Excavations at RAKHIGARHI [1997-98 to 1999-2000]
Dr. Amarendra Nath
Archaeological Survey of India
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The present report unfolds discovery of the earliest civilization of South Asia that flourished at Rakhigarhi, Haryana India during the fourth- third millennium B.C. The cultural milieu typifying the civilization was first reported in the Indus plains at Harappa (1921) followed by Mohenjodaro (1923), subsequent fieldwork witnessed the distribution of these sites in parts of Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and Gujarat.
After the partition in the subcontinent into two independent republics of India and Pakistan, majority of the Indus sites fell in the political territories of Pakistan, leaving Kotla Nihang Khan, Roper on the Satluj and Rangpur on the Bhadar in Kathiawad within the territory of the India. Thereafter, substantial explorations were carried out to trace the signs Indus civilization in the borderlands of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Continuous efforts have brought to light large number of sites on the one hand in the Saraswati- Ghaggar- Hakra- Drishadvati valley and in the upper reaches of the Yamuna- Hindon divide, besides Gujarat and upper reaches of the Godavari in Maharashtra. In view of the above distribution pattern of the sites, scholars may argue the nomenclatures, Indus Valley‟ given to this cultural milieu in the light of discovery larger number of on plains of the Sarasvati -Ghaggar-Hakra-Drishadvati. Without debating the issue here it is preferred to identify the cultural components after the type site: Harappa (i.e. Harappan Civilization) as is understood by majority of scholars working in the field. Now the signature of the Harappan Civilization in extended over a vast area covering the northwestern part of the subcontinent. It extends in the north- Manda in lower Jammu and Kashmir and Shortughai in upper Afghanistan, in the south to Daimabad covering more than 1600 km, in the east Alamgirpur and in the west to Sutkaghar Doe covering more than 1600 km. It may not be out of place to record that the area covered by the Harappan Civilization is more than that of the contemporary civilization of Egypt and Mesopotamia.