Odisha delta site is 3,600 years old

The Archaeological Survey of India, which had discovered ancient artefacts and grain during excavations at Bharati Huda in Jallarpur village in Odisha’s Cuttack district last year, said a rural settlement had thrived at the site about 3600 years ago.

Odisha delta site is 3,600 years old
A mud wall structure is seen during the excavation at Jalalpur village of Cuttack district of Odisha
[Credit: Biswaranjan Rout]

The age of the settlement was arrived at after radiocarbon dating of charcoal samples found at the site by the Inter University Accelerator Centre (IUAC) in New Delhi using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS).

“This excavation confirmed that a separate ethnic group that was using non-black-and-red ware might have existed during the early chalcolithic cultural horizon and a new class of ethnic group might have come into contact with the rural settlers at Bharati Huda during mature phase of chalcolithic culture,” Superintending Archaeologist of ASI’s excavation branch in Bhubaneswar D. Garnayak said on Saturday.

The IUAC report says the charcoal samples found in Layer three of the excavation dated backed to 1072 BCE, Layer 4 to 1099 BCE, Layer 5 to 1269 BCE and Layer 7 to 1404 BCE. Radiocarbon ages were calibrated using Oxcal software and median ages are utilized in this report. Scientific study of two more layers could push the age back by another 100 years.

According to Mr. Garnayak, a new religious belief emerged in the form of nature worship as evident from a single specimen of the Sun motif found arrayed in chocolate-slipped pottery. “On the basis of this evidence, we believe the antiquity of Sun worship dated back to 1099 BCE in the Prachi valley. Devotees from different parts of Odisha as well as the neighbouring States congregated at Chandrabhaga on the shore of the Bay of Bengal on the occasion of Magha Saptami to pay homage to Sun God,” he claimed.

The world famous Sun temple of Konark, located some 30 kilometres from the excavation, was built in the 13th century CE. The tradition of Sun worship seems to have evolved with human settlements in the region, Mr. Garnayak suggested.

“The excavated remains indicate existence of Chalcolithic culture in the valley as attested by the presence of mud structural remains, large quantity of potsherds, ground and polished stone tools, bone tools, beads of semi-precious stones, terracotta objects, huge quantity of faunal remains and carbonized grains. It was confirmed by the scientific dating done by IUAC, New Delhi,” he said.

“The material culture of the site gradually developed without major changes having continuation of earlier cultural features till it was abandoned. It’s like a flow of culture from incipient agro based settlement to full-fledged agricultural society. The site has cultural similarity with Golabai Sasan, Suabarei and other excavated and explored sites in the Mahanadi delta and partial similarity with the chalcolithic sites of middle Mahanadi valley and sites of central and eastern India,” he said.

According to the archaeologist, the inhabitants practised agriculture and animal husbandry as attested by the findings of domesticated variety of rice and jute and evidence of domesticated cattle among the faunal remains as well as terracotta bull figurine.

Author: Satyasundar Barik | Source: The Hindu [August 04, 2019]

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5,000-year-old double burial unearthed in central Turkey

Human skeletons dating back some 5,000 years were unearthed during excavation works in central Turkey’s Eskisehir province.

5,000-year-old double burial unearthed in central Turkey
Credit: Anadolu Agency

Two skeletons — one presumably of a 13-year-old girl and another of a man in late 30s — were discovered in Eskisehir’s oldest town, Kulluoba.
Researchers believe the two possibly relatives died at together as they were both buried in the same cist grave in approximately 3,000 BC.

5,000-year-old double burial unearthed in central Turkey
5,000-year-old double burial unearthed in central Turkey
5,000-year-old double burial unearthed in central Turkey
Credit: Anadolu Agency

Head of the excavations Murat Turkteki said thorough analyses will be conducted on the newly discovered human remains.
Excavations in Early Bronze Age settlement Kulluoba located in Eskisehir’s historic Seyitgazi district have been carried out since 1996.

The settlement consists of adjacent houses and storage areas lined around courtyards of various sizes. A total of 15 graves, including stone cist and pottery graves, were also found.

Source: Daily Sabah [August 04, 2019]

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Excavations commence at Morocco’s Dar El Baroud site

Morocco’s Ministry of Culture has launched the second phase of archaeological excavations at “Dar El Baroud,” an ancient pottery district in Sale, not far from the capital Rabat.

Excavations commence at Morocco's Dar El Baroud site
Credit: MAP Archives

The excavations have revealed “the major importance of the site in terms of history, archaeology, and art,” said the ministry in a statement.

Excavations commence at Morocco's Dar El Baroud site
Credit: MAP Archives

The archaeological works have uncovered a complete artisanal district dedicated to the pottery dating from the 12th to the 14th century. The site includes 40 pottery ovens, several artisan workshops, and various types of ceramics.

Excavations commence at Morocco's Dar El Baroud site
Credit: MAP Archives

The work on the site and artifacts found significantly boost scientific research on Islamic archaeology and ceramics both in Morocco and in the wider Islamic West, according to the statement.

As a result, the ministry is working on setting up a center dedicated to the site, in order to promote Sale’s history and heritage.

Author: Juliette Owen-Jones | Source: Morocco World News [August 04, 2019]

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