Ancient History of IndiaApprox Read Time: 3 minutes
- Carbon dating tests have confirmed that India’s largest known necropolis (burial ground) in UP’s Sanauli — where 126 burials have been discovered until now — is 3,800 years old.
- Excavations in Sanauli, 68 km from Delhi in UP’s Baghpat district, started first in 2005 and resumed in 2018.
- Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), has confirmed that the burials at Sanauli date back to 1900 BC.
- DNA tests of human remains were conducted along with carbon dating at various institutes in the country.
- Further, scientific techniques such as photogrammetry and ground penetrating radar survey were used along with drones and magnetometers.
Significance of discoveries at Sanauli:
- Materials found at Sanauli are contemporary to late-mature phase of Harappans, which will help in tracing the roots of early historic cultures.
- The various discoveries at Sanauli are horse-drawn chariots, burials, four-legged wooden coffins, pottery, a copper antenna sword and war shields.
- According to ASI, the elaborate burials, which also included underground chambers, decorated legged coffins and rice in pots buried with the bodies, belong to an indigenous warrior tribe which inhabited the region.
- As per a report submitted by the Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleosciences to the ASI, carbon dating marks this site as an earliest history of a warrior tribe in the Indian subcontinent.
- The size and shape of the chariots indicate they were pulled by horses and the axle, chassis and wheels show similarities to contemporary chariots.
- The burials also show similarity to Vedic rituals, as there were impressions of cloth found on bodies that suggests purification of bodies similar to what is practiced in Hindu religion.
- Furthermore, anthropomorphic (having human characteristics) figures on a coffin along with gold and copper anthropomorphic figures associated with Vedic gods indicate presence of religious beliefs.