"... on the one hand culture can be understood primarily only in terms of cultural factors, but on the other hand no culture is vrtiolly intelligible without reference to the noncultural or so called environmental factors with which it is in relation and which condition it,* A.L, Kroeber (1969: 350)
The Ganga-Yarauna doab^ forms a small part of the large Indo-Gangetic plain which is not only the largest alluvial plain in the world but also supports on its cultivated surface nearly half of the South Asia’s population. The doab covers an area of about 69,000 sq. km. To the \/est of the doab lie the plains of Panjab. To the southv/est the doab abuts upon the outlying spurs of the great elevated plateau of central India. To its northwest lie the plains of Rohilkhand and Oudh. To the southw'?st of the Yamuna lies the tract of Sundelkhand which for a few kilometers differs little from the level country to the north.
Beyond this hills appear, at first
isolated than gradually assuming the fornation of groups and ranges and finally merging into Vindhyan and Kaimur chains. To the north of the doab is the marshy belt of land known as Tarai. Between it and the Himalayan hills lies a belt of waterless jungle known as Bhabhar. formed of bo;ilders and debris of the lower ranges of the Himalayas and extending from 8 to 20 km. in widtli. To the west of the Jhabhar lie the valleys of Kotla, Patli and Dehradoon.
^ Persian word meaning "the country betv/een two waters (rivers),"
^liysical feature;?: The Ganga-Yamuna doab mainly consists of gently inclined alluvial plains dipping towards southeast.
an extremely difficult task to delineate regional divisions in this featureless plain.
For hundreds of kilometres only
reliefs seen are buffs, lesrees, dead arras of river channels and existinr; rivers. In contrast to the no minal relief to the north of the Ganga drained by sluggish rivers like the Ha.ngangs, uoraati and 3ai, the Ganga-Yamuna doab exhibits a more proininent bhangar land rising up to 15-60 m. above the adjoining flood plains, the I'Jindar. The slope is generally less than 30 cm, per km. Because of very gentle slope the movement of water is very slow. The streams like Kali, Hindon, Hind, Pandu and Sengur run parallel to their master streams for quite long distances before e.nptying themselves into the larger rivers. The area south of Biilandshahr and north of j^tah consists of silty or clayey bhangar tract. by
Sand ridges alternated
in Bulandshahr, Mathura,
£.tah make this portion of doab more diversified than its counterparts in north and sou-tii. The patches of saline and alkaline efflorescence which are a result of gentle slope and excessive quantity of soluble salts in the alluvium are the main characteristic f-atures of
the bhangar land.
A very different topography is seen in the lower Ya.auna tract.
Due to the erosional effect of rain water
on soft alluvial soils bordering the banks, deep and Intricate ravines have been formed. These extend from 3 to 5 km. away from the river banks. Wolony (1905) thinks that the whole area of the Gangetic plain must at one time h.we consisted of a netv/ork of morasses and river channels, very much si ilar to the sundarbans of the present. Nevill (1908: 8) gives a beautifxil accovint of the landscape of the doab as it changes its face in response to the seasonal rh3rtham of climatie.
*The greater part of the provinces consists of a level plain the monotony of v/iich is broken by the numerous village sites and groves of dark olive nango trees which meet the eye in every direction. The treat plain is, hoi/ever, highly cultivated and the fields are never bare except during hot months, after the spring harvest has been gathered, ana before the rainy season has sufficiently advanced for the autumn crops, to have appeared above the ground. The coimtryside then puts on its most desolate appearance; even the grass withers, and hardly a green thing is visible except a fev? patches
of garden crops near village sites and the carefully watered fields of sugar-cane. At this time the dhak trees burst forth \fith brilliant scarlet flowers in striking contrast to their dusty surroundings, ^ith the breaking of Monsoon in the middle or end of June the scene changes as if by magic; the turf is renev;ed, and tall grasses begin to shoot in the small patches of junf^le. i.ven the s It usar plains put on a '^reen mantle which lasts for a very short time after the close of the rains, A month later the autumn crops rice, the Millets and maize hive be:;un to cloth the naked fields. These continue to cloth the ground till late in the year, andi are succeeded by the spring crops - wheat, barley and gra:a. In March they ripen and tdie great plain is then a rolling sea of golden com in which appear islands of trees and villages..," Geolo;zv: Geologically the north Indian plain is not very exciting.
It v^as a deep basin in Pre-Tertiary times
which has been filled in by the Tertiary river borne debris from the pe;iinsular and later supplemented by the upper and post Tertiary iUmalayan debris knovm as alluvium,
ITie deposition started taking place during the
last phase of the Siwalik formation and has continued all through the Pleistocene upto tiie present.
The origin of the deep basin which forms -ttie vist plains of today is a matter of conjecture and controversy, iiuess (i^fadia 1975* 364) suggested that the basin is a "fore deep” in front of the iiigh crust waves of the Himalayas as they were checked in their southward advance by the inl'lexible solid land mass of the Peninsula.
air ^iydney Burrard suggested that the Indo-Gangetic plains occupy a '•rift-valley" (rfadia 1975* 364),
Though the absolute thickness of the alluvial deposit is a matter of debate, on the basis of geological consi derations Oldham (1917* 213-46) guessed the thickness to be between 4 and 6 thousand metres. The recent gravity magnetic and seismic surveys show -tJiat to the south of Bulandshaltt* the average thickness is between 1300 and 1400
metres with a maximum
m. at the foot of the
Himalayas (rfadia 1975* 365). At Lucknow a bore hole with a depth of 435 m. did not strike bed rock.
that the tliickness of alluvial deposit is not uniform. ITiere is a gradual thinning of the alluvial deposit towards the south until it merges with the irregular edge of tl:ie peninsular block,
i^fadia (1965* 364-65) holds the
view that underneath the alluvium are ^iwaliks and older Tertiary sediments of Himalayan piedmont below which are
more consolidated older formations like Gondwana and
Cretaceous rocks. The alluvial deposit is of tvra types: bhangar and khadar.
'ihe bhantiar or the older alluvium, occupying- the zone above the existing flood plains belones to tiidrLle Pleistocene,
Its general level is 3-^
highest and 15-20 m. above the lowest level of the bed of 'ianga. The calcium carbonate nodules (j^^ankar) are found everjri/hero in bhangar land, from the surface dovm to 10-15 ra, depth.
ir-.hauar or younger alluvium occupies the flood plains. Its source lies partly in the erosion of the bhan.^ar and partly in the fresh sediments brought from the ilimalayas. It is free from kankar and reh (alkaline soil).
The doab is drained by the Ganga, the Yamuna and a number of their tributaries - Kali, Kan-/an, Krishni, Ilindon, Kind, oenrjur, Pandu and Isan.
All the rivers
follow southeasterly cjurse in consonance with the general slope of the land.
The erosional capacity of
these rivers is restricted by the very gentle gr x’ient. The rivers flowing in this area have well defined courses.
F iG . n . i
Only the Ganga and the Yarnuna rise in the Himalayas! all other rivers rise in the plains* The Ganga which forms the eastern boundary of the doab is the most important and sacred river of India.
from the earliest times it came to occupy an important place in the life of the people who lived along its banks. It has found a prominent place in traditional literature. It is mentioned in the earliest books of iiindus i.e. Vedas (Kjgveda VI. 45*31, X. 75.5) and Brahmanas (Satapatha Brahmana XIII, 5.4. 11)* According to Mahabharata the Bindusara is the source of the Ganga wiiereas the Jain text Jamiiiudiva t^anntl mentions Padrnahrada as its source. Today Ganga comes into existence only at Ueoprayaga where the river Bhagirathi, coming from Gangotri, is Joined by the Alakhnanda on the left side.
in Gartiwal From Garhwal
to Bulandshahr it has sou-Uiemly course. From Bulandshaiir it flows in a southeasterly direction upto Allahabad where it is Joined by the Yamuna from the right side. From Allahabad upto i^Jmahal it has an easterly course and tnen once again southerly eind finally it meets the sea in the Bay of Bengal* Upto Allahabad the catchment area of the Ganga is about 97»900 km. and its length upto OLlahabad is nearly 1500 Itm,
Yamuna is the first major tributary of the danga to Join from the right side. Like tiie danga it has also attracted the people of India right from earliest times and has been frequently Tientioned in tJie traditional literature.
It is mentioned in the Hiirveda (X. 75.5, V,
5.2, VII. 13.19),
Atharvaveaa (IV. 9.10) and Altar^rya Brahmana
(VIII, 14,4). It seems that during the Vedic period the oaraswati and the Ya'nuna were luch better known and important than the Ganga (Law 1954: 31-33, 135-6).
In Fiha :v;at Purana
(III. 4. 36„ IV. 8.43, VII. 4.23, IX. 4,30, X. 58.22) Mahavastu (III, 201) and Banabhatta's Kada?nbari Cp. 64) the Yaffluna is mentioned as Kalindi, perhnps because of the dark blue appearance of its water.
The Yamuna rises from the slopes of the Himalaya belov/ the mount Kamet. From Garhv/al down to 'lathura it flows southwards parallel to the Ganga and fron ^lathura it flows in southeasterly direction until it meets the Ganga at Allahabad. Its total length is 1,375 km. and it drains a part of 'iadhya Fradesh, Rajasthan, and northern slopes of the Vindliyas through flundelkhand. Between Agra and Allahabad it is Joined by the Chambal, Betoira, Ken and Paisuri, all from the right side. The total catchment area of the Yamuna is 3,71,870 km.
In the Ganga-Yamuna doab other rivers that deserve mention are Kali* Kali east, Pandu anti Isan w’lich join the (ianga and Krishni, Hindon, Kind and 3engur which Join the Yamuna.
ueddes (opate 1967* 43) had dravm attention to\irards a very interesting difference between the Indus and the Gangetic river system. In the case of the Incus five rivers of the PanJab unite and form one river v/hich flows throu/_;h a ddsert without receiving any tributary whereas the Ganga system is enriched by one confluent river after another and flows in the direction of increasing rainfall. Climate: The climate of the Ganga-Yanuna doab is sub-humid in contrast to the dry Panjab plains and the humid ^-lidcle ^anga Plains.
At microlevel there are some variations
and tJieir affect on human life has been discussed in Part Two of the tJiesis.
ihe annual climatic cycle consists of four well-defined seasons: hot summer, wet summer, pre v^inter transition and cool winter.
The mean annual temperature of the doab
varies j.rom 11*c to 26*c. The mean teiaperature during January and February rjmges from 13® c to 18* c and I4ay
Is i‘iean of Teraperature i Kanpur
3 a a a s s s a 3 8 S £ s s s s s 3 s = s s s s s a s a a a s s = s s s s :s s s ::s s = s s £ s ts s := s :s 3 s :s s 3 B B S s e := :s ;s s s s s a is » a :s e s = s r s e s s s s = s s s r s s s s
1 * I'lean of JJally i-laximum
2 a Mean of
3 m Mean of highest in the month
4 a Mean of
TtMlfilT ni1n^n''T nt 1930 k^iontJas
i 'll ‘ r nr
inil I m i t •
01.09 01.27 05.53
03.88 . 03.27
02.28 01.09 04.90
00.38 03.73 01.65
02.61 01.44 02.59
00.6c^ 00.10 01.60
04.95 01.57 02.84
00.05 01.44 -
12.31 01.93 00.40
09.24 05.63 00.45
31.67 27.12 23.36
31.69 19.40 ?4.21
34.54 15.66 21.25
37.05 31.72 20.14
21.76 06.78 21.89
10.08 03.73 14.04
01.04 03.96 01.39
s M flB » « B s « i» a s s 8 » s s a B is s s a is 0 0 m » s s s « iB a E X 0 « » w r a « » 8 B s s o s c n v s B :a iB « R a N B S 8 i8 f i« « K S J U « « 3 s « 8 a B a R s s s s tta » a » fliv 0 S B a s 3 0 s c s a s a n a n M iM » iV a « f 3 tt9 a n s s 9 n B O f 0 e a M B s » 9 a ia i
and June from 32®c to 35®c with extremes of ^®-50® C.
From February temperature starts rising by about 5* c per month till rtay/June suid normally coes upto 40®c • But sometimes teiperature shoots up exceptionally high (A8.3® C at Agra,
2nd June 1889? 48,8*c at Allahabad, 12th Oune
1901; 47*2*c at Kanpur, 30 th May 19^1) iXie to very noninal or no rainfall and low relative humidity (below 40;'0 the season remains quite dry. The northwest shift of the sun’s vertical noon day rays and increasing length of the days during March, April, May and first half of June cause intense heat. The population is driven to shelter because of extremely hot sun.
During these raonths average
wind (tcj^i.e. hot and dry westerlies) speed is more tlian 10-12 km* per hour for an appreciable number of hours during the day. These hot winds are sometimes accompanied by violent dust storms. The afternoon hours during this season are extretaely hot.
In the second half of Jane dust storms are quite frequeit.
They tend to lower the tenperature and ai^e
generally followed by rains. The mean annual rainfall of the last 90 years (1861-1950) is 99.16 cm. witli a standard deviation of 27.86 c;n. Nearly 90 percent of the ;annual
precipitation is between June and September of which more than 60 percent comes in July and August only. These two months are the wettest months in the year.
The lowest zone of rainfall (below 60 cm.) is bordered by a triangle formed by Joining Delhi, I'tainouri and Agra. However, the upper and lower doab experience 80 to 120 cm. rain whereas middle part gets between 60 and 90 c:n. The percentage of normal, flood and drought spells are 41.1, 15.0 and 40,9 respectively for the lower half of the doab and 53*6, 12.0 and 34.4 respectively for the upper half of the doab (Puri I960: 332).
.i/ith the beginning of rains the teaperature starts coning down and from the second iialf of June to October it ranges between 30 and 40*c. The relative humidity remains \^ell over 70%.
The rainy season comes to an end by October and temperature starts falling down, again an average of 5®c per month and sometimes goes well below frecjzing )oint specially at places in the upper doab (Agra - 2,2®c, l6th January 1935; RoerkeG-2.2®c, 2nd February 1905). The lowest temperature during the winter months varies betv/een 5
Generally the sky remains cloudless and frost
is quite common. The winter rainfall is of some signifacance
only in upper doab where average of January and February combined is 5.0 cui, ■ioils: The soils of the doab tend to become heavier from nortnwest to southeast.
