaNa) names maru and anumaru, referring probably to the deserts near the lower-course of the Indus. In the different recensions of the rAmAyaNa the description of the western region ends with the mountain asta 'the sun-setting', where is erected the palace of varuNa. This curious indication is in perfect agreement with 'Geographical Catalogue of the Yakshas in the mahAmayUrI" (ed. Sylvain Levi, Journal Asiatique, 1915, I, pp. 35 sqq.). In verse 17 we read -- bharuko bharukaccheshu... that is to say-- 'the yaksha bharuka dwells among the people of bharukaccha.' Now one of the two Chinese translators of this catalogue has rendered bharuka by shoei t'ien 'god of the water', which suggests varuNa".
    Przyluski hypothesizes a proto-indic root: bar; enlarged to bara (Sumerian) and baru (Austro-Asiatic), and by addition of the suffix -na, to get baruna, which is close to the Vedic varuNa. He also suggests that in certain austro-asiatic languages the initial undergoes complete reduction, e.g. Bahnar Ar, or. Delitzsch (Sumerisches Glossar, pp. 64-5) assigns the following semantic values to bar: (i) on the outside, outside; hence, bara = out, away; (ii) free space, desert (contrasted with human settlements); hence three derivatives in Sumerian: gu-bar-ra = free space, steppe, desert; ur-bar-ra = jackal; sgga-bar-ra = wild goat.
    Does this agreement between austro-asiatic and sumerian posit a palaeo-asiatic radical: bar?
    The austro-asiatic words cited by Przyluski are: baroh = low-lying country, sea-shore, sea (Malay); baruh = plain, flatland; baruk, barok = shore; bAruh = sea (dialects of Malay peninsula); Ar = marsh, swampy district; or = low-lying damp terrain near to watercourses (Bahnar); [cf. haor = delta marsh-land (Bengali); bahr = stretch of water(Gueze or classic Ethiopian); baraha = desert (Amharic)]; "Annamite has preserved the initial, but the final liquid has become i : *bar - bai = coast, shore, strand". [Could the final liquid also explain the equivalent Tamil word: neytal?]
    Arabic word bahr = sea, large river (Nile is called bahr by the natives). "The Noldeke (Neue Beitrage zur semitischen sprachwissenschaft, 1910, p.93) gives as the primary sense 'depression' (rather than 'surface'; cf. aequor); whence (1) sea, (2) land, low-lying land etc. A feminine form bahret has the sense of 'pool', 'basin', 'fish-pond', and also 'land', 'country-side'. Between bharu, maru, and bahr we have, therefore, in addition to the phonetic similarity, a quite curious accord in a double meaning, 'sea', 'low-lying land' or the like. Should not the word bahr, which does not belong to the Semitic in general, have the same origin as Sanskrit and Pali bharu?" (Father Paul Jouon cited in Przyluski, op cit.)
    Mujavat is a region close to the Sarasvati river, possibly in Rajasthan. This is the place from which the soma is brought by sellers to be sold to the Rgvedic artisans performing the soma yajna. (Elsewhere, it has been argued that soma was electrum (silver-gold compound or quartz containing pyrite ores mixed with gold/silver; cf. the author's Indian Alchemy, Soma in the Veda (in press). From N.N. Bhattacharyya, The Geographical Dictionary -- Ancient and Early Medieval India, 1991, Munshiram, provides the following explanation for Mujavant, Mujavat : A people that took their name from Mujavant, a mountain in the Himalayas. they are mentioned along with the Mahavrsas, Gandhaaris and Baalhikas in AV V.22.5-14. They are also mentioned in Taitt. Sam. I.8.62; Kaathaka Sam.IX.7, XXXVI.14; Mait. Sam. .4.10.20; Vaaj. Sam. III.61; Sat. Br.II.6.2.17; Baudh. D.S. II.5 The following references in Macdonell and Keith, Vedic Index, 1958, Motilal are apposite: MUjavant is the name of a people who, along with the mahAvRshas, the gandhAris, and the balhikas, are mentioned in the Atharvaveda (v.22, cf. baudhAyana Srauta sUtra, ii.5) as dwelling far away, and to whom fever is to be banished. Similarly in the yajurveda saMhitAs (TaittirIya S, i.8,6,2;Kathaka S, ix.7; xxxvi.14; maitrAyaNI s, i.4,10.20; vAjasneyi s, iii.61; Satapatha b, ii.6,2,17) the mUjavants are chosen as a type of distant folk, beyond which rudra with his bow is entreated to depart. In the Rgveda (x.34,1) soma is described as maujavata, 'coming from the mUjavants,' or, as yAska (Nirukta, ix.8) takes it, 'from mount mUjavant.' The Indian commentators (mahIdhara on vAjasneyi s, loc.cit.; sAyaNa on RV. i.161,8; baudhAyana Srauta sUtra and prayoga, cited by Hillebrandt, vedische mythologie, 1,63) agree with yAska in taking mUjavant as the name of a mountain, and though Hillebrandt (op.cit., 1,65) is justified in saying that the identification of mUjavant by Zimmer (Altindisches leben, 29) with one of the lower hills on the south-west of kashmIr lacks evidence, it is not reason able to deny that mUjavant was a hill from which the people took their name. yAska (loc. cit. cf. siddhAnta kaumudI on pANini, iv.4,110, where instead of maujavata in RV x.34, maunjavata is read) suggests that mUjavant is equivalent to munjavant, which actually occurs later, in the epic (mahAbhArata, x.785; xiv,180) as the name of a mountain in the himAlaya.
    In the Iranian tradition, haoma is reportedly obtained from haraqaiti (which is cognate with sarasvati).
    Would it be reasonable to search for names of mountains proximate to the banks of the sarasvati river, i.e. south of the sutlej, or not too far from gandhAra?
    If so, could it be a mountain in the khetri copper belt in Rajasthan?
    A series of articles and counters had appeared in the Journal of the Economic and social history of the Orient, Vol.XXI, Pt.II, Elizabeth C.L. During Caspers and A.Govindankutty countering R.Thapar's dravidian hypothesis for the locations of Meluhha, Dilmun and Makan; Thapar's A Possible identification of Meluhha, Dilmun, and Makan appeared in the journal Vol. XVIII, Part I locating these on India's west coast. Bh. Krishnamurthy defended Thapar on linguistic grounds in Vol. XXVI, Pt. II: *mel-u-kku =3D highland, west; *teLmaN (=3D pure earth) ~ dilmun; *makant =3D male child (Skt. vIra =3D male offspring. Have there been any further explorations on these lines to locate Meluhha?
    K. Karttunen (1989). India in Early Greek Literature. Helsinki, Finnish Oriental Society. Studia Orientalia. Vol. 65. 293 pages. ISBN 951-9380-10-8, pp. 11ff et passim.
    Asko Parpola (1975a). Isolation and tentative interpretation of a toponym in the Harappan inscriptions. Le dechiffrement des ecritures et des langues. Colloque du XXXIXe congres des orientalistes, Paris Juillet 1973. Paris, Le dechiffrement des ecritures et des langues. Colloque du XXXIXe congres des orientalistes, Paris Juillet 1973. 121-143 and Asko Parpola (1975b). "India's Name in Early Foreign Sources." Sri Venkateswara University Oriental Journal, Tirupati, 18: 9-19.

    About the author

    My education was in India and the Philippines. I got my Ph.D. in Public Admn. from the University of the Philippines. Early education was in Andhra Pradesh and Annamalai University in Telugu, Hindi and Tamil media. I also studied Sanskrit as second language.
    I have just retired five years ahead of time, from Asst. Controllership in the Asian Development Bank after serving for 17 years. I want to devote the rest of my life to indology studies.
    I have contributed on Indian Alchemy to the late Prof. Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya's History of Science and Technology in Ancient India and also articles on Indus Script, language and civilization to journals. I have published a novel: Dream Children; and Public Administration in Asia, a comparative study of Dev. admn. in six asian countries.
    My subject areas of interest are:
    1) Soma in the Rigveda; my book: Indian Alchemy: Soma in the Veda is in press.
    2) Indus_Sarasvati civilization, language, and script; comparative lexemes of South asian languages (A New York Publisher is bringing out a 2500 page comparative,etymological dictionary of mine of 25+ south asian languages on a CD-ROM; this sets up a paradigm of south asian lingua franca; this work proves the semantic unity of south asian lingua franca and that 'semantically' Dravidian and Indo-Aryan (also Vedic) and Munda Etymological dictionaries can be combined into one dictionary);
    3) Development of computing in south asian languages (a CD-ROM with 1500+ fonts has been published.);  
    4) Philogeny in neurosciences.

    I shall be grateful to receive critical comments: Dr. S. Kalyanaraman

    0 0

    I submit that Vedic Civilization continuum links the Sarasvati Civilization and the so-called 'Reurbanization' phenomenon in Ganga-Yamuna-Brahmaputra river basins of 2nd m. BCE associated with the Ochre Coloured Ware, Black and Red Ware and Northern Polished Blackware cultures. On the same argument, the discovery of ironworking in Ganga River Basin in 2nd millennium BCE should be treated as a Sarasvati Civilization discovery, given the locus of Rakhigarhi, the capital of the Civilization, situated as port town  handling trade cargos arriving by or transported on both navigable waterways of Drishadvati River (tributary of River Sarasvati) and Yamuna River. Thus, it is posited that Rakhigarhi constituted the key hub in the Ancient Tin Route along the navigable waterways of Himalayan rivers (Mekong, Irrawaddy, Salween, Karatoya, Brahmaputra, Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Persian Gulf, Tigris-Euphrates, Mediterranean Sea) transporting tin ore from Ancient Far East to the Ancient Near East from Hanoi to Haifa; thus, complementing the Indian Ocean Maritime Route from Straits of Malacca through Straits of Hormuz.
    Image result for rakhigarhi yamuna drishadvati
    Image result for rakhigarhi yamuna drishadvati
    I make this submission principally based on the fact that the anthropomorphs often associated with Copperhoard cultures of Ganga-Yamuna doab are a continuum from the anthropomorphs of Sarasvati Civilization, as demonstrated by Paul Yule. See: Anthropomorphs of 3rd millennium BCE have been found in Lothal and also in Persian Gulf sites. The link of anthropomorphs as professional calling cards of metalworkers is amply demonstrated by the anthropomorph reported by Sanjay Manjul showing a one-horned bull as a hieroglyph on the chest of the copper object with bent horns of a ram, head of a boar and spread legs which are Indus Script hypertexts: 
    miṇḍāl 'markhor' (Tōrwālī) meḍho a ram, a sheep (Gujarati)(CDIAL 10120) Rebus: mẽṛhẽt,meḍ 'iron' (Mu.Ho.)
    कर्णक kárṇaka, kannā 'legs spread', rebus: कर्णिक karṇika कर्णिक 'steersman'

    baḍhia = a castrated boar, a hog; rebus: baḍhi 'a caste who work both in iron and wood' .konda 'young bull, aurochs indicus' rebus: kundaṇa'pure gold';  kõdā'kiln, furnace', 'to turn in a lathe' (B.) कोंद kōnda. 'engraver, lapidary setting or infixing gems' (Marathi) कोंडण [kōṇḍaṇa] f A fold or pen.

    This continuum of Indus Script Cipher of hypertexting is a firm indicator of the continuum of cultures of Sarasvati Civilization and the Copperhoard cultures, including the so-called BRW, NBPW, OCP cultures distinguished by pottery types, in archaeologist classifications.

    I submit that the essential cultural continuum of working with metals and creating/documenting wealth accounting ledgers is firmly seen in the Sarasvati-Sindhu river basins, in the Persian Gulf and also in the Ganga-Yamuna doab sites from 2nd millennium BCE with particular reference to iron workings.

    "The Ochre Coloured Pottery culture (OCP) is a 2nd millennium BC Bronze Ageculture of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, extending from eastern Punjab to northeastern Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh. It is considered a candidate for association with the early Indo-Aryan or Vedic culture...The pottery had a red slip but gave off an ochre color on the fingers of archaeologists who excavated it, hence the name. It was sometimes decorated with black painted bands and incised patterns. It is often found in association with copper hoards, which are assemblages of copper weapons and other artifacts such as anthropomorphic figures. OCP culture was rural and agricultural, characterized by cultivation of rice, barley, and legumes, and domestication of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, and dogs. Most sites were small villages in size, but densely distributed. Houses were typically made of wattle-and-daub. Other artifacts include animal and human figurines, and ornaments made of copper and terracotta.
    "The black and red ware culture (BRW) is a late Bronze Age and early Iron Agearchaeological culture of the northern and central Indian subcontinent, associated with the Vedic civilization.
    Black and Red Ware, Sonkh, Uttar PradeshGovernment Museum, Mathura.
    In the Western Ganges plain (western Uttar Pradesh) it is dated to c. 1450-1200 BCE, and is succeeded by the Painted Grey Ware culture; whereas in the Central and Eastern Ganges plain (eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Bengal) and Central India (Madhya Pradesh) the BRW appears during the same period but continues for longer, until c. 700-500 BCE, when it is succeeded by the Northern Black Polished Ware culture.
    Use of iron, although sparse at first, is relatively early, postdating the beginning of the Iron Age in Anatolia (Hittites) by only two or three centuries, and predating the European (Celts) Iron Age by another two to three hundred years. Recent findings in Northern India show Iron working in the 1800-1000 BCE period.[5] According to Shaffer, the "nature and context of the iron objects involved [of the BRW culture] are very different from early iron objects found in Southwest Asia."( Shaffer 1989, cited in Chakrabarti 1992:171)
    "The Northern Black Polished Ware culture (abbreviated NBPW or NBP) is an urban Iron Age culture of the Indian Subcontinent, lasting c. 700–200 BCE, succeeding the Painted Grey Ware culture and Black and red ware culture. It developed beginning around 700 BC, in the late Vedic period, and peaked from c. 500–300 BC, coinciding with the emergence of 16 great states or mahajanapadas in Northern India, and the subsequent rise of the Mauryan Empire."
    Map of some NBPW sites. "The diagnostic artifact and namesake of this culture is the Northern Black Polished Ware, a luxury style of burnished pottery used by elites. This period is associated with the emergence of South Asia's first large cities since the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization; this re-urbanization was accompanied by massive embankments and fortifications, significant population growth, increased social stratification, wide-ranging trade networks, specialized craft industries (e.g., carving of ivory, conch shells, and semi-precious stones), a system of weights, punch-marked coins, and writing (in the form of Brahmi and Kharosthiscripts, including inscribed stamp seals)...

    Fragment of Northern Black Polished Ware, 500-100 BCE, Sonkh, Uttar PradeshGovernment Museum, Mathura
    The diagnostic artifact and namesake of this culture is the Northern Black Polished Ware, a luxury style of burnished pottery used by elites. This period is associated with the emergence of South Asia's first large cities since the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization; this re-urbanization was accompanied by massive embankments and fortifications, significant population growth, increased social stratification, wide-ranging trade networks, specialized craft industries (e.g., carving of ivory, conch shells, and semi-precious stones), a system of weights, punch-marked coins, and writing (in the form of Brahmi and Kharosthiscripts, including inscribed stamp seals).[1]
    Scholars have noted similarities between NBP and the much earlier Harappan cultures, among them the ivory dice and combs and a similar system of weights. Other similarities include the utilization of mud, baked bricks and stone in architecture, the construction of large units of public architecture, the systematic development of hydraulic features and a similar craft industry."
    Fragment of Northern Black Polished Ware, 500-100 BCE, Sonkh, Uttar PradeshGovernment Museum, Mathura (Shaffer, Jim. 1993, "Reurbanization: The eastern Punjab and beyond." In Urban Form and Meaning in South Asia: The Shaping of Cities from Prehistoric to Precolonial Times, ed. H. Spodek and D.M. Srinivasan.)
    "Some notable NBPW sites, associated with the mahajanapadas, are as follows:
    Other sites where Northern Black Polished Ware have been found are MahasthangarhChandraketugarhWari-BateshwarBangarh and Mangalkot (all in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India)."
    Image result for ironworking tiwari ganga basin

    The origins of Iron-working in India

    New evidence from the Central Ganga Plain and the Eastern Vindhyas

    By Rakesh Tewari

    [Director, U.P. State Archaeological Department, Roshan-ud-daula Kothi,
    Kaisarbagh, Lucknow 226 001 (U.P.) India (Email:]

    Recent excavations in Uttar Pradesh have turned up iron artefacts, furnaces, tuyeres and slag in layers radiocarbon dated between c. BCE 1800 and 1000. This raises again the question of whether iron working was brought in to India during supposed immigrations of the second millennium BCE, or developed independently.

