Excavation AtSinauli: Things To Know About The Accidental Discovery

An accidental discovery at Sinauli led to the findings of a settlement inhabited by a warrior clan.

Major findings by the Archaeological Survey of India raised questions on ancient global history.    Read on to dig deeper into the ancient past of India.

Discovery at Sinauli village

In 2005, Shriram Sharma, a farmer from Sinauli village of Uttar Pradesh was led to an accidental discovery of skeletons while ploughing his field. A team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) arrived at the scene to initiate digging deeper. During the first round of excavations, the archaeologists unearthed pots, chariots, skeletons, coffins, helmets, that could arguably be the world’s oldest copper helmet, tentatively dating back to 2000 BCE. The carbon dating tests of the burial sites confirmed those to be 4,000 years old.

Three chariots

The most striking discovery of the excavation involves the finding of three chariots, which stirs up questions regarding the Aryan Invasion Theory. The size and design of the chariots indicate that they were contemporary to the Sumerian and Mesopotamian culture. According to historians, the chariots were driven by horses, unlike the Harappan chariots that were driven by bulls. Probably the people living in the settlement were a class of warrior men and women supplying weapons to the army of the kings.

Coexistence of Sinauli with the Harappan Civilization

The archaeologists found a wide range of antiques like an antenna sword, a torch, chariots, highly decorated helmets, and coffins. The remains are astonishingly well-preserved and are similar to those found in the late Harappan phase. The copper-coated items and the Orche-Coloured Pottery (OCP) are enough reasons to dismiss that Sinauli was part of the late-Harappan phase. Hence, it is possible that Sinauli was another Chalcolithic culture that existed alongside the Harappan settlement.

Royalty and warfare

The excavation of 2018 revealed other artifacts that offered further insight into the culture of Sinauli including royal borough and warfare. Evidence from eight burials screams of the existence of an elite class. The remarkable findings include copper mirrors, a decorated horn comb with a peacock motif, armlet made of agate beads, bowls, and vases. One royal coffin was unearthed with a lid decorated with eight anthropomorphic figures. A copper armor shaped like a torso was another significant finding hinting that the tribe consisted of warriors.

Presence of female warriors

The excavated shields had two gender-specific designs. The shields found next to women had steatite inlay work and the ones found from men’s burials had copper designs on them. The antenna sword indicating the use of technologically advanced weaponry was placed upright, next to the skeletons of both a male and a female.

Further studies will be conducted by the ASI team in the future, to unearth the specific historic significance of the settlement.

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