In the districts of Aligarh, Agra
and iiathura which are v;ry near to arid zone large patches of alkaline soil (uiiar) as well as wind borne sand are quite co iiion. Alkaline soil occurs in patches also in the districts of £»tah, *lainpuri,Farrukhabad, Kanpur, Fatohpur and /illahabad. On weathering the alkaline soils liber-!te large amount of sodium, calcium and magnesium salts and s'olphurous acid as a result of which soil becomes unfertile and supports only a grassy growth with little or no tree vegetatioii. The Khadar soils are found in the areas of flood plains and are quite rich in nutrition. The pH value ranges between 6 and 8 . It has been observed tliat locally the Uanga Khadar soils have immature profile v/ith sandy to silty texture, contain high percentage of lime and are alkaline in reaction. On the other hand the Yamuna Khadar soils have sub-iature profile with a predominance of clay concretion. The bhan;:ar soils are more extensive in spread.
The percentage of soluble salts except in the soils of lowlying areas where water logging takes place is low and the soils are neutral to slightly acidic in reaction.
The c^lclaTi content generally increases at
The bhan/rar soils are generally poor
in phosphoric acid, nitrogen and other organic matter.
The vast alluvial plain of the doab as we see today is the result of continuous deforestation from second millennium B.C. to present time. Across the b re plain of today there once existed a dense, moist and luxuriant forest of sal (otebbing 1922, Calder 1937). In the traditional literature we have ample evidence for doab being a dense forest.
Satapatha Brahmana (l.4. i;4,
14, 15, 16) mentions that the area between ^araswati and ia'cslanira (modem Gandak) rivers was a dense forest and Aryanisation of it .-^as made possible only after the burning the forest.
It also mentions that the whole area was
uncultivated earlier but it became i^ighly cultivated for the Brahmanas h ve caused Acni (fire) to taste it throiigh sacrifices (iataaatha Brahmana I. 4. 1.4, 14, 15» 16).
A.ccording to .‘lahabharata Hastinapura, the
capital of xlurus was situated in forested area and the iPandavas after the division of the kingdom founded the
city of Inclraprastha (modern Delhi) only after clearing the dense forests. The kingdom of Panchala - modem districts of 3areilly, Badaun, t^ilibhit, Rampur, Farrukhabad, i.tah, Jithwaii, i^^pur - was foijnded in Kuru Jungle (La\f 1954: 40, 115). The kingdom of Kuru which occupied the area of upper doab was also situated in the forest and bolii towards its north and south \/as the forest called Kuna Junj^le.
Ueviaurana (Chapter 74) mentions nine
sacred forests of which Kuru Jungle^ Mmisa (iJaimsarinya) and U-t5>alarrinya were covering the area of the doab. rJaiinsaranya has been identified with modem liimsar, 20 km. north west of Sitapur district.
In Waimsaranya forest
several ttiousand sages lived and many uranas were written here.
Utpalaranya was the forest where sage Valmi-:i
lived and Sita gave birth to her t-^ins Lava and Kusha. dome scholars have identified this place with Bithur 20 kin. north of Kanpur v^ere there is still a small asiiram k.iown as Valioiki ashram (Law 1954: 4o). Opposite to it, across the river Ganga is Pariar where two snail te pies are dedicated to Sita. nccordin^i to local tradition tiiis ,/as the place \^ere dita lived during her exile from Ayodhya.
Pollen record from Hastinapur excavations shows the presence of i^inus. Dalberp^ia sissoo (rfild sissoo) and
Holorabera antlildysentrlca (Kurchi) (Chowdhury ^ 1951 s 3) i>a.-nples of charred wood from OCP to
apecies some of '/Aiich are now confined only to Tarai region sho.fs that the doab was quite densely forested during the 2nd and 1st millenniiijn B.C. Pant (Agrawal 1971* 225) says that in the past the|fauna of cJiwaliks included carriivores, monkeys, elephants and ungulates suggesting that the Indo-Gangetic plains had a thick flora like that of Tarai and .>habhar regions,
^tebbing (1922) and
Calder (1937) also mention that until a fev; centuries back doab as a thick forest.
The remnants of early forests can bo seen in the patches of trees and plants like i3utea frondosa. Caseria tomentosa. -i-lienthuG excelsa. Voodfordia floribunda. Melia indica. Basia latifolia. -acacia leucooloria and other species of Ba.hunias and luugenia on the new alluvium along the larger rivers and Barabax .lalabaricaa. Adina cordifolia.
Lo^^erstroe-iia pervlflora. l^annga /irandia, i o i ^ GanrAllna arborla. Casia j'lstula. Hatuila lonfcispina* ZiiTvjhU3
fiallotug phlll.joenensis. Callicaroa
macrophVlla etc. in most of the sub-Himalayan tract of upper doab (Puri 1960J 212-15). In central doab tbomy shrubs such as Alhagi raauroru.1. CaoarLa aohvlla. Pro3o,:)ia s:jicir-:era. Tecoma undulata and 3g,Isola kali can be seen alon.;
the species of Grovia and Acacia.
fact no other
drastic change due damage
India has mdergone such a
railways which local
Jungle land. Considerable \vas
obtained their fuel
supply directly from
The intensive colonisation and large scale deforestation has brought the balance between man and vegetation to a very delicate stage. Muldiarjoe (1938 : 97-103 ) su-ns up: ’*Howhere is this interaction beti^reen man and vegetation so vividly illustrated over an extensive area than in the Gangetic plain. Ihe balance bet\/een progressive tendencies of vegetation and retrogressive tendencies of man is nov^ere more evident than in the vegetation of this region. Throughout the Gangetic plain the vegetation may be said to have attained now on the whole an apparent
equilibria’n in relation to variation in rainfall and temperature which at any moment is liable to be upset,..* He further adds, "On the plains vegetation is r.;ther delicately balanced against man at about the dry grass land or the thorn scrub stage. The soils over most of the Indo-Gangetic plains seem to be supporting all the human and bovine life that is possible under existing methods of exploitation. Increase in intensity of exploitation results in further destruction of natural vegetation and the amount and the character of vegetation sets a limit to the aniount of animal life, relaxation in pressure immediately results in a movement of the vegetation towards the climax. But no relaxation is possible under present conditions, ury grass land tliom scrub forma tion rsnains practically stationary," (ilukharjee 1938j 97-103). ^'aupa»
The faiinal species that we see today are not the same as those of early times. Today only wolves, foxes, jackals, andjhyenas are found quite frequently in the plains. The leopard is confined only to the ravines of the Ya:nuna. In the beginning of the present century gintelope, wild boar, saiibhar,barking deer, spotted deer etc, were found abundantly (Imperial Gazetteer of United r*roVinces. 1908).
The existence of the dense forest in the doab certainly meant the presence of large varieties of herbivor^ as well as carnivors. There is evidence for the presence of elephant, lion, tiger, rhinoceros, vd.ld ass, black buck etc. From the older alluvium the fossils of xgephus antiquus. i:.quus namadicu^. Ilag rJUantea. extinct species of Khinoceros and ilippopotamus have been found (./adia 1975? 370).
iiven as late as l6 th and 17th
centuries A.D, lions, tigers and elephants \
Historical outline: The Ganga-Yamuna doab occupies a very singnificant place in the political, cultural and economic iiistory of India.
In the traditional literature it fonned part of what
has been called .la^ihyadesha which covered apprx)ximately the upper and middle Gangetic plains, the Yafluna Chambal catc’ :ime.it area up to and including; the oon valley in the east, Sutlej on the north-west, Himalayas on the north, Arav.illis on the west and Satpuras on the south (Ali 1966: 132 ).
From the Veaic and epic literature it appears
that prior to the co.'.iing of the .ryans tiie doab occupied by people belongin^^ to the Proto-Austroloid race ,«fho are mentioned in Vodas as da^as. Attempts h:.ve been made to identity tliese people v/ith certain archaeo logical cultures which are discussed in the next chapter. iJurinii Id^vedic time aryan expansion in the doab is certain as we get reference to xvr'vis (Later to become the country of the Panchalas, Hl.rveda VII. 18, 7) who participated in the 'battle of ten kings' on the bank of Parushni (modem Havi) in .'/hich Sudas emerged victoi^j.ous. Jut this early colonisation v/as not on a large scale and the main focus of cultural and political power was the land bet’.veen the Sutlej and the Xamuna (Mu;jumdar 1951: 244). By the time of : ■iahabharata war the doab was
colonisec on a much larger scale and was divided into nort.’ . and south Fanchala, Kuru, Kuru Jungle, Usinara and Vatsa Janapadas. It ca^ae into prorninance only after the shift of political po’ ver froji the 6araswati basin following the ilahabharata var ’ .vhich took place sometime between 1200 and 1000 B.C. (Majuindar 1951s 268-70), After t.iis great v^ar the area was mainly knovm as the country of Kuru-Panchala.
'rhe traditional literature
mentions that the people of this country were most civilized and greatest of Indians (Law 1S54: 78),
In the beginning Kuru and. Paiichala were closely related, to tlie extent that in 'the 3ralunanas (Jai.niniva 3 .6 , 78 , 7 .^.7 .2 , l^ooatli 1 ,2 ,9 ) and Kaushitaki Uoanisliad.
(4,1) they are referred to as a single rashtra (nation), i3ut by 6th century 3,C,we find that not only the doab but whole of northern India was divided into several smaller republics (Janaoada) and monarchical states of which Kuru and Panchala were occupying the area of the doab, A part of eastern doab was occupied by Vatsa and western part near *iathura by Sursena, The Kuru Janapada was the land of Kurus,originally the hinterland of Indraprastha (equivalent to modem Delhi) west of the Yamuna wh;re they first settled, Latar tliey extended their boundaries
across the Yamuna and the doab to the Ganga in the east, Indraprastha and Ilastinapura are mentioned as the capitals of Kurus (i^ychaudiiury 1930: 134)* Ilie Panchala janapada extended over the central part of the doab and the southern part of modem Kohilkhand.
It was divided into tvro
parts - north and south Panchala with the Ganga foming the boundary line between the t\fo, Kaapilya (modem Aaapil in Fanrukhabad District of Uttar Pradesh) and Ahicrichhatra (near Rannagar in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh) were the capitals of south and north Panchala, respectively.
A great strug -le raged bet\feen Kurus and
Panchalas for the posses ion of north Panchala. Sometimes north Panchala v\ras included in Kururashtra and had its capital at Ilastinapura and at other times it had formed a part of Kampilyarashtra (Ttaychaudhury 1950: 135). The eastem part of the doab was included in Vatsa v/ith Kausambi as its cauital.
iith the rise of Magadha .ianapada in 6 th century B.C. all other .ianapadaa and states started losin their independence.
They finally became a part of Magadha
e ipire. The expansion of Magadha enpire which started with Birabisara at tlie begimiing of 6 th century B.C. reached its climax in the 3rd century B.C.
reign of Ashoka the great (273-23^ 3.C.) Magadha erjpire became one of the greatest e iplres of the ancient world. 3ut the integrity of the eipire did not last long. Ashoka*s successors had neither the strength nor the will to arrest the process of disruption.
after the death of Asaoka the .i;^uryan pov/er declined and the doab fell into the hands of Greek invaders. Menander ruled aliost over the whole of northwestern India up to Ayodiiya in the east. But soon i^ushyanitra Hxmga (187151 B.C.) liberated it from the h.nds of Greeks.
It see.Tis that during first century B.C. an independent dynasty of :!itras sprang up in the doab. The coins of this dynasty have been found at .ihichchhatra ilatiiura and several other places.
iJuring the first two
centuries of the Christian era the kingdom of ^^.ushanas shov/ed some stability in the doab. But the confusion and chaos v;hich started fter the fall of the Mauryan empire ended only after the rise of Guptas (320 A.D.). From the;n on for nearly two centuries the doab forjied a part of the Gupta eiapire. From Pravaga Prasasti of Sanudragupta we kno.*/ that he defeated no less tlian 9 kings in northern InLiia and annexed tiieir ’kingdoms to his o\m and extended his eaoire up to Delhi, for long.
But the legacy did not survive
i>ue to continuous invasions of ilunas from
the west and the weakness of the rulers specially after iikandagupta the erapire shattered by 550 A.D. and for same time the Hunas under Mihirkula (515-535 A.D.) ruled over entire northw-stem India as far south as Gv^alior, But the doab remained a cockpit of rivalry a^iong the Maukliaris, Guptas and Hunas and finally iiaukharis rose to po/er.
«fith Harsha (606-654 A.D.) as the ruler of
Maulchari empire -ttie doab regained its past glory after nearly a thousand years and the city of Kanyakubja, the capital of Harsha became the political and cultural contre of nor,;hem India. Harsha left no successor and the empire crurabled alter his death. In the absence of any paramount pov/er the whole northern India got divided into several small states which :rere continuously warrint; with one another. Many bitter battles were fought a'nong the Rashtrakutas of Deccan, Palas of Bengal and rTatiharas of Rajasthan to fciet control over the vianga-Yaauna doab.
The period has
been teraed as the era of tripartite war for Kanyakubja desii.
The period of instability and continuous infighting of the ruling kings encouraged luslim invaders. In 1010 A.D, I'iahaud saw Kannua;J as “city v/hich raised
its head to skies which in strength and structure mifrht justly bo st to h„ve no equals” (Cunningham 1924; 431). He plundered the most of northern India and went back to ^hizni with enornous wealth.
The petty ;cings of northern India learnt no lesson from .iahmud's invasion and infighting wont on with tiie fr(X.;mentation of the kingdortis. The second half of the 'lr;elfth century and tie beginning of the thirteenth century witnessed a^ain tripartite v/v.rs among Ghahmanas of Delhi, Gahadvalas of iiannauj and Chandelas of Khajuraho.
It was due to en^mity and hatred bet’ .-/een
Chahraanas and Gahadvalas that i^uhaTimad Ghori succeeded in defeating PrithviraJ Chauhan (of jJelhi) v;ith the help of Jaichanda v>ohadvala (of Kannauj) in the battle of Taraine in 1192. ooon after his victory over ^rithviraj Cnauiian, Ghori _,ained full control not only over Delhi but also over doab by defeating Jaich;inda liimsolf at Banaras in 1194. M d this laid tlie fouadation of iluslim rule in India.