    The date and origin of the introduction of iron artefacts and iron working into India has remained a much debated research problem, not unconnected with the equally debatable question of its association with the supposed arrival, in the second millennium BCE, of immigrants from the west, as often suggested on the basis of the Rigveda. Around the middle of the last century, iron-working origins in India were dated to c. 700-600 BCE (Gordon 1950; Wheeler 1959). Subsequently, a combination of an association with Painted Grey Ware (PGW) and the advent of radiocarbon dating began to push this date back towards the second millennium BCE, a period which had in fact favoured by some scholars earlier in the early twentieth century (Chakrabarti 1992: 10-12).
    Considering the radiocarbon dates for the iron bearing deposits at Ataranjikhera in Uttar Pradesh (Table 1) and Hallur in Karnataka, and stratigraphic position of iron in the lower levels mainly at Kausambi near Allahabad, Jakhera in district Etah in the Ganga Valley, and Nagda and Eran in central India, dates around 1000 BCE were suggested (Subramanyam 1964; Banarjee 1965; Chakrabarti 1974; Nagarajarao 1974). At the same time Chakrabarti (1974: 354) challenged the view of a western origin, stating “there is no logical basis to connect the beginning of iron in India with any diffusion from the west, from Iran and beyond”, and further (1976: 122) “that India was a separate and possibly independent centre of manufacture of early iron.”
    Since then there has been fresh evidence for even earlier iron-working in India. Technical studies on materials dated c. 1000 BCE at Komaranhalli (Karnataka) showed that the smiths of this site could deal with large artefacts, implying that they had already been experimenting for centuries (Agrawal et al. 1985: 228-29). Sahi (1979: 366) drew attention to the presence of iron in Chalcolithic deposits at Ahar, and suggested that “the date of the beginning of iron smelting in India may well be placed as early as the sixteenth century BCE” and “by about the early decade of thirteenth century BCE iron smelting was definitely known in India on a bigger scale”. On the basis of four radiocarbon measurements, ranging between 3790 + 110 BP and 3570 + 100 BP, available for the Megalithic period (without iron) Sharma (1992: 64, 67) has proposed a range of 1550-1300 BCE (uncalibrated) for the subsequent iron bearing period at Gufkral (Jammu & Kashmir).
    On the basis of this evidence a date of around 1300/1200 BCE has been suggested for the beginning of iron in India and c. 800 BCE for the mid Ganga Valley (Allchin & Allchin 1982: 345; Prakash & Tripathi 1986: 568; Gaur 1997: 240). Chakrabarti (1992: 68, 164; 1999: 333) has observed that at Ahar it would be the first quarter of the second millennium BCE and in Malwa soon after the middle of the second millennium BCE. However, the early dates for iron at Ahar are refuted on the grounds of uncertain stratigraphy (Gaur 1997: 244). As far as Komaranhalli is concerned, it is stated that the TL dates have large errors and hence uncertain (Agrawala 2000: 197, 200).
    Table 1. Dates* for early iron-use from Indian sites

    * These dates are calibrated by Dr B. Sekar, BSIP, Lucknow. References for datasets used: Stuiver, et al. 1998a. 537

    More recently, early contexts containing iron at Jhusi, located on the confluence of the Ganga and Yamuna in district Allahabad, have been dated to 1107-844 cal BCE (Tewari et al. 2000: 93). Komaranhalli (Karnataka) has given TL dates in the twelfth – fifteenth century BCE, while the radiocarbon dates for early Iron Age sites of Veerapuram and Ramapuram (Andhra Pradesh) are sixteenth – eleventh century cal BCE (Table 1) (Deo 1991: 193; Moorti 1994: 122-23) while in Vidarbha region (Maharastra), contexts containing iron have given radiocarbon dates between the fourteenth and tenth centuries cal BCE (Table 1).
    Recent Findings in Uttar Pradesh
    This paper briefly reports the results of some recent excavations conducted by the Uttar Pradesh State Archaeological Department under the leadership of the present author and their implications for understanding the beginning of iron-working in the Central Ganga Plain and the adjacent part of the Vindhyas.
    Map showing locations of the Early Iron Age sites in the Central Ganga Plain, the Eastern Vindhyas, and different regions of India.
    pottery shardsPainted black-and-red ware shards, from early iron bearing deposits of Period II, Raja Nala-ka-tila, Dist. Sonbhadra.
    This has further implications in defining the beginning of iron in the subcontinent as a whole. The excavated sites are Raja Nala-ka-tila (199698), Malhar (1998-99), Dadupur (1999-2001) and Lahuradewa or Lohradewa (2001-2002) (Figure 1) Raja Nala-ka-tila (Lat. 24°41’ 55” N.; Log. 83°19’ E.) is located in the upper reaches of the Karamnasa within its loop like meander in district Sonbhadra. The excavations revealed a sequence which has been divided into four periods (Tewari & Research Srivastava 1997; 1998).
    iron artifacts Iron artefacts, from the lower and middle levels of Period II, Raja Nala-ka-tila, Dist. Sonbhadra.
    In Period I, no metal was fund and is stratigraphically continuous into Period II. Period III is characterised by the presence of Northern Black Polished Ware (NBPW). Period IV is defined as a Gupta/ post Gupta phase. Iron was found in pre-NBPW deposits (1.5 to 2.00m thick) of Period II in association of the pottery hitherto supposed to be the characteristics of the Chalcolithic period, placed between early to late second millennium BCE, in the area concerned.
    The main associated ceramic industries were plain and painted black-and-red black slipped and red wares, in forms which included footed bowl, legged bowl with perforated base, pedestal bowl and button-based goblet. Some sherds also showed cord impressions. Evidence for iron-working included slag and iron artefacts such as a nail, arrowhead, knife and a chisel Radiocarbon dates for the iron bearing deposits range between 1400 and 800 cal BCE.

    Table 2. New 14C dates for early iron-use from the Ganga Plain and the Eastern Vindhyas


    * These dates are calibrated by Dr B. Sekar, BSIP, Lucknow. References for datasets used: Stuiver, et al. 1998a.

    Since the date for the introduction of iron in the middle and lower Ganga Valley was being considered as c. 800 BCE (above), its appearance in c. 1400/1300 cal BCE at Raja Nala-ka-tila posed new questions. Realising that this should not be the only site with such early evidence and that there should be examples of experimental iron-smelting which were earlier still, we started a new search. These efforts were rewarded in locating a potential site near a village called Malhar.
    iron artefacts Iron artefacts, from the lower and middle levels of Period II, Malhar, Dist. Chandauli.
    Malhar (district Chandauli; Lat. 24°59’ 16” N.; Long. 83°15’ 46” E.) is on the bank of the Karamnasa which at this point flows through a rocky, haematite-rich terrain before joining the Ganga near Banaras. The excavations carried out at this site also revealed a sequence of four periods: defined as Period I: Pre Iron; Period II: Early Iron; Period III: NBPW; Period IV: BCE 200 to 300 AD (Tewari et al. 2000: 69-98). There is no stratigraphic interval between the layers of Period I and Period II. Iron is present in all the layers of Period II,and identified finds include a nail, clamp, spear-head, arrow-head, awl, knife, bangle, sickle and plough share. As well as iron slag, there were tuyeres and several elongated clay structures, with a burnt internal surface. The ceramic industries of this period are represented by mainly red, black-and-red, black slipped, and grey wares. Red ware and black-and-red ware sherds bearing cord impressions on their exterior were found in greater number in the lower levels. The presence of the coarse variety of corded potsherds implies that the iron appeared earlier here than in Period II at Raja Nala-ka-tila. This assumption was endorsed by two radiocarbon dates ranging around 1800 cal. BCE (Table 2).
    Naugarh kot iron
    Important cultural components of the early iron Naugarh kot suggest that large-scale iron bearing deposits, showing corded ware sherds, iron artefact, slag, smelting activities continued at these sites tuyere, stone and bone artefacts, painted and incised potsherds, for a long time. stone and terracotta beads. Period II, Malhar, Dist. Chandauli.
    The area around Malhar may have been something of a centre of iron production. A small mound, of a kind known locally as lohsan or lohsanwa, about 500m south to the main site of Malhar, which looks like a heap of iron slag, on excavation revealed two damaged clay furnaces, one of them is illustrated here as Figure 6, filled with iron slag along with a few sherds of the red, grey, and black slipped wares, an axe, and tuyeres. Survey revealed several lohsanwa sites near Musakhand village, the site known as Phakkada Baba located within the Musakhand dam, to the north-west of Malhar, on Baba Wali Pahari (Tewari et al. 2000) and near Naugarh kot (Singh et al. 2000: 143). Plans of damaged clay furnaces within heaps of iron slag along with tuyeres stuck with smelted iron, and potsherds of the grey, black slipped, NBP and red wares were found at these sites. The pottery assemblage at Phakkada Baba also included examples of dish or bowl-on-stand and other forms, comparable to those from Malhar Period II, in red ware, and black-and-red ware. This extraordinary concentration of iron-slag heaps on Baba Wali Pahari and Naugarh kot suggests that large-scale iron smelting continued at these sites for a long time.
    excavation Damaged circular clay furnace, comprising iron slag and tuyeres and other waste materials stuck with its body, exposed at lohsanwa mound, Period II, Malhar, Dist. Chandauli.
    As discussed elsewhere (Tewari et al. 2000) the sites at Malhar, the Baba Wali Pahari, and the Valley are archaeologically linked to the area of Geruwatwa Pahar which appears to have been a major source of iron ore. The Geruwatwa Pahar situated to the southeast of the Baba Wali Pahari, is full of hematite. Villagers reported (as a tradition passed down from several generations), that the agarias (a particular tribe known for their iron smelting skills) from Robertsganj side, used to come in this area to procure iron by smelting the hematite. Probably hematite was being primarily smelted at the Baba Wali Pahari and carried over to the valley sites (situated at a distance of about 6-8 km) for secondary smelting. The presence of tuyeres, slags, finished iron artefacts, above-mentioned clay structures with burnt internal surfaces and arms, revealed at Malhar, suggest a large scale activity related to manufacture of iron tools. It appears that smelted iron was being carried to this site to manufacture the artefacts and the clay structures were used as the furnaces for forging purposes. Thus this part of the Karamnasa Valley would have been a regional centre for iron production and the Malhar a workshop-site for the manufacturing of the iron artefacts.
    iron arrowhead Highly corroded iron arrowhead, Period I, Dadupur, Dist. Lucknow.
    Dadupur (26°42’ N: 80°49’ E) is in the valley of the Sai, a minor Gangatributary near Lucknow. It is the earliest dated site (Tewari et al. 2002:111) between the Gomati and the Sai rivers. The excavations at this site have revealed a sequence divided into three periods. The cultural material of Period-I consists of iron artefacts such as the arrowheadm shown in Figure 7. Red ware dominates the pottery assemblage of this period, while the black-and-red ware is nominally represented. Three radiocarbon dates lie between the eighteenth and sixteenth centuries BCE (Table 2). Period II and III are characterised respectively by the presence of Painted Grey Ware (PGW) and NBP ware.
    Lahuradewa (district Sant Kabir Nagar; 26°46’ N; 82°-57’E) is in the trans-Sarayu plain, the Sarayu being a major tributary of the Ganga. The excavations have revealed new information regarding the early farming cultures of the Sarayupar region, including evidence for the domestication of rice (Oryza sativa) in Period I, radiocarbon dated to c. sixth and fifth millennium BCE. Associated ceramics include mostly plain and corded, hand made red, and black-and-red, besides, some grey, and black ware sherds. Period II is marked by the appearance of copper. Pottery of the preceding period continued and a new type of pottery, i.e. black slipped ware is added, and the forms include pedestal bowl, and dish or bowl-on-stand. Iron artefacts appear in Period III in the form of corroded nails and other objects. Other components of the assemblage, however, are the same as in Period II. A radiocarbon date obtained for this level was thirteenth – twelfth century BCE (Tewari et al. 2002a: 57) (Table 2).
    As per K.S. Saraswat’s observations (pers.comm.), the carbonised material dated from the sites mentioned above included the branches of some trees, such as Acacia sp., Madhuca indica, Dalbergia sissoo, Treura nudiflora, Boswellia serrata, Aegle marmelos, Syzygium sp., Tectona grandis, Butea monosperma, Logerstroemia sp., Bambusaa sp., etc., and the shrubs like Zixiphus sp., Capparis saparia, Carissa opaca. The above species are in mixed content, with the carbonised remains of leaves, stems and seeds of a number of seasonal herbs and grasses. These tropical vegetations referred to above have generally 60-70 yrs of average life span in case of trees and the shrubs and herbs survive hardly from two to three months to the maximum period of a year or two.
    There are other observations on the assemblages from these four sites which might be significant. Copper has been found in a lesser proportion in comparison to iron; presence of burnt clay chunks bearing reed and straw marks and postholes are indicative of wattle and daub houses and thatched huts; associated finds include mainly bone arrowheads, terracotta, stone and steatite (?) beads; some storage bins are dug into the surface and bases of the large earthen storage vessels are represented at Lahuradeawa and Raja Nala-ka-tila; a large quantity of faunal and carbonised archaeo-botanical remains have been recovered at all the sites. As a whole the assemblage is suggestive of well equipped and permanent settlements.
    These results indicate that iron using and iron working was prevalent in the Central Ganga Plain and the Eastern Vindhyas from the early second millennium BCE. The dates obtained so far group into three: three dates between c. 1200-900 cal BCE, three between c. 1400-1200 cal BCE, and five between c. 1800-1500 cal BCE. The types and shapes of the associated pottery are comparable to those to be generally considered as the characteristics of the Chalcolithic Period and placed in early to late second millennium BCE. Taking all this evidence together it may be concluded that knowledge of iron smelting and manufacturing of iron artefacts was well known in the Eastern Vindhyas and iron had been in use in the Central Ganga Plain, at least from the early second millennium BCE. The quantity and types of iron artefacts, and the level of technical advancement indicate that the introduction of iron working took place even earlier. The beginning of the use of iron has been traditionally associated with the eastward migration of the later Vedic people, who are also considered as an agency which revolutionised material culture particularly in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar (Sharma 1983: 117-131). The new finds and their dates suggest that a fresh review is needed. Further, the evidence corroborates the early use of iron in other areas of the country, and attests that India was indeed an independent centre for the development of the working of iron.
    I am thankful to Dr Rajagopalan and Dr B.Sekar, Birbal Sahni Institute for Palaeobotany, Lucknow for the determination of 14C dates, to Dr Sekar for the calibration of most of the 14C dates, to Dr KS. Saraswat – a renowned archaeobotanist of the same institution – for the observations regarding the material radiocarbon dated, to Dr P.C. Pant and the Editor, Antiquity for the input to improve the manuscript and to Shri Ram Gopal Mishra and Shri Manmohan Dimri for the figures which illustrate this paper.
    AGARWAL, D.P. 2000. Ancient Metal Technology and Archaeology of South Asia. New Delhi: Aryan Books International.
    AGRAWAL, D.P., S. KUSUMGAR & R.P. SARNA 1964. Radiocarbon dates of Archaeological samples, Current Science 33: 266-69.
    AGRAWAL, O.P., H. NARAIN AND G.P. JOSHI 1985. Iron Objects from South Indian Megaliths (Karnataka)
    – A Technological Study and Significance, in Sundara, A. (ed.), Archaeology in Karnataka: 219– 234. Mysore: Directorate of Archaeology & Museums.
    ALLCHIN, BRIDGET & RAYMOND 1982. The Rise of Civilization in India and Pakistan. Cambridge.
    BANARJEE, N. R. 1965. The Iron Age in India. Delhi.
    CHAKRABARTI, D.K. 1974. Beginning of Iron in India: Problem Reconsidered, in A.K. Ghosh (ed.), Perspectives in Palaeoanthropology: 345-356. Calcutta: Firma K.L. Mukhopadhyay.
    –1976. The beginning of iron in India. Antiquity 4: 114-124.
    –1992. The Early Use of Iron in India. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
    –1999. India An Archaeological History. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
    DEO, S.B. 1991. New Discoveries of Iron Age in India, in C. Margbandhu, K.S. Ramachandran, A.P. Sagar & D.K. Sinha (eds.), Indian Archaeological Heritage I: 189-97. New Delhi: Agam Kala Prakashan.
    GAUR, R.C. 1997. Studies in Indian Archaeology and Ancient India I. Jaipur: Publication Scheme, pp. 238-250.
    GORDON, D.H. 1950. The Early Use of Metals in India and Pakistan, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 55-78.
    MOORTI, U.S. 1994. Megalithic Culture of South India: Socio-Economic Perspectives, Varanasi, Ganga Kaveri Publishing House.
    NAGARAJARAO, M.S. 1974. Iron Age in South India: Fresh Evidence on Chronology, in A.K. Ghosh (ed.), Perspective in Palaeoanthropology: 357-62. Calcutta: Firma K.L. Mukhopadhyay.
    POSSEHL, G.L. & P.C. RISSMAN 1992. The Chronology of Prehistoric India: From Earliest Times to the Iron Age, in R.W. Ehrich (ed.) Chronologies in Old World Archaeology, Vol. I: 465-490; Vol. II: 447-474.Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
    PRAKASH, B. & V. TRIPATHI 1986. Iron technology in ancient India, Historical Metallurgy: 568-579.
    SAHI, M.D.N. 1979. Iron at Ahar, in D.P. Agrawal &
    D.K. Chakrabarti (eds.). Essays in Indian
    Protohistory. Delhi: pp. 365-68.
    SHARMA, A.K. 1992. Early Iron Users of Gufkral, in Nayak B.U. & N.C. Ghosh (eds.), New Trends in Indian Art and Archaeology I: 63-68. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
    SHARMA, R.S. 1983. Material Culture and Social Formations in Ancient India. Delhi: Macmillan.
    SINGH, P., R. TEWARI & R. N. SINGH 2000. Explorations in Chandauli District (U.P.) 19992000: A Preliminary Report, Pragdhara 10: 135148.
    SUBRAMANYAM, B.R. 1964. Appearance and Spread of Iron in India – An Appraisal of Archaeological Data, Journal of the Oriental institute, Baroda 13: 349-59.
    TEWARI, R., & R. K. SRIVASTAVA 1997. Excavations at Raja Nala-ka-tila (1995-96), District Sonbhadra (U.P.): Preliminary observations, Pragdhara 7: 77
    –1998. Excavations at Raja Nala-ka-tila (1996-97) District Sonbhadra (U.P.): Preliminary Observations, Pragdhara 8: 99-105.
    TEWARI, R., R.K. SRIVASTAVA, K.S. SARASWAT & K.K. SINGH 2000. Excavations at Malhar, District Chandauli (U.P.) 1999: A Preliminary Report, Pragdhara 10: 69-98.
    TEWARI, R., R.K. SRIVASTAVA, & K.K. SINGH 2002. Dadupur Excavations 1999-2000-2001, District Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh: A Preliminary Report, Pragdhara 12: 99-116.
    TEWARI, R., R.K. SRIVASTAVA, & K.K. SINGH 2002a. Excavation at Lahuradewa, District Sant Kabir Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, Puratattva 32: 54-62.
    WHEELER, R.E.M. 1959. Early India and Pakistan. London. 

    0 0

    China’s Empire of Money Is Reshaping Global Trade

    Xi Jinping’s new “Belt and Road” initiative is designed to promote economic development and extend China’s influence. Bloomberg Markets reports on the massive project’s impact along the Silk Road.
    Bloomberg News
    China is building a very 21st century empire—one where trade and debt lead the way, not armadas and boots on the ground. If President Xi Jinping’s ambitions become a reality, Beijing will cement its position at the center of a new world economic order spanning more than half the globe. Already, China has extended its influence far beyond that of the Tang Dynasty’s golden age more than a millennium ago.
    The most tangible manifestation of Xi’s designs is the new Silk Road he first proposed in 2013. The enterprise morphed into the “Belt and Road” initiative, a mix of foreign policy, economic strategy, and charm offensive that, nurtured by a torrent of Chinese money, is rebalancing global political and economic alliances.
    Illustration: Bryan Christie Design for Bloomberg Markets; Sources: Hong Kong Trade Development Council, China's National Development and Reform Commission
    Xi calls the grand initiative “a road for peace.” Other world powers such as Japan and the U.S. remain skeptical about its stated aims and even more worried about unspoken ones, especially those hinting at military expansion. To assess the reality of Belt and Road from the ground up, Bloomberg Markets deployed a team of reporters to five cities on three continents at the forefront of China’s grand plan.
    What emerges is a picture of mostly poor nations—laggards during the past half-century of global growth—that jumped at the promise of Chinese-financed projects they hoped would help them catch up. And yet as some high-profile ones falter and the cost of their Chinese funding rises, would-be beneficiaries from Hambantota, Sri Lanka, to Piraeus, Greece, are questioning the long-term price. In Malaysia, one of the biggest recipients of Chinese investment in Southeast Asia, newly installed Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is pushing back. Expressing concerns about loan conditions and the use of Chinese labor that limit benefits to the local economy, he’s put billions of dollars of Chinese-­funded rail and pipeline projects on hold.
    Xi intends a century-long enterprise. China has already outspent the post-World War II U.S. Marshall Plan, measured in today’s dollars. Within a decade, according to Morgan Stanley estimates, China and its local partners will spend as much as $1.3 trillion on railways, roads, ports, and power grids. “Economic clout is diplomacy by other means,” says Nadège Rolland, Washington-based senior fellow for political and security affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research. “It’s not for today. It’s for mid-21st century China.”
    Belt and Road is very much about politics at home, too. With the government and state-owned enterprises investing vast sums outside China, Xi is encouraging Chinese companies to channel their spending into domestic projects that will directly benefit the economy and, incidentally, the popularity of his regime.
    Businesses aren’t exactly defying Xi, but they’ve adjusted their plans to fit his. With the Belt and Road project enshrined in the Communist Party’s constitution as of last year, Chinese companies are using it to help them navigate Xi’s restrictions on foreign investment and capital outflows. Many are sheltering their overseas projects under the umbrella of Xi’s pet project to get the state’s blessing. Belt and Road, says Michael Every, head of financial markets research for Rabobank Group in Hong Kong, is “a political special sauce. ... If you drizzle it on anything, it tastes better.”
    At first, the sauce whetted the appetites of many developing countries in Asia and Africa. As the notion of a modern Silk Road gained traction, Belt and Road meandered into places that had never had any connection with ancient caravans. This year it reached South America, the Caribbean, and even the Arctic. In June it rocketed into space: Beijing announced that Belt and Road-participating countries will be among the first in line to plug into China’s new satellite-navigation services.
    Most of the proposed plans are infrastructure-based, such as a new deep-sea port in Myanmar and power lines in the ­Maldives. But almost any overseas investment gets tagged as being part of the initiative: a freight train carrying Chinese sunflower seeds to Tehran, a new courthouse in Papua New Guinea, an irrigation system in the Philippines.
    The growing web of trade routes, including the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road Initiative, now extends into at least 76 countries, mostly developing nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, together with a handful of countries on the eastern edge of Europe. With most global trade moving by sea, it’s no surprise that many of the first places to lock up major Chinese investments were ports along with pipelines and other transport links that connect shipping to markets.

