A TWO-MONTH-LONG excavation at Kunal village in Haryana, billed as the biggest archaeological site in the state, has yielded substantive finds, including a kitchen hearth that may confirm the site to be among the oldest Harappan sites, officials associated with the dig said.
The dig was wrapped up Sunday and the findings are being scientifically examined. The excavation is a joint project of the Haryana Archaeology department, Indian Archaelogical Society, a private organisation and National Musuem.
The finds could be from the ‘pre-Harappan era’, officials and arcaheologists here said, referring to the term used to describe the earliest stages of the Harappan/Indus Valley civilisation.
Haryana Archaeology and Museums Department Principal Secretary Sumita Mishra told The Indian Express on Monday that the latest excavation had brought out the earliest material culture of the civilisation.
“The findings at the excavation may push the history of civilisation back by at least 1,000 years,” said Mishra. At Kunal, archaeologists have found a dwelling pit, hearths and a pot. Other finds include beads, including a gold bead too, a few copper rings, terracotta bangles and mud pots.
Organic material, including charcoal samples, bones and soil from the hearth and pot have been collected for a detailed scientific examination.
The dwelling pit was found at a depth of 2.9 metres from the surface. Two hearths have been found at two different levels.
Banani Bhattacharya, deputy director of Haryana’s archaeology department, said the excavation at Kumal and the finds were completely different from the one at Rakhigarhi. “This is older, and looks to be pre-Harappan,” she said.
The other finds, especially of the gold bead, point towards trade with other centres. “The gold bead is an indication of trade because there was no gold mining in these parts. The testing of the gold will reveal which mining area it belongs to,” Bhattacharya said.
The other types of beads, including unfinished, polished, and micro beads, also pointed to trade links with other settlements, she said.
Indian Archaeological Society Chairman K N Dikshit said, “The scientific examination of material found during excavation will bring more clarity about the exact period of the civilisation.”
Earlier, an agreement was signed for excavation at Kumal between Haryana Archaeology and Museums Department and Indian Archaeological Society, National Museum, New Delhi at Kunal. The core area of the settlement is about three acres but the site expands to nine acres.
The excavation at this site was first conducted by late J S Khatri and M Acharya under Haryana State Archaeology Department in 1985-86.