Indians lost their independence to get
it back o ,ly in 1947. Though, the local uprising of Jats in the doab never ceased, they were easily suppressed in the absence of any organised attempt to overthrow the foreign power. As during the previous djni sties the doab constituted the ^ranary and backbone of the economy
during the reigns of Sultanates and Mughals.
became the capital of empire and remained to except for a brief period during the reigns of Huhamraad-BinTughlaq (1325-51) and Akbar (1556-1605). Akbar shifted his capital from Delhi to Agra to control the area south of the Yamuna and have a firm grip over the doab. Akbar consolidated his empire by his liberal policies towards the Hindus. But during the reigns of later i^ghals, specially after Aurangzeb (1658-1707) the story of fragmentation of empire was repeated again.
In fact, the
decline started during the reign of Aurangzeb himself, mainly due to his religious bigotry wiriich alienated the Hindus.
Consequently Jats in western U,'?,, Sikhs in
PanJab and Marathas in the Deccan raised their heads and finally after the death of Auran ;zeb intactness of Mughal e:npire was shattered.
This was the most suitable -ime for the shrewd British to move from east to v/est. In 1303 and 1856 the regions of Agra and Lucknow \/ere annexed to the British empire. Together these states were n'’.med as 'United provinces of
and Oudh'. In 1857 the local
powers united unsuccessfully to overthrow the British rule. However, the British realized the strategic value
of the doab and adopted a softer attitude towards the people.
They developed transport and irrigation facilities
to accelerate the economic development of the region. The establishment of textile and leather industries at Kanpur developed froa a small trade centre to one of the biggest industrial centres of India. Besides its political and cultural importance, ttie doab was also the heart of trade routes in ancient times (i4ajumdar 1963 : 606-07; ^lotichanda 1966j Ali 1965), Hhe trunk route from Taxila to Tamralipti followed the tiimalayan piedmont to avoid the extensive flood plains of large rivers. It passed through cities like Udayanpur, Puskalavati, llardwar, Govisen, Ahichchhatra, Sravasti, Saket, Kapilvastu, Vaisali, Patliputra and I'lithila. Another route ran frou Jullundur to Tainralipti through important regional cities like Indraprastha, Mathura, Kanpilya, F^usa-nbi, Kashi and Rohitashgarh keeping to the south of the Ganga.
This was the forerunner of the
Grant-Trunk road to which Asuoka gave a proper shape and w^iich was metalled by 3her Shah Suri in 1533-45 A.D. The third route that passed through the doab ran from Indra prastha to Ujjainy via Agra.
The fourth route was from
Indraprastha to Ujjainy passing through the cities of .lathura, Kampilya, Kausa.ibi and then taking turn to the south for Vidisa and then to UJjainy.
The Ganga-Yainuna doab was
connected with almost all parts of India.
Protohlatorlc and ^arlv Historic Cultures of the GaiLj;a-Ya.;iuna Doab
"The culture Is not an a Pirlorl category elaborated in the studies of philosophers and then impot'ed from out side uoon working archaeologists. Cultures are observed facts'*. Gordon Childe (1935: 3)
It is usefXil to briefly revie.ir the geographical distribution, characteristic features and chronological sequence of the protohistoric and early historic cultures in the Ganga-Ya>fluna doab in order to put the cultural sequence of Kanpur district in a proper perspective. Alt lough the succession of cultures frora about the laiddle of the second nillennium B.C. onwards is now known without any significant gap and many sites of each cultural phase have been located, the few excavations carried out are of a vertical nature. For this reason both the variety and quantity of materials availoble for each cultural period are li^nited. The various cultures of the doab are therefore identified mainly witii the help of distinctive cer^iiHic alone.
lAte liarappan (Post-Urban xlarapoan) Culture: The earliest human occupation in the GangaYamuna doab belongs to Late Harappan (or Post-Urban ^iarappan) culture. The remains of this culture v;ere first discovered at Alamgirpur in 1958 (lAR 195Q-59J 50-55).
iince then further explorations, mainly by the
iirchaeological ourvey of India, have brouriht to light nearly 70 sites in the districts of 'eerut (lAR 1966-57J 33; iJikshit 1980), Saharanpur (lAit 1962-63 : 36-37, 1963-
64; 56-57, 91-92, 1964-65: 43-44, 1965-66: 54, 1966-67: 43, 1967-68: 47-48; Dikshit 1980), Muzaffarnagar (lAK 1968-691 70; Dikshit 1980) and Bulandshnhr (lAR 1963-64: 91). According to Dikshit (1980-:1) the explored material from Bulandshalir sites is more akin to Ochre Coloured pottery (OCP) than to Late Harappan. ^A,slLrlbu.t4pn P^tteni: Of the 68 known sites 44 are located in Saharanpur, 15 in iluzaffamagar, 6 in Meerut and 3 in Bulandshahr, They are located on rivers Hindon, Krishni, Kathanala and -iaskara, all tributaries of the Ya".una (Fig, III.l), do far no site has been found on the Yar.iuna proper or in the Ganga valley.
The Late Harappan culture is therefore
confined only to the upper part of the doab. It is al-nost certain that the Late iiarappan occupations of the upper doab took place by way of migration from the adjoining iiaryana (and Panjab?) regions to the west where the Harappan people had been established from much earlier period.
The settlements are generally located on the higher bank of the rivers and are small in size. The largest size of a settlement is 200 x 200 m, (Dikshit 1979). The average spacing between two settlements is
from 8 to 12 km. This spacing pattern conforms v/ell to that of the Late llarappan settlements in *iaryana (jurao Bhan
1977). The limited thiclcness (l-2 ra.) of
habitation deposit (Deshpande 1977) indicates that settle ments were of short duration.
Only three sites, namely iUaingirpur (lAR 1958-59 ; 50-55) in Heerut district and Bargaon iIAR
196>-64: 56-57) and Hulas (Dikshit 1980) in Jaharanpur district, all in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) have been excavated. The excavations reveal a habitation deposit of 1-2 m. Characteristic features of ilature Harappan culture like planned settlements, seals, variety of terracotta objects are absent on them. Pottery: The clay used for pottery is v/^ell levigated. The pottery is wiieel made but hand made specimens are also met with. fabric.
It is found in coarse as well as in fine
The pottery is treated with a thin cream wash or
a -biick bright red slip. Typologically Late Harappan pottery can be divided into following category (Figs. III. 2 & 3)*
Storage jar with splayed out rim (Fig, III,3.1-2 )
Storage jar with splayed rim and bulbous body having traces of parallel horizontal bands on the neck and shoulder (Fig, III, 3 , 3-6 )
Shallow dish with projacting rim and carinated shoulder (Fig, III, 3 , 7-10)
Basin with under cut rim (Fig, III, 3,
Dish-on-stand with slightly incurved and long
nd (Fig, III, 3. 13)
drooping ri.ii (Fig, III, 2. 1-6) 7,
liowl v/ith an everted rim (Fig, III, 2, 7,9)
Jowl-like lid with a central loiob (Fig, III, 2. 10)
Joblet with pointed base (Fig, III, 2, 18)
Perforated jar (Fi^, III, 2, 17)
Cylindrical Jar (Fig. III. 2. 11-13, 15)
dniature vase (Fig. Ill, 2, 14, 16)
Typical Haraopan types like dish-on-stand, goblet with pointed base, cylindrical jar, perforated jar and beaker are present at Alamgirpur but absent at Bargaon,
At Bargaon we find mainly jar with splayed out
rim and bulbous oody, storage jar with heavy splayed out beaded ria, shallow dish with projected rim and carinated s loulder and bowl with everted rim. At Hulas types like
dish-v/ith projected rim and carin ted shoulder, globiilar vessel with a flange round the neck, shallovf dtsh with incurved rim, Jar stand with incurved rim and Jar stand v/ith concave profile are rare but types like dish-onstand with drooping rim. Jar with horizontally splayed out rim, medium-sized Jar with everted risn, bowl-like lid with central knob and miniature pots are in profusion.
Painted designs on pots are executed in black pigment on ^ red surface and consist of simple bands, trian gles, squares, rows of hatched diamonds v/ith hori zontal bands, chains with bands, plants, leaves and birds with hatched body. Internal decoration of Pre-Harappan tradition has been noticed on a few sherds at ^\lamgirpur and Hulas.
Incised decoration on the exterior of pots
consists of cord-impressed desifpns, incised bands, deeply cut chevrons, sitiall oblique strokes and v/avy lines drawn by a comb-like object.
Sherds with incised designs do
not exceed one percent of the total pottery assemblage at /\lamgir,3ur and iiiiLas (Dikshit 1979a). Arciiitecture: iioccavations h ve yielded very little evidence of settlement and architecture. At riulas the living
structures were built on 60 to 80 m. tiick platfonns. No houses made of burnt or sun-dried bricks were found.
Alai-iijirpur a mud wall and a fevf mud bricks \rere found. The size of bricks ranges between 23 and 29.5 c i. in length, 13.5 and 15.5 C3. in breadth and 5,5 and 7. 0 c . in thick ness.
oome burnt bricks were also found but they \-/ere too
fragmentary in nature for their size;' to be deterained. A few burnt bricks found at Hulas give only an idea of thickness and breadth in ratio of 1 ; 2. The scarcity of bricks suggest that they may have been used only in drains or si.xilar other ancillary structures. Houses were made of wattle and daub. Technology and r^atrial Culture: The only metal tools known are a broken blade from iUamgirpur and a fragmentary chisel from Bargaon, both of copper. Other tools are bone points and chert blades,
/uiong ornaments bangles of terracotta, Camelian
and steatite and beads of terracotta and steatite, agate, came^lian and faience are found. Anong metal ornaments only a fev/ copper rings h 've been found from Bargaon. The kitchen equipment is represented only by stone quems ‘and Destle.
Among toys we find animal figurines of
terracotta,bull headed toycart, and cart wheels with central hub.
The occurrence of toy cart and cart wheel
suggest the use of bullock cart. Other objects are triangular and circular terracotta cakes. Subsistence: The only evidence of food grains is in the form of rice husk found in the core of potsiierds from Hulns and Un, both located on the bank of Kathanala in Saharanpur and Muzaffamagar districts, respectively. Besides, Late Harappan people may have cultivated wheat, barley and other croos knovm from Mature Harappan times (Vishnu-Hittre 1979). Relative Chronolof^v: Diksliit (1977, 1930 ) has divided the Late Harappan complex in the Ganga-Yarauna doab into tr.'fo phases. Ph.-ase I is characterised by typical Harappan pottery, camelian, agate and faience beads, terracotta animal figurines, triangular terracotta cakes; stone quems and pestles and burnt bricks.
This phase is represented at
sites like ^Uamgirpur in i4eerut district, Bhura, Kalhatti, Tatarpur Kalan and tiulas in Sahampur district,
thinks that the presence of inscribed pottery at Alamgir^jur suggests teraporal proximity to the urban phase of the Harappan culture, lie puts Phxse I between 1700 and 1300 B.C. Phase II is characterised by the doninance of
unslipped red ware, si.nilar to OOP, in the ceramic assemblage.
It is represented at sites like Bargaon,
Pilkhani, Bahupur, riardakheri, Bakaraka, Gathera and Budhakhera in Sahampur district.
Dikshit puts this
phase between 1300 and 1000 B.C. But Possehl (l980: 16-18) has put Alamgirpur and Bargaon together and given a date bracket of 1900-1000 B.C.
It should be mentioned that all the sites listed in Phase II of Dikshit (1977, 1980) are reported by their discoverfers as OCP sites in the Indian Archaeolo, /: A Review. Thus, it is prefflMture to include these sites in the Late Harappan category and give a late date bracket. In fact, these OCP sites are likely to be contenporary to Late Harappan sites in the doab.
Ochre Coloured Pottery (OCP) Culture In 1950 trial excavations by B.B. Lai at two copperiioard sites, namely Bisauli in Badaun district and Ha^pur Parsu in Bijnor district in Uttar Pradesh led to the discovery of a ne^ pottery tj^pe which vras christianed Ochre Coloured Pottery (Lai 1951* 38-39).
was made of medium-grained clay and was under fired, ciherds obtained from excavations v/ere worn and rolled.
F IG . m . 4
The pottery had a \vash of ochre, the colour of wiiich ranged from orange-red to deep-red. The wash had a tendency to rub off. Subseqently similar pottery j/as found at Hastinapura (Lai
^ites and Distribution Areat Since the excavations at these sites 110 new OGF sites have been discovered in the doab.
bution area of the pottery extends from Kayapur in Saharanpur district in the north to Saipai in fitawah district in the south (Fig, III. 4). Of these sites 88 are located in Saharanpur, 7 in iloerut, 7 in Bulandshahr, 3 in i'luzaffamagar, and one each in loradabad, Etah,
Aligarh and iitawah districts. Of -Uie 88 sites in Saharanpur district on 36 several Late iiarappan cerarjiic tjrpes are also found.
The settlements of the OCP culture are generally located on river banks and are small (200 x 200 m.) in size (ijikshit 1979b* 286). The mounds have low height and many of the sites like Bahadarabad, Bisaiili, Kajpur Parsu and Saipai do not even show any sign of a mound. In Saharanpur wliere intensive survey has been carried out the distance bet\/een two settlements is beti^^eon 5 and 8 km, (Dikshit^1979»s 286).
i^xcavations at Ambkheri (lAK 1963-64: 53-55), Baiieria (lAR 1966-6?: 43-44), Bahadarbad (I.U 1971-72: 54) in oaharanpur district, Jhinjhana (lAR
in Muzaffarnagar district, Lai Uila (IAR1969-70: 38)
Bulandshahr district, Atranj-ikhera (Gaur 1967) in iitah district, and ^aipai (lAR 1971-72: 46-47) in Etawah district show that OCP deposit at these sites varies between 0,5 m. and 1.5 m.
The deposit was mixed with
brown earth, kankar and sand.
lAirinj, excavation it
generally came out in lijunps. The strata were quite disturbed and no sign of regular habitation v/as encountered at any of these sites.
The cultural material was found sporadically.