    China’s plans to build or rebuild dozens of seaports, especially around the Indian Ocean, have sounded alarm bells in Washington and New Delhi: How many of those docks will end up hosting Chinese warships? Just as mighty navies and global networks of military bases helped support trading empires for Britain in the 19th century and the U.S. in the 20th century, so China is building a fleet of submarines, aircraft carriers, and warships that will rival U.S. power.
    China has said it has no intention of using Belt and Road to exert undue political or military influence and that the initiative is designed only to enhance economic and cultural understanding between nations. “In pursuing the Belt and Road initiative,” Xi said in 2015, “we should focus on the fundamental issue of development, release the growth potential of various countries, and achieve economic integration.”
    If that’s the case, Xi will need to change the perceptions of people who live along the length and breadth of his latter-day Silk Road. And that can only happen in the towns and cities that are being transformed by China’s empire of money. —Adam Majendie, with Sheridan Prasso

    Yiwu, China

    Photographer: ImageChina/AP Photo
    Nestled in the mountains of Zhejiang province, Yiwu is the embodiment of “Made in China.” The market here is unlike any other. A vast complex of five-story buildings houses 75,000 booths selling 1.8 million kinds of goods across an expanse the size of 650 soccer fields. If you’ve picked up cheap jewelry and toys in District 1, you may need to hop onto a motorcycle taxi to reach auto parts in District 5. Most of those thousands upon thousands of stalls specialize in single items—scissors, for example: scores and scores of different kinds of scissors.
    An ancient market town about 180 miles southwest of Shanghai that’s grown into a city of 1.2 million people, Yiwu got a big boost from Belt and Road. People from Beirut to Seoul and beyond have come to start businesses. Some 13,000 traders from around the world now live here. More are arriving every day, says Mohanad Ali Moh’d Shalabi, a Jordanian businessman who owns the Beyti Turkish restaurant in the center of the city and a company that exports goods to the Middle East. “In my restaurant,” he says, “I have met people from countries I have never known of.”
    It wasn’t always like this. When Bloomberg reporters visited in early 2014, business was so slow that bored shopkeepers played computer games, read newspapers, or slumped over in their chairs, asleep.
    Janey Zhang, whose Zhejiang Xingbao Umbrella Co. employs about 200 workers, remembers the bad old days. In 2013 the vast, labyrinthine halls of Yiwu—a legacy of 1978, when it became one of Communist China’s first wholesale markets—were almost deserted. Wholesalers and producers struggled with soaring manufacturing costs and the rise of online marketplaces such as Alibaba.
    Then came a glimmer of hope. On social media and television, Zhang started seeing reports about a new freight train that would roll west for thousands of miles, crossing China into Central Asia and on into Europe. This was part of the Xi government’s “New Eurasian Land Bridge,” a seemingly endless skein of stacked container wagons replicating ancient Silk Road camel caravans. “The impact of the railway was huge,” Zhang says. “I remember seeing pictures of it piled high with cargo. After the service started, our sales and customers quickly increased.”
    The first Europe-bound train pulled out of here in November 2014, heading to Kazakhstan and Russia, then through Eastern Europe and on to Madrid—an 8,000-mile journey that supplanted the Trans-Siberian Railway as the world’s longest freight-train route. Since then, more routes have opened to destinations including London, Amsterdam, and Tehran.
    Zhang’s dream is for her Real Star brand to become the Hermès of umbrellas. Europe has long been her biggest market. Since the new freight trains came to Yiwu, she’s picked up customers all along the route, from Kazakhstan to Russia to Iran.
    Trains have cut the time to Europe by a third or more compared with ships. The return journeys bring European goods such as wine, olive oil, vitamin pills, and whiskey. China Railway Express Co. said the value of outbound freight from Yiwu in the first four months of 2018 jumped 79 percent from a year earlier, to 1.8 billion yuan ($268 million), while imports tripled to 470 million yuan.
    Even so, rail freight accounts for less than 1 percent of China’s overall exports. While it can shorten journey times to Europe, it’s more expensive than seaborne trade and slower and less flexible than air cargo. But for cities such as Yiwu, and especially for those in western China even farther away from seaports, the train that Xi built has injected new life into their economies. —Kevin Hamlin and Miao Han

    Hambantota, Sri Lanka

    Photographer: Atul Loke/Bloomberg
    In a southern Sri Lankan jungle, Dharmasena Hettiarchchi plucks green chile peppers that grow in the shade of banana trees. His grandfather tended the same patch of land when this island was the British colony of Ceylon. Hettiarchchi takes a break from the heat under a teak tree, removes his wide-brimmed hat, and says, “If a jeep with Chinese characters comes down the road, the whole village will gather in protest.”
    Hettiarchchi’s village and the surrounding town of ­Hambantota have become a cautionary tale for Xi’s Belt and Road aspirations. The idea was to take an inconsequential harbor visited by fewer than one ship a month on average and turn it into a modern, bustling seaport adorning a southern Belt and Road maritime route. It hasn’t turned out so well.
    After Sri Lanka elected Hambantota native Mahinda Rajapaksa as president in 2005, he began sprinkling development projects across the region, one of the least-developed parts of this nation of 21 million people. Even long before Belt and Road was officially embedded in Chinese government policy, Beijing was eager to lend a hand, and Chinese loans financed Rajapaksa’s munificence. Hambantota (population at the time 11,200) got a new port, an international conference center, a cricket stadium, and an airport that, despite all the staff on show, doesn’t service a single scheduled flight.
    To fund the projects here and others all across Sri Lanka, the Rajapaksa government fell deep into debt. The port at Hambantota, for example, was partly funded during the Rajapaksa administration by a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China. By the time Rajapaksa was voted out of office in 2015, more than 90 percent of Sri Lanka’s government revenue was going toward servicing debt.
    Last year, with Xi’s Belt and Road plan in full flow, a new Sri Lankan government moved to ease the debt. In return for $1.1 billion, it basically handed the seaport over to China. Under a 99-year lease agreement, the government gave 70 percent ownership of the port to China Merchants Group, a state-owned company with revenue bigger than Sri Lanka’s economy.
    China Merchants has promised to revive the port and turn it into a major regional trading hub. But some local people have had enough of promises. “All these huge projects are a waste,” says Sisira Kumara Wahalathanthri, a local politician who opposes the current Sri Lanka government. “No ships are coming to the port. No flights are coming to the airport.”
    After 30 years of civil war, many Sri Lankans are glad to see investment, any investment. At the port and in a surrounding industrial zone, construction work continues, presaging change. Displaced from their normal habitats, wild elephants regularly trample the port’s perimeter fence. At a nearby ancient Buddhist temple, head monk Beragama Wimala Buddhi Thero says he began attending protests because the area’s way of life is under threat. While his temple will be spared, the nearby farms won’t, leaving him and his fellow saffron-robed monks without worshipers.
    “It’s becoming a Chinese colony,” he says of Hambantota. In a darkened hall, reclining on a wooden throne decorated with elaborately carved lions and flowers, he complains that China has already despoiled its own rivers in the name of progress. “If that kind of pollution comes here,” he says, “it doesn’t matter if we’re developed.”
    The chile farmer Hettiarchchi is wary of the surveyors who’ve begun to appear in his neighborhood, making measurements and leaving their telltale markers behind. He says the plan is for him to be relocated to a part of eastern Sri Lanka to make way for development. It’s all happening so fast, and what ­Hettiarchchi could be losing can’t be replaced easily or quickly. Gesturing to the towering teak above him, the 52-year-old says, “A tree like this cannot grow within my lifetime.” —Iain Marlow, with Sheridan Prasso

    Gwadar, Pakistan

    Photographer: Asim Hafeez/Bloomberg
    Surrounded by desert in southwest Pakistan there’s a stone arch bearing a single name, Al-Noor. Farther along a desolate road, a black shipping container has been painted to tell you where you are: Gwadar Creek Arena.
    Al-Noor and Gwadar Creek are planned housing ­developments—emphasis on “planned.” There’s nothing here yet. The same goes for White Pearl City, Canadian City, Sun Silver City, and other residential tracts on the drawing boards. What you see are billboards, lots of them, as speculators and developers carve out future projects on the sun-blasted outskirts of an old fishing village named Gwadar.
    Gwadar is a city of dreams made in China. Beijing is pouring money into highways and roads, a hospital, a coal-fired power plant, a new airport, a special economic zone along the lines of Shenzhen, and, crucially, the port. The chain of events that led to Chinese involvement here fits a pattern repeated up and down Belt and Road routes: Local or national efforts to expand a port stumble; China comes in and saves the day.
    In the case of Gwadar, a redevelopment project begun in the 2000s under then-military ruler Pervez Musharraf foundered. In 2013 the Chinese arrived. A deep-water port here would be a natural southern terminus for a key binational project started that year, the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, as well as an important component of Belt and Road. To that end, Beijing is financing the lion’s share of the $1 billion in spending on the port and infrastructure development elsewhere in Gwadar.
    Gwadar, across the Arabian Sea from Oman, is so remote that its electricity comes from Iran, 60 miles down the coast. In recent years, the village has become a city of 100,000 or so. Although still mostly a gigantic building site flanked by highways and crisscrossed by roads, signs of change abound.
    Photographer: Asim Hafeez/Bloomberg
    Ghulam Hussain, 40, is a shopkeeper. Every month, he gets six to eight truckloads of rice, flour, sugar, and other groceries delivered to him from Karachi, an eight-hour drive to the east. Five years ago, three loads a month met his needs. “There was nothing in Gwadar before,” he says. “It was deserted. We were really backward. Since the Chinese came, our businesses are booming.”
    Even so, it’s hard to imagine Gwadar as the sea terminus of a road-and-rail trade link stretching 3,000 miles to eastern China. Most of the route would traverse some of the world’s most ­inhospitable—and economically barren—mountains and deserts.
    A rail line, says Andrew Small, a senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a Washington-­based public-policy think tank, “makes no economic sense in the foreseeable future. The economy of Pakistan and the economy of western China would need to look quite different.”
    Some say that military expansion is the real driver of the activity in and around Gwadar. “The Gwadar Port shows that there is a close link to the Chinese military ambitions,” U.S. ­Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) said during Foreign Affairs Committee hearings on U.S.-Pakistan relations in February.
    Zahid Ali, who used to run a small business topping up credit on mobile phones in Sindh province in eastern Pakistan, sees things very differently. Desperate to find a way to pay off 800,000 rupees ($6,300) in debts, he asked a client if there was any job in Pakistan that paid 50,000 rupees a month. Go to Gwadar, the customer replied.
    That’s what Ali did. He started as a laborer, learned steel work, and was soon earning 55,000 rupees a month. Now, having learned a little Chinese, he’s been promoted to supervisor. “We’re getting good money, so people are coming from far away,” he says during his work shift on the six-lane East Bay Expressway. “It’s good that the Chinese came here. A lot of people have gotten jobs who were jobless.”
    The Chinese who came here to work don’t mix much with the locals. Some of the 150 or so of them live in a guarded and gated compound where green shipping containers have been converted into living spaces.
    One of the first things a visitor to Gwadar notes is that there are more soldiers on the streets than police—an added precaution against the threat of terrorism across Pakistan. Security is tight because Chinese wouldn’t come otherwise, says a Pakistani army officer who declined to be named because he’s not authorized to talk to the news media. He says there are checkpoints on all the roads leading into the city.
    Good, says Naseem Ahmed, 25, who works for the provincial government. “Security is great here,” he says as he warms up before taking part in a soccer game at a local stadium. “You can be out at 3 a.m. in the morning, and there is no fear.” —Faseeh Mangi, with Chris Kay

    Mombasa, Kenya

    Photographer: Riccardo Gangale/Bloomberg
    Astride his boda boda, or motorcycle taxi, at a crossroads in Mombasa, Simon Agina is counting containers on a passing train that’s heading to Nairobi: “… 82, 83, 84.”
    There are plenty of freight containers back where those came from—and much more besides. The port of Mombasa, Kenya’s import lifeline, is a heaving mass of traffic of all sorts. Trucks line up quayside to move shipping containers from the docks to the railway. Three-wheeled tuk-tuks weave dangerously between other vehicles through hot, dusty streets filled with noise and litter.
    Kenya’s largest port is also its oldest. So in 2011, with the ancient British colonial-era Mombasa-to-Nairobi narrow-gauge railway falling into disrepair and Beijing in the market for African investments, Kenya made its move. It agreed to let China finance and build a standard-gauge railway at a cost of $3.8 billion. The Mombasa-Nairobi SGR, as it’s called, is the nation’s largest infrastructure project since independence from Britain in 1963.
    Atanas Maina, managing director of Kenya Railways, says more than 30,000 Kenyans were employed directly on the project, which was run by China Road and Bridge Corp.; an additional 8,000 worked for subcontractors.
    The first paying passengers rode the line in June last year. Along its 293-mile journey, the SGR rumbles across almost 100 bridges and viaducts, many designed to allow the lions, zebras, and other wildlife that inhabit two national parks, Tsavo East and Tsavo West, to cross under the tracks.
    Freight trains like the one Agina saw from his boda boda began running in January. “Those are 84 trucks off the road,” he says as the containers whiz by. The railway cuts the ­Mombasa-Nairobi trip to five hours, down from more than eight by truck. Five freight trains a day were making the journey during spring. The number could eventually increase to 12, removing as many as 1,700 of the 3,000 trucks that currently ply the route.
    Like any major infrastructure project, the rail line has its detractors. The economist and government critic David Ndii says it’s not commercially viable, while a Kenyan newspaper, the Standard, accused China Road and Bridge of “neo-colonialism, racism and blatant discrimination” in its treatment of local employees; Kenya Railways subsequently said it would investigate the allegations.
    Environmental activists tried without success to block the SGR from going through Tsavo parkland and have taken legal action to try to stop the next phase of railway construction, which would run the line through Nairobi National Park on the edge of the capital.
    Trucking companies, whose business grew steadily as the old railway decayed, are now worried about the loss of customers. Vanessa Evans, managing director of Rongai Workshop & Transport Ltd., says the SGR could have been a plus for the Kenyan economy in the long run, but poor coordination at the Mombasa and Nairobi rail terminals causes cargo backups and delays. The new rail line, she says, “has nearly destroyed our business because the turnaround time varies between not good and awful. We have been in agony for the past five months.”
    The train that pulls out of Nairobi Railway Station each morning at 8 o’clock, with noteworthy punctuality, is called the Madaraka Express. In Swahili, “madaraka” means power or responsibility; Madaraka Day, a national holiday, celebrates self-rule. If the old railway was a relic of Kenya’s British colonial past, the new one, built with Beijing’s money, could be seen as a harbinger of a new kind of imperial reach.
    It’s a blue-suited Chinese instructor who makes sure the female train attendants—uniformed in the colors of the Kenyan flag—are standing in a nice straight line as passengers board. China financed 90 percent of the SGR’s $3.8 billion cost. And the giant Chinese Communications Construction Co. will operate the rail line for its first decade.
    The area around the station thrums with activity as construction pushes ahead on houses, container yards, and warehouses. Along the route to Mombasa, gleaming steel-and-glass stations stand out against clusters of tiny houses with rusty corrugated iron roofs and mud walls; the contrast encourages the locals “to dream big,” says Maina.
    Michael Ndungu, 21, a student who studies in Mombasa and visits the capital on weekends, used to take the bus. “The SGR has made my life much better,” he says. “It is faster and definitely safer.” In Mombasa the surge in passengers—1.3 million during the first six months of the year—has been good for the economy. “Business is good,” says Stephen Kazungu, a 26-year-old taxi driver.
    The newly laid track, the trains, the stations—“You don’t see that kind of infrastructure development in this part of the country,” says Agina, the 22-year-old boda boda driver, as the freight train fades into the distance. “This is amazing.” —Samuel Gebre

    Piraeus, Greece

    Photographer: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters
    It was the spring of 2016. Greece was in the vise-grip of the European sovereign debt crisis. Its neighbors and creditors were pressuring the government to enforce austerity. So Greece sold control of Piraeus, the storied seaport once connected to Athens by fortified walls, to China Cosco Shipping Corp., a Chinese state-owned enterprise.
    The deal bears many of the hallmarks of China’s biggest Belt and Road projects. It began years before Xi’s signature project was announced—in 2009, Cosco won a contract to run part of Piraeus’s container business—and was then handily folded into the initiative; it was geared largely toward enhancing the reach of China’s mari­time trade; and it involved a host nation desperate for investment.
    But unlike many of China’s high-priced Belt and Road investments, this isn’t a remote greenfield construction project in a developing nation. The port deal marked China’s gradual takeover of one of Europe’s oldest and most important sea gateways. Piraeus has been Athens’s port and shipyard for about 2,500 years, a perch on the Mediterranean that helped Athens become a naval ­superpower.
    From his office, Ioannis Kordatos, managing director of the Hellenic Welding Association, can see the wall of containers stacked high at Pier II, Cosco’s original beachhead here. “If Cosco magically disappeared tomorrow, it would be a huge loss,” says Kordatos. “What matters isn’t that they are Chinese but that they are a private company doing serious business in the area.”
    Very serious business. The 2016 deal gave Cosco a 67 percent share of Piraeus Port Authority SA for €368.5 million ($429.5 million). During PPA’s first full year under Chinese control, its net income jumped 69 percent, to €11.3 million, as revenue from its container terminal rose 53 percent. Since Cosco first became involved, Piraeus has risen to be Europe’s seventh-busiest container port; 10 years ago, it wasn’t in Europe’s top 15.
    Piraeus is a bustling city in its own right. Marinas here are filled with Athenians’ yachts ready for weekend sailing. Passenger ferries dock near the town center to carry locals and tourists to Aegean islands. Farther west, in the repair yards, workers mend boats. Above all, giant gantry cranes loom over shipping containers.
    These days, whether you arrive here by sea, by metro, or by road, you’re bound to run into construction, with chunks of the city boarded up as bulldozers work on a new subway station and public transportation connections.
    In the heart of Piraeus, Cosco plans to upgrade the ferry and cruise ship terminals, adding a shopping mall and new hotels. Farther out, around the Gulf of Elefsina, Cosco’s investments could help revive Greece’s rust-belt industrial heartland in the Thriasio Plain west of Athens. There, a planned logistics center, linked to the port by rail, could become a staging area for goods headed north through the Balkans.
    Not everybody in Piraeus shares Kordatos’s warm feeling toward Cosco’s purchase of PPA. “If I had the money, I’d buy it myself rather than let it go to foreigners,” says Evlampia Kavvatha, who owns a store selling shelving in the town center.
    Perhaps Cosco’s presence here is a case of desperate times calling for desperate measures. Like the rest of the country, Piraeus has been hit by a depression that’s wiped out a quarter of the nation’s economic output since the sovereign debt crisis. Away from the main shopping district street, Piraeus suffers from the blight of empty storefronts that afflicts cities across Greece.
    Giorgos Gogos, general secretary of the Piraeus Dockworkers Union, says he’s worried about the impact of a Chinese state-owned enterprise on labor relations and the local community. “We think it’s a mistake for infrastructure like this to leave the state,” he says. “The Chinese have their own way of operating. [Cosco is] a state colossus backed by capital of the Chinese state. It has the characteristic of Chinese state capitalism.”
    For all the concern about the potentially corrosive effects on Greece’s economy and sovereignty—and about Beijing’s ulterior motives—Cosco’s incursion into Piraeus has something in common with other investments by Beijing along the vast and meandering Belt and Road: China put its money where others wouldn’t. —Marcus Bensasson
    Majendie is a senior editor in Singapore. Hamlin and Han cover the economy in Beijing. Marlow covers government in New Delhi. Mangi covers companies in Karachi. Gebre covers news in Nairobi. Bensasson covers the economy in Athens.

