Rajasthan : Ancient Civilizations for RAS(RTS) Prelims Examination

 

Different Ancient Civilizations of Rajasthan are:-

  1. Kalibangan Civilizations:- Kalibangan lies along the left bank of the dried-up bed of river Ghaggar (ancient Sarasvati and Drashdwati). Its supposed to be older then 4000 B.C. and was first discovered by Amlanand Ghosh in 1952 AD It comprises of three mounds, the larger one in the middle (KLB-2), the smaller in the west (KLB-1) and the smallest in the east (KLB-3).  The excavations brought to light grid layout of a Harappan metropolis, perhaps truly  ‘the first city’ of the Indian culture heritage.  The  significant part of the evidence, however, relates to the discovery of a early-Harappan settlement, immediately underlying the occupational remains of the Harappan citadel. The pre-Harappan settlement was a fortified parallelogram, the fortification wall being made of mud-bricks.  The houses within the walled area were also made of mud-bricks. The distinctive trait of this period was the pottery which was significantly different from that of the succeeding Harappans. An outstanding discovery was a ploughed field, showing a cross-grid of furrows, the southeast  of the settlement outside the town-wall.  This is perhaps the earliest plouged field excavated so far.  During the Harappan period, the structural pattern of the settlement was changed.  There were now two  distinct parts: the citadel on the west and the lower city on the east.  The former was situated atop the remains  of the preceding occupations to gain an eminence over the lower city which was laid out on the natural plain towards the east.  The citadel complex was a fortified parallelogram, consisting of two equal but  separately patterned parts.  The fortification was built throughout of mud-bricks.  The southern half of the citadel contained some five to six massive platforms, some of which may have been used for religious or ritual purposes.  The northern half of the citadel contained residential buildings of the elite.  The lower city was also fortified.  Within the walled city, was a gridiron plan of streets running north-south and east-west, dividing the area into blocks.  The houses were built of mud-bricks, baked bricks being confined to drains, wells, sills, etc.   Beside the above two principal parts of the metropolis, there was also a third one, situated 80 m east of the lower city.  It consisted of a modest structure, containing  four to five  ‘fire-altars’ and as such could have been used for ritualistic    Of the finds obtained from this excavation, a cylindrical  seal and an incised terracotta cake are quite significant.  The cemetery of the Harappans was located to the west-southwest of the citadel.  Three types of burials were attested: extended inhumation in rectangular or oval grave-pits;  pot-burials in a circular pit; and rectangular or oval grave-pits containing only pottery and other funerary objects.  The later two methods were unassociated with skeletal remains.
  2. Bhinmal Civilizations:- Located in Jalore district and reflects about the trade relations with unani civilization. Huen Shang has visited the ancient city. It was explored by the Ratna Chandra Agrawal in 1953 -54 A.D.
  3. Gilund Civilizations:- At the ancient site of Gilund, two mounds labelled as ‘eastern’ and ‘western’, measuring 45 ft and 25 ft respectively above the surrounding fields in height and covering an area of 500 X 250 yards were partially excavated by a team under the direction of B. B. Lal during 1959-60. Excavation was carried out at three different areas, designated as GLD-1 (with its extension GLD-1A), GLD-2 and GLD-3. The site was later revisited from 1999 to 2005 by a team from the University of Pennsylvania and the Deccan College in Pune, India.

 

Gilund was occupied from approximately 3000-1700 BCE. These years of occupation are divided into three phases: Late Ahar-Banas 2000-1700 BCE, Middle Ahar-Banas 2500-2000 BCE, and Early Ahar-Banas 3000-2500 BCE. Here various housing structures have been uncovered, as well as large buildings with long parallel walls, workshops, refuse heaps, and an exterior wall surrounding the site. The workshop area has revealed that the occupants practiced small-scale craft production. Further analysis of the areas also shows that the inhabitants were agro-pastoralists, meaning that they mixed agricultural practices with livestock herding practices.

 

Artefact analysis has linked objects found at Gilund to the other sites in the Ahar-Banas Complex, as well as the site of Bagor. In addition, lithics at Gilund and Bagor were produced using the same techniques.

  1. Ganeshwar Civilizations:- Excavations in the area revealed the remains of a 4,000-year-old civilization. Historian Ratan Lal Mishra[1] writes that Ganeshwar was excavated in 1977. Red pottery was found here with black portraiture. The period was estimated to be 2500–2000 BC. Nearly one thousand pieces of copper were found there.Ganeshwar is located near the copper mines of the Sikar-Jhunjhunu area of the Khetri copper belt in Rajasthan. Excavations revealed copper objects including arrowheads, spearheads, fish hooks, bangles and chisels. With its microliths and other stone tools, Ganeshwar culture can be ascribed to the pre-Harappan period. Ganeshwar mainly supplied copper objects to Harappa.

