From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Iconic Archaeological sites
Mains level : Indus valley civilization
Rakhi Garhi is being developed as one of the five Identified Iconic Archaeological Sites, informed the Minister of Culture and Tourism.
- The ancient site of Rakhi-Khas and Rakhi-Shahpur are collectively known as Rakhigarhi, located on the right bank of the now dried up Palaeo-channel of Drishadvati.
- It is located in the Ghaggar-Hakra river plain in the Hissar district of Haryana.
- Seven mounds are located here.
- The site has yielded various stages of Harappan culture and is by far one of the largest Harappan sites in India.
- The site shows the sequential development of the Indus culture in the now dried up Saraswati basin.
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Major findings at Rakhi Garhi
- Findings confirm both early and mature Harappan phases and include 4,600-year-old human skeletons, fortification and bricks.
- Digging so far reveals a well-planned city with 1.92 m wide roads, a bit wider than in Kalibangan.
- The pottery is similar to Kalibangan and Banawali.
- Pits surrounded by walls have been found, which are thought to be for sacrificial or some religious ceremonies.
- There are brick-lined drains to handle sewage from the houses.
- Terracotta statues, weights, bronze artefacts, comb, copper fish hooks, needles and terracotta seals have also been found.
- A bronze vessel has been found which is decorated with gold and silver.
- A granary belonging to the mature Harappan phase has been found here.
- Fire altars structures were revealed in Rakhigarhi.
Back2Basics: Five Iconic Archaeological Sites
The government has proposed to develop five archaeological sites as “iconic sites” with onsite museums in Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh), Sivsagar (Assam), Dholavira (Gujarat) and Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu) in the Union Budget 2020-21.
Hastinapur in the Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh finds mention in the Mahabharata and the Puranas. One of the most significant discoveries made at this site was of the “new ceramic industry”, which was named the Painted Grey Ware, which as per the report represented the relics of the early Indo-Aryans.
In Sivasagar (Assam), excavations at the Karenghar (Talatalghar) complex between 2000 and 2003 led to the discovery of buried structures in the north-western and north-eastern side of the complex. Among the structural remains found at the site were ceramic assemblages including vases, vessels, dishes, and bowls, etc. Terracotta smoking pipes were also found.
Dholavira in Gujarat is located in the Khadir island of the Rann of Kutch, and like Rakhigarhi is one of the sites where the remains of the Harappan civilization have been found. It is unique because the remains of a complete water system have been found here.
Adichnallur lies in the Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu. The urn-burial site was first brought to light during a “haphazard excavation” by a German archaeologist in 1876. Following this, an Englishman Alexander Rae excavated the site between 1889 and 1905.