In tiie case of Bahadarabad the occupational debris was found below 6.5 m. deposit of sand, pebble and earth.
^tratlgraphic Position of OCP: At Hastinapura OCP was fo'ond below PGirf deposit with a break in between the two (Lai 1954-55: 10-11). A si dlar sequence was encountered at Ahlchchhatra (lAR 1963-64) in Bareilly district.
At Atranjikhera (Gaur
1967) OCP v;as found below Black-and-Red 4are deposit with a break in betv/een the two.
At Noh (IaR 1970-71)
in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan also the OCP was found below Black-and-Red ware deposit with a break in between the tv/o.
[ ~ P FIG. III-5
V V P
10 •iN !I
V . ..-11 cr I .
j 16 FIG- I I I -6
Pottery! The clay used for making pottery v/as well levigated.
Pottery is inadequately fired.
is medium and the pots are invariably given a wash or slip and in some cases treated with a thick slip. Following are the main tyjjes: 1.
Jar with horizontally splayed rim (Fig. Ill, 6 . 1-4)
Storaga jar with slightly beaded rim (Fig, III, 6 . 5 ,6 , 8 )
^owl v;ith featureless rim (Fig, III. 5, 1,2,6)
iiowl with an everted rim (Fig. III. 5. 5,7,8)
iiowl-like lid with central laiob (Fig. Ill,5. 9-11, 14)
ning footed bowl (Fig. III. 5. 4)
Dish-on-sta;id with drooping rim (Fig, III. 5. 19-21)
Flask (Fig. III. 6 . 7)
Handled pot (Fig. III. 5. 22-23)
Miniature pot (Fig. Ill, 5 , 12, 15-18)
Basin with splayed out beaded rim (Fig. III. 6 . 9-16)
(Fig. III. 5. 24).
OCP sherds from Lai Qila and Atranjikhera have paintings in black on a red sjurface (Fig. 111.4.1,5^,6) The painting designs are siniple bands around the rim
€Uid on the shoiilder, wavy lines, circles, and mat designs on the shoulder and body. At Atranjikhera and iSaipai a few sherds with incised designs were also found,
/architecture: xividence for structural activities comes only from Lai Uila and is very scanty (Gaur 1967). No complete house plan is known. Floors were made by ramming the -:arth. The use of rnud bricks and burnt bricks is evident but
occurrence in li;nited numbers suggests that they were
regularly used in house building. They may have been used in drains and bathrooms. Houses were made of wattle and daub and roof was thatched as is indicated by the occurrence of burnt plaster and mud clots with reed and bamboo impressions.
TechJPiQlogy and ^laterial Culture: Material remains other than pottery are known only from Ambkheri, Bahadarabad, Lai Uila and Atranjikhera. £occ8pt at iiaipai where a harpoon was found in OCP stratum no metal objects have been found associated with OCP culture.
The ornaments consist of terracotta bangles
and beads of terracotta eind camelian.
represented by terracotta animal figurines and cart
wheels with central knob#
Kitchen objects consist of
stone pestles and quems.
The weaoons have been
represented only by bone points.
Subsistence Pattern: iividence from Atranjikhera (Chov\rdhury e;^
60 ) s'loiT^s that OC^ people cultisrated rice, barley, gram
and khaseri (Lathvrus sativus. ). Stratigraphic evidence from Atranjikhera sugf^ests tiiat rice cultivation antidates the cultivation of barley, gram and khaseri. oince no study of animal bones is available from any site, it is not possible to say anything about the role of animals in the food economy.
QOir* and Blood Theory: Scientific studies of soil samples from OCP strata at Atranjikhera (Gaur and Hassan 1964), I^asirpur, Ambkheri and Jhinjh:'.na (Agrawal ^i^4l977) shov/s that OCP deposits were laid by flood. Lai (1963) considering the nature of deposits at various sites propounded that during OCP period a big flood occurred and the entire Gan a-Yaiuna doab got converted into a big artificial lake for a considerable period.
Dr. B,i3, Lai (1969» 1972) carried out study of soil saiples from OCP deposits at ^lastinapura, Ahichchatra, Jhinjhana, Nasir^)ur and Bargaon.
Accordin,^ to him OCP
deposits vsrere laid by wind under arid conditions. But in the light of environmental conditions then, this proposition of Or, Lai is difficult to accept. According to the pollen data from ilastinapura (Lai 1954-55# 133-34) and wood fibre analysis from Atranjikhera (Chov;dhury et 1977: 63) the doab v/as then a dense raansoonal forest. It is difficult to reconcile aridity with forost environ ment.
The archaeological and literary evidence also
goes against the aridity theory.
Helationshio between OCP and Late iiara )pan Culture: In 1964 14.N. Deshpande (1965) pointed out that the cera:nic assemblage at Bargaon and Ambkheri shows a lixture of OCi.', Late ilarappan and Cemetery - H traditions. The common occurrence of Jar with splayed out rim, storage Jar with slightly beaded rim, basin with splayed out rim, bowl with everted rim, bowl-like lid with central knob and dish-on-st..ind in both Late Harappan and OCp ceramic assemblages lead some scholars (Ghosh 1965; lisr 1965, 1982; Handa 1968; ciharma 1979? Possehl 198(j) to believe that OCP is notliing but a degenerate fora of Late
Harappan pottery. But another group of scholars (Lai 1954-55, 1968; Gupta 1963} Deshpande 1968; Dlkshit 1969, 1971, 1979; Gaur 1970) is of the ojpinion that OCF represents an independent culture with the Influence of riarappan ceramic tradition.
In tiis context it should
be noted that OCi:^ obtained from oaipai, Lai uila and Atranjikhera in central doab does not show any Late Harappan ceramic influence which is visible at the sites of Bargaon, Ambkheri, Bahadarabad and other sites in iiaharanpur district in upper doab. OC? found in northern Hajasthan also does not show any Harappan influence. The contact between Late Harappan and OC? is confined only in ciaharanpur district.
It may, however, be
clarified that except for a few pottery shapes no other culturral material such as chert blade, beads and bangles of faience, beads of steatite and copper-bronze objects associated with Late Harappan Culture has been found in OCP cultural assemblai;e.
Coooer-Hoard Culture Since the first discovery of a cooper harpoon at Bithur in Kanpur district in 1822 (As.Hes. p.3) nearly one thousand copper ob^jects have been found from different parts of India. As these copper objects have mostly
Table III. 1 List of sites of Copper Hoards and Copper-Bronze InQ>lements of Protohistoric India Copper Hoard Types S«No
lAR 1970-71: 7-8 State Museum of Archa eology, JhaJJahar, Haryana Gupta 1971.
Dikshit 1968; 49 mkshit
0) X o
Place where lodged
g v .
Lai 1953* 91 Kausambi Museum,Allahabad
i m 1966-67 * 43-44; Sharma W 1-7 2 * 42-43.
Bharat Kala Bhawan, Varanasi
Dikshit 1968; 50 lAR 1963-64: 57
One Anthroporaoxphic figure Piggott 1944:102; Lai 1951*24-26 in Mxmicipal Museum, Alla habad; the rest in Bharat Kala Bhawan, Banaras Indian Museum, Calcutta; State Museum, Lucknow; Municipal Museum, Alla habad and Local Taaples
As. Res. 1882S 3; Anderson 1883* 395; anith 1905* 232 and 1907* 53; Shastri 1915* 1-6; Lai 1951* 24; Lai 1979.
^ 14. IJhaKa
Y 15. Fatehgarh
Sanskrit University, Vara M 1966-67* 81; Dikshit 1968*50. nasi; National Museum, New Delhi; Municipal Museum, Allahabad -State Musexwa, Lucknow Lai 1951* 29. • *• Lai 1951* 27-28 -
Indian Museum, Calcutta| Aa#.Res. 1832: 624; Anderson National Museum of Anti1883* 405-408; Smith 1905* 232 quities, Edinburgh State Musexjm, Calcutta, lAR 1956-57* 74, 1969-70* 38; Lucknow; Personal CollecticnDikshit 1968* 50; ThapWal and of Misra Bandhu of Gandh- Shukla 1972* 98 auli
State Museum, Lucknow
Lai 1951* 2 7 .
Locality District & State
S .N o .liO c a llty *
Cdpper Hoard Types •O u <0 -0
o Of o
Place where lodged
o & os
0) (h tg C D1
State Museum, Lucknow
Lai 1951* 29.
21 . Kausambi
22 . Madanapur
23 . Mainpuri
Shastri 1915: 4.
District H.Q., U.P,
Cianningham: I6 .
30 . Fariar
- - - .
British Museum, London
Deccan College, Pune
- - - Indian Musem, Calcutta -
State Museiam, Lucknow
3ev- eral 9
34 . Saipai
Fxihrer 1891: 168; Smith 1907: 53. Smith 1905 : 231, 234 ,
Chittorgarh ^Rajasthan 6
State Museum, Lucknow
Dikshit 19681 50* P,S.A.S. 1870: 293,300; Anderson 1883: 396,
Lai 1951 : 29.
Royal Society of Antiquaries, Copenhagan
1968: 251-62 ^A.S.B. aerson 1883 : 403,
Gurukul Kangari Museum,Hardv/ar Dikshit 1968s 47.
Smith 1905: 232.
State Ilusevun, Lucknow
lAR 1969-70: 38.
41. Nandlalpura Jaipur ^Rajasthan
State I’ 5useum, Lucknow
National Museum, New Delhi
Srivastava 1973: 41, I.A.R. 1966-67: 81; CSupta 19d 5: 2-3. I.A.R, 1970-71: 38; Lai T97 I-7 2 : 47 . Lai 1951 : 28-29. Ibid p. 29 . Gnxpta, 1971.
British Museum, London
Directorate ofArchaeology of Museums, Gk>vt. of RacJasthan
lAR 1960-61: 66.
Dept, of Archaeology, Rajasthan «
Pannar,1977: 63-64, Times of India dated 27.8,1977; Agrawal^JL1979; 91 ,
& State o +> (d H Cm
I a> n OH ^ 0) r/5 O
o u a m
M o •ss +> u 0)
0 s « H T3 ja (u 3 M
il o o St.
state Musexjm of Archaeology* Dikshit,1968* 49; Gupta Jha;3Jhar, Haryana 1971; IAS 1968-69* 69.
sev sev sev eral eral eral
Chhota Nagpur, M.P
Department of Archaeology, Ra;Jasthan Personal collection of Sri Pandey Lochan Shama of Bal^pur village Indian Muaeum Calcutta; National Museum Dublin; British Museum London; National Museum of Antlqtiities Edinburg. CentrsQ. Museum, Nagpur
Patna Museum, Patna.
Madras Government Museum, Madras Patna Museum, Patna
Hyderabad Museum, Hyderabad Annual Rep. Arch. Dept, of H.£,H, The Nizam’s Dominion for 1937-40 (Calcutta 1942) pp. 22-24. Dept, of Archaeology,Calcu Nag and Chakrabarty 1980:97-100. tta University, Calcutta Directorate of Archaeology, Nag and Chakrabarty 1980*97-100. Govt, of West Bengal Baripada Museum, Orissa, Mohapatra 1964* 45-47. Baripada Museum, Orissa Mohapatra 1964* 45-47. Mohapatra 1964: 45-47. Baripada Museum, Orissa Baripada Museum, Orissa Mohapatra 1964* 45-47* Baripada Museum, Orissa Mohapatra 1964* 45-47. • 8 S a B a 8 8 : S S S 0 « = t S S S S S I S » rr.T S S S S B S S S B S S S O S S S a C
s s : » n » S 8 = :8 a « A s a w s s B S 8 a t a f l i > s s s s a 8 » B S S s s a B S 8 K S s a » s a s a 8 a » s a s « e « » 8 s a s a s s s a 8 3 s s s
been found in hoards, they are known as *copper hoards*. The number of copper objects found in a hoard varies betv/een 1 and 47 except in the case of CJungeria, in M.P, where 424 pieces were found in a single hoard, i«cept in the case of ^aipai, ClAR 1971-72* 46-47) in iutawah district, Uttar Pradesh where a harpoon ;/as found in excavation, at all other sites copper objects of the 'copper hoard' typology came to light while ploughing a field, digging a canal or loaking a road.
In 1951 Lai listed 34 copper hoard sites. Since then the number has gone up to 86, Of these 5 sites came fro3i Haryana, 6 from Rajasthan, 33 from U.P., 19 from Bihar, 6 from jfest Bengal, 7 from Orissa, 8 from ladliya Pradesh and 1 from Karnataka (Figs. Ill, 7 & 8), The total number of objects from these sites are 959. This fi£;urc does not include objects from Kiratpur, Chandausi, and Pariar as ttie exact number is not kno\m (Table III,l).
i'tain Types and their Probable Use; 1. Celts; Celts are of three types* (a) Flat celts: Flat celts are usually subrectangular and
at one end (Fig, III. 9,7).
These are 10 to 26 cni. in length and 8 to 18 cm. in breadth. In all 255 flat celts have been found from 48 sites. Of these 6 coine from 3 sites in iaryana, 38 from 21 sites in U.P., 74 from 5 sites in Rajasthan, 13 from 5 sites in M.P., 72 from 12 sites in Bihar and 2 from 1 site in Kamutaka.
From irfest Bengal and Orissa no flat celts
have been reported.
(b) .iiiiouldcred Calts: Shouldered celts have a clear kink or setback at the point ivhere the curved edge meets the main body of tlie celt (Fig, III. 9f8).
20 to 23 c . in lengtti and 14-23 c;n. in breadtii. In all 84 shouldered celts have been found from 23 sites. Of these 38 celts Uome from 11 sites in U.P., 22 from 7 sites in 13ih'.r, 15 from 5 sites in in Orissa.
./estBengal and 9
from 5 sites
The saoulderod celts have south-easterly
Their main distribution is in Bihar, Orissa
and i^est Bengal. These have not been found west of the doab.
(c) Bar Celts; Bar celts consist of nearly parallel sided bars with a crescentic cutting edge (Fig, III. 9 , G). These are 50-60 c;n, long and
4 to 8 cm, wide. Total
30 bar celts have been found
from 8 sites. Of
celts come from 2 sites in l/,P., 7 from 2 sites in Hajasthan,
0I— I • — 21— 3I— 4,^, t IN
FIG.Ml . 9
17 from 1 site in Bihar and 1 each from
Orissa and rfest Bengal.
