ARCHAEOLOGISTS FROM the Haryana government have claimed to have found bones from cooked meat at an ongoing excavation in one of the oldest “Harappan sites” in Kunal, which they say could provide clues to the dietary habits of that time.
The bone samples are yet to be tested, but the archaeologists involved in the excavation say they may belong to Nilgai or breeds of cattle, including buffalo. ”Examination of the samples will reveal clues to what type of animals the people of that era used to keep at their homes, and what their food habits were,” said a senior official of Haryana Archaeology and Museums Department.
“We found burnt bones at the spot. It appears that people at this site were non-vegetarian. But the question that needs to be answered is whether they used to eat the meat of domestic or wild animals,” said the official. Speaking to The Indian Express, Sumita Mishra, principal secretary, Haryana Archaeology and Museums Department, said they have decided to send three types of samples — soil, bones and charcoal — from the site for testing.
”We have decided to send charcoal samples to the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences in Lucknow for testing and radiocarbon dating (to determine the age),” said Mishra. The department has also called an expert from Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute in Pune to analyse samples of bone and soil. The archaeologists hope that soil samples will help understand the environmental conditions of the era. “The recovery of water-borne deposits indicate that a river was flowing through here,” said an official.
Mishra said the excavation at Kunal in Fatehabad district, if validated, could push the early Harappan timeline back “by at least 1,000 years”. The excavation work was started under the supervision of officials from the archaeology departments of the state and Centre. An agreement for the excavation was recently signed by the Haryana Archaeology and Museums Department, the Indian Archaeological Society and National Museum, New Delhi.