jueves, 7 de julio de 2016

A Harappan export processing zone


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Excavations at the 4MSR site near Binjor in Rajasthan reveal an exclusive industrial production centre belonging to the Early Harappan and Mature Harappan phases. By T.S. SUBRAMANIAN

AS far as Harappan sites go, it is the odd one out. The settlement had no fortification walls, no streets cutting at right angles, no citadel where the ruling elite lived, no middle town which housed the residences of traders and craftsmen and no warehouse—features that characterise Harappan settlements. Instead, it had all the trappings of a small, rural industrial production centre. This Harappan site, named 4MSR, is near Binjor village in Suratgarh district of Rajasthan and is believed to be 5,000 years old. It lasted for more than 1,100 years through what is called the Early Harappan (3000-2600 BCE) and the Mature Harappan (2600-1900 BCE) phases. It had no Late Harappan (1900-1500 BCE) phase.

Why Harappans abandoned the site at the peak of the Mature Harappan phase is not clear. Experts believe it could either be because of floods or because the land became arid. The site was situated between the two channels of the Ghaggar river.

The furnaces, hearths and structures made of mud bricks discovered in the 12 trenches dug by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) from January to March in a big mound surrounded by wheat fields at 4MSR were ample proof of a factory site with multipurpose workshops. The ash in the furnaces look [...] Frontline