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Pre-Iron Age artefacts from Sanauli excavation site to be tested further: Manjul

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The pre-Iron Age artefacts recently unearthed from Sanauli in and housed in the premises of the ASI's Institute of will be investigated further to test the theories being conjectured around the findings, a said today.

Along with copper-plated anthropomorphic figures and other artefacts dug out from the burial pits at the in district, the archaeologists had also found remains of chariots.

A team of experts led by of the Institute of S K Manjul, had on June 4 claimed that these were "first-ever" physical evidence of chariots in the sub-continent dating back to 2,000 BC - 1,800 BC.

He said five burial pits were unearthed with some having one chariot while other having more.

Decorated with copper motifs, the findings of the Copper-Bronze Age have opened up further research opportunities into the area's civilisation and culture.

"The chariots have wheels made of wood, which were covered with copper plate. The wood has decayed but the form can be seen due to copper-plating.

"The yoke and axle of the wheels are, however, intact, which would help in the investigation. The swords and daggers are of solid copper and indicate they were of warrior class," Manjul said.

The three-month long excavation, which started in March this year, has unearthed eight burial sites and several artifacts including three coffins, antenna swords, daggers, combs, and ornaments, among others.

The findings also shed light on the noteworthy progress Indian civilisation had made at the time, making it on par with the 2000 BC Mesopotamian civilisation, Manjul said.

"Those artefacts are presently housed in the premises of the institute (located inside premises). They will be further investigated to test the theories that have been conjectured since their excavation. For example, the possibility of the pits being royal ones or the weapons being of warrior class," he told

Besides, swords and daggers, shields, copper pots, steatite beads and other artefacts were also dug out during the excavation.

Manjul had termed the digging drive by the ASI team at Sanauli a "path-breaking" one, because of the copper plated anthropomorphic figures -- having horns and peepal-leafed crowns -- found on the coffins, that indicated a possibility of "royal burials".

"For the first time in the entire Indian sub-continent we have found this kind of a coffin. The cover is highly decorated with eight anthropomorphic figures. The sides of the coffins are also decorated with floral motifs," he had said.

Coffins have been discovered during excavations in Harappa, Mohenjo Daro and Dholavira (Gujarat), but never with copper decorations, he added.

The excavation site, located 70 km out of Delhi, which is likely to be closed soon in view of the impending monsoon, lies 120 metres from an earlier one in the village, excavated in 2005, where 116 burials were found along with antenna swords and pottery.

"After investigation, the artefacts would be kept in a storage," Manjul said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 09 2018. 16:30 IST