Samples from the excavation site at Kunal village in Haryana will be sent to various laboratories, where carbon dating experts will submit reports on the period of the finds. The time period estimation of the finds has piqued the interest of many archaeologists as they believe this could be one of the oldest Harappan sites or even a pre-Harappan site.
The samples will be collected by the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences in Lucknow on June 6. National Museum Director General Dr B R Mani said that the evidence indicates that finds like pottery pieces and pit dwellings belong to Neolithic times, but the site could be as old as 6,000 BCE-7,000 BCE.
Meanwhile, experts are studying other sites in relation to the new find. Other sites that belong to the same period are Bhirrana, 20 km from the Kunal site, and Mehrgarh in Balochistan.
Mani said that a comparison could be drawn between Bhirrana and Mehrgarh on the basis of area covered and artefacts and pottery samples collected. “Mehrgarh is like an urban centre of the civilisation, compared to Bhirrana. This can be deduced from the fact that the finds in Mehrgarh were of stone while Bhirranna’s was mud and bricks. French archaeologists who excavated Mehrgarh found decorative items, items of archaeological importance and evidence of daily life of the people. Items found in Bhirrana indicate the settlement was rural compared to Mehrgarh,” he said.
The excavation work in Kunal was started under the supervision of officials from the archaeology departments of the state and Centre. Archaeologists have claimed to have found bones from cooked meat at the site, which they say could provide clues to the dietary habits of that time. The DG said they collected pottery and artefacts including metallic and non-metallic items. The project was started in the 1990s but stopped after four years, he added. “This is the first time National Museum has participated in excavations. We have been working with Haryana’s department of archaeology. We found pits that were used by people to sleep. They would use hatch or a timber roof to protect themselves” said the DG, who is also an archaeologist.