Historical and Archaeological Findings in News

Dairy production in the Indus Valley Civilization

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : IVC

Mains level : Dairy production in IVC

A new study has shown that dairy products were being produced by the Harappans as far back as 2500 BCE.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Which one of the following is not a Harappan site?

(a) Chanhudaro

(b) Kot Diji

(c) Sohgaura

(d) Desalpur

Dairy production in IVC

  • By analysing residues on ancient pots, researchers show the earliest direct evidence of dairy product processing, thus throwing fresh light on the rural economy of the civilization.
  • The studies were carried out on 59 shards of pottery from Kotada Bhadli, a small archaeological site in present-day Gujarat.

How did they find it?

  • The team used molecular analysis techniques to study the residues from ancient pottery.
  • Pots are porous. The pot preserves the molecules of food such as fats and proteins. Using techniques like C16 and C18 analysis we can identify the source of lipids.
  • Traces were seen in cooking vessels indicating that milk may have been boiled and consumed.

Significant outcome of the study

  • The study has found residues in a bowl showing that either heated milk or curd could have been served.
  • There are also remains of a perforated vessel, and similar vessels were used in Europe to make cheese.
  • The Harappans did not just use dairy for their household.
  • The large herd indicates that milk was produced in surplus so that it could be exchanged and there could have been some kind of trade between settlements.
  • This could have given rise to an industrial level of dairy exploitation.
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