    0 0

    This is an addendum to: Kernoi rings as sacred objects to signify Indus Script Hypertexts of metalwork wealth-accounting ledgers 

                                                                                                                                                         This monograph includes images and information presented in Lorenzo Nigro, 2018, Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) from Motya and its deepest oriental roots in: Vicino Oriente XXII (2018), pp. 49-90
    Motya or Mozia is a site of 5th cent. BCE in Sicily made famous by the statue of a charioteer.

    The beautiful MotyaCharioteer sculpture found in 1979 is on display at the Giuseppe Whitaker museum. It is a rare example of a victor of a chariot race who must have been very wealthy in order to commission such a work. It was found built into Phoenician fortifications which were quickly erected before Dionysios I of Syracuse invaded and sacked Motya in 397 BCE.Its superb quality implies that it was made by a leading Greek artist in the period following their defeat of the Persians, but its style is unlike any other of this period. It is believed it must have been looted from a Greek city conquered by Carthage in 409-405 BCE. In March 2006, archaeological digs uncovered rooms of a previously undiscovered house at one of the town's siege walls. The finds have shown that the town had a "thriving population long after it is commonly believed to have been destroyed by the Ancient Greeks." Discovered items include cooking pans, Phoenician-style vases, altars, and looms" (The Motya Charioteer and Pindar's "Isthmian 2" Malcolm Bell, III Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome Vol. 40 (1995), pp. 1-42)                                       Frel La Rocca suggests that maybe, a Greek merchant resident in Motya commissioned this work of art of a Greek auriga.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Another remarkable discovery reported from Motya relates to pomegranates which links with a votive kernos with pomegranate hieroglyph, in addition to other hieroglyphs --from Heraoian of Samos.

     Line-drawing of the tripartite kernos for the Heraion of Samos | Tripartite Offering Vessels
    The additional images and information provided by Lorenzo Nigro includes that of a vase discovered in Motya during 2012-2017 excavations: “In the 2012-2017 seasons, a small temple devoted to Astarte was excavated in the north-eastern sector of the so-called Sacred Area of the Kothon, the largest religious compound of the Phoenician colony, occupying the southernmost quadrant of the island, enclosed by a Circular Temenos towards the mid of the 6th century BCE…Motya is amongst the earliest Phoenician foundations in the West. Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) seeds were present in the sampled soil from Building C8… The cult focus of the mono-cellular temple was a podium erected at the centre of the short southern side, which possibly supported a cult statue (a bronze earring and a pinecone possibly belonged to a cult figurine were found here: fig. 13:d)….The shape indicates the function of container of the vase, which is not a simple replica of the fruit. The vase content was sampled twice and analysed in the Labs of Sapienza University. Data collected suggest that inside the vase there was an organic fluid, leaving traces of iron oxide.(opcit., pp.63-64)”

    Motya (Ancient GreekΜοτύη, ΜοτύαItalianMozia, MothiaSicilianMozzia), was an ancient and powerful city on an island off the west coast of Sicily, between Drepanum (modern Trapani) and Lilybaeum (modern Marsala)...The island is nearly 850 metres (2,790 ft) long and 750 metres (2,460 ft) wide, and about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) (six stadia) from the mainland of Sicily.

    The discovery of iron oxide in liquid form is significant and consistent with the functions of hypertexts on kernoi which are descriptions of wealth accounting ledgers, metalwork catalogues in the Indus Script Cipher tradition.

    I suggest that the liquid found in the vase IS NOT for consumption by worshippers, but signified some phase of metallurgical activity related to processing of iron, leaving a liquid form of iron oxide. This is an archaeometallurgical marvel for further researches by archaeometallurgists.

    ḍ̠āṛhū̃ 'pomegranate' (Sindhi) Rebus: ḍhālako 'a large metal ingot'. 

    தாது3 tātun. cf. dāḍima. See தாதுமாதுளை. (மூ. அ.) தாடிமம் tāṭimamn. < dāḍima. 1. Pomegranate. See தாதுமாதுளை. (பிங்.) தாதுமாதளை tātu-mātaḷain. prob. தாது3 +. See தாதுமாதுளை. (மூ. அ.)  தாதுமாதுளை tātu-mātuḷain. < id. +. Pomegranate, s. tr., Punica granatumபூ மாதுளை. (யாழ். அக.) (Tamil)Rebus: தாது1 tātun. < dhātu. 1. Mineral, fossil; any natural product from a mine; கனி களில் உண்டாகும் இயற்கைப்பொருள். 2. Metals; பொன்முதலிய உலோகங்கள். (பிங்.) 3. Red ochre; காவிக்கல். (சூடா.) 4. The five elements of Nature. See பூதம். (சூடா.) 

    dāḍima m. ʻ pomegranate tree ʼ MBh., n. ʻ its fruit ʼ Suśr., dālima -- m. Amar., ḍālima -- lex. 2. dāḍimba -- m. lex. 3. *dāṇḍu -- .1. Pa. dālima -- m., NiDoc. daḍ'ima, Pk. dāḍima -- , dālima -- n., dāḍimī -- f. ʻ the tree ʼ, Dm. dā̤ŕim, Shum. Gaw. dāˊṛim, Kal. dā̤ŕəm, Kho. dáḷum, Phal. dhe_ṛum, S. ḍ̠āṛhū̃ m., P. dāṛū̃˚ṛū˚ṛam m., kgr. dariūṇ (= dariū̃?) m.; WPah.bhiḍ. de_ṛũ n. ʻ sour pomegranate ʼ; (Joshi) dāṛū, OAw. dārivaṁ m., H. poet. dāriũ m., OG. dāḍimi f. ʻ the tree ʼ, G. dāṛam n., dāṛem f. ʻ the tree ʼ, Si. deḷum.
    2. WPah.jaun. dāṛim, Ku. dā̆ṛimdālimdālimo, N. dārim, A. ḍālim, B. dāṛimdālim, Or. dāḷimba˚ima

    dāṛimaḍāḷimbaḍarami ʻ tree and fruit ʼ; Mth. dāṛim ʻ pomegranate ʼ, daṛimī ʻ dried mango ʼ; H. dāṛimb˚imdālimḍāṛimḍār˚ḍāl˚ m., M. dāḷĩb˚ḷīmḍāḷĩb n. ʻ the fruit ʼ, f. ʻ the tree ʼ. 3. Sh.gil. daṇū m. ʻ pomegranate ʼ, daṇúi f. ʻ the tree ʼ, jij. *lṇə́i, K. dönü m., P. dānū m.
    Addenda: dāḍima -- . 2. dāḍimba -- : Garh. dāḷimu ʻ pomegranate ʼ, A. ḍālim (phonet. d -- ).(CDIAL 6254) डाळिंब   ḍāḷimba f (डालिम S) The Pomegranate-tree, and n the fruit, Punica granatum.    डाळिंबपाक   ḍāḷimbapāka m (डालिमपाक S) A corroborant preparation with pomegranate-juice and spices.   डाळिंबसाल   ḍāḷimbasāla n Pomegranate-rind. Used much in the arts.   डाळिंबी   ḍāḷimbī a (डाळिंब) Relating to the pomegranate (like in color, shape &38;c.);--used of a spotted chintz.   डाळिंबी   ḍāḷimbī f A half of any pulse split. 2 Amongst children. A raw or red spot made in the flesh by rubbing. v कर, दाखव. (Marathi) దానిమ్మ  or దాడిమము dānimma. [Tel.] n. The pomegranate tree. దాడిమవర్ణము the scarlet hue of the pomegranate. (Telugu) 
    Ugarit: bronze stand for incense burner with pomegranate pendants as decorations (After Fig. 5 b in Lorenzo Nigro, 2018, Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) from Motya and its deepest oriental roots in: Vicino Oriente XXII (2018), pp. 49-90
    Hematite stamp seal of the Late Uruk period representing a schematic pomegranate fruit (3300-3100 BCE) 
    (After 2a in  

    Lorenzo Nigro, 2018, Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) from Motya and its deepest oriental roots in: Vicino Oriente XXII (2018), pp. 49-90

    Image result for warka vase

    Carved alabaster vase from Uruk-Warka 93500-3300 BCE); in the lower register (c), three branches of pomegranate trees (After 2b, 2c in

    Lorenzo Nigro, 2018, Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) from Motya and its deepest oriental roots in: Vicino Oriente XXII (2018), pp. 49-90

    For translation of the Indus Script Hypertexts on Warka vase, see: 


    Two T symbols shown below the hieroglyphs of markhor and tiger on Warka vase. Ingot type 1: miṇḍāl 'markhor' (Tōrwālī) meḍho a ram, a sheep (Gujarati)(CDIAL 10120) Rebus: mẽṛhẽt, meD 'iron' (Santali.Mu.Ho.) med 'copper' (Slavic) Ingot type 2: kola 'tiger' rebus: kol 'working in iron'. Thus, 'cast iron ingots'

    The T symbol on the vase also shows possibly fire on the altars superimposed by bun-ingots. I suggest that the T hieroglyph reads: kand ‘fire-altar’ (Santali) 
    This narrative on the vase shows: 1..ram; 2. two storage vessels with ingots; 3. face of one-horned bull. The readings are: 1. meḍho a ram, a sheep (Gujarati)(CDIAL 10120) Rebus: mẽṛhẽt, meD 'iron' (Santali.Mu.Ho.); 2. dula 'pair' rebus: dul 'metal casting' PLUS  kuṇḍa'pot' rebus:  kuṇḍa 'fire-altar' 3. mũh 'face' rebus: mũh 'ingot'  

    Neo-Assyrian cylinder seal impression showing a couple of kings and eagle-headed winged genia performing ritual aspersion of a pomegranate bush as Tree of Life

    Middle Assyrian ivory inlays from a box representing the God of the gushing water flanked by 

     pomegranate trees (13th century BCE)

    After Figs. 2d and 2e in: Lorenzo Nigro, 2018, Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) from Motya and its deepest oriental roots in: Vicino Oriente XXII (2018), pp. 49-90

    After Fig. 6 (g) in 
    Circular kernos from Megiddo (stratum VI) Lorenzo Nigro, 2018, Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) from Motya and its deepest oriental roots in: Vicino Oriente XXII (2018), pp. 49-90
    “The Palestinian examples, notably from Megiddo and Gezer, are again of an elaborate type The Megiddo specimen (fig 10) has, on a ring base, one gazelle head, two amphorae, two pomegranates, two doves and one cup which all communicate with the hollow base. The gazelle head is decorated with red lines, has pierced eyes and orifice through mouth; the other pots or birds are also painted or decorated likewise. The Gezer examples also have alternating figures of birds and pomegranates (fig. 11).” (BM Pande, opcit., pp. 318-319).

    0 0

    Functions served be kernoi in ancient times have to be re-evaluated. The arguments advanced by many scholars point to 'cult' practices or 'ritual' mysteries. An alternative, practical function can now been posited thanks to the investigation done on the contents of a pomegranate-shaped Motya vase by Labs of Sapienza University. 

    This monograph posits that the kernoi rings and the Motya vase were ink-pots containing iron oxide pigment to write Indus Script inscriptions on metal objects such as copper plates.

    This is an addendum to:  ̠āhū̃ 'pomegranate' is an Indus Script Hypertext, signifies, metalwork catalogue rūpaka, 'metaphor' hālako 'a large metal ingot'

    "The (pomegranate-shaped) vase content was sampled twice and analysed in the Labs of Sapienza University. Data collected suggest that inside the vase there was an organic fluid, leaving traces of iron oxide."(Lorenzo Nigro, 2018, Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) from Motya and its deepest oriental roots in: Vicino Oriente XXII (2018), pp. 63-64).

    It has been demonstrated in Epigraphia Indus Script -- Hypertexts and Meanings (3 vols.) that writing was used to document wealth accounting ledgers. 

    The hieroglyphs of the types assembled on kernoi rings are consistent with this hypertext tradition and translated as wealth accounting ledgers related to metalwork catalogues, consistent with the objective of the Indus Script writing system to document wealth-creation and trading activities of artisan guilds and seafaring merchant guilds.

    I suggest that the pomegranate-shaped vase served as an ink-pot containing iron oxide pigment (liquid).

    The discovery of iron oxide in liquid form is significant and consistent with the functions of hypertexts on kernoi which are descriptions of wealth accounting ledgers, metalwork catalogues in the Indus Script Cipher tradition.

    I suggest that the kernoi contained iron oxide liquid which was used to write on metal objects. Such a writing on metal objects has been demonstrated in a gold fillet discovered in Mohenjo-daro with an Indus Script Inscription.
    Image result for inscribed gold pendant bharatkalyan97 3 Gold pendants: Jewelry Marshall 1931: 521, pl. CLI, B3
    Three gold pendants are shown on the bottom right-corner of the image. An enlargement of one of the pendants reveals an Indus Script inscription from Mohenjodaro, written in ink (perhaps, iron oxide pigment). 

    The comments made by John Marshall on three curious objects at bottom right-hand corner of Pl. CLI, B3: “Personal ornaments…Jewellery and Necklaces…Netting needles (?) Three very curious objects found with the studs and the necklace appear to be netting needles of gold. They are shown just above the ear-studs and also in the lower right-hand corner of Pl. CLI, B, 3-5 and 12-14. The largest of these needles (E 2044a) is 2.5 inches long. The handle is hollow and cylindrical and tapers slightly, being 0.2 inch in diameter at the needle-end. The needle point is 0.5 inch long and has a roughly shaped oval eye at its base. The medium sized needle (E 2044b) is 2.5 inches long and of the same pattern: but the cap that closed the end of the handle is now missing. The point which has an oval eye at its base is 0.3 inch long. The third needle (E 2044c) is only 1.7 inches long with the point 0.3 inch in length. Its handle, which is otherwise similar to those of the other two needles, is badly dented. The exact use of these three objects is open to question, for they could have been used for either sewing or netting. The handles seem to have been drawn, as there is no sign of a soldered line, but the caps at either end were soldered on with an alloy that is very little lighter in colour than the gold itself. The two smaller needles have evidently been held between the teeth on more than one occasion.” (p.521)."

    The inscription reads Meluhha rupaka, 'metaphor' rebus translation:  kanac 'corner' Rebus: kancu 'bronze'; sal 'splinter' Rebus: sal 'workshop'; dhatu 'cross road' Rebus: dhatu 'mineral'; gaNDa 'four' Rebus: khanda 'implements'; kolom 'three' Rebus: kolami 'smithy, forge'; Vikalpa: ?ea ‘seven’ (Santali); rebus: ?eh-ku ‘steel’ (Telugu)

    aya 'fish' Rebus: aya 'iron'(Gujarati) ayas 'metal' (Rigveda)

    Thus, the inscription is: kancu sal (bronze workshop), dhatu aya kaṇḍ kolami mineral, metal, furnace/fire-altar smithy.

    The inscription is a professional calling card -- describing professional competence and ownership of specified items of property -- of the wearer of the pendant.

    This is an extraordinary evidence of the Indus writing system written down, with hieroglyphs inscribed using a coloured paint, on an object.

    What could these three objects be? Sewing needles? Netting needles?

    I surmise that all the three gold objects could be pendants tagged to other jewellery such as necklaces. The pendants were perhaps worn with a thread of fibre passing through the eye of the needle-like ending of the pendants.

    Why needle-like endings? Maybe, the pendants were used as 'writing' devices 1) either to engrave hieroglyphs into objects; 2)or to use the needle-ending like a metal nib to dip into a colored ink or liquid or zinc-oxide paste or cinnabar-paste. This possibility is suggested by the use of cinnabar in ancient China to paint into lacquer plates or bowls. Cinnabar or powdered mercury sulphide was the primary colorant lof lacquer vessels. "Known in China during the late Neolithic period (ca. 5000–ca. 2000 B.C.), lacquer was an important artistic medium from the sixth century B.C. to the second century A.D. and was often colored with minerals such as carbon (black), orpiment (yellow), and cinnabar (red) and used to paint the surfaces of sculptures and vessels...a red lacquer background is carved with thin lines that are filled with gold, gold powder, or lacquer that has been tinted black, green, or yellow.

    Kernosis Mycenaean ceramic piece, usually in the form ofa ring, to which were attached anumber of cups or vases, used in the mystic ceremonies to holdsmall quantities of viands (foods).

