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4,000-year-old copper axes point to an ancient culture story


Six copper axes and some pieces of pottery discovered in Sakatpur of Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh could point to a separate culture that straddled the Ganga and Yamuna, coinciding with the Indus Valley Civilisation, say archaeologists.

4,000-year-old copper axes point to an ancient culture story
The copper axes, thought to date to 2000 BC, from Sakatpur 
[Credit: The Hindu]
The Archaeological Survey of India is excavating the site at Rampur Maniharan, hoping to discover more artefacts.

In fertile plains

When the Indus Valley civilisation flourished in what is today Punjab, Haryana and parts of Pakistan, a parallel culture is thought to have co-existed in the fertile plains between the Ganga and the Yamuna in western Uttar Pradesh.

The copper axes and pottery sherds found last week may be related to the Ochre Coloured Pottery (OCP) culture in the doab (plains) of the two rivers in the late Harappan period, around 2000 BC.

The Superintending Archaeologist, ASI (Agra circle) Bhuvan Vikrama, told The Hindu that going by what had been found, it could well be related to the OCP culture. OCP marked the last stage of the North Indian Copper Age.

Found by chance

Workers of a brick kiln in Sakatpur found the axes when they were digging to collect soil. The ASI then sent a team to excavate.

The people who used ochre pottery and their culture are specific to the doab region.

The first remnants of OCP culture were found in Hastinapur, in Meerut district, in 1951 and later in Atranjikhera in Eta district.

Direct evidence

“We are excited because this is the first time we have discovered remnants of the OCP culture directly,” Mr. Vikrama said.

“We have done three days of excavation and found only pottery. Since excavation is a slow process we expect to find more remains like habitat dispositions in the depth of the soil. We are not yet calling it a proper civilisation and terming it only as a culture, because unlike the Harappan civilisation, we still do not know much about OCP culture. But this time we are hopeful that we will unearth interesting details,” he added.

Scholars differ in their interpretation of the nature of OCP culture. Those like V.N. Misra see it as “only a final and impoverished stage of the late-Harappan,” while others view it as completely unrelated to Harappa.

Author: Mohammad Ali | Source: The Hindu [March 01, 2017]
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