Key Facts about Rakhigarhi

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The NCERT recently introduced certain revisions to the history syllabus of Class 12 students, highlighting that Harappans were based out in Rakhigarhi.

About Rakhigarhi:

  • Location: It is an archaeological site located in Hisar district, Haryana, just 27 km from the Ghaggar river, in the Ghaggar-Hakra river plain.
  • It is one of the oldest and largest citiesof the subcontinent’s earliest known Bronze Age urban culture the Indus Valley or Harappan Civilization, going back to about 6500 BCE.
  • It is one of the five known biggest townships of Harappan civilization on the Indian sub-continent. The other four are Harappa, Mohenjodaro, and Ganveriwala in Pakistan, and Dholavira (Gujrat) in India. 
  • Findings:
    • The exploration around this site has clearly identified seven archaeological mounds spread over an area of approximately 350 ha.
    • Rakhigarhi primarily yields evidence of occupation during the Early and Mature Harappan periods, with the site being completely abandoned during the Late Harappan period.
    • The archaeological excavations revealed the mature Harappan phase, represented by a planned township with mud-brick as well as burnt-brick houses with a proper drainage system.
    • The ceramic industry represented by red ware, which included dish-on-stand, vase, jar, bowl, beaker, perforated jar, goblet, and handis. 
    • Animal sacrificial pits lined with mud bricks and triangular and circular fire alters on the mud floor have also been excavated, that signifies the ritual system of the Harappans. 
    • A cylindrical seal with five Harappan characterson one side and a symbol of an alligator on the other is an important find from this site.
    • Other antiquities included blades; terracotta and shell bangles; beads of semiprecious stones, terracotta, shell and copper objects; animal figurines, toy cart frame and wheel of terracotta; bone points; inscribed steatite seals, and sealings.
    • The excavations have yielded a few extended burials, which certainly belong to a very late stage, may be the medieval times.

Q1: What is the Bronze Age?

The Bronze Age was the time from around 2,000BC to 700BC when people used bronze. In the Stone Age, flint was shaped and used as tools and weapons, but in the Bronze Age, stone was gradually replaced by bronze. Bronze was made by melting tin and copper, and mixing them together. The bronze could then be poured into moulds to create useful items. The Bronze Age marked the first time humans started to work with metal. Humans made many technological advances during the Bronze Age, including the first writing systems and the invention of the wheel.

Source: NCERT revisions to Class 12 history text show Harappans 'indigenous' to Haryana's Rakhigarhi site