    "Ochre (rarely spelled ocher and often referred to as yellow ochre) is one of a variety of forms of iron oxide which are described as earth-based pigments. These pigments, used by ancient and modern artists, are made of iron oxyhydroxide, which is to say they are natural minerals and compounds composed of varying proportions of iron (Fe3 or Fe2), oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H)." (Hirst, Kris (15 April 2017). "Ochre - The Oldest Known Natural Pigment in the World")

    "Ochre (British English) (/ˈkər/ OH-kər; from Greek: ὤχρα, from ὠχρός, ōkhrós, pale) or ocher (American English) is a natural clay earth pigmentwhich is a mixture of ferric oxide and varying amounts of clay and sand.It ranges in colour from yellow to deep orange or brown. It is also the name of the colours produced by this pigment, especially a light brownish-yellow. A variant of ochre containing a large amount of hematite, or dehydrated iron oxide, has a reddish tint known as "red ochre" (or, in some dialects, ruddle).

    "The use of red ochre in the prehistoric architecture of Central Anatolia has long been recognized. Scholars have often argued that its use in architecture has a symbolic role, and that it has been used in sacred parts of ritual buildings. This paper examines red‐painted buildings in the prehistoric settlements of Central Anatolia. Recently, a building with red‐coloured plastered walls and floors was found in Chalcolithic Çatalhöyük West. The technique of Raman Spectroscopy has been applied to identify the red pigment and results show that it is red ochre, which contains predominantly hematite, Fe2O3.(Erdogu B, and Ulubey A. 2011. Colour symbolism in the prehistoric architecture of central Anatolia and Raman Spectroscopic Investigation of red ochre in Chalcolithic Çatalhöyük. Oxford Journal Of Archaeology 30(1):1-11.) 
     Terracotta kernos from the Cycladic period (ca.2000 BC), found at Melos. "The kernos was carried in procession at the Eleusinian Mysteries atop the head of a priestess, as can be found depicted in art. A lamp was sometimes placed in the middle of a stationary kernos" (The verb kernophorein means "to bear the kernos"; the noun for this is kernophoria; Stephanos Xanthoudides, "Cretan Kernoi," Annual of the British School at Athens 12 (1906), p. 9.)
    Circular kernos from Megiddo (Stratum VI)

    Circular kernos from Megiddo (stratum VI) Lorenzo Nigro, 2018, Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) from Motya and its deepest oriental roots in: Vicino Oriente XXII (2018), pp. 49-90.

    Iron oxide liquid held in such kernos may have been used to write on metal, as demonstrated on the Mohenjo-daro gold pendant.

    "In the typology of ancient Greek pottery, the kernos (Greek κέρνος or κέρχνος, plural kernoi) is a pottery ring or stone tray to which are attached several small vessels for holding offerings. Its unusual design is described in literary sources, which also list the ritual ingredients it might contain. The kernos was used primarily in the cults of Demeter and Kore, and of Cybele and Attis.The Greek term is sometimes applied to similar compound vessels from other cultures found in the Mediterranean, the LevantMesopotamia, and South Asia."
    I suggest that the kernos ring of vessels is like an ink-pot containing iron oxide liquid used as a writing ink, to write on metal objects, like copper tablets or gold pendants. The gold-pendants with  sharp nibs might have been used as writing instruments.
    I suggest that kernos of Greek  has cognates in Indian sprachbund (speech union) with particular reference to a scribe, engraver, accountant, ledger-keeper (to record wealth-accounting ledgers of Indus Script metalwork catalogues):  kāraṇika m. ʻ teacher ʼ MBh., ʻ judge ʼ Pañcat. [kā- raṇa -- ]Pa. usu -- kāraṇika -- m. ʻ arrow -- maker ʼ; Pk. kāraṇiya -- m. ʻ teacher of Nyāya ʼ; S. kāriṇī m. ʻ guardian, heir ʼ; N. kārani ʻ abettor in crime ʼ; M. kārṇī m. ʻ prime minister, supercargo of a ship ʼ, kul -- karṇī m. ʻ village accountant ʼ.(CDIAL 3058)கணக்குச்சுருணை kaṇakku-c-curuṇain. < id. +. Roll or file of accounts on palmyra leaves, kept by a village accountant; கணக் கோலைக்கற்றை.கணக்கப்பிள்ளை kaṇakka-p-piḷḷai, n. < gaṇaka +. 1. Village accountant, cashier, bursar, writer, agent, shipping clerk, bill collector; கணக்கன். 2. Man of the kaṇakkaṉ caste; ஒரு சாதியான்.   கணக்கன் kaṇakkaṉ, n. < gaṇaka. [M. kaṇakkaṉ.] 1. Accountant, book-keeper; கணக் கெழுதுவோன். (திருவாலவா. 30, 22.) 2. See கணக்கப்பிள்ளை, 1. 3. A certain caste; ஒரு சாதி. (இலக். வி. 52, உரை.) 4. Arithmetician; கணக்கில் வல்லவன். (W.) கருணீகம் karuṇīkam, n. < karaṇa. [T. karaṇikamu.] Office of village accountant or karṇam; கிராமக்கணக்குவேலை.   கருணீகன் karuṇīkaṉn. < id. 1. Village accountant; கிராமக்கணக்கன். கடுகை யொருமலை யாகக் . . . காட்டுவோன் கருணீகனாம் (அறப். சத. 86). 2. A South Indian caste of accountants; கணக்குவேலை பார்க்கும் ஒருசாதி.
    காரணிக்கன் kāraṇikkaṉn. < id. Accountant; கணக்கன்.(Insc.) కరణము  karaṇamu. [Skt.] n. A village clerk, a writer, an accountant. వాడు కూత కరణముగాని వ్రాతకరణముకాడు he has talents for speaking but not 
    for writing. స్థలకరణము the registrar of a district. कारणी or कारणीक   kāraṇī or kāraṇīka a (कारण S) That causes, conducts, carries on, manages. Applied to the prime minister of a state, the supercargo of a ship (Marathi).

    0 0

    This monograph is an addendum to:Indus Script writing instruments included kernos, ring of pots as a set of ink-pots containing iron oxide pigment to inscribe inscriptions on metal objects Iron oxide liquid held in such kernos may have been used to write on metal, as demonstrated on the Mohenjo-daro gold pendant. I suggest that the kernos ring of vessels is like an ink-pot containing iron oxide liquid used as a writing ink, to write on metal objects, like copper tablets or gold pendants. The gold-pendants with  sharp nibs might have been used as writing instruments.See:   

    "In the typology of ancient Greek pottery, the kernos (Greek κέρνος or κέρχνος, plural kernoi) is a pottery ring or stone tray to which are attached several small vessels for holding offerings. Its unusual design is described in literary sources, which also list the ritual ingredients it might contain. The kernos was used primarily in the cults of Demeter and Kore, and of Cybele and Attis.The Greek term is sometimes applied to similar compound vessels from other cultures found in the Mediterranean, the LevantMesopotamia, and South Asia."

    The presence of Meluhha settlements has been attested in cuneiform records. It is possible that like the Phoenician merchants, the seafaring Meluhha merchants had also trade contacts with many regions where kernos rings which carry signifiers of Indus Script Hypertexts proclaiming metalwork, have been found across Eurasia.

    Examples can be cited from Mediterranean, Egyptian, Levantine and Mesopotamian sites from mid-fourth millennium BCE to early centuries of Common Era. These examples have been documented by BM Pande.

    The thesis of this monograph is that: 

    1. the kernos ring was an ink-stand containing iron oxide pigment used by scribes; and 

    2. the kernos ring designed in Sarasvati Civilization (Mohenjo-daro artifacts presented by George Dales et al in 1986 and Kulli culture artifacts presented in Akinori Uesugi's monograph (2012), spread to entire Eurasia. 

    I suggest that the Greek word kernos has cognates in Indian sprachbund (speech union) with particular reference to a scribe, engraver, accountant, ledger-keeper (to record wealth-accounting ledgers of Indus Script metalwork catalogues):  kāraṇika m. ʻ teacher ʼ MBh., ʻ judge ʼ Pañcat. [kā- raṇa -- ]Pa. usu -- kāraṇika -- m. ʻ arrow -- maker ʼ; Pk. kāraṇiya -- m. ʻ teacher of Nyāya ʼ; S. kāriṇī m. ʻ guardian, heir ʼ; N. kārani ʻ abettor in crime ʼ; M. kārṇī m. ʻ prime minister, supercargo of a ship ʼ, kul -- karṇī m. ʻ village accountant ʼ.(CDIAL 3058)கணக்குச்சுருணை kaṇakku-c-curuṇain. < id. +. Roll or file of accounts on palmyra leaves, kept by a village accountant; கணக் கோலைக்கற்றை.கணக்கப்பிள்ளை kaṇakka-p-piḷḷai, n. < gaṇaka +. 1. Village accountant, cashier, bursar, writer, agent, shipping clerk, bill collector; கணக்கன். 2. Man of the kaṇakkaṉ caste; ஒரு சாதியான்.   கணக்கன் kaṇakkaṉ, n. < gaṇaka. [M. kaṇakkaṉ.] 1. Accountant, book-keeper; கணக் கெழுதுவோன். (திருவாலவா. 30, 22.) 2. See கணக்கப்பிள்ளை, 1. 3. A certain caste; ஒரு சாதி. (இலக். வி. 52, உரை.) 4. Arithmetician; கணக்கில் வல்லவன். (W.) கருணீகம் karuṇīkam, n. < karaṇa. [T. karaṇikamu.] Office of village accountant or karṇam; கிராமக்கணக்குவேலை.   கருணீகன் karuṇīkaṉn. < id. 1. Village accountant; கிராமக்கணக்கன். கடுகை யொருமலை யாகக் . . . காட்டுவோன் கருணீகனாம் (அறப். சத. 86). 2. A South Indian caste of accountants; கணக்குவேலை பார்க்கும் ஒருசாதி.
    காரணிக்கன் kāraṇikkaṉn. < id. Accountant; கணக்கன்.(Insc.) కరణము  karaṇamu. [Skt.] n. A village clerk, a writer, an accountant. వాడు కూత కరణముగాని వ్రాతకరణముకాడు he has talents for speaking but not 
    for writing. స్థలకరణము the registrar of a district. कारणी or कारणीक   kāraṇī or kāraṇīka a (कारण S) That causes, conducts, carries on, manages. Applied to the prime minister of a state, the supercargo of a ship (Marathi).
    The examples of kernoi rings cited from Mohenjo-daro may date to ca. 3rd millennium BCE. 

    The most significant design feature which links the roots of the kernoi rings to Sarasvati Civilization relates to Indus Script Cipher with hypertexts. I have demonstrated that the hypertexts contained in almost all kernoi rings discovered so far from Eurasia relate to wealth accounting ledgers, metalwork catalogues. 

    That kernoi ring metaphors validate Indus Script Cipher with roots in Sarasvati Civilization is explained by the hypertexts on the kernos ring, Samian. 

    This Kernos ring has a central tube on which small vessels with spouts are arranged. The small vessels feeding into the kernos are: a pomegranate, a shell, a toad, monkey, lion, ram, bull’s head, horns of a warrior, a woman. A small snake surrounds the tube. I suggest that all these are Indus Script Hypertexts with hieroglyph components to document wealth accounting ledgers, metalwork catalogues.

    The rebus readings of hypertexts are:

    Pomegranate, Metal ingot: ḍ̠āṛhū̃'pomegranate' rebus: ḍhālako'a large metal ingot' 

    Toad/frog, Metal taken out of a furnace: Kur. mūxā frog. Malt. múqe id. / Cf. Skt. mūkaka- id. (DEDR 5023) Rebus: mū̃h'ingot'muhã'quantity of metal produced at one time in a native 

    Monkey, armourer: kuṭhāru = amonkey (Sanskrit) Rebus: kuṭhāru'armourer 
    Lion, brass: arye 'lion' rebus: arā 'brass'
    Ram, iron: Tor. miṇḍ'ram', miṇḍā́l 'markhor' (CDIAL 10310) Rebus: meḍ (Ho.); mẽṛhet 'iron' (Munda.Ho.). med 'copper' (Slavic languages)
    Zebu, iron: pōḷā पोळ 'zebu' rebus  pōḷā  'magnetite, ferrite ore'
    Warrior, mint: kamaḍha'archer' Rebus: kammaṭa'mint, coiner, coinage'; bhaa'warrior' rebus: bhaa'furnace'
    Woman, moltencast: era 'woman' rebus: eraka 'moltencast, copper'
    Cobrahood, metals manufactory: phaḍā'cobra hood'rebus phaḍā'metals manufactory' paṭṭaḍa workshop (Telugu)

    Shell, Artificer: Ta. ippi pearl-oyster, shell; cippi shell, shellfish, coconut shell for measuring out curds. Ma. ippi, cippi oyster shell. Ka. cippu, sippu, cimpi, cimpe, simpi, simpu, simpe oyster shell, mussel, cockle, a portion of the shell of a coconut, skull, a pearl oyster; (Gowda) cippi coconut shell. Tu. cippi coconut shell, oyster shell, pearl; tippi, sippi coconut shell. Te. cippa a shell; (kobbari co) coconut shell; (mōkāli co) knee-pan, patella; (tala co) skull; (muttepu co) mother-of-pearl. Go. (Ma.) ipi shell, conch (Voc. 174). / Cf. Turner, CDIAL, no. 13417, *sippī-; Pali sippī- pearl oyster, Pkt. sippī- id., etc. (DEDR 2835) *sippī ʻ shell ʼ. [← Drav. Tam. cippi DED 2089] Pa. sippī -- , sippikā -- f. ʻ pearl oyster ʼ, Pk. sippī -- f., S. sipa f.; L. sipp ʻ shell ʼ, sippī f. ʻ shell, spathe of date palm ʼ, (Ju.) sip m., sippī f. ʻ bivalve shell ʼ; P. sipp m., sippīf. ʻ shell, conch ʼ; Ku. sīpsīpi ʻ shell ʼ; N. sipi ʻ shell, snail shell ʼ; B. sip ʻ libation pot ʼ, chip ʻ a kind of swift canoe ʼ S. K. Chatterji CR 1936, 290 (or < kṣiprá -- ?); Or.sipa ʻ oyster shell, mother -- of -- pearl, shells burnt for lime ʼ; Bi. sīpī ʻ mussel shells for lime ʼ; OAw. sīpa f. ʻ bivalve shell ʼ, H. sīp f.; G. sīp f. ʻ half an oyster shell ʼ, chīpf. ʻ shell ʼ; M. śīpśĩp f. ʻ a half shell ʼ, śĩpā m. ʻ oyster shell ʼ; -- Si. sippiya ʻ oyster shell ʼ ← Tam.(CIAL 13417) śilpin ʻ skilled in art ʼ, m. ʻ artificer ʼ Gaut., śilpika<-> ʻ skilled ʼ MBh. [śílpa -- Pa. sippika -- m. ʻ craftsman ʼ, NiDoc. śilpiǵa, Pk. sippi -- , °ia -- m.; A. xipini ʻ woman clever at spinning and weaving ʼ; OAw. sīpī m. ʻ artizan ʼ; M. śĩpī m. ʻ a caste of tailors ʼ; Si. sipi -- yā ʻ craftsman ʼ.(CDIAL 13471)

    Cup/pot, furnace Pk. vaṭṭa -- m.n., ˚aya -- m. ʻ cup ʼ; Ash. waṭāˊk ʻ cup, plate ʼ; K. waṭukh, dat. ˚ṭakas m. ʻ cup, bowl ʼ; S. vaṭo m. ʻ metal drinking cup ʼ; N. bāṭā, ʻ round copper or brass vessel ʼ; A. bāṭi ʻ cup ʼ; B. bāṭā ʻ box for betel ʼ; Or. baṭā ʻ metal pot for betel ʼ, bāṭi ʻ cup, saucer ʼ; Mth. baṭṭā ʻ large metal cup ʼ, bāṭī ʻ small do. ʼ, H. baṭṛī f.; G. M. vāṭī f. ʻ vessel ʼ.(CDIAL 11347) Rebus: bhaṭa'furnace'.

    Kernos ring, Samian, ca. 600 BCE. (After Vierneisel,K., 1961, 'Neue Tonfiguren aus dem Heraion von Samios Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archaologischen Instituts 76:25-59 von Leutsch E.L. and F.W. Schneidewin edd 1951 Corpus Paroemiographorum Graeocorum 1839-51, app.25). Hera may have been the first deity to whom the Greeks dedicated an enclosed roofed temple sanctuary, at Samos about 800 BCE.Her name is attested in Mycenaean Greek written in the Linear B syllabic script as 𐀁𐀨e-ra, appearing on tablets found in Pylos and Thebes.("The Linear B word e-ra"Palaeolexicon. Word study tool of Ancient languages. Raymoure, K.A. "e-ra".

    The kernoi rings were essential writing instruments in furthering the documentation of accounting ledgers using Indus Script.

    “Most ring kernoi come from Iron Age I levels and the majority are connected with Philistine sites or sites where Philistine cultural influence can be detected.”( Brad E. Kelle, Megan Bishop Moore, Israel's Prophets and Israel's Past: Essays on the Relationship of Prophetic Texts and Israelite History in Honor of John H. Hayes, Bloomsbury Publishing USA, 01-Nov-2006, p.153).

    Excerpt from: George DalesJonathan Mark KenoyerLeslie Alcock, 1986, Excavations at Mohenjo Daro, PakistanThe Pottery, with an Account of the Pottery from the 1950 Excavations of Sir Mortimer Wheeler, UPenn Museum of Archaeology, 1986, p.226 
    Fig. 92.1,3 Mohenjo-daro kernos ring with pots
     (cited in BM Pande 1971(embedded)

    Hera Campana Louvre Ma2283.jpgThe Campana Hera, a Roman copy of a Hellenisticoriginal, from the LouvreGoddess of marriage, women, childbirth, and family. "Hera is commonly seen with the animals she considers sacred including the cowlion and the peacock. Portrayed as majestic and solemn, often enthroned, and crowned with the polos (a high cylindrical crown worn by several of the Great Goddesses), Hera may hold a pomegranate in her hand.In Hellenistic imagery, Hera's chariot was pulled by peacocks, birds not known to Greeks before the conquests of Alexander
    The Temple of Hera at AgrigentoMagna Graecia.

