In a recent excavation near the Sanauli village in UP’s Baghpat, the Archeological Survey of India has discovered the ‘First Ever’ physical evidence of chariots being used in a near 2000 BC period. As per reports, the excavation that has turned up royal burial sites with sophisticated weaponry, ornaments, pottery and other materials suggest that a highly sophisticated ‘warrior class’ civilisation in that region.
The 3-month long excavation was reportedly started in March this year is 120 metres away from a 2005 excavation site that had turned up 116 burial sites which were similar to that of Harappan civilisation. However, as per ASI experts, though further investigations need to be carried out to determine the race of the remains, the current findings do not belong to the Harappan civilisation. A total of 3 chariots have been reportedly found with decorated copper motifs. As mentioned by The Daily Pioneer, these findings are expected to add further insights into researches on the history and dates of Mahabharata period.
SK Manjul, the director of Institute of Archeology has reportedly stated that the wheels of the chariots rotated on a fixed axle linked by a draft pole to the yoke of a pair of animals. The superstructure attached to the axle contains a platform, protective side screens and a dashboard. The wheels and the pole are decorated with copper motifs symbolising the rays of the sun. Although the experts are yet to be certain on whether the chariots were pulled by bulls or horse, they are of the opinion that it was probably horses.
The coffins found have copper designs too, consisting of peepal leaf-shaped crowns, flower motifs and anthropomorphic figures, suggesting a royal burial. Manjul has added such burial sites have been found in the subcontinent for the first time. He reportedly added that though burial coffins have been found in Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and Dholavira, they never had any copper decorations. The designs of the chariots and other items found are reminiscent of TV portrayal of mythological figures.
Amongst other findings are helmets, swords, daggers and shields. The swords have copper covered hilts and a medial ridge making it strong enough for warfare. The archaeologists have reportedly stated that the population that inhabited the region then was warrior class. ASI has also found steatite beads, combs, mirrors and pottery suggesting a highly sophisticated and culturally evolved civilisation. The findings have been dated to around 2200 to 1800 BC, showing that the civilisation was at par with Mesopotamia, Georgia and Greek civilisations.
Some of the burial graves reportedly contained full skeletal remains while some had partial remains and pots, suggesting secondary burials and even symbolic burials. Many semi-precious and gold beads have also been found. The experts state that these findings suggest that the civilisation was also theologically advanced and culturally, aesthetically sophisticated.
The archaeologist SK Manjul reportedly stated that the existence of a pre-iron age warrior clan civilisation that was so culturally-advanced gives a new dimension to our understanding of our own past history.