These three types of celts show a flat ventral and slightly convex dorsal side.
The flat and shoialdered
celts were probably used for cutting wood and for hunting animals.
On the basis of use marks on the edge Agrav/al
(1971s 198) suggests that bar celts were used for mining ores. A study of 12 celts (flat and shouldered type) by Thapliyal and iihukla (1974) and Lai (1979) shows that ceiUJs have regular depression marks (varying in number) on one surface.
Thapliyal and Shtikla (1974) suggest that
these depression marks may be the trade mark of smiths.
Rings are made by bending a circular rod till the ends meet (Fig. found from
sites. Of these
rings have been
rings come from 3 sites in
Haryana, 9 from 3 sites in U.P., 47 from 1 site in M.P., 1 from Bihar and 11 from 1 site in rfest Bengal. The rings from Pondi, Rewa district, il.P* are different
they are made from rods witti perfectly circular cross section.
Pondi type rings have not been found at any
imlth (1905: 238) sug ested their use as currency like Irish gold and silver ring money,
Agrawal (1971s 199)
thinl^s that they were units of weir^t for s.fiiths. iia r j o o n s t
Harpoons are of tv/o types* Tvoe 1: They are cut from a thick sheet of copper and hammered.
They have 4-6 oblique barbs on each side spaced
equally on the two-third length of blade. Besidej they have a holed lug or forked hook on the stera (fig* 111,9*4)♦ Two pieces from Bithur (Lai 1979) h -ve three pairs of straight projections in place of holed lug or forked hook (PI, XIII.A.1). Type 2 i
These are cast in double mould and h-’.ve a long
spear blade with generally two but sometimes three or four pairs of incurved barbs (Fig, III, 9»5), They have a well developed mid rib and are superb exa;:iples of crafts manship,
One specimen from Bithur has three pairs of
straii^ht projections in place of holed lug or forked projection (Pl, XIII,A, 2), Total namber of harpoons found so far is 29 from 11 sites. Outside Uttar Pradesh only one harpoon has been found from Mitathal in Haryana, Since details of each harpoon is not available it is not possible to give the exact number of each type.
Antennae .iwoi^st Antennae swords consist of a blade of 40-50 c.n. in length and a hilt in one piece, is quite prominent.
ilie mid rib in the blade
Ihe oiost reaiarkable feature of swords
is the hilt which bifurcates like the antenna of an insect (Fig. Ill, 10. 2). Gupta (1965* 5) says that tviere ./as a cover of wood, horn or bone of two pieces of *T* shape over the hilt which was secured by thongs passing through holes on the blade,
iio far 19 antennae swords have been found from 6 sites,
laccept for the site of K-llur in Raichur district,
ivamataka, all ot^er sites are located in western Uttar ^’radesh. Antennae sv/ords imply military element. They may hive been used in killing game also.
Re .ardinrr their
use Agrawal (1971* 199-200) says, "The antennae swords were used for killing or wounding big game by trapoing. The advantage of antennae hilt will be that the swords can be fixed securely in narrow clefts made in heavy wooden logs, iiuch logs, with antennae swords projecting out, could be placed in the bottom of big pits.
could be camouflaged with leaves and twigs and big game would be
mpeded towards the pits. The game would fall
heavily on the projecting swords which would pierced it
through without getting buckled or sunk in the ground with the weight. A straight hilt or tang will be buried into 'tiie ground under the heavy i.upact.” This con^Joctural explanation is not supported by any historical or contemporary examples. Hooked ciwords i Hooked swoI^is are like antennae swords except that in place of antennae there is a forked hook on the sten (Fig, III, 10, 3), So far 15 hooked swords have been from 9 sites, all in western Uttar L^radesh. Mthrooomorpha:
AnthroDomorphs are large and massive objects. Forearms are incurved and sharpened on the outer edge, and legs are plane, “ The ams are thinner than the head v/hich was further thickened by beating from the top (Fig. III. 10, l). The length of anthropomori^hs varies bet^/een 25 and 45 cm, anci breadth bet^feen 30 and 43 c . In all cases except one the length of anthropomorph is more than its breadth. Only in the case of Bisauli example breadth is 33*5 CM. whereas length is 22,5 cm.
Only 13 anthropomorphs are known, came from 7 localities in Uttar Pradesh.
ileven of them The find spots
of two pieces - one in Patna Museum (Gupta 1971) and one in Brooklyn t'luseum, U.S.A. (Giiakrabarty 1977) - are not known.
Gordon (1958* 137-38) suggested that anthro,-)omorphs were used as weapons.
To determine their function Agrawal
(1971S 200) made an imitation model and tried it as a missile.
According to him due to thickening of the head
because of beating from the top (manipulation of centre of i^ravity) they go in a vrtiirling motion. He feels that these were used for killing flying birds. But seeing their massive size ana v/eight (upto 5 kg.) their use as missile seems quite improbable. Tiny (from 4 to 10 cm,) anthropomorphic figurines resenbling copper hoard specimens are worshiped in the Gangr-Yamuna doab region as 3hani God. It is, therefore, qxiite possible that copper hoar^i anthropomorphs were also ob;)ect3 of \forship. In northeast Asia anthropomorphic figurines sjrmbolize ancestors \irtio are regarded as defenders of race (Gupta 1965).
itouble-Axesi These are made by cutting av/ay almost circulir pieces from the sides of an oval sheet. Only three
specimens of double-axes are known.
They come from
Bhangaraplr, Orissa. Of the three specimens two have both ends sharpened while the third has only one end sharp. Gupta (1965* 4) thinks that the oblong celt from Lothal, edgeless double-axe from Harappa and the triangular bladed axe from Hallur are connected with double-axes culturally and chronologically, -lowever, morphologically Bhangarapir axes are totally dissi.-ailar from Lothal, Harappa and Hallur axes.
Agrawal (1971s 201) thinks
that to call Bhan,:araoir specimens as axes is a complete misnomer.
On the basis of typology copper hoard area can be divided into three zones.
Zone A comprises Bihar, ^feat Bengal and
Orissa. This zone is characterised by the occurrence of (I) Flat celts (II) cJhouldered celts (III) Bar celts, and (IV) Double-axes,
Zone B comprises Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
this type finds are* (I) ilnthropornorphs (II) /intennae swords (III) Hooked swords, and (IV) Harpoons, beside the types %
I, II and III of zone A.
C:. Zone C comprises Rajasthan* The type finds of this zone are* (I) Flat celts, and (II) Bar celts.
Iy?teJi9f5Y 9l C9pper fiflar3i iimith (1905) mentioned the result of the analysis of 4 objects - one celt from Jabalpur, one sword from Fatehgarh and two harpoons (locality not kno’^na)* All these objects i^owed 3*38 to 13,3 percent of tin. Ilie Bisauli anthropoinorph shov/od 0.66 percent of nickel (Lai 1951* 24). The che!nical analysis of three celts from Bar/junda (Gupta 1971) shows that one celt was of pure copper wiiereas t\fo had one percent of alloys (alloy metal not mentioned). Five objects (cihahabad celt, 3hahabad fragmentary harpoon, I'^amdera celt, j-4ianbad celt and l^argaaa celt) were analysed by 4grawal (1971* 171). These samples show
that they were made of pure copper.
Agrawal and his colleagues (A^jrawal
1973) carried out analysis of 41 copper hoard objects. Qf
these 32 objects came from 12 sites in Uttar Pi^desh and 9 from 5 sites in Bihar. Following is the number of different objects*
Celts- 33 (24 from Uttar Pradesh and 9 frora Bihar) Bangles
(from Uttar Pradesh]
Atoi.ilc absorption spectrometric analysis of 27 objects from Uttar Pradesh shows traces of tin in eill specimens whereas nickel 0*005 to 0,453?^» iron 0,0037 to 0#4768:?4, Arsenic 0.1361 to 7,Qkk% and lead 0,(X)3B to 2,1*32% are present (Agrawal efc of arsenic was deliberate.
1978: Table l). Alloying
The closed casting of pure copper
is quite difficult and harpoons and si/ords shov/ that their casting was done in closed moulds. Arsenic was added to facilitate casting and make the metal hard.
A comparative study of impurity patterns of copper hoard objects from U.P. and Bihar has been carried out by Agrawal £i-
(1973 : 43, Table 2 & 3).
On the basis of
the presence of iron, antimony, nickel, manganese, cobalt, alluminium and chromium and absence of gold, wolfram, titanium,
vanadium, and phosphorus in copper hoard
objects and Kakha ores they concluded ttiat the source of metal for Uttar Pradesh copper hoard were Rakha ore
mines. But in spectrophotometry analysis not a single object froia Uttar Pradesh shows the presence of tin whereas it is present in Hakha ore (Agrav/al ^
Table 3). Chemical analysis of 5 celts (number 4,6,7,8 and 9) from I'iadana.jur, llardoi district, U,P, (Misra 1976) were carried out by Thakkar (1977). The analysis shows that three celts (Hos. 7,8 and 9) have identical impurity pattern.
They contain lead, cadmium, bismath, arsenic,
antimony, iron, manganese and zink as impurities. Celt no. 4 falls to show bismath, arsenic, and antimony which are present in other three celts. In celt no. 5 lead, arsenic and antimony are absent. Howevor, triis is the only celt in which lead is absent but it saows the presence of tin.
Celt no. 4 and 6 show the presence of alluninium
which is absent in celt nos. 7» 8 and 9. The impurity pattern of last three celts shows that they belong to the same source. jfhen we compare the impurity patterns of above five
celts with Rakha ores we find that in Rakha ores tin, silver and cabalt are present vrtiereas these are absent in the celts. Bismath is not present in ores wheroas it is present in the celts. This comparative study of the chemical analysis
of Hai-tha copper ores and copper hoard objects shows that Uttar Pradesh copper hoards do not belong to Hakha ores. The probability of iiinghbhum or Khetri ore mines as the source for Uttar Pradesh copper hoards has already been excluded by Agrawal
source of copper hoards from Uttar Pradesh? In zones A and C ores were available locally but in zone B there are no ores. So the manufacturer had to import the raw material from outside, material.
Zone A and C could not be the source of raw
The nearest ore source to Zone B is the mines
of Kumaon - Garhwal region. The largest concentration of copper hoards in Uttar Pradesh is in the Upper and Central parts.
It would be easier for copper hoard smiths of zone
B to obtain ore from Kumaon - Garhwal region than to import it from Ha;jasthan and Bihar.
But anythin; with certainity
can be said only vvhen chemical analysis of Kuaaon - Garhwal ores is also available,
lietallurgy Metallofgraphic analysis of some objects shows that beside alloying copper hoard amith knew the process of annealing and coldwoiic (Agrawal ^
197B: 45-46), The
objects were made both in open and closed moulds. Celts were generally cast in open mould whereas stiords and
har:joons were cast in closed moulds. Relationship between Copper Hoards and Late iiarapoans and QCP. and Aryans: On the basis of typological analysis of copper hoards» celts and axes from Harappa and Mohenjodaro and si iilar ob;Jects found in Sgypt, iiardinia, British Isles, Greece and Transcaucasia Heine-Geldem (19^, 1956) propounded that copper hoards belong to Aryans vr?io came to India sometime betisreen 1200 and 1000 B.C. Lai (1951) in his detail typological analysis and critical assessment of Heine-Geldem*s view showed that none of the copper hoard types have been found in iigypt, Sardinia, Transcaucasia etc. Piggott (1944) first supported Aryan th eory of Heine-Geldem but later changed his view and assigned the copper hoards to the Late Harappan people (Piggott 1950). He writes, "It would be tempting to associate this movement with something more than trade, and see in it the coloni zation of the Ganga basin by refu<.,ees and displaced persons from Panjab and Indus valley during the time of the break up of the Harappa empire and the coming of Aryans from the west" Piggott (1950* 238). The discovery of copper hoard objects, QCP and Late Harappan pottery at Bahadarabad
and a broken anthropomorphic figure from Lothal led oharma (1962) to conclude that OCP anJ cooper hoards were only the Late Phase of Harappan Culture,
The typological analysis of Harappan copper objects and tnose of copper hoards givas completely different pictures.
The flat celts are the only cormnon link bet\;een
the two. The distinctive Harappan types are razor^ arrow heads, barbed fish hooka, and curved blades whereas copper hoards are distinguished by harpoons, antennae sv/ords, and anthropomorphs.
The metal analysis of Harappan
implements s lows that tin was alloyed in copper from 1 to 23/« whereas in copper hoards arsenic v;as alloyed from 0,1356 to 7.84?6.
there is no substantial evidence to support the view that hoards represent a colonisation of the Ganga basin by refugees and displaced persons from PanJab and the Inaus valley during the time of the broak-up of Harappa empire and the coning of raiders from the west.
Dikshit (1968), however, believes that the mid rib in harpoons and sv/ords of copper hoards evolved due to the contact between Harappans and copper hoard people living in liaryana, Uttar Pradesh and Hajasthan, He does
not specify from which Harappan object mid rib in copper hoard objects evolved. But this theory cannot bo sustained since only one copper hoard type, namely, harpoon is known by a single example from the surface of the mound at Mitathal.
Before the excavation at iSaipai copper hoards were never found in a stratigraphic context.
At copper hoards
sites of Bahadarabad, Nasirpur, Hajpur Parsu, Baheria, Kiratpur, and Bisauli OCP was found.
Considering these evidences i#al (1951) associated copper hoards with OCP which was obtained from llaatinapura, Bisauli and Rajpur Parsu.
From Saipai (lAK 1970-71* A6-
47) OCP and a copper harpoon were found together in stratified deposit. Lai assi^jned tliis cerataic tradition smid copper hoards to the people who inhabited the doab before the arrival of Aryans.
The area of copper hoard
distribution is at present known to have been occupied by Austo-Asiatic speaking Mundas, Santhalas and other tribes beloni:iing to the Proto-Austroloid group of Indian population which probably mi^jrated to India from southeast Asia (riukharji and Jhakrabarty 1964). The Austro-Asiatic languages spoken in Burma and by iihasis in northeastern
India would provide likely link to indicate the route which i'lundas had taken on their migration to eastern and Central India.