    Kernos ring, Megiddo

    Aquatic bird, hard alloy: kāraṁḍa'aquatic bird' rebus: karaḍā 'hard alloy' 
    A pair of ducks, metal casting: dula'two' rebus: dul'metal casting' "This ring was probably used as a libation vessel during religious ceremonies in ancient Palestine. It consists of a hollow clay ring with hollow clay attachments in the forms of a gazelle head, two jars, two pomegranates, two doves, and a cup. The doves, whose heads have been restored, drink from the cup. An eighth attachment is missing, having been broken off in antiquity. The pomegranate, the gazelle and the doves suggest that this ring was associated with a fertility cult. Wine or water would have been poured into the cup and circulated through the other objects attached to the ring, thus symbolizing the fertility of the earth and its produce. Kernos rings are fairly common in Palestine, although few are as elaborate or as well preserved as this one.
    Region: Palestine: Megiddo
    Origin: Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1930
    Accession: OIM A18835
    Period: Stratum VI Iron Age I, ca. 1175-1100 B.C.
    Materials: Baked clay, painted

    Kernoi rings

    The pottery of Mohenjo-dara, one of the two major urban centers of the Indus Valley civilization (2500-2000 B.C.) is described and documented. The authors survey Harappan ceramic technology and style, and develop an important and unique approach to vessel form analysis and terminology. Included is Leslie Alcock's account of the pottery from the 1950 excavations by Sir Mortimer Wheeler.University Museum Monograph, 53 
    “Hollow pottery rings surmounted by small vessels are common ‘ritual’ objects at Mediterranean and Levantine sites where they are known by the Greek name kernos (pl.kernoi).More rarely they occur in Mesopotamian contexts…Two or more small pots attached to the top side of a hollow ring so that liquid poured into the pots would run down into the hollow ring connecting them…Only six certain and two possible fragmentary examples are recorded from the UM excavations…..Because these objects are so rare in South Asia, mention should be made of two other fragmentary examples found at Harappa. Both of these have also been discussed by BM Pande in his detailed study of ring-kernoi’. The first example was published in a photograph only by Vats (1940: Pl. LXXI:6) with no description in the text. The second example, almost half a hollow ring with scars where three small vessels were attached, was excavated by Wheeler in 1946 but remained unpublished until Pande’s study…Pande’s excellent study of these enigmatic objects cites examples from Mediterranean, Egyptian,  Levantine, and Mesopotamian sites ranging in date from the mid-fourth millennium BCE to at least the early centuries.” [BM Pande, 1971, Harappan Ring-Kernoi: A study. East & West 21 (3-4), pp. 311-324); George DalesJonathan Mark KenoyerLeslie Alcock, 1986, UPenn Museum of ArchaeologyExcavations at Mohenjo Daro, PakistanThe Pottery, with an Account of the Pottery from the 1950 Excavations of Sir Mortimer Wheeler, p.226).

    In the typology of ancient Greek pottery, the kernos (Greek κέρνος or κέρχνος, plural kernoi) is a pottery ring or stone tray to which are attached several small vessels for holding offerings -- "a terracotta vessel with many little bowls stuck on to it. In them there is sage, white poppy heads, wheat, barley, peas (?), vetches (?), pulse, lentils, beans, spelt (?), oats, cakes of compressed fruit, honey, olive oil, wine, milk, and unwashed sheep's wool. When one has carried this vessel, like a liknophoros, he tastes of the contents"[Phillippe Borgeaud, Mother of the Gods: From Cybele to the Virgin Mary (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, English translation 2004)].  

    “KernosRings (Fig. 92:1-6). Hollow pottery rings surmounted by small vessels are common ‘ritual’ objects at Mediterranean and Levantine sites where they are known by the Greek name kernod (pl. kernoi). More rarely they occur in Mesopotamian contexts…Bases: attached to the top side of the hollow ring; usually piered through to connect vessel interior with hollow ring, but two examples (Fig. 92:2,6) are solid…Two or more small pots attached to the top side of a hollow ring so that liquid poured into the pots would run down into the hollow ring connecting them…Only six certain and two possible fragmentary examples are recorded from the UM excavations…Because these objects are so rare in South Asia, mention should be made of two other fragmentary examples found at Harappa. Both of these have also been discussed by B.M. Pande in his detailed study of ‘ring-kernoi’….Pande reports that one of his colleagues who was present during Wheeler’s excavations says the object was discovered near Cemetery R37, Burial 5, and belongs to the mid-levels of the Harappa culture…Pande’s excellent study of these enigmatic objects cites examples from Mediterranean, Egyptian, Levantine, and Mesopotamian sites ranging in date from the mid-fourth-millennium BCE to at least the early centuries CE. Reference should be made to his study for details of the elaborate ritual nature of many of these Western examples.” (George Dales, Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Leslie Alcock, 1986, Excavations at Mohenjo-daro, Pakistn: The pottery, with an account of the pottery from the 1950 excavations of Sir Mortimer Wheeler, UPenn Museum of Archaeology, p.226).

    GF Dales reported the find of a kernos from Mohenjo-daro. (GF Dales, 1965, New investigations at Mohenjo-daro, Archaeology, XVIII, 2, pp. 145-50).

    “A fragment of a pottery kernod – circular tube with small vases at intervals – associated with the mud brick embankment was found in the recent excavations at Mohenjo-daro, conducted by Dales. His view that the object had ‘not hitherto been reported from Harappan sites’ does not appear to be totally correct, for a few other like examples have been unearthed at Harappan sites. In the excavations at Harappa, a similar object was found in the Great Granary area. But for the variation with regard to the form of the vase, the object from Harappa belongs to the same class of objects as the latest Mohenjo-daro example.The fragmentary Harappa kernos has only extant vase resembling a cup with a splayed-out mouth and plain featureless rim, as against a miniature-sized globular jar with a narrow neck and externally-curved rim of the Mohenjo-daro specimen. In the same group of vessels may also be included two more examples – one each from Mohenjo-daro and Harappa – which are lodged in the Central Antiquities Collection Safdarjang Tomb Baradari, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi. The earlier Mohenjo-daro specimen, which is also fragmentary, has two intact vases, akin to the Harappa one. The other specimen, from Wheeler’s excavations at Harappa, has only the half segment of the tube surviving and the vases are broken and lost.That the four specimens – two each from Mohenjo-daro and Harappa – belong to the same class of objects known as kernos, is beyond doubt. This is obvious from their general shape and characteristic features comparable to the ones found in a vast area outside India and in large numbers.”(pp.311-312).

    "The kernoi have a wide distribution both in space and time. The distribution in time ranges from about the middle of the 4th millennium BCE to the early centuries CE, and, in fact, to the modern times in certain parts of the world. The area of distribution includes Greece (and the islands), Crete, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt and modern Iraq (and the peripheral regions)...The main focus of distribution of the kernos is mainly Greece, Crete and the adjoining islands, where these occur for the first time in the Early Minoan (c. 2500-2100 BCE) and pre-Mycenaen (c. 2500-1800 BCE) to Late Minoan (c. 1550-1150 BCE) down to the late Greek and Roman times (c. 6th cent. BCE onwards). Thus a continuous tradition of use can be discerned for an interminable period of about three thousand years, the tradition surviving even in the modern times, with subsequent mofications and alterations, in the Greek Orthodox church…At Palaikastro site ‘was found a clay cover with a conical pierced top and a kind of door in the side, as covers for lamps…(which) were set on the kernoi, when they were decked for ritual use.’ (RM Dawkins, Excavations at Palaikastro III, Annual of the British School of Athens, X, 1903-1904, p.221)...At Kourtes site, (Nilsson,The Minoan-Mycenaean Religion, Lund, 1927,  pp. 116-117, fig. 19.. This kernos consists of a ‘hollow ring (diameter 19 cm) upon which six small jugs with narrow necks and spreading mouths are placed alternately with three coarsely made human figurines, of  which one holds his arms to his head, another to his breast, while the third graps the handles of the vases next to him. As Xanthoudides justly remarks, this very pecular feature connects the vessel with the group of dancing women fastened on a common ring-shaped base from Palaikastro’" (BM Pande, opcit, p.314)/

    A variant of the ring-kernos has a number of small vessels attached to the ring and communicating with the interior. Some of these have also attached to them plastic serpents, bulls’ heds and perchaing birds. (Nilsson, opcit., p. 117).

    “That the object kernos – ring kernos or the other types – had ritualistic function in ancient Greece, or is a cult-object in the Megiddo cult, is beyond doubt. In Cyprus, more often than not, these are found in graves as a part of the funerary furniture. This is evident from their location in a site (whereever found from the excavations) connected with cult, rituals or as accompanying the dead. Even the shape of the ring-kernos – clearly the result of a complex evolution – and the variety of forms or objets represented on the ring-kernoi prove that they were ritualistic vessels. Ancient Greek and Roman literature attests to this fact. Harrison, while discussing the kernophoria, has described two types of kernos on the authority of Athenaeus and the scholiasts on Nikander etc. The first of these was a winnowing fan which in the beginning was a simple agricultural instrument, but was subsequently mysticized by the religion of Dionysus. But there was another kind of kernos, which according to Athenaeus, was ‘a vessel made of earthenware,having in it many little cups fastened to it’, in which while poppies, wheat, barley, pulse etc. were kept. It ws thereafter carried aloft and certain rites were performed and was distributed to those who had done so. Athenaeus also gives a long list of the contents of the kernos. From Eleusis, where such an objet had been found in the excavations, are also available accounts of the officials mentioning a vessel…which is identical to the kernos of Athenaeus…The kernos from Haghios Nikolaos, again an example of the composite variety, is important, for, ‘inside it was found a clay lamp with one wick and two holes in the cover’, which conforms to the description given by the scholiast on Nikander. According to Xanthoudides, ‘the kernos was a sacred vessel not used exclusively at the Eleusinian mysteries, but also in the worship of other gods, as is known from the cults of Rhea Cybele, Attis, and the Corybantes’.”(BM Pande, opcit., pp.320-321)

    It is thus obvious that the kernos – the ring-kernos or the other types – was a vessel connected, in ancient Greece and Crete, with harvest and used in the related festivals. The ring kernoi from Israel, which might have ‘originated in the footed ring-vases of early Cyprus and Egypt’, have pomegranates, doves, gazelles on them. These are symbolic and mark ‘its function in the fertility cult’ and the miniature jars ‘contained wine, the fruit of the grape’. Thus, ‘the kernos ring was probably for libations: the liquid would be poured into the cups to circulate throughout the doves, pomegranates, and jars, symbolizing the fertility of the earth and the fructifying of its produce’. (BM Pande opcit, p. 321).

    Fig. 13 Ring kernoi from Melos (cited in BM Pande, 1971 (embedded)

    Rim of jar, supercargo: kanka, karṇaka'rim of jar' rebus: karṇī 'supercargo, a representative of the ship's owner on board a merchant ship, responsible for overseeing the cargo and its sale.', 'engraver, scribe, account' 

    Terracotta kernos from the Cycladic period (ca.2000 BC), found at Melos
    File:Pottery kernos, Early Cycladic II-III, 2500-2000 BC, AM Milos, 152540.jpg
    Kernos (and "souce-boat"), pottery. Early Cycladic II-III period, 2500 to 2000 BC. Vessel found in burial site in Rivari on Mlios, excavations in 1997. Archaeological Museum of Milos.

    Basket, bright metal: K. ḍākürü f. ʻ wide shallow basket ʼ; N. ḍhāki ʻ basket ʼ, ḍhākar ʻ a kind of large basket ʼ; Bi. mag. ḍhākā ʻ large open basket ʼ(CDIAL 5574) Rebus: Rebus: धक्क (p. 245dhakka a (Imit.) Steady, enduring, unshaken (as under misfortune): hale, hearty, stanch, unflinching--man or animal: stout, sound, firm, fit to render good service--cloth, an article gen. 2 Brightshining, brilliant, very lustrous--metal, a gem, a firework. Hence 3 Bright and good, altogether excellent--a rupee or other coin. *dhakṣati ʻ burns ʼ [Cf. fut. part. vidhakṣyánt -- , aor. part. dhákṣat RV. -- √dah]G. dhakhvũ ʻ to get into a passion ʼ, dhakhāvvũ ʻ to make hot ʼ, dhakh f. ʻ thirst ʼ.Addenda: dhákṣu -- : S.kcch. ḍakho m. ʻ quarrel ʼ; B. dhak ʻ sudden blaze ʼ, Or. dhaka ʻ blaze ʼ (rather than < *dhagg -- ).(CDIAL 6703)
    Terracotta ring-kernos (offering vase), Terracotta, Cypriot

    Terracotta ring-kernos (offering vase)

    Cypro-Geometric I
    ca. 1050–950 B.C.
    H. 4 7/16 in. (11.3 cm)
    Credit Line:
    The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76
    Accession Number:
    Céramiques de tous les pays et de toutes les époques

    Outro cerno cicládico (ca. século XXII a.C.)
    Terracotta kernos (vase for multiple offerings), Terracotta, Cypriot
    Terracotta ring-kernos (offering vase) Cypriot 
    From the Cesnola Collection, Accession # 74.51.660

    Terracotta kernos (vase for multiple offerings)

    Cypro-Archaic I
    750–600 B.C.
    H. 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm); diameter 7 1/8 in. (18.1 cm)
    Credit Line:
    The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76
    Accession Number:
    Terracotta. Kernos. 2300-2200 BCE

    Thanks to @manasataramgini for exquisite images of a Kernos ring (evidenced ca. 2000 BCE from Greek pottery) said to be from Balochistan. This artifiact (now said to be in Japan) contains Indus Script hypertext of hieroglyphs, zebu abd black drongo. The Indus Script hypertext readings are:
    pōḷa'bos indicus, zebu' rebus: pōḷa'magnetite, ferrite ore'
    pōladu 'black drongo bird' rebus: [pōlāda] n ( or P) [pōlādi] 'steel'.

    pōlaḍu, 'black drongo', rebus: pōlaḍ, 'steel',

    Top view of same: Kernos rings were made frequently in bronze age and later West Asia and Greece. This e.g. from subcontinent suggests that it was made using local motifs but inspired closely by west Asian Kernos design.
    Bottom view of same along with a stand alone bull from what's today Balochistan showing similar techinique of manufacture.
    Background note on Kernos ring
    In the typology of ancient Greek pottery, the kernos (Greek κέρνος or κέρχνος, plural kernoi) is a pottery ring or stone tray to which are attached several small vessels for holding offerings. Its unusual design is described in literary sources, which also list the ritual ingredients it might contain.[1] The kernos was used primarily in the cults of Demeter and Kore, and of Cybele and Attis.[2]
    The Greek term is sometimes applied to similar compound vessels from other cultures found in the Mediterranean, the LevantMesopotamia, and South Asia.[3]

    Literary description

    Athenaeus preserves an ancient description of the kernos as
    The kernos was carried in procession at the Eleusinian Mysteries atop the head of a priestess, as can be found depicted in art. A lamp was sometimes placed in the middle of a stationary kernos.[5]


    1. Jump up^ Jacquelyn Collins-Clinton, A Late Antique Shrine of Liber Pater at Cosa (Brill, 1976), pp. 29 –30 online.
    2. Jump up^ Phillippe Borgeaud, Mother of the Gods: From Cybele to the Virgin Mary (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, English translation 2004), passim.
    3. Jump up^ Excavations at Mohenjo Daro, Pakistan: The Pottery (University of Pennsylvania Museum, 1986), p. 226 online.
    4. Jump up^ Athenaeus 11.478c = Polemon, frg. 88 Preller; English translation from Homer A. Thompson, Hellenistic Pottery and Terracottas (American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1987), p. 448 online.
    5. Jump up^ The verb kernophorein means "to bear the kernos"; the noun for this is kernophoria; Stephanos Xanthoudides, "Cretan Kernoi," Annual of the British School at Athens 12 (1906), p. 9.

    Kernos Libation vase. Early Aegean, HelladicBronze Age, Late Helladic Periodabout 1200–1100 B.C.Diameter: 26.7 cm (10 1/2 in.) Accession number: 35.735. "Ring-shaped with bull's head and three small vases, part of fourth, and place for fifth on ring. Twisted basket handle with one of pair of doves on top. Conventional decoratin of herring-bone and floral patterns in dark brown on light pinkish brown clay. Nostrils of bull pierced, and a third hole below. Amphora, 2 skyphoi painted solid. Filled arcs connected by diagonals. Chevrons, triangles. Close Style, perhaps fr. Rhodes or Cyprus (EV)."
    Image result for kernos ring bull bird

    Image result for terracotta kernos ring
    Terracotta tripartite kernos. Louvre Museum.
    Syrian ceramic tripartite vessel with ibex figure.

    Fig.5 Ring kernoi from Cyprus “…an example of a ring-kernos of the White Painted II variety from Cyprus has, over an elaborately painted ring with a basket handle, bull’s and goat’s heads, pomegranates and miniature vases (fig.5).”(BM Pande, opcit., p.318)

    Fig.6 Ring kernoi from Cyprus “Late Mycenaean (c. 1500-1100 BCE), Cyprus, comprises ‘a ring upon which three vessels, two with narrow mouths and one cup with a handle, and a bull’s head is fastened.” (BM Pande, opcit., p.318)

    “The Palestinian examples, notably from Megiddo and Gezer, are again of an elaborate type The Megiddo specimen (fig 10) has, on a ring base, one gazelle head, two amphorae, two pomegranates, two doves and one cup which all communicate with the hollow base. The gazelle head is decorated with red lines, has pierced eyes and orifice through mouth; the other pots or birds are also painted or decorated likewise. The Gezer examples also have alternating figures of birds and pomegranates (fig. 11).” (BM Pande, opcit., pp. 318-319)

    Kernos carried on her head. "The kernos was carried in procession at the Eleusinian Mysteries atop the head of a priestess, as can be found depicted in art. A lamp was sometimes placed in the middle of a stationary kernos. The verb kernophorein means "to bear the kernos"; the noun for this is kernophoria; Stephanos Xanthoudides, "Cretan Kernoi," Annual of the British School at Athens 12 (1906), p. 9."

    2. Rosicrucian Digest, Eleusis, Volume 90 Number 2 2009

    A votive plaque known as the Ninnion Tablet depicting elements of the Eleusinian Mysteries, discovered in the sanctuary at Eleusis (mid-4th century BCE). In this votive plaque depicting elements of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a female figure (top center of rectangular portion) wears a kernos on her head

    Kulli terracotta ring (also called Kernos Ring) with pot, two zebu (bos indicus), black drongo is Indus Script hypertext to signify pōḷā magnetite ore, pwlad 'steel' dhā̆vaḍ, 'smelter' kō̃da,'furnace'  A Note on a Terracotta Ring-shaped Object with Animal Figurines and a Miniature Pot of the Balochistan Tradition in the Okayama Orient Museum by Akinori Uesugi (2013)

    Abstract. In this paper, a terracotta ring-shaped object with animal figurines and a miniature pot in the collection of the Okayama Orient Museum is reported. Although its provenance is unknown, its uniqueness is important for understanding the nature of the Kulli culture in Balochistan during the late third millennium BCE. Similar objects that are known from the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean region may be related to this rare object of the Kulli culure.  

    Description of the Kulli terracotta object with Indus Script Hypertext, ca. 3rd millennium BCE 

    The object consists of a ring with three short legs, two humped bulls, one bird and a miniature pot (Figures above). A whitishslip (light grey 2.5Y 8/2) is executed over areddish orange clay (dull orange 7.5YR 7/3)and paintings are made in black (brownish black 10YR 3/1- yellowish grey 
    2.5Y 4/1).The measurements are shown in Table 1. The bird is placed on the rear side of thering with a tall cylindrical stand.