The copper was obtained in the nearby Aravalli Range

  1. Ishwal Civilizations:- Udaipur, Five stage settlement, Iron was melted about 500 B.C.
  2. Bairath Civilizations :- Jaipur District near beejak hills, Explored by Dayaram Sahani in 1937.
  3. Balathal Civilizations:- Udaipur , Explored by V.N. Mishra in 1993. Balathal is an archaeological site located in Vallabhnagar tehsil of Udaipur district of Rajasthan state in western India. This site, located 6 km from Vallabhnagar town and 42 km from Udaipur.Its famous for Ahar Culture.
  4. Aahard River Civilizations:- Udaipur , Explored by Kirti Vyas in 1953.
  5. Bagore Civilizations :-Bhilwara, Explored by V.N. Mishra in 1967. Three stages of Settlements, ie 4480-3285 BC , 2765 BC -500 BC and 500 BC to 400 AD. The archaeological site of Bagor is a Late Mesolithic (pre-Harappa) archaeological site located on the Kothari river in the Bhilwara District of the Rajasthan region of western India. Bagor was excavated by Deccan College scholars such as Virendra Nath Misra and Vasant Shinde in the 1960s and 1970s, who found evidence for the domestication of sheep, cattle and goats by the nomadic pastoralists of Bagor dating as early as 5000 to 3000 BC.
  6. Rangmahal Civilizations :- This early historical site was excavated by the Swedish Archaeological Expedition, during 1952-4. The first settlement was laid around A.D. 250 during Kushana period and flourished up to the sixth or seventh century A.D. During excavations, coins of Kanishka III, besides the Murundas and three earlier coins of Kanishka I, Huvishka and Vasudeva and a seal palaeographically datable to A.D. 300, have been found. Excavation has revealed eight structural phases. The structures were built of mud-bricks of varying sizes but the normal size was about 32 x 23 x 7 cm. The bricks were laid in the English bond system. The floors were paved with mud-bricks. The houses were rectangular with north-south orientation. The site is famous for the manufacture of typical ceramic industry termed as Rang Mahal Ware culture. This distinctive pottery is wheel-made, reddish or pinkish in colour. The types include globular or oval jars and handi with pronounced rims, externally rusticated showing wavy ribs. In some cases the shoulder and the neck are painted in black-on-red polished surface, other types are spouted vase, sprinkler, cooking vessels, storage jars, beaker with or without handle, bowls of different varieties, lamp, incense-burner, etc. A few carinated handis have textile marks on the body. Moulded pottery is represented by the bowl and miniature basin. The decorations on the pottery are applied and incised patterns and paintings. The cultural assemblage also includes figurines in faience, terracotta animal figurines, carts and wheels, weights, balls, flesh-rubbers, discs, dice, votive tanks, potters stamps, pendants, ear-ornaments, beads of coral, paste, lapis lazuli and shell; rotary querns, mullers, pestles and bone and iron objects.
  7. Ojhiyana Civilizations :-Bhilwar ,Previously the site was excavated in the season 1999-2000 which had revealed remains of Chalcolithic cultures. The recent excavation conducted at the site in 2000-01 has yielded white painted black and red wares, white painted terracotta bulls, cow figurines, copper chopper, beads of faience, carnelian, agate, shell, steatite, stone and terracotta and bangles and pendant of copper belonging to Chalcolithic cultures ranging from 3rd millennium B.C. to 2nd millennium B.C.
  8. Nagari Civilizations:- It was One of the most important townships of the Mauryan era in Rajasthan, situated on the banks of river Bairach. It was formerly known as Majhimika/Madhyamika, which flourished from the Maurya to Gupta era. The excavations over here have unearthed many interesting facts and have showed signs of strong Hindu and Buddhist influence.
  9. Tilwara Civilizations:- Tilwara is an archeological site from where evidence for the Mesolithic culture have been excavated.Its in Barmer district at the bank of river Luni.

14.Barore Civilizations:- Baror is situated on the right bank of dried up river Sarasvasti (modern Ghaggar) in Anupgarh Tehsil of Ganganagar district of Rajasthan. It is located about 13 km. north-east of Anupgarh and about 100 km. south-west of Kalibangan.

 

L.P. Tessitore (1916-17), Aurel Stein (1940-41) and A. Gosh surveyed this area and identified the archaeological importance of this region.