It is also possible that eastern Austro-
nesian tribes (forefathers of Mon i'ihmer and lingiiistically associated with i-lundas, Bongard-Levin 1957) independently developed tlie use of metal.
Recent research shows that in
Thailand the use of bronze started in 4th millennium B.C. and iron in the Middle of second millennium B.C. (oohleim II 197B).
The north-eai tern India has been considered as an
integral part of southeast Asia during neolithic period (Gupta 1963)* ^ in all probability Kundas who migrated to India with the knowledge of Metallurgy sometime between 3000-2000 B.C. were the authors of these hoards.
In Vedic literature also we find references about the Aryans encountering certain native tribes whom they called nishadas. having short stature and flat nose (^ a s ). *i0 st probably these native tribes v/ere Mundas and other Austroloid tribes# Black and ned
was unknown imtil the excavations at Atranjikhera in early 1960s (Gaur 1967). Here tliis pottery \/as found sandwiched between PGlrf and OCP cultural deposits. The BR4 deposit at AtranJJikhera was only 10-30 cm* thick.
this reason it was difficult to believe in the initial stage that BRi^ represents an independent phase.
the early 1970s excavations at Koh (lAH 1971-72* 42) and Jodhpura (lAl. 1972-73* 29-30), in Ra;jasthan confirmed the independent status of BRiif with a stratigraplriic sequence similar to that of AtranJikhera. The reason for the thinnoss of the deposit at AtranJJikhera is attributed to flood activity (Gaur 1967* 4), The tiiickness of deposits at Noh and Jodhpura are not mentioned in brief reports published in Indian Archaoolo -v - A Review,
i^otterv: The characteristic feature of this pottery is that it is biack inside and near the rim on the outside €ind rest of toe body red.
It is made of fine clay and
mostly made on wheel. The fabric is generally fine with thin walls and firing is generally perfect,
3ome of the
types, specially disiies, are ill-fired and have gritty core,
jome pots are also made by hand,
Unlike in the
case of BR. from Rajasthan, Madhya t^radesh, Bihar and n^est Bengal pottery is devoid of painting.
5 I— I -1 —I — l_L_
10 !5 -a--- 1 CM S.
It is believed that this pottery v/as produced by inverted firirii^ (Lai 1954-55; •iankalia 1968, 1974). No scientific test has, hov/ever, been carried out to test this long held hypothesis. In iigypt where also idiis type of pottery is found, the same theory ./as accepted until Liikas (1962: 380) on the basis of his experiments pointed out that tiie technique vyas much more complex. He expressed the probability of double firing and the appli cation of carbon on the surface to turn red colour produced in the first firing into black. Following are the shapes in BRaf (Fig. Ill, 11)i 1)
i3owl with a vertically sharpened rim. (No,
Bowl with a featureless rim (Nos, 2-3)
Bowl with slightly everted rim (Nos. 4-5)
iUsh Yith featureless rim and convex sides forming a sagger base, (No, 6)
5) Jar with slightly outtumed rim (No, 7), t'iaterial Culture; At AtranjiWiera no dfefinite tool either in metal on in stone was foiind. Only fragments of stones, waste flakes, chips, and cores of quartz, chauLcedony, agate and camelian were found. Ornaments are represented by one bead each of camelian, shell and copper. A copper ring
was also found. The only other object worth mentioning is a fragmentary comb of bone. Only a bone spike was found at Jodhpura. At Noh (lAR 1971-72: 42) a shapeless piece of iron, a bead of terracotta and a bone spike were found, subsistence Pattern: Kice and moong cultivation is kno\ra at Atranjikhera (^howdhury e;^
1977: 63). But from the saine site evidence
for rice, barley, gram and khaseri cornerfrom the OCP level. I
It is quite possible that BR;i^ people also cultivated these crops. Relationship between BR^ of the doab and other areas: traur (1967: 6) sees affinities between 3Rrf of Atranjikhera and Gilund (lAR 1959-60: 60-64) and Ahar (Sankalia ^ ai,. 1969) in south Rajasthan.
(1969: 40-41) also finds some generic relationship between BRrf of Noh and that of Atranjikhera and Ahar.
and Srivastava*s views seem to be based on very superficial coiflparison. They do not mention specific points of siiiiilarities except that of same type of "fabric, texture, burnishing and other tecliniques** (Gaur 1967 : 6). The most important characteristic feature of the doab and Noh pottery is that it is plain wliereas pottery from Gilund
and Ahar is painted in white on black surface. Besides, there are following ty.jological differences between the two; (a)
The painted BRrf bowls from ^\har have pronounced
c;irinated concave sides and fabric is also coarse v^ereas bowls of plain BRrf are devoid of any paintin.s of carination and are of comparatively fine fabric. (b)
The dish with featureless rim and convex sides ^
completely unkn wn at Ahar and Gilund v/hereas it is present in large number in doab (c)
Bowls with channel or pronounced carination and
dish-on-st nd are completely unknown in BR>iT of doab whereas they are present at Ahar and Gilund. Spread of BRvi/
The process and routes of diffusion of BR
106-7) on the basis of C-14 dates suggests that BRW spread in two waves from Rajas-ttian: One going to north which deflects from the western doab to spread into eastern PanJab and second goes to west Bengal via central India and then recoils back to Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Painted Qrev n^are Culture
Painted Grey (fare culture is one of the most important protohistoric cultures of India not only because of its association with Aryans and early use of iron, but also because it was this culture which brought the Ganga valley to the threshold of urbanisation.
In the words of
Roinila Thapar (1978: 91 )s "It would seem feasible that this material culture provided the base for the emergence of states with a monar'chical system of government in vi^ch the control of agricultural land suad rights to succession would play a major role". The potentiality of urbanisation in the Ganga valley was realized for the first time primarily because of the use of iron by PGvif people. Iron tools helped PGW people to clear and settle in the then dense .nonsoonal forests of the upper Ganga iPlains.
Though, PGnf was first discovered at Ahichchhatra (Jhosh and Panigrahi 1946) its full significance was realized only after B.B, Lal*s excavations at Hastinaoura in early fifties (Lai 1954-55).
Since then explorations,
carriec' out in different parts of Northern India have brought to light about 650 sites. Of these nearly 30 sites have been excavated of which Rupar (3harma 195556), Dadheri (Joshi 1978) anJ Sangiriol (lAH 1968-69 : 25-26) in Panjab} Bhagwanpura (Joshi 197S), Daulatpur (IAa 1968-69 : 8-9) and lla;3a-kama-ka-qila (IM 1970-71*. 15-16) in iiary ma; Noh CAgrawal and Kumar 1976) and
Jodhpura (Agrawal and Kumar 1976) in Rajasthan and Alamgirpur CIAR 1958-59 * 50-55), Atran^Jikhera (lAR 1962-63 to 1967-68), Allahpura (Dikshit 1973), iiulas
(Dikshit 1981), Jakhera (3ahi 1978), Mathura (lAR 19Y5761 53-55 ) and donkh (Haertal 1976) in Uttar Pradesh
are tiie most noteworthy ones.
The laclc of horizontal
excavation and publication of full reports of whatever the excavations have been done precludes a detailed picture of the PG'.if culture. iibctent an-u. distribution Pattern of PGjf sit«s; The main concentration of the PGiif is in the Indo-Gangetic Divide, the Jutle;3 basin and the Upper Ganga
Sporadic sherds have, however been found as far
as Vaisali (Bihar) in the east, Lakhiyopir (Sind, Pakistan) in the west, Thapli (Tehri District, Uttar Pradesh) in the north and UJJain (Madhya Pradesh) in the south (Fig. III. 12).
Painted Grey «fare sites are located along river banks.
The average distance from one site to another is
about 10-12 kift.and in favourable ecological zones it is even 5 km, (Agravral and Kumar 1976, Lai 1978), The settle ments are mostly small villages of 1-4 hectare of habi tation area. In Haiyana one settlement was found to be of 9 hect. (iiuraj Bhan and ohaffer ^97Q)•
iughal (1978, 1979)
reports one settlement of 13 hect. On the Hakra in Buhav/alpur region of Pakistan.
is found in four contexts.
At sites of Kupar and ^anghol
in Panjab, Daulatpur in
ilaryana, Alamgiipur and Hulas
in westernUttar Pradesh it
is preceded by the late liarappan culture but with a gap between the two cultures. At Dadheri, Kathpalon and Nagar in Panjab and Bhagwanpura in ilaryana PG
in Uttar Pradesh and Noh and Jodhpura in Rajasthan PGnf is preceded by BR.»/ culture with a break in between the two cultures. On the upper side it every\fhere overlaps with the NBPaT culture.
c’otterv; PGiif constitutes 3-10% of the total pottery assemblage at sites of this culture. The pottery is wheel thrown and made of well levigated clay. It's surface is smooth and grey to ashy ^^rey in colour. It has a fine grained uniforaally thin core,
nuaber of heavier particles of feldsper, quartz or limestone are found in the core. Hegde (l975i 138) who produced tliis ware in the laboratory says -ttiat it was fired in reducing conditions at a temperature of about 800®c euid by retaining the kiln at that tenfiperature at least about 12 hours.
Main Types; In the PGi# mainly bo /ls and dishes of various shapes and sizes are found.
Following are the niain types
(Fig. III. 13)* 1.
Bowl with str aight sides (Nos. 1-3» 5)
Bowl with taperin;: sides (Wos. 4, 21)
Bowl with convex sides (Nos. 10-11)
F I G . I I I . 13
4. Bowl with hemisperical sides (No. 8 ) 5. Bowl with incurved sides (Nos, 9» 13) 6 . Bowl with concave sides (No. 7)
9. Miniature bowl (Nos. 20, 22) 10. Dish with featureless rim and r^iinded sides(No. 14) 11. Dish with featureless rim and straight sides (No.
12. Dish with featureless rim and tapering sides (No.
13. Dish with convex sides and carination at the base (Nd.15)
Other less conmon types in tills ware are water vessel (lota) (from Rupar), spouted vessel (from Sardargarh) and ring vase fromCAllahpur^
A big water jar has been
found at cionkh (Haertel 1976: Fig. 21). Decoration; Pots were decorated by paintings in black and sometimes in deep chocolate colour on outer as -.'rell as inner surfaces. Hegde (1975* 188) has reached the conclusion that painting were made on sun-dried pot before firing.
Tripathi (1976: 132) has listed 42 designs on the PG'
Sinple horizontal band
A group of vertical, oblique and criss-cross lines
i^ws of dots and dashes
Dots alternating with simple lines
Chains of small sprals
Concentric circles and semi-circles
Sigmas and s^mstikas
Rows of scalloped pattern
.iimple and intersecting loops. Of these 9 designs 1,2,4,6 and 9 are usually found
on both inside as well as outside surfaces whereas 3 ,5,7 and 8 are generally restricted to the outer surface only. t
Architecture: At Ahichchhatra, Hastinapura, and Atranjikhera only patches of burnt earth, mud bricks, burnt bricks, mud platform, and mud plaster pieces with reed and bamboo impressions have been found. Bhagwanpura, however, has given some substantial evidence for structural activity (Joshi 1978). Here Joshi has identified three structural phases.
In the first phase architectural features consist
only of post holes which suggest circular and rectangular huts.
In the second structural phase houses were planned, /
One house has 13 rooms with a corridor in betfeen the two
sets of rooms and a courtyard on the eastern side of the co iplex. The size of rooms varies from 1.6 x 1.6 m. to 3.55
4.2 m. and the walls are made of mud.
phase houses had thatched roof.
In the third phase houses were built of burnt bricks.
^Jue to present day agriciAlturc- on the ;aound the
exposed structures were badly damaaed. Thus, the plan of structures could not be kno;m.
The sizes of burnt bricks
were 20 x 20 x 8 cin., 12 x 12 x 8 cm., 30 x 20 x 8 cm., 16 X 12 X 4 c:/i. and 29 x 22 - 12.5 x 7 ca.
The first two
sizes are square, second two are rectangular whereas the last one is wedge shape. Since bricks used for walls are generally rectangular and not square, the latter were probably used for the construction of ritualistic altars or
probably used for
The wedge shape bricks were
construction of wells or other
circular structures. The occurrence of mud plaster bearing impressions of reeds and bamboos from Atranjikhera (Gaur 1967s 11) and liastinapura suggest that walls were made of bamboo and reed screen on which mud plaster was applied from outside as well as inside. To strengthen -ttie plaster rice husk was mixed with mud. At Atranjikhera wood posts of Chir
Cir^lnus roxbureFiill). 3isso (Dalber'^a sissoo). Sal (Sheorga robusta) and Teak (Tectona .trandis) have been found (Chowdhury ^
1977* 66 ). iiven today these are consi
dered to be the best woods for houoe construction.
AtranQikhera sand found in some post holes was put probably to protect the posts from white ants (Lai n.d,: 10 ).
From Atranjikhera (Lai n.d.: 12) and Jakhera aahi 1978: 102 ) there is evidence for the construction of a mud bund. At Atranjikhera an embankment of 35 a. in length and 1.4 m. in height was exposed.
an erabanliraent with a basal breadth of 4.8 m. and a height I
1.2 m. was excavated. Sahi (1978: 102) feels that the
embankment ran all around the settlenient. Technoloftv: The material culture of PGii period reveals a variety of objects made on copper, iron, glajs and bone.
Axes, chisels, borers, nails, pins, cla-aps,
fish hooks and arrowheads are found both in iron and copper.
Spearheads have been found only in iron.
Agricultural implements that have came to light are only a sickle and a hoe from Jakhera (Sahi 1978: 103). In bone only points and arrowheads have been found. Tools like axes must have been used in cutting
vfood and clearing forests.
Chisels, borers, nails
anti hooks may have been used in carpentry,
mounted on caneshafts and projected from wooden bows could have been used in warfare as well as in hunting. In the succeeding pages we shall deal v;ith technology of copper, iron, glass and bone separately, Co ?per» All the copper objects found in PGhT culture are made of pieces cut from a sheet and then forged. None of them was aade in moulds.
In the absence of metallurgical
analysis of any object it is not possible to say anything about forging process, ilowever, result of che.aical analysis of five objects are available.