    I suggest that this terracotta ring object is an Indus Script Hypertext with the following hieroglyph components:

    1.. Zebu, bos indicusपोळा [ pōḷā ] 'zebu, bos indicus taurus' Rupaka, 'metaphor' or rebus (similar sounding homonym): पोळा [ pōḷā ] 'magnetite, ferrite ore: Fe3O4'.
    pōḷa 'zebu' Rebus: pōḷa 'magnetite ore'. पोळ (p. 534) [ pōḷa ] m A bull dedicated to the gods, marked with a trident and discus, and set at large.पोळा (p. 534) [ pōḷā ] m (पोळ) A festive day for cattle,--the day of new moon of श्रावण or of भाद्रपद. Bullocks are exempted from labor; variously daubed and decorated; and paraded about in worship.पोळींव (p. 534) [ pōḷīṃva ] p of पोळणें Burned, scorched, singed, seared. (Marathi)

    2.Bird, black drongo:  pōlaḍu 'black drongo bird' (Telugu) Rupaka, 'metaphor' or rebus:  पोलाद pōlāda n ( or P) Steel. पोलादी a Of steel.  (Marathi) bulad 'steel, flint and steel for making fire' (Amharic); fUlAd 'steel' (Arabic) pōlāda 'steel', pwlad (Russian), fuladh (Persian) folādī (Pashto)

    3. Circle:*varta2 ʻ circular object ʼ or more prob. ʻ something made of metal ʼ, cf. vartaka -- 2 n. ʻ bell -- metal, brass ʼ lex. and vartalōha -- . [√vr̥t?] Pk. vaṭṭa -- m.n., °aya -- m. ʻ cup ʼ; Ash. waṭāˊk ʻ cup, plate ʼ; K. waṭukh, dat. °ṭakas m. ʻ cup, bowl ʼ; S. vaṭo m. ʻ metal drinking cup ʼ; N. bāṭā, ʻ round copper or brass vessel ʼ; A. bāṭi ʻ cup ʼ; B. bāṭā ʻ box for betel ʼ; Or. baṭā ʻ metal pot for betel ʼ, bāṭi ʻ cup, saucer ʼ; Mth. baṭṭā ʻ large metal cup ʼ, bāṭī ʻ small do. ʼ, H. baṭṛī f.; G. M. vāṭī f. ʻ vessel ʼ.(CDIAL 11347) 

    dāẽ 'tied' rebus dhā̆vaḍ 'iron smelter.' Rupaka, 'metaphor' or Rebus: bhaṭa, 'furnace'baṭa 'iron'(Gujarati)

    4. Pot: kuṇḍá1 n. (RV. in cmpd.) ʻ bowl, waterpot ʼ KātyŚr., ʻ basin of water, pit ʼ MBh. (semant. cf. kumbhá -- 1), °ḍaka -- m.n. ʻ pot ʼ Kathās., °ḍī -- f. Pāṇ., °ḍikā -- f. Up. 2. *gōṇḍa -- . [← Drav., e.g. Tam. kuṭam, Kan. guṇḍi, EWA i 226 with other ʻ pot ʼ words s.v. kuṭa -- 1]1. Pa. kuṇḍi -- , °ḍikā -- f. ʻ pot ʼ; Pk. kuṁḍa -- , koṁ° n. ʻ pot, pool ʼ, kuṁḍī -- , °ḍiyā -- f. ʻ pot ʼ; Kt. kuṇi ʻ pot ʼ, Wg. kuṇḍäˊi; Pr. künǰúdotdot; ʻ water jar ʼ; Paš. weg. kuṛã̄ ʻ clay pot ʼ < *kũṛā IIFL iii 3, 98 (or poss. < kuṭa -- 1), lauṛ. kuṇḍalīˊ ʻ bucket ʼ; Gaw. kuṇḍuṛīˊ ʻ milk bowl, bucket ʼ; Kal. kuṇḍṓk ʻ wooden milk bowl ʼ; Kho. kúṇḍuk°ug ʻ milk bowl ʼ, (Lor.) ʻ a kind of platter ʼ; Bshk. kūnḗċ ʻ jar ʼ (+?); K. kŏnḍ m. ʻ metal or earthenware vessel, deep still spring ʼ, kọ̆nḍu m. ʻ large cooking pot ʼ, kunāla m. ʻ earthenware vessel with wide top and narrow base ʼ; S. kunu m. ʻ whirlpool ʼ, °no m. ʻ earthen churning pot ʼ, °nī f. ʻ earthen cooking pot ʼ, °niṛo m.; L. kunnã̄ m. ʻ tub, well ʼ, °nī f. ʻ wide -- mouthed earthen cooking pot ʼ, kunāl m. ʻ large shallow earthen vessel ʼ; P. kū̃ḍā m. ʻ cooking pot ʼ (←H.), kunāl°lā m., °lī f., kuṇḍālā m. ʻ dish ʼ; WPah. cam. kuṇḍ ʻ pool ʼ, bhal. kunnu n. ʻ cistern for washing clothes in ʼ; Ku. kuno ʻ cooking pot ʼ, kuni°nelo ʻ copper vessel ʼ; B. kũṛ ʻ small morass, low plot of riceland ʼ, kũṛi ʻ earthen pot, pipe -- bowl ʼ; Or. kuṇḍa ʻ earthen vessel ʼ, °ḍā ʻ large do. ʼ, °ḍi ʻ stone pot ʼ; Bi. kū̃ṛ ʻ iron or earthen vessel, cavity in sugar mill ʼ, kū̃ṛā ʻ earthen vessel for grain ʼ; Mth. kũṛ ʻ pot ʼ, kū̃ṛā ʻ churn ʼ; Bhoj. kũṛī ʻ vessel to draw water in ʼ; H. kū̃ḍ f. ʻ tub ʼ, kū̃ṛā m. ʻ small tub ʼ, kū̃ḍā m. ʻ earthen vessel to knead bread in ʼ, kū̃ṛī f. ʻ stone cup ʼ; G. kũḍ m. ʻ basin ʼ, kũḍī f. ʻ water jar ʼ; M. kũḍ n. ʻ pool, well ʼ, kũḍā m. ʻ large openmouthed jar ʼ, °ḍī f. ʻ small do. ʼ; Si. ken̆ḍiyakeḍ° ʻ pot, drinking vessel ʼ.2. N. gũṛ ʻ nest ʼ (or ← Drav. Kan. gūḍu ʻ nest ʼ, &c.: see kulāˊya -- ); H. gõṛā m. ʻ reservoir used in irrigation ʼ.Addenda: kuṇḍa -- 1: S.kcch. kūṇḍho m. ʻ flower -- pot ʼ, kūnnī f. ʻ small earthen pot ʼ; WPah.kṭg. kv́ṇḍh m. ʻ pit or vessel used for an oblation with fire into which barley etc. is thrown ʼ; J. kũḍ m. ʻ pool, deep hole in a stream ʼ; Brj. kū̃ṛo m., °ṛī f. ʻ pot ʼ.(CDIAL 3264) Rupaka, 'metaphor' or Rebus: kō̃da -कोँद ।'kiln'; kundanace' (Kashmiri)

    Top and front views of the terracotta ring object with Indus Script Hypertexts (zebu, bird, pot), in Okayama Orient Museum

    Terracotta ring objects (called 'Kernos Ring') are widely distributed in Kulli culture (After Fig. 8 in Akinori Uesugi's monograph)
    Chronological distribution of ring-shapedobjects in Southwest Asia from 5000 BCE(After Fig. 9 in Akinori Uesugi's monograph)The ring object dated to 5000 BCE is from Tell Kosak Shamali in northern Syria. Similar objects continue upto the first millennium BCE.
    Kulli style animal figures (zebu, bird) in Okayama Orient Museum.

    0 0
    0 0

    Haryana anthropomorph.

    Brāhmī inscription appears to be shown on Haryana anthropomorph just below the Varāha. I suggest this overlay of Brāhmī syllables is intended to signify the name of the holder of the calling card. The first line of syllables seem to read: saṁjñaga, which means: signifier. This is consistent with my reading that the anthropomorphs are dharma samjña, signifiers of responsibilities of the metalsmith-carpenter-merchant.

    The characteristic standing posture of the anthropomorph is 'spread legs'. This is an Indus Script hypertext: कर्णक m. du. the two legs spread out AV. xx , 133 , 3; kárṇaka, kannā 'legs spread', rebus: कर्णिक [p= 257,2] m. a steersman, helmsman (Monier-Williams)

    Lines 2 in Brāhmī syllables indicates tha name of the merchant-metalsmith: 

    की म झी थ         kī ma jhi tha (Note: Majithis is a common name in the Punjab. 


    Location in Punjab, India
    Coordinates: 31.76°N 74.95°E
    Country  India
    State Punjab
    District Amritsar
     • Type state government
    Population (2011)
     • Total 14,503
     • Official Punjabi
    Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
    Majitha is a town and a municipal council in Amritsar district in the Indian state of Punjab.
    (Gopal, Madan, ed. (1998). Brahmo Samaj and Dyal Singh Majithia. New Delhi: Uppal Publishing House. p. 3. ISBN 8185565929.)

    It is possible that Line 3 is a composition of Indus Script Hieroglyphs (and NOT Brāhmī syllables). Framed on this hypothesis, the message of Line 3 signifies: 

    mū̃h baṭa 'iron ingot', 
    baran, bharat'mixed copper, zinc, tin alloy metal' and 
    khāṇḍā metalware. 
    Hypertext of Sign 336 has hieroglyph components: muka 'ladle' (Tamil)(DEDR 4887) Rebus: mū̃h'ingot' (Santali).PLUSSign 328 baṭa 'rimless pot' rebus: baṭa 'iron'

    Sign 48 is a 'backbone, spine' hieroglyph: baraḍo = spine; backbone (Tulu) Rebus: baran, bharat 'mixed alloys' (5 copper, 4 zinc and 1 tin)

    Sign 211 'arrow' hieroglyph: kaṇḍa ‘arrow’ (Skt.) H. kãḍerā m. ʻ a caste of bow -- and arrow -- makers (CDIAL 3024). Or. kāṇḍa, kã̄ṛ ʻstalk, arrow ʼ(CDIAL 3023). ayaskāṇḍa ‘a quantity of iron, excellent  iron’ (Pāṇ.gaṇ) Thus ciphertext kaṇḍa ‘arrow’ is rebus hypertext kāṇḍa 'excellent iron', khāṇḍā 'tools, pots and pans, metal-ware'. 

    saṁjñāˊ f. ʻ agreement, understanding ʼ ŚBr., ʻ sign ʼ MBh. [√jñā]Pa. saññā -- f. ʻ sense, sign ʼ, Pk. saṁṇā -- f.; S. sañaṇu ʻ to point out ʼ; WPah.jaun. sān ʻ sign ʼ, Ku. sān f., N. sān; B. sān ʻ understanding, feeling, gesture ʼ; H. sān f. ʻ sign, token, trace ʼ; G. sān f. ʻ sense, understanding, sign, hint ʼ; M. sã̄j̈ f. ʻ rule to make an offering to the spirits out of the new corn before eating it, faithfulness of the ground to yield its usual crop ʼ, sã̄jẽ n. ʻ vow, promise ʼ; Si. sanaha˚ ʻ sign ʼ; -- P. H. sain f. ʻ sign, gesture ʼ (in mng. ʻ signature ʼ ← Eng. sign), G. sen f. are obscure. Addenda: saṁjñā -- : WPah.J. sā'n f. ʻ symbol, sign ʼ; kṭg. sánku m. ʻ hint, wink, coquetry ʼ, H. sankī f. ʻ wink ʼ, sankārnā ʻ to hint, nod, wink ʼ Him.I 209.(CDIAL 12874)

    meḍ 'body', meḍho 'ram' rebus: mẽṛhẽt, meḍ 'iron' (ram hieroglyph, (human) body hieroglyph)
    कर्णक m. du. the two legs spread out AV. xx , 133 , 3 rebus: कर्णिक having a helm; a steersman (Monier-Williams) 
    ayas 'alloy metal' (fish hieroglyph)
    कोंद kōnda ‘engraver' (one-horned young bull hieroglyph)
    bāṛaï 'carpenter' (boar hieroglyph)
    bari barea 'merchant' (boar hieroglyph)

    The anthropomorphs are dharma samjña, signifiers of responsibilities of the metalsmith-carpenter-merchant. Signs 389, 387 signify mũhã̄ kuṭhi 'ingot smelter', mũhã̄ kolami 'ingot smithy, forge'.
    Anthropomorphs of Sarasvati Civilization are Indus Script hypertexts which signify metalwork.
    1.. Sign 389,  bun-ingot shape (oval) + 'twig', i.e. ingots produced from a smelter. This indicates that copper plates on which this hypertext occurs with high frequency are accounting ledgers of products produced from a smelter.
    2. Sign 387, bun-ingot shape (oval) + 'riceplant', i.e. ingots worked on in a smithy/forge. This hypertext DOES NOT occur on copper plates. This indicates that Sign 387 signifies ingots processed in a smithy/forge, i.e. to forge ingots into metalware, tools, implements, weapons.

    The two distinctly orthographed Indus Script hypertexts signify 1. mũhã̄ kuṭhi 'ingot smelter', 2. mũhã̄ kolami 'ingot smithy, forge'.

    For interpretation of the anthropomorph hypertexts by S.Kalyanaraman, see:  



    Image result for anthropomorphs bharatkalyan97

    A composite copper anthropomorphic figure along with a copper sword was found by Dr. Sanjay Manjul, Director, Institute of Archaeology at the Central Antiquity Section, ASI, Purana Qila in 2005. This composite copper anthropomorph is a solitary example in the copper hoard depicting a Varāha 'boar' head. The Anthropomorph figure, its inscription and animal motif that it bears, illustrate the continuity between the Harappan and Early Historical period.

    Hieroglyph: mẽḍhā 'curved horn', miṇḍāl 'markhor' (Tōrwālī) meḍhoram, a sheep; mē̃ḍh 'ram' Rebus: Медь [Med'] (Russian, Slavic) 'copper'. meḍ'iron' (Mu.Ho.)

    मृदु, मृदा--कर 'iron, thunderbolt'  मृदु mṛdu 'a kind of iron' मृदु-कार्ष्णायसम्,-कृष्णायसम् soft-iron, lead.
    Santali glosses.
    Sa. <i>mE~R~hE~'d</i> `iron'.  ! <i>mE~RhE~d</i>(M).

    Ma. <i>mErhE'd</i> `iron'.

    Mu. <i>mERE'd</i> `iron'.

      ~ <i>mE~R~E~'d</i> `iron'.  ! <i>mENhEd</i>(M).

    Ho <i>meD</i> `iron'.

    Bj. <i>merhd</i>(Hunter) `iron'.

    KW <i>mENhEd</i>


    — Slavic glosses for 'copper'

    Мед [Med]Bulgarian

    Bakar Bosnian

    Медзь [medz']Belarusian

    Měď Czech

    Bakar Croatian


    Бакар [Bakar]Macedonian

    Miedź Polish

    Медь [Med']Russian

    Meď Slovak


    Бакар [Bakar]Serbian

    Мідь [mid'] Ukrainian[unquote]

    Miedź, med' (Northern Slavic, Altaic) 'copper'.  

    One suggestion is that corruptions from the German "Schmied", "Geschmeide" = jewelry. Schmied, a smith (of tin, gold, silver, or other metal)(German) result in med ‘copper’.

    ayo meḍh 'metal merchant' ayo mēdhā 'metal expert' 
    PLUS  karṇika 'spread legs' rebus: karṇika कर्णिक 'steersman'.
    barāh, baḍhi 'boar' vāḍhī, bari, barea 'merchant' bārakaśa 'seafaring vessel'.
    eka-shingi 'one-masted' koḍiya ‘young bull’, koṭiya 'dhow', kũdār 'turner, brass-worker'.
    Daimabad seal. Note:  karṇika 'helmsman' is also signified by the hieroglyph: rim-of-jar: kanka, karNika 'rim of jar' rebus 2: karNI 'supercargo' -- a representative of the ship's owner on board a merchant ship, responsible for overseeing the cargo and its sale.

    Subhash Kak has suggested alternate readings, see:

    शं झ ग              śam ña ga
    की म झी थ         kī ma jhi tha
    त ड य              ta ḍa ya

    Figure 1. The copper object and the text together with the reading in Munjal, S.K. and Munjal, A. (2007). Composite anthropomorphic figure from Haryana: a solitary example of copper hoard. Prāgdhārā (Number 17). 

    Anthropomorph found in a foundation of a house in a village called Kheri Gujar in Sonepat District in Haryana. The house itself rests on an ancient mound that has been variously dated to Late Harappan. The object is about 2 kg. and has dimensions of 30×28.5 cm.

    0 0

    This monograph proclaims the death of a central Indo-European linguistic doctrine of Aryan Migration into India. 

    With the discovery of Baghpat charioteers, armourers, mint-masters, heralded in Indus Script Corpora, the death of Indo-European linguistic doctrine is confirmed and documented. This confirmation is a reinforcement of Kikkuli's use of Indo-Aryan (Meluhha) loan words in a Hittite document of 13th century BCE on methods of training horses. (Dr A. Nyland, The Kikkuli Method of Horse Training, Revised Edition, 2009, Maryannu Press, Sydney, p. 9.)

    Indo-European linguistic doctrine is often elaborated, glorified suggesting -- in a false hypothesis, motivated mythical construct --that Aryans invaded or migrated into India on horse-drawn chariots. This is Eurocentric, racist, faith-based speculation unauthenticated by evidence.

    Antenna sword found in Baghpat. Beside the dead man was found this sword and metal weapon fragment.

    Baghpat heroes, charioteers are mint-masters, armourers.  
    I suggest that the eight anthropomorphs on the coffin lid of Baghpat carry swords on their waist-belts. This is an Indus Script hypertext to signify: Pk. ṭaṁka -- m. ʻstone -- chisel, sword' Rebus: ṭaṅkaśālā -- , ṭaṅkakaś° f. ʻ mint ʼ lex. [ṭaṅka -- 1, śāˊlā -- ]N. ṭaksāl°ār, B. ṭāksālṭã̄k°ṭek°, Bhoj. ṭaksār, H. ṭaksāl°ār f., G. ṭãksāḷ f., M. ṭã̄ksālṭāk°ṭãk°ṭak°. -- Deriv. G. ṭaksāḷī m. ʻ mint -- master ʼ, M. ṭāksāḷyā m. Addenda: ṭaṅkaśālā -- : Brj. ṭaksāḷī, °sārī m. ʻ mint -- master ʼ.(CDIAL 5434) The warrior with horns and a ligatured ficus glomerata leaf (loa'ficus glomerata' rebus: loh'copper') is a dhangar'blacksmith', working with loh'copper' in a ko 'horn' rebus; ko 'workshop'. This is evidence of Baghpat artisans creating wealth of a nation in 2nd millennium BCE. The Marathi expression ṭāksāḷyā is instructive. -sāḷyā signifies a sharp weapon.; thus, ṭāksāḷyā is mint-master is a metals weapons-maker. It is clear that he is also a charioteer.

