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Ancient Civilizations of Rajasthan

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Different Ancient Civilizations of Rajasthan are:-

  1. Kalibangan Civilizations
  2. Bhinmal Civilizations
  3. Gilund Civilizations
  4. Ganeshwar Civilizations
  5. Ishwal Civilizations
  6. Bairath Civilizations
  7. Balathal Civilizations
  8. Aahar River Civilizations
  9. Bagore Civilizations
  10. Rangmahal Civilizations
  11. Ojiyana Civilizations
  12. Nagari Civilizations
  13. Tilwara Civilizations
  14. Barore Civilizations

1. Kalibangan Civilizations

Kalibangan lies along the left bank of the dried-up bed of River Ghaggar (ancient name Saraswati. It is older than 4000 B.C. approx.

It was first discovered by Amlanand Ghosh in 1952 AD It comprises of three mounds, the larger one in the middle, the smaller in the west and the smallest in the east .

  • The excavations brought to light grid layout of a Harappan metropolis, perhaps truly it is the first city of the Indian culture heritage.
  • The significant part of the evidence, however, relates to the discovery of an 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 ploughed 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 purposes.  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

  • It was explored by the Ratna Chandra Agrawal in 1953 -54 A.D.
  • The original name of Bhinmal was bhillamala, the plateau of Bhils.
  • It was the early capital of the kingdom of Gurjaradesa, a name derived from the Gurjara people.
  • The kingdom is first attested in Bana’s Harshacharita (7th century AD).
  • Its king is said to have been subdued by Harsha’s father Prabhakaravardhana (died c. 605 AD). The surrounding kingdoms were mentioned as Sindha (Sindh), Lāta (southern Gujarat) and Malava (western Malwa), indicating that the region included northern Gujarat and southern Rajasthan.
  • Located in Jalore district and reflects about the trade relations with Unani civilization.
  • Huen Shang has visited the ancient city.

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.

4. Ganeshwar Civilizations: – Excavations in the area revealed the remains of a 4,000-year-old civilization. Historian Ratan Lal Mishra 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

5. Ishwal Civilizations: – Udaipur, Five stage settlement, Iron was melted about 500 B.C.

6. Bairath Civilizations: – Jaipur District near Beejak hills, Explored by Dayaram Sahani in 1937.

7. 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. It’s famous for Ahar Culture.

8. Aahar River Civilizations: – Udaipur, Explored by Kirti Vyas in 1953.

9. 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 Vasanta 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.

10. 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 Vasu-deva and a seal paleographical 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 handy 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-orinaments, beads of coral, paste, lapis lazuli and shell; rotary querns, mullers, pestles and bone and iron objects.

11. Ojiyana Civilizations:-Bhilwara, 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 and 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.

12. 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.

13. Tilwara Civilizations: – Tilwara is an archeological site from where evidence for the Mesolithic culture has 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.

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