Of these t\/o
come fro.ii ilastinapura and tiiree from Atranjikhera. ilastinapura objects do lot show any alloying (Lai 1954: 55s 13). Of the Atranjikhera speciiaens (Lai n.d.i 24) one is of pui'e copper and two are alloyed.
shows 11.b396 tin, 9,0% lead and 6,28>« zinli and the other shows 20,72% tin and 16.2% zink. Iron was present in all the three objects from 1.2336 to 9 ,7 i«. "nie presence of iron in the objects indicates that the metal was extracted from iron chicopyrite ore and iron remained in metal probably due to the inadequate sraeltin» of ore.
Iron; Painted Grey rfare people were the first in the Ganga-Yamuna doab to use the iron. The metal has been found at all the sites except iiastinapura.
as many as 135 objects were found in a small dig. Because no complete excavation reports are available except for iiastinapura it is not possible to know the relative proportion of iron and copper objects.
At Atran;jiWiera a furnace was also found (Gaur 1967* 11-12). Close to the furnace were found the iron slag, broken oots used for quenching and a pair of tongs to turn over the objects in the process of manufacturing, lividence for tviro furnaces comes from Jodhpura (Agra’./al and Kumar 1976: 243). These are of open type and are provided with the bellows. One of these was used to extract the bloom and other for heating dnring the forging. The metal was first extracted by direct reduction of ore (without any flux) and then the small bloom that separated out was taken out of the furnace, heated to redness in an open hearth and then forged on a platform in front of the hearth (Agrawal and Kumar 1976: 243). O.P. Agrawal (Lai n.d.: 22) who examined four specimens from Atranjikhera opines that these objects
were first made of wrought iron and tiien were carburised by some technique whereby the surface turned into carbide.
This happens when the iron object is
kept on a charcoal bed for a long time and at high tenperature.
This suggests that the process of
carburization was known to the
i'Jo v/ork has been done to identify the source from which PG4 people got the iron ores. The source, however, exists in the neighbouring iiimalayan region of Kangra, Mandi, ilmora and Garhwal; in the Aravalli terrain of Alwar, Jaipur and Bharatpur in ilajasthan and in the (Gwalior region,
iiuaadiately south of the Charabal.
A remarkable contribution of tlie Painted Grey .v’are people is ^lass technology.
At present the evidence
counts of only two glass bangles from Hastinapura. One of these is bro.
bet’ ./een 5 and 6 and the specific gravity is 2.55. In the latter case, the hardness is about 6 and the specific gravity 2.56. The specimens may be described as of "soft glass of soda-lime type".
3oth are free from weatliering and
deco:nposition and "therefore, it seems probable fiat after fabri3 jation, the bangles were subjected to annealing” (Lai 1954-55s 13).
Ilajority of the bone objects found in the PGW" levels are made on antlers.
Oikshit (1970) got examined
the specimens from /illahpura. The .'iiicroscopic studies
these objects revealed some important cluesregarding
mode of fabrication of bone tools. The bone-antlers v/ere rende ed soft by being kept in hot water for sometime. In some cases coconut oil was used to soften the structure. In the case of a few objects antl-r pieces v/ere first burnt as is evident from the carbonization of outer surface, then they were dipped in suitable softening medium and finally cut to the desired siapc by the use of fixed crude lathe which could have been mside of iron. On one of the objects there are regular concentric lines over the vfhole body. They appear to have been made by some sharp pointed crude lathe type of contrivance and as the lines of cut were made in a more or less regular pattern it appears that the bone object was revolving on a definite axle. After fabrication, the tools seem to have been
polished with the help of smooth stone and finally rubbed with soft skin. Another way of polishing these tools was to use wax or oil (Lai n.d.* 26).
iibccavations at various sites have brought to light a variety of cultural material which can be grouped under followin^; headings: Ornaments: The most common object for ornaments are beads. They are found in terracotta, agate, Jasper, camelian, chalcedony, lapis lazuli, glass and bone. Of lapis lazuli only one bead has been found from Sardargarh (TrLpathi 1976: 94). Bangles have been found mainly in terracotta. Only two broken pieces of gj.ass bangles have been found at liastinapura (Lai 1954-55: 90-91), Rings and bangles of copper have also been found but in liniited namber. The only example of a pendant comes from Hastinapura (Lai 1954-55: 89) and it is of terracotta.
iltchen and other Household Ob.iects: Pestles and quems of stone are the most conmonly found kitcaen tools. A pair of tongs have been found at Atranjikhera (Lai n.d.: 22). 'xhe other household
objects, made of iron as veil as copper are nails, pins, needles, knives, tooth pricks and hooks.
and pans so far only one dish of copper with a diameter of 17 ca. has been found at Attran,jikhera (Lai n.d,: 25). A fragmentary comb of bone has also been found from Atranjikhera (Gaur
Terracotta figurines; iixcavations at Jakhera brought to li .ht three terracotta human figurines. levigated clay.
These are made of well
All of them have inci-.ed decoration over
the body and blackis’i grey colour. T-^o of them are of male and one female. Three animal figurines have been reported from Hastinapura (Lai 1954-55? 36). One has been identified as a bull, second is a "crudely modelled fi.^urine, perhaps a bull” and third is said to be "probably a horse.” From A i.ichctihatra (IaR 1963-64: 43-44) also aiiimal fiijurines have been reported but particular animals have not been mentioned. MjLscellaneous Ob.lectst Miscellaneous objects include several types of terracotta discs, balls, poxter*s sxamps, gameamen, and circular disc ma'.e of broken pottery.
Several objects of
indeterminate types have been found in terracotta, bone, shell and horn. Subsistence Patterni i:.vidence for subsistence comes from t'.-ro sites -
Hastinapura and Atranjlkhera.
At Hastinapura (Lai
1954-55 : 123 ) only rice (Qrvza satlva) was found.
Atrinjiknera rice (Urvza aative). \irtieat (Tritlcum compacttim) and barley (Hardem vul/care) were found (Chowdhury ^
PGitf people cultivated rice, wheat, barley, pea and some other legate.
The most important cereal
that was added to the diet during PG‘ .f period was v^eat for it has not been found in any of the earlier cultures in the doab. However, it is important to note that at Atraajikhera quantitatively rice was nore than wheat and barley,
ihus, it seems that rice do:.iinated in the staple
diet of thepeople.
While rice aay have been boiled
and eaten vriieat and barley were ground with mortar and pestle. From the ground flour one may ima«;ine Jhaaatis (bread) were prepared on 'U' shaped chulha (hearth) as is done even today. Milk and its preparations viz. curd, i^hee. cheese, buttermilk etc. were also part of the diet. Likewise, fowl, river turtle and bivalve were also consumed. Bones of horse, bull, pig, goat and deer have been found at Hastinapura, Allahpura and Atranjikhera, The occurrence of fish hooks from several sites suggests that fishing was a part of the food economy.
'^'radei There is some evidence of trade in PG
be more PGrf sites in tliat area and their existence could be due to the need of exploitin- the ores. The ores as well as finished goods may have been traded with tlie people in the plains. The population pressure on the land in the plains could not have been sufficient to force people to migrate into the hilly country.
may spring up in waste~lands whore rare and valuable minerals are found (Trigger 1978: 180).
In ancient times,
copper shelters were built at Aqaba on the shores of Ked iiea, a region rich in copper but lacking in agricultural potential.
Other objects that give some idea of tr.^de are beads of semi-precious stones like agate, Jasper, camelian, chalcedony and lapis lazuli.
None of these stones is
found in the doab. Agate and chalcedony are found in Hudak (Kashmir), HaJpipla,Ahmedabad and :iorvi (Gujarat),
Jabalpur (Madhya t-raaesh), Ha^raahal (Bihar), anu in the beds of the Krishna, Biiima and Narmada. Jasper is foimd in Bellary (Karnataka) and lapis lazuli in Badakshn (Afghanistan), and libet (^^oggin-Brown and Dey 1955). The only way to explain the occurrences of beads of aoove semi-precious stones is trade, either of finished beads or of raw material. Transport and iravel» We are on a very uncertain ground so far as transport is concerned. Ki,:Veda
Horse has been mentioned in
and otuer Vedic literature, and its bones luive
been found in excavations of PCriM sites. Whether some kind of cart (like the present day bullock cart) or chariot was used is uncertain.
We do not come across any toy
carts or model chariots in excavations,tuough references for ttieir use have frequently been made in contemporary literature. Boats may have been used by PGw
sites are largely on river banks. As forests
covered most of the unii
such conditions transport and travel on water must have been tne safest.
Orit^ln and spread oi ir'GaH Lai (1954-55* 32-33) drew attention to the occurrence of pottery resembling PUrt from I’sani, Tsangali and Zerila in Xhessali; iihali Tepe and iaeistan in Iran and Shahi Thump in baluchist^n dating to second millennium B.C. and expressed the possibility that FGi* originated in the west and was introduced in India from that area,
Misra (1970) suggested the origin of PGa from BHW on follwing grounds* (1) Nearly 30% of irow shapes occur in BR... (2) PGv< has not been found far beyond the western boundary of Inaia. (3) The concentration of sites suggests tne epicentre of the culture to be PanJab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. (4) Mere occurrence of grey ware outside In.ia, does not necessarily imply a relationship with PGm, (5) In
Hsia Elinor, the nittites and tne Mittani are
supposed to have been Aryans and several sites tnere h^ve yielded relics oi these people. But none of them has yielded PG
Kiisra's observations about cotnmon shapes in BRiN and
and the absence of
Though 14 sites of
outside India are sound.
have been found on river hakra in
Bahawalpur (Pakistjfian), they are just near the IndiaPakistan boraer. They can be considered a continuation o f the sites on the Ghae,e,ar river in Ka;jasthan.
other points of Misra do not stand on critical assessment of the evidence,
in the epicentre area of PU* we find
that there aie only triree sites - Atranjikhera in U,P, c:.nd Noh and Jodhpura in ha;)asthan - where ^jfW precedes PG«/, All these three sites are located on the outskirts of the epicentre.
In U.P, at all the sites, except
Atranjikhera, PG* is preceded either by Late liarappan or OCP with a break.
In the region of Haryana and Pan^}ab
PCiw is preceded by Late liarappan with a oreak, except at Bhagwanpura and Dadheri, Kathpalon and wagar* At all .these sites PGk» has an interlocking phase with the Late I^iarappan, At .'anda, in Jammu, also PGW has an interlocking phase with the Late Harappan. If we consider the origin of PGw from BRW we have to prove that (1) the sites in Haryana, Panjab and Jammu are younger than the sites in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, ana (2) there was an experimental stage of Puw in western Uttar Pradesh and northern Hajasthan. The evidence available does not fulfil any of these conaitions, rather it goes against,
evidence shows that in Haryana, Panjab and Jammu PGW
is older than the PG.. in western Uttar Pradesh ana northern Hajasthan. Also, we do not find any e^q^erimental siage of PUiN not only in the western Uttar Pradesh and northern Rajasthan but in the entire PGt. distribution area.
Since Lai gave his theory of foreign origin of PGm a flood of nevv evidence has come to light*
In the I9b0s
and early 1970s archaeological work was carried out in Swat valley (Pakistan), This area is geographically located on the land routes linkiixg India and Central Asia.
In bwat valley at a ntimber of sites of graveyards
have been discovered and in a few exaini.les there ure Habitation sites also (Dani 1967» 1971; Stacul 1967f 1970). The main excavated sites are Ximargarha (jjani 1967) and Ghaligai (Stacul 1967), At these sites grey ware and iron appear for the first time between 1300-1200 B.C. PiraK Damb, a site on the Kachhi Plains in Baluchiitan has yielded important evidence in this respect. Of the 11 occupational levels, level 6 yielded grey ware and black pottery aiont, with iron objects. This level can be dated to about 1100 B.C. on the basis of calibrated radiocarbon dates for levels 4 and 5 (Jarrige and i^^nault 1973J 170-71).
On the ba£is of the occurrence of grey ware, and iron at Ghali^ai, limargarha ana i-irak,
and movement patcern of Aryans uani (1967* 1971, 1978), i>tacul (19^9, 1970), and oarrige and bnault (1973) emphasize the links between the e,rey ware of o¥,at valley and PGi* of Inclia,
writes "It may not be
improper to seek the origin of the PG»v to the development of the grey v.are of the Gandhara Grave culture in the as yet unex>-lored intervening plains between the Indus and beas,"
is ox the opinion, **l’he PGw
of the Ganga-Yamuna ^oab seems to belong, to the grey ware coinplex which had suddenly intruded upon the ceramic traditions of nortnern Iran towards the end of tnird millennium B.C.
At tne same time it may be admitted tnat
besides similarity in the tradition of firing and kiln there is little to compare in the foims, fabric and decoration of the PG a with those of the Iranian .vare* The latter complex probably sent out feelers for the east by a route that is yet imperfectly understood",
furtner emptiasized, "The link
of grey ware complex, howsoever tenuous, is reinforced a fortiori by (a) the evidence about the use of horse
in association with ^rey ware in nortntrn Iran (buah Tepe II and III) Swat Valley and the uandhara region of Pakistan (Gandhara Grave culture) and Upper India (FGW late levels), and (b) the association of predominantly mediterranean type of people with this grey ware, at least in nortiiern Iran and iiwat valley”. A '
The absence of coifonon pottery tradition has been explained by Ghosh (1968). He suggested that tne migrating folk adopted the local traditions in the absence of their own pottery tradition which was also diificuit to pursue in tne wake of constant iuigiations.
In the lic.ht of above discussion it may be concluaed that nitra's point 4 and 5 do no^ stand and origin of FG. lies in the west.
