UPSC Civil Services GK Update: Archaeologists excavate 4500-year-old Harappan skeletal remains

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Current affairs forms an important component of several competitive exams such as the UPSC Civil Services Examination, SSC CGL, Bank PO & PSU entrance tests, etc. Therefore, understanding terms/concepts/events that are in the news is critical for aspirants. We at PaGaLGuY bring you this series of articles in which we shall explain some of these important concepts/events for you. In this article, we will read about the recent excavation of human remains of the Harappan civilisation.

Rakigarhi village, which is 60km from Haryana’s Hisar district
is in news again as excavation of four human skeletons that date back to the Harappan
or the Indus Valley civilisation. The work was started by Archaeologists of Haryana
Archaeology Department in collaboration with Seoul National University, South
Korea and Deccan College, Pune. This is a breakthrough discovery as for the
first time there is a possibility of rebuilding the Harappans’ appearance, with the
help of DNA information acquired from the remains.

The Harappan civilisation is divided into three phases,
namely Early Harappan (3000-2600 BCE), Mature Harappan (2600-1900 BCE) and Late
Harappan (1900-1500 BCE). Belonging to the Mature Harappan period, these remains
are of two men aged approximately 50 years, one woman aged 30 years and a child
aged 10 years old. This discovery makes Rakigarhi the biggest Harappan site in
Asia.

The excavation work was spread over an area of 50 acres. Work
on the four graves was started in January and was completed by April-end. Vasant
Shinde, is vice-chancellor of the college and the director of the
Rakhigarhi excavation. He is a specialist in Harappan civilisation and has
excavated Harappan sites at Farmana, Girawad and Mitathal that are all located in
Haryana.

The archaeologists recovered pottery, bangles, mini wheels, sling
balls, terracotta figurines of wild boar and dogs, toys of varied sizes and furnaces
and hearths. A seal with a tiger-like figure inscribed on it has also been
unearthed. Further, tools that could have been used for fishing and hunting
purposes have been recovered.

The remains that are being studied at a palaeontology lab in
South Korea will provide a valuable insight into the physical features of the
Harappans, their life and culture, among other things.

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