Recent excavations at Rakhi Garhi in Hissar
district of Haryana may push the history of the civilization back by over
a thousand years. It could change the commonly held view about the Indus
Valley civilization, first discovered in the 1920s. The findings at Rakhi
Garhi, the largest Indus Valley site after Mohenjodaro has lead to a lot
of excitement among archaeologists and historians. Senior archaeologists
consider this to be no ordinary Harappan site. The unearthed clues may
yield answers to many questions that have remained unanswered so far. They
say the findings have already started showing new civilization contours.
The Facts Rediscovered In Ruins
The site's antiquities, drainage system and telltale marks of small-scale industry are in correspondence with other Indus sites. First, the area and dimensions of the site are far wider than assessed by archaeologist Raymond Bridget Allchin and J M Kenyer. It is a whopping 224 hectares, the largest in the country and the second only to Mohenjodaro. In size, dimensions strategic location and unique significance of the settlement, Rakhi Garhi matches Harappa and Mohenjodaro at every level.
Three layers of early, mature and late phases of Indus Valley civilization have been found at Rakhi Garhi. What has so far been found uncannily indicates that Rakhi Garhi settlement witnessed all the three phases. The site has deposits of 'Hakra Ware' (typical of settlements dating back before the early phases of Indus Valley).
The Hakra and the Early phases are separated by more than 500-600 years and the Hakra people are considered to be the earliest Indus inhabitants. Although the carbon-14 dating results are awaited, based on the thick layers of Hakra Ware at Rakhi Garhi, it is argued that the site dates back to about 3500 BC to 4000 BC. This pushes the Indus Valley civilization history by a thousand years or more.
Archaeologists say that excavations at Rakhi Garhi started only in 1997. Had they been unearthed 70 years earlier, when Harappa and Mohenjodaro were uncovered, the story would have been different. The findings are startling. Copper fishing hooks and woven found at the site affirms the river's existence nearby. Fossils indicate that the Harappan man reared cattle.