The excavation work at Baror added new chapter in the study of Harappan Civilization.

 

The mound of Baror roughly measures 200× 150 mts. and rises to a height of 11 mts. from its surrounding plain. The western portion of the mound is higher and seems to be the citadel whereas the eastern portion is lower indicating lower town.

 

On the basis of ceramic industries, antiquities and other material culture, recovered from the field-season’s work, a three-fold cultural sequence was established

 

Period I– Pre-Harappan

 

This period is distinguished with a different type of ceramic industry, made on wheel, red to dull red in colour and devoid of any painting. The fabric is coarse to medium, shows ill firing and made out of well-levigated clay. Main shapes are storage jar, handi, miniature pots etc. A few shreds of grey colour were also found.

 

However, no brick structure of this period was found. The occurrence of ashy bands some post-holes indicate that the first settlers of Baror used to live in huts made of wattle and daub or thatched roof.

 

Period II–  Harappan

 

This period is marked with the beautiful bio-chrome pottery made out of well-levigated clay on fast rotating wheel.  The surface of these potsherds are red to dull red in colour on which paintings were done with black colour, then with the help of evanescent white pigment the gaps were filled and additional dashes and dots were added. The painted designs comprise of horizontal bands, loop, wavy lines, concentric arches, meanders, moustaches, motifs, row of dots, cross hatched triangles and semi circles. Some floral and faunal motifs were also found on the surface. The main shapes are vase, basin, bowl, dishes-on-stand, lid etc.

 

This period is marked with the beautiful bio-chrome pottery made out of well-levigated clay on fast rotating wheel.  The surface of these potsherds are red to dull red in colour on which paintings were done with black colour, then with the help of evanescent white pigment the gaps were filled and additional dashes and dots were added. The painted designs comprise of horizontal bands, loop, wavy lines, concentric arches, meanders, moustaches, motifs, row of dots, cross hatched triangles and semi circles. Some floral and faunal motifs were also found on the surface. The main shapes are vase, basin, bowl, dishes-on-stand, lid etc.

 

Period III– Mature- Harappan

 

This period is represented a well planned city, industry based economy and a special type of pottery, which shows a culmination of technique as well as art skill. The pottery of this period are marked by Red ware and Red slipped ware made on fast rotating wheel with well levigated clay and characterized by its typical painted design with black pigment. The main shapes are dishes-on-stand, basin, dishes, beakers, vases, goblets and perforated jar etc.

 

The remains of mud bricks house complexes oriented in the cardinal direction either north south or east west on both sides of lane or road  were exposed. Since all the structures are constructed with mud bricks and the life of the mud bricks are shorter, several phases of their reconstruction were also noticed. Sub-lanes separated the houses with each other. The rooms are either square or rectangular. Several circular or oval hearths or ovens were also exposed. A big almost circular, furnace or kiln was also found. The diameter of this furnace is 2.60 mts. and circumference is 8.12 mts. It has 1.10 mts. long projected mouth.

 

The remarkable discovery of this period is a fortification wall, which was exposed in the north-western part of the mound. The people of this period also achieved perfection in the manufacturing of articles of day-to-day use, which is reflected from the recovered antiquities. The beautiful beads of semi-precious stones, shells, steatite, faience and terracotta; bangles of copper, terracotta and shell; rings of copper and golden object indicate their attraction towards ornaments while implements of bone and stone, fish hooks of copper, pestle and querns of stone hint at their life style. The toys, in the form of human and animal figurines, toy carts, wheels and games men of terracotta further reflect about their interest for indoor games. The shell and steatite seals depicting unicorn and geometric design were also found.

  1. Sunari Civilizations:- Sunari is a small Village/hamlet in Khetri Tehsil in Jhunjhunu District of Rajasthan at the bank of river Kantli and houses the oldest iron ore melting furnaces.They uses rice and horses and are deemed to be of Aryan vedic culture.

    15. Noh Civilizations:- Excavation at Noh,Bharatpur was conducted during 1963-67 by the Department of Archaeology, Rajasthan. A succession of five periods has been identified : Period I-OCW sherds with incised decoration in a 90 cm thick deposit; Period II-Black-and-Red Ware; Period III-PGW along with the black slipped and Black-and-Red Ware of the preceding period. A PGW lid with painted bird at the rim is interesting. Period IV-NBPW of various surface hues, coal black, steel grey, silvery and golden, occurs along with plain grey ware. Three phases of mud-brick (40 x 20 x 6 cm) structures have been noticed; Period V-early second century B.C. to late third century A.D.  Sunga and Kushana levels have eight structural phases, use of baked brick being common to all phases.