Findings at the pre-Harappan archaeological excavation site in Kunal have pointed to the existence of a steatite bead-making workshop at the location, and support the theory that this was an early trading centre with skilled artisans and outside links possibly stretching to as far as Mesopotamia in West Asia.
Scores of beads were found at the excavation site earlier this year. Kunal is a pre-Harappan or early Harappan site, and is said to the oldest site so far found in Haryana. “Earlier, it was believed that the manufactured beads were brought to Kunal from other places but now we have enough evidences including discovery of an article probably used for modifications of the raw mineral which suggest that these were manufactured here,” said Dr BR Mani, Director General of the National Museum while speaking to The Indian Express.
According to Mani, the beads found from Kunal site belong to 3,000 BC to 2,500 BC. The excavation of the ancient site at Kunal was conducted jointly by Haryana Archaeology Department, Indian Archaeological Society, New Delhi and the National Museum, New Delhi during from February to April. “The study suggests that Kunal was a Centre of trade during the era having probable trade links up to West Asia also. The raw material for the said workshop or industry was brought to Kunal most probably from Rajasthan. It is possible that the manufactured beads were transported to other parts during that era,” said an official of the Haryana Archaeology Department.
A dig in the 1990s had yielded a copper smelting zone. The metal is believed to have come from Khetri in Rajasthan, the nearest place with copper deposits. On the basis of the findings of the Haryana archaeologists, National Museum and Indian Archaeological Society, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has given the go ahead for another phase of the excavation at Kunal village for the season of 2017-18.
During the excavation carried out in February to April this year, large number of micro beads were found which is evidence of very skilled manpower during this era of civilization. The archaeologists believe that raw material for beads came from present day Rajasthan and Gujarat.”Steatite beads of different colours and some of them with hair-size thickness were also found. Evidence of copper smelting zone was already found here. Minerals like copper, gold and even silver, material for bead such as carnelians, agate, jasper, lapislazuli were believed to be brought from other states. We have found amazing paintings and designs on ceramics,” said an archaeologist associated with the study.
“Shell rings have already been discovered. During the old times, sophisticated or high class people opted for precious stones, carnelians, agate, jasper, lapislazuli while the common man might have used terracotta ornaments, including its bangles,” added the archaeologist. The experts are also trying to understand food habits of the people and environment during the oldest era of the civilization in this region.
Preliminary study has suggested that people of the era had even brought a water channel to this region which had low density flow of the water. “It was a fertile area. We have found evidences of multi cropping like of rice, ragi and oat here,” said an archeologist.
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