Ancient India- Indus Pre-History

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The areas of present-day India, Pakistan, and Nepal have provided archaeologists and scholars with the richest sites of the most ancient pedigree. The species Homo heidelbergensis (a proto human who was an ancestor of modern Homo sapiens) inhabited the sub-continent of India centuries before humans migrated into the region known as Europe. Evidence of the existence of Homo heidelbergensis was first discovered in Germany in 1907 and, since, further discoveries have established fairly clear migration patterns of this species out of Africa.

Western excavations in India did not begin in earnest until the 1920’s. Though the ancient city of Harappa was known to exist as early as 1842, its archaeological significance was ignored; and the later excavations corresponded to an interest in locating the probable sites referred to in the great Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana (both of the 5th or 4th centuries BCE) while ignoring the possibility of a much more ancient past for the region.

The village of Balathal (near Udaipur in Rajasthan), to cite only one example, illustrates the antiquity of India’s history as it dates to 4000 BCE. Balathal was not discovered until 1962 CE and excavations were not begun there until the 1990’s CE.

Skeletons from one of the world’s oldest civilizations—the Indus Valley or Harappan Civilization—have been unearthed in India. Scientists hope to be able to examine their genetic makeup to learn more about these ancient people.

The Indus Valley Civilization of India, Afghanistan and Pakistan covered about 2 million square miles (5.2 million square km) at its height and was extant from about 4500 to 1800 BC.

The skeletons found at the sites of the Indus Valley Civilisation were dated to about 5,000 years old and were unearthed in a cemetery in Rakhigarhi, a city of the ancient civilization.

Rakhigarhi, in the present-day state of Haryana, is the biggest Harappan or Indus Valley Civilization site, bigger even than the famed Mohenjo-daro.

Archaeologists have found various structures and many different types of artifacts at Rakhigarhi, including, toys, tools, fish hooks, copper tools, bone hairpins, beads of minerals and ivory, pottery with various designs, chert weights for trade or taxation, and jewelry from outside the vicinity. They also found seals with tigers inscribed on them.

The excavation carried out in the Narmada valley at Mehtakhedi village under Khargone district has led to the discovery of 350 archaeological remains which the experts claim to be 50,000 years old. Around 350 antiquities were found during excavation.

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