    IE linguistic doctrine out, Bhāratiya sprachbund in

    It’s time to rethink horse (equus caballus) imports into ancient India as an argument for this Indo-European linguistic doctrine which has held sway in mainstream academia, muddling the indigenous identity and cultural roots of Meluhha (mleccha, copper artisan) speakers of Ancient India who made this the wealthiest nation on the globe ca. 1 CE (pace Angus Maddison) contributing to 33% of Global GDP. In Ancient India, Dravidian and Indo-Aryan languages shared a number of features that were not inherited from a common source, but were areal features, the result of diffusion during sustained contact.(Emeneau, Murray (1956), "India as a Linguistic Area", Language, 32 (1): 3–16). 

    The delineation of Indian sprachbund of the Bronze Age is based on the metallurgical vocables and expressions so diffused during sustained contacts along the Maritime Tin Route.

    In the context of Indo-European language family, a comparable profundity in understanding semantics is made by MB Emeneau, a co-author of Dravidian Etymological Dictionary with T. Burrow. Identifying an Indian sprachbund, Emeneau proposed in 1956 in his paper, 'India as a Linguistic Area' based on his observation that Dravidian and Indo-Aryan languages shared a number of language areal structural language features caused by sustained contact among Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Munda and Tibeto-Burma language families. One such shared feature was reduplication of words in sentences or phrases.  Within Autro-Asiatic language family for which an Etymological Dictionary is under construction in University of Hawii, Khmer (Mon–Khmer), Cham (Austronesian) and Lao (Kadai) languages have almost identical vowel systems. Sumerian and Akkadian have shared features. (Deutscher, Guy, 2007, Syntactic changes in Akkadian. Sumerian has substratum words which have parallels in Indian languages, words such as sanga 'priest' [sanghvi 'leader of pilgrims' (Gujarati)]; nangar 'carpenter', ashgab 'leather worker'. The evolution of sentential complementation, Oxford University Press, p. 20-21). This linguistic exploration of sprachbunds should go on to delineate with reasonable precision the Indian sprachbund relatable to Indus Script Corpora.

    Identifying an Indian sprachbund can also be advanced by using archaeological evidences of artifacts and epigraphs. One set of epigraphs has emerged for Indian sprachbund which is composed as about 8000 epigraphs in Indus Script Corpora. For example, Brunswig et al have identified some epigraphs with or without cuneiform inscriptions which share features with Indus Script epigraphs of the corpora, say, compiled by Marshall, Mahadevan, Parpola.

    Bharatiya sprachbund or language union. “(Sprachbund or linguistic area is) an area which includes languages belonging to more than one family but showing traits in common which are found not to belong to the other members of (at least) one of the families.” (MB Emeneau, India as a Linguistic Area, Lg. 32:1.3-16 (1956); see p. 16, fn. 28) For Emeneau, it is a ‘multi-familial convergence (or diffusion) area’. "In Language in India (9, Jan, 2002), G. Sankaranarayanan observes how repeating words and forms is a significant feature that extends across the Indian subcontinent and includes not only the Sanskrit and Tamil derivatives but also Munda and languages from the Tibetan-Burmese group."

    Many researchers have reached a consensus that ancient India constituted a linguistic area (cf. Southworth, FC 2005;Emeneau, MB 1980Masica, CP 1993; Kuiper, FBJ 1967, Indo-Iranian Journal 10: 81-102), that is, an area wherein specific language-speakers absorbed features from other languages and made the features their own. To delineate such a linguistic area and the glosses that might have been used in that area, the glosses are chosen from all Indian languages. Indian language glosses are compared because there is evidence for cultural continuum of the civilizationwhich produced the objects inscribed with Indus script. [cf. Sarasvati – Vedic River and Hindu Civilization by S. Kalyanaraman (2008)].The glosses are semantically-phonetically clustered together in an Indian lexicon which helps construct a subset as of lexemes substrate dictionary of the linguistic area. The assumption is that one or more languages of this lexicon could hold the legacy of the words used by the authors of the civilization who also invented the writing system. Ancient texts from India confirm this linguistic area. An ancient text called Manusmrti refers to two categories of speakers of languages: Mleccha vaacas and Arya vaacas. This is explained as those who speak ungrammatical, colloquial tongues and those who speak grammatically correct speech. Both mleccha vaacas and arya vaacas (that is, mleccha speakers and arya speakers) are referred to as the same people: dasyu (cognate: daha). The choice of the Indian linguistic area and its substrate dictionary is justified on the following grounds: 1) there is substantial evidence for the essential continuity of the culture of the civilization into historical periods; 2) Akkadian is ruled out as a possible underlying language because a cuneiform cylinder seal showing a seafaring Meluhhanmerchant (carrying an antelope) required an interpreter, Shu-ilishu, confirming that the Meluhhan's language was not Akkadian; and 3) there is substantial agreement among scholars pointing to the Indian civilization area as Meluhha mentioned in Mesopotamian texts of 3rd-2nd millennium BCE. That meluhha and mleccha are cognate and that mleccha is attested as a mleccha vaacas (mleccha speech) distinguished from arya vaacas (arya speech) indicates that the linguistic area had a colloquial, ungrammatical mleccha speech and a grammatically correct arya speech. The substrate glosses of the Indian lexicon are thus reasonably assumed to be the glosses of mleccha vaacas, the speech of the artisans who produced the artifacts and the inscribed objects with the writing system. This assumption is further reinforced by the fact that about 80% of archaeological sites of the civilization are found on the banks of Vedic River Sarasvati leading some scholars to rename the Indus Valley civilization as Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization.

    **Dr. Kalyanaraman's Indian Lexicon - A comparative study of the 'semantics' of lexemes of all the languages of India (which may also be referred to, in a geographical/ historical phrase, as the Indian linguistic area). The objective of the lexicon is to discover the semantic repertoire of India ca. 3000 B.C.E to further facilitate efforts at deciphering the inscriptions and script of the Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization.

    Baghpat discoveries of indigenous chariots of 3rd m BCE drawn possibly by Riwoche or Botai ponies are likely to shake the foundations of this linguistic doctrine.

    In the wake of the recent discovery of chariot burials reported from Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, India, Vijay Kumar makes a convincing case which refutes the linguistic doctrine of AIT/AMT (Aryan Invasion/Migration Theory) relied upon by proponents of these theories about horse (equus caballus) as an import into Hindu civilization, together with the Indo-European languages. See:

    A note on chariot burials found at Sinauli district Baghpat UP -- Vijay Kumar (Courtesy IJA Vol3, No.2, 2018) 

    Riwoche or Botai Ponies were indigenous to India. Languages indigenous to India explain the famous horse training manual of Kikkuli in Hittite but with technical expressions chosen from language(s) close to Vedic Samsktam.

    An alternative to the IE linguistic doctrine of AIT/AMT is Indian sprachbund (speech union) which explains over 8000 Indus Script Inscriptions as wealth accounting ledgers, metalwork catalogues in Meluhha language.


    Vijay Kumar's article is emphatic that the chariots of Baghpat were horse-drawn (unlike the Daimabad chariot). Let us await further detailed reports and fine print from Archaeological Survey of India on the Baghpat findings.

    See the wikipedia entry on Riwoche horse. Riwoche horse

    Link of Riwoche horse to Botai (horse) culture cannot be ruled out.

    IRV 1.162.18, the sacrificial horse is described as having 34 (2x17) ribs:

    The four-and-thirty ribs of the Swift Charger, kin to the Gods, the slayer's hatchet pierces.
    Cut ye with skill, so that the parts be flawless, and piece by piece declaring them dissect them. (trans. Griffith)

    Equus caballus, modern horses have normally 36 ribs. 

    Does Botai or Riwoche horse have only 34 ribs? If so, it is possible that the horse mentioned in 
    R̥gveda may be a reference to such a horse with only 34 ribs. Maybe, equus sivalensis also has 34 ribs.
    So, Kikkuli who wrote the horse training manual 1400 BCE of Mitanni may have related to a Botai horse from Baghpat, writing in Indo-Aryan (Indian sprachbund, speech union).

    The text of Kikkuli contains a complete prescription for conditioning (exercise and feeding) Hittite war horses over 214 days. (Dr A. Nyland, The Kikkuli Method of Horse Training, Revised Edition, 2009, Maryannu Press, Sydney, p. 9.)

    Surviving texts of Kikkuli's horse training manual
    1. CTH 284, best preserved, Late Hittite copy (13th century BCE)
    2. CTH 285, contemporary Middle Hittite copy with a ritual introduction
    3. CTH 286, contemporary Middle Hittite copy
    CTH 284 consists of four well preserved tablets or a total of 1080 lines. The text is notable for its Mitanni (Indo-Aryan) loanwords, e.g. the numeral compounds aiga-tera-panza-satta-nāwa-wartanna ("one, three, five, seven, nine intervals", virtually Vedic eka-, tri-, pañca- sapta-, nava-vartana. Kikkuli apparently was faced with some difficulty getting specific Mitannian concepts across in the Hittite language, for he frequently gives a term such as “Intervals” in his own language (somewhat similar to Vedic Sanskrit), and then states, “this means…” and explained it in Hittite.
    The indications are clear that Kikkuli wrote the manual using Indo-Aryan (Indian sprachbund) words and expressions (which I call Indian sprachbund -- speech union, in the context of translations of Indus Script messages as wealth accounting ledgers, metalwork catalogues.
    I suggest that the proponents of AIT/AMT arguments may have to explore the possibility that the horse-drawn chariot found in the chariot burials of Baghpat may have been drawn by Riwoche/Botai or Equus sivalensis type of horses with 34 ribs.
    Close-up views of lid of coffin, decorated with 8 copper anthropomorphs. Baghpat. loaficus glomerata’ rebus:loh‘copper’ dhangra ‘bull’ rebus:dhangar‘blacksmith’bhaṭa ‘warrior’ rebus: bhaṭa‘furnace’.The decorated coffin with 8 copper anthropomorphs signify 8 vasu-s, metaphors of wealth and heroism. The orthography clearly demonstrates a warrior with a dagger on his waist-belt.
    Maybe, the chariots shown on Bharhut and Sanchi sculptural friezes of 2nd cent. BCE were also drawn by Riwoche/Botai horses, and NOT the equus caballus with 36 ribs.
    Chariot wheel. Copper triangles decorate the wheels.

    Chariot wheel. Copper triangles decorate the wheels.

    In situ carriage pole. Another grave. Baghpat. The length of the pole indicates a chariot component

    Close-up views of lid of coffin, decorated with 8 copper anthropomorphs. Baghpat. loaficus glomerata’ rebus:loh‘copper’ dhangra ‘bull’ rebus:dhangar‘blacksmith’bhaṭa ‘warrior’ rebus: bhaṭa‘furnace’.The decorated coffin with 8 copper anthropomorphs signify 8 vasu-s, metaphors of wealth and heroism. The orthography clearly demonstrates a warrior with a dagger on his waist-belt.

    Muga Pakkha Jataka carved on a Bharhut sculptural panel. Shows chariot drawn by horses.
    Sanchi sculptural panel shows a chariot drawn by horses
    A drawing of the Baghpat chariot posited by Sanjay Manjul

    Chariot box, Chanhu-daro. Bronze

    Chariot box. Harappa. Bronze

    Comparable chariot-box from Ur standard (chariot drawn by onagers)
    This possibility of interactions with Mesopotamia and Ancient India shakes the foundations of the AIT/AMT proponents who rely substantially on horse evidence in the R̥gveda to justify the linguistic doctrine of 'Aryan Invasion (now Migration).


    Pictorial Motrif-49 (ASI 1977 Concordance of Indus Script) Uncertain animal with dotted circles on the body. A horn or tusk is ligatured to the animal's nose. In front of the animalis a slantedline. There are two hieroglyphs as hypertext. 
    Hieroglyph: Dotted circles: See dhāī˜ (Lahnda) signifies a single strand of rope or thread; rebus: dhAu 'mineral, red ore'.

    Image result for onager

    dant 'tusk' rebus: dhatu'mineral ore'; kōḍu horn. is a phonetic determinative of the rings on the neck of the animal (koḍiyum) rebus: koḍ 'workshop'. khara'donkey' rebu: khār'blacksmith'. Thus,the hypertext (hieroglyph-multiplex) blacksmith's workshop (for) dhAtu 'strand (dotted circle)' rebus: dhātu 'minerls'. 

    Hypertext of dot PLUS circle: The phoneme dhāī˜ (Lahnda) signifying a single strand may thus signify the hieroglyph: dotted circle. This possibility is reinforced by the glosses in Rigveda, Tamil and other languages of Baratiya sprachbund which are explained by the word dāya 'playing of dice' which is explained by the cognate Tamil word: தாயம் tāyamn. < dāya Number one in the game of dice; கவறுருட்டவிழும் ஒன்று
     என்னும் எண். The circle is: vr̥tta, vaṭṭa 'circle'; thus, together, the expression reads:  धावड 'smelter' 
    smelter of iron (Marathi). 

    I have suggested that dotted circle hieroglyphs on the body of the animal are cross-sections of a strand of rope: S. dhāī f. ʻ wisp of fibres added from time to time to a rope that is being twisted ʼ, L. dhāī˜ f. Rebus: dhāˊtu n. ʻsubstance ʼ RV., m. ʻ element ʼ MBh., ʻ metal, mineral, ore (esp. of a red colour)ʼ; dhāūdhāv m.f. ʻ a partic. soft red stone ʼ(Marathi) धवड (p. 436) [ dhavaḍa ] m (Or धावड) A class or an individual of it. They are smelters of iron (Marathi).  Hence, the depiction of a single dotted circle, two dotted circles and three dotted circles (called trefoil) on the robe of the Purifier priest of Mohenjo-daro.

    The slanted stroke in front of the animal on Pict-49 is ḍhāḷa 'slope' rebus: ḍhāḷa 'Cast, mould, form (as ofmetal vessels, trinkets &c.'; ḍhālako 'a large metal ingot'. Two other hieroglyphs (hypertext) on top line signify: kanka 'rim of jar' rebus: karNI 'Supercargo' karNaka 'engraver, account' PLUS dula 'pair' rebus: dul 'metal casting' PLUS kolmo 'rice plant' rebus: kolimi 'smithy, forge'. Thus, the hypertext is an account rendered to Supercargo of metal castings from smithy/forge. The specific cargo include large ingots (perhaps oxhide shaped ingots) of minerals [perhaps, copper, iron indicated by the 'dotted circles' dhāī 'strand' rebus: dhāūdhāv m.f. ʻ a partic. soft red stone ʼ(Marathi)].

    This note identifies this body part as khara Equus hemionus, 'Indian wild ass' which roams the Great Indian Thar desert and Rann of Kutch. khara 'wild ass, onager' rebus: khār खार् 'blacksmith' (Kashmiri)

    *kharapāla ʻ donkey -- driver ʼ. [khara -- 1, pālá -- ]Paš. kharwāl. (CDIAL 3822) khara1 m. ʻ donkey ʼ KātyŚr., °rī -- f. Pāṇ.NiDoc. Pk. khara -- m., Gy. pal. ḳăr m., kắri f., arm. xari, eur. gr. kherkfer, rum. xerú, Kt. kur, Pr. korūˊ, Dm. khar m., °ri f., Tir. kh*lr, Paš. lauṛ. kharm., khär f., Kal. urt. khār, Phal. khār m., khári f., K. khar m., khürü f., pog. kash. ḍoḍ. khar, S. kharu m., P. G. M. khar m., OM. khari f.; -- ext. Ash.kərəṭék, Shum. xareṭá; <-> L. kharkā m., °kī f. -- Kho. khairánu ʻ donkey's foal ʼ (+?).*kharapāla -- ; -- *kharabhaka -- .Addenda: khara -- 1: Bshk. Kt. kur ʻ donkey ʼ (for loss of aspiration Morgenstierne ID 334).(CDIAL 3818)*kharatara -- ʻ mule ʼ. [khara -- 1: cf. Ir. *xaratara -- in Khot. khaḍara ʻ mule ʼ H. W. Bailey BSOAS x 590 and letter 14.9.79, Sogd. gatark Benveniste Textes sogdiens 179 (→ Turk. qatir → Oss.dig. qadir). See Type aśvatará -- in New Indo -- aryan R. L. Turner in ColPa 419ff.](CDIAL 3820a)

    khār 1 खार् । लोहकारः m. (sg. abl. khāra 1 खार; the pl. dat. of this word is khāran 1 खारन्, which is to be distinguished from khāran 2, q.v., s.v.), ablacksmith, an iron worker (cf. bandūka-khār, p. 111b, l. 46; K.Pr. 46; H. xi, 17); a farrier (El.). This word is often a part of a name, and in such case comes at the end (W. 118) as in Wahab khār, Wahab the smith (H. ii, 12; vi, 17). khāra-bastakhāra-basta खार-बस््त । चर्मप्रसेविका f. the skin bellows of a blacksmith. -büṭhü -ब&above;ठू&below; । लोहकारभित्तिः f. the wall of a blacksmith's furnace or hearth. -bāy -बाय् । लोहकारपत्नी f. a blacksmith's wife (Gr.Gr. 34). -dŏkuru  । लोहकारायोघनः m. a blacksmith's hammer, a sledge-hammer. -gȧji ; or -güjü । लोहकारचुल्लिः f. a blacksmith's furnace or hearth. -hāl -हाल् । लोहकारकन्दुःf. (sg. dat. -höjü ), a blacksmith's smelting furnace; cf. hāl 5. -kūrü । लोहकारकन्या f. a blacksmith's daughter. -koṭu -; । लोहकारपुत्रः m. the son of a blacksmith, esp. a skilful son, who can work at the same profession. -küṭü ; । लोहकारकन्या f. a blacksmith's daughter, esp. one who has the virtues and qualities properly belonging to her father's profession or caste. -më˘ʦü 1  । लोहकारमृत्तिका f. (for 2, see [khāra 3] ), 'blacksmith's earth,' i.e. iron-ore. -nĕcyuwu -न्यचिवु&below; । लोहकारात्मजः m. a blacksmith's son. -nay -नय् । लोहकारनालिका f. (for khāranay 2, see [khārun] ), the trough into which the blacksmith allows melted iron to flow after smelting. -ʦañĕ  लोहकारशान्ताङ्गाराः charcoal used by blacksmiths in their furnaces. -wān वान् । लोहकारापणः m. a blacksmith's shop, a forge, smithy (K.Pr. 3). -waṭh -वठ् । आघाताधारशिला m. (sg. dat. -waṭas -वटि), the large stone used by a blacksmith as an anvil.(Kashmiri)
    dula 'two' rebus: dul 'metal casting' PLUS kolmo 'rice plant' rebus: kolimi 'smithy, forge'. Thus, metal casting smithy/forge.