Northern Black iolished >.areCultura The Norttiern Black Polished waie (WBPW) culture in the
Ganga valleyis distinguished by the extensive use
of iron, introduction of coinage, a well stratified and economically strong society, expansion of Buddhism and assimilation of a number of smaller states into one of
the biggest empires of the ancient world.
of this culture coincides with the urbanisation of the Ganga plains. The WBFrf, the ’terra sigillata* of Iddia v/as first di«g|pvered at Taxila in 1913 (Marshall 1951). Only •* *
21 she^s 2jtre found and due to their black sliining surfaceA^irshall took them as “Greek Black ^are”. In the early 1930s and 1940s NBPitf was found aainly in the Gajiga plains. But since then it has been found over a much wider area. The pottery occurs as far as Taxila, Charsada and Ucigram (Pakistan) in the northwest, Tilaurakot (Nepal Tarai) in the north, Prabhas Pattan (Gujarat) in the west, Taraluk (rf. Bengal) in the east and ;\iaaravati in the south. Though IffiPrf is distributed over a very large area, the main concentration of its sites is in Panjab, Haryana, northern Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
famearly 1500 sites of NBP'rf are
The main excavated sites are Rupar (ciharma 1955-
56) in Panjab, Haja-i-^ma-ka-Qila (lAR 1974-75J 16) and Daulatpur (lAd 1972-73* 12-13) in Haryana, Bairat (dahni 1937), Noh (lAR 1971-72: 42) and Jodhpura (lAR 1972-73J 29-30) northern Rajasthan, Ahichchhatra (Ghosh and Panigrahi
khera (Gaur 1967), Kausambi (iiharaa I960, 1969), and
(oinha 1967), in Uttar Pradesh and Kumrahar
(Altekur and -'lisra 1959), Vaisali (-jeva and *"dsra 1950, Sinha and Roy 1969), Pataliputra (Sinha and Karain 1970) and iionc-pur (iJinha and Vanna 1977) in 3ihar.
it;^tl^ra,)hY» In Panjab, ilaryana, nort-iem Hajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh ovarlap phase betv/een the
is preceded by PGW with
ti-/ocultures at sites of
in Panjab, Raja-Kama-ka-Qila in Haryana; Noh and Jodhpura in i^ajasthan and /Uiichchhatra, Atranjikhera in Uttar Pradesh,
In eastern Uttar Pradesh at the site of
Praliladpur, in Bihar at Kumrahar, Vaisali and a nunber of other sites I'iBPjf is preceded by BRi^. In all the areas mentioned above
is succeeded by Red Slipped
;/aro. Phases in
On the basis of pottery frequency and associated antiquities iiinha (1969) divided UBPj/ period into two phaises: Phaselr This phase is known as pre-defence phase also. i)uriiig this phase BRW
occurs in good nanber.
are also found, thoujh in a restricted nu'nber.
Punch-marked coins and burnt brick structures are absent.
This phase is represented by Atranjikhera V,
iilravasti I and Prahladpur I,
This phase is characterised by the absence of BHrf and PGrf and greater use of coarse grey v/are. occurs in lesser frequency and is generally thicker in fabric. Punch-marked coins and bumt-brick structures nake their appearances.
This phase is represented by
Hastinapura III, Atranjikhera V B, Sravasti II and Pra’iladpur I C.
At Sringaverapura Lai and Diksliit (1980) have divided NBP«T period into three phases. characterised by the occurrence of
Phase A is in greater
quantity alon;: '.^rith Black Slipped v^are (B3.V) and PGaf. In phase B Bo/ and
are absent but in NBPW fabric .niniature
bowls and handis make their appearance.
Phase C is
characterised by the poor quality of UBPif and preponderance of coarse grey ware, and the appearance of bunit-brick structures. P2^J^:
The pottery is made of 'vell-levigated clay on
f---- h 2
1 "■ / I
( ( r
FI G- III 14
r ^ "
i ) \ 24
1. j ■■ ♦ 26
31 F IG-Ill 15
fast wheel. The triicknesa of ware is generally uniform and sometimes as thin as 1.5 mm. The core is grey and free from any impurity. The pottery is well fired. Beside black, NBPrf is found in golden, silvery Wfiite, pinkish, steel blue, blue, chocolate and brown colours.
The rivetted pots have been found at Rupar,
Bairat, aonepur, and Kumrahar.
This suggests that pottery
was a highly valued co naodity. tees:
Typologically NBPW can be classified into following categories (Fig. III. 14, 15)* 1) Bowl with straight sides (i'fos. 1,2,4) 2) Bowl witii convex sides (lios. 3t5,6) 3) i^wl with tapering: sides (I^'os. 7-10) 4) Bowl with corrugated sides (Nos. 11-13) 5) Bowl with flange on the shotalder (Nos. 14-16) 6) Dish with incurved rim and convex sides (Hos. 18-19) 7) Dish with featureless rim and straight sides (Nos. 20-22) 8) Dish iidth closing featureless rim (i-Jo. 23) 9) I-id with flat terminal and icnob (Nos. 24-25) 10) iiandi with sharp carination (Nos. 26-29) 11) Miniature vase (lios. 30-31).
The glossy surface of NBPW is generally unpainted
but painted sherds are not altogether lacking. Painting is done in yellow and li jit vemillion colours. Painted desiijns are: simple bands, wavy lines, dots, concentric and intersecting circles, se.ui-circles, arches, and loops.
During NBPwf period structural activities in the doab started on a much larger scale than in the previous periods.
jJevelopment of cities took place during this
The evidence from Hastinaoura, Atranjikhera and
Kausa.ibi shows that at the beginning of this period structures were ;aade of mud and mud-bricks but subsequently bumt-bricks carae into use. The comiaon sizes of bricks ^ftere 43 x 25 x 7 cm., 27 X 22 X 7 cm. and 3 0 x 2 2 — 1 5 x 7 cm. iividence fo7^ settlement layout cones only from Kausambi (aharaa i960: 26-44, 1969: 24-35). A road has been exposed here. It was made of brickbats, gritimaterial, potsherds, lime, concretion and heavily pounded clay. Lanes and bye-lanes with brick floorin,’ were also found. Originated in c. 600 B.C. and after being reconsolidated and relaid several times the road continued to function upto 300 A.D. During this period the breadth of road varied between 5*5
and 2.5 m.
1 2 0
Houses were made of burnt bricks.
Use of timber
is knovm only through postholes and sockets for doorJaiabs. Use of wood in roofing is likely but not established by any remains*
Bricks were laid in mud mortar.
Use of lime as
binding material was very rare. The main houses were aligned with the road and the lanes and houses were oriented fairly correctly with the cardinal points. i«falls had vertical facing both externally and internally without any batter. Foundations of even massive walls were not carried to any great depth. Only three or four courses being laid below the surface, as well as rectangular.
kooms were square
Square rooms generally
measured 1.75 x 1.75 m. while rectangular ones measured betv/een 4 x 2 and 5 x 2 m. Brick colmvns forming open varandah were extremely rare. Floors were generally made of bricks and brickbats laid flat. Hoofs of houses were covered with tiles. The tiles were provided v/ith a hole in the top right comer and a number of grooved channels runnin ; lonsthwise. Through these holes tiles must have been attached to one another and collectively to the wooden or bamboo frame of the inclined roof.
It is not kno’ .m whether houses had more than one storwy. Only two staircases came to lishit at Kausambi. Because these staircases are of only two steps they iiight have led only to platform facing the road.
The main door of houses was 1.20 to 1.50 m, wide. The other doors were generally 0.75 m. wide. iXiring the
period elaborate drainage system
came into use. At Hastinapura (Lai 1954-55J 16) a drain was found 1 m. below the then surface level. provided with a brick floor and lining.
(0.75 m. deep and 0.40 ra. wide) of the drain suggests that it vras meant to drain out refuse water from a sizable part of the town. Individual houses had their own soakage arrangement. Several lon/^ Jars were placed vertically one above the other in a deep pit and the bottom of every jar was perforated so thrit water could pass down freely.
Ring wells have also been found.
Made of terracotta, the rings measured about 0.60 m. in diameter, 12 to 15 cm. in breadth and 5 cm. in thickness.
The number of rings in a well ranged from
10 to 50. It is likely that shalloii^er wells were used as refuse pits while the deeper ones were v/ells in real sense of the tera.
Some of the settlements were fortified with mud or brick wall and moats were constructed encircMng it. The fortification wall at r-ausarabi was provided with guard-rooms, i^O'^ers and gates at regular interval.
During NBP«f period considerable progress was made in technology*
rfe find a variety of tools, weapons and
other objects in copper, iron,’ gold, silver, bone and stone.
Copper objects are found from many sites and they consist of chisels, knives, borers, pins, needles, antimony rods, nail parers, ferrules, reels and bangles. Arrovrtieads and spearheads have not been found in copper.
BhardwaJ (1979* 75-105) has chemically analysed 10 copper objects (6 from Rajghat, 2 from Taxila, and one each from I^athura and Ayod'iya). The analysis sho./s that seven of them are of pure copper. The copper content in them is as hi>h as 94.77% to 98.4 percent. The balance (1*6 to 5*23tc) is distributed among inpurities like iron (0*21-2.23%), nickel (0.08-1.07%), lime
C0.56-2,^?6), magnesium (trace^O.SW and sulphur (trace to 0.75%).
Hie remaining three objects are of bronze
and tin (1.82 - ^3*99%) has been used as an alloy. The impurity pattern of all the ten objects shows that periaaps chalcopyrite ore was the source of the metal. Chemical analysis of above objects suggests that high tenperature furnaces were in vo^ue and flux was added to facilitate the fusion of metal and removal of gangue material. The presence of 5.9 percent of calcium oxide in slugs from Rajghat indicates that probably lime was used as flux. The presence of slag particles in the metal indicates that a clear separation of the slag and iflolten metal did not take place.
Iron objects are not only nore in lumber but also there is a great variety in forms in comparision to PGi^ period.
Iron objects recovered from Hastinapura,
Ahichchhatra, Atranjikhera, i^iathura and Kausambi can be groined xinder following categories* a. Agricultural implements and tools of craftsmen - axes^ adzes, chisels, hoes, sickles, and screw rods.
Weapons - arrowheads, javelinheads, and spearheads,
Miscellaneous objects - knives, handles of different kinds, hooks, nails, rivets, fishplates, rings and miniature bells. Frora Kausainbi as many as 1115 iron objects were
found from deposits dated between 800 B.C. and 550 A.D,
Of tliese 678 were sufficiently well preserved for gical identification.
They comprised 370 arrovrtieads,
58 spears and Javelins and 250 axes, adzes, knives, n zo rs,
chisels, sickles etc. (ciharma 1960: 45-A6),
An idea of
the variety of weapons produced during the
be had from the fact that there are no less than 11 tyies of arrowheads.
Chemical and spectro raphic analyses of 6 objects and metallographic analysis of 4 objects from Rajghat carried out by lihardwaj (1979» 141-55) show that in the objects silica, alumina, lime and mangnesia are invariably present beside sulphur and oxides of phosphorus.
presence of these elanonts in iron indicates tliat the objects were maleable and could be welded.
not aeem to have hardened gr«atly \^en cooled.
objects seem to have been carburized during forging. BhardwaJ thinks that the specimens were probably made by forging the spongy iron produced by direct rec’uction
of oxide ores like hearaatite or mangnetite. The li;nited information available does not tell us about the use of flux for removing the gan ,ue material during the smelting of ores. The che.nical analysis of slaig from Rajghat shows that no flux was used (Bhardwaj 1979s 153)* The occurrence of slag particles in the metal indicates that it was perhaios difficult to -•naintain a minimum te mperature of 1180®C (necessary te.iperature required for liquation of slag) for lon^; time and that has resulted in the retention of some slag particles in the metal, quite pure.
xvxcept for this the metal is
Banerjee (1965* 178-79) has reported the use
of calcium compound as flux at UJjain but no chemical analysis of any iron object has been reported by him. One of the objects from Rajghat (Bhardv;aJ 1979* Table 41, No. 6) has a high content of carbon v^ch shows that the object cannot be of wrought iron.
In answer to
tliis question as to how this extra carbon /as incorporated into iron Bhardwaj explains that probably the practice of carburLzation (heating the object at a high tenperature minimum 1500* c - in the contact of carbon) was in vogue.
Use of silver is known in the form of punch-
marked coins waich occur in the mid phase of NBPwf, Cheiical and metallurgical analyses of these coins have been carried out by Sahni (1945), Prakash and Singh (1968) and BhardwaJ (1979). Chemical analysiib shows p
that copper (13-32%) \^ras alloyed with silver. Copper was alloyed not only to harden the metal but also to decrease its melting point.
Due to addition of copper
(l to 28% the melting point of silver decreases from 960®c to 780*c, Other elements ■ttiat are present as impurities are sulphur, lead, tin, nickel, cobalt, arsenic and antimony.
Metallocraphic examination of coins shows that the metal was free from slag particles and -ttiis suggests that metal vms cast from completely molten state. do not
S ..O W
any trace of cold work except minor amount
of compression. iisML
The only evidence of gold is a bead from structural Period I B aA Kausa-nbi dated to about 300 B.C. (iiharma 1969s 113 ). The metal has 2,0 percent of silver as an
Glass .^as one of the most common materials used for beads and bangles during HQP4 period.
found in several colours like blue, blue-green, black, copper-red, yello\f and violet, the last two being rare.
Blue glass occasionally contains a large number of impurities ^ich float like red and purple mast in the glass. The colouring agent seems to have been copper and its oxides; cobalt being used for fewer specimens (Shanna 1969s 114).
Surface Treatment of Several att«npts have been made to solve the mystery behind the superb lustrous surface of NBPrf (Sana Ullah 1946; Lai Ia R 1955-56, 1959-60; Hegde 1962, 1966, 1972, 1975; BhardwaJ 1969, 1979).
Sana Ullah opined that 13 percent of ferrous oxide present in the black coating on KBPW surface is responsible for its lustre. According to him some ferrugenous compound v/as applied on the pots before they -fere fired and black colour was produced by the firing in reducing t
To bring the shining on the surface polish
ing might have been done before and after firing. Dr. B.B. Lai says that lustre on the surface of NBPtf is due to some easily fusible organic material, and blackening of the surface was achieved by some sort of post firing treatment. He tiiinks that some liquid such as oil or plant juice or similar organic conco^ion was applied on the pottery when it was still hot from the kiln.
Hegde's studies show -ttiat magnetic oxide of iron is responsible for NBPvf black colour and the formation of glass like surface and soda alumina silicate is responsi ble for its lustre, Hegde reproduced some NBPiif sherds in the laboratory. He says that the shining black slip of
ifas produced by an application of liquid clay,
quite similar to that employed in the preparation of the body of the ware v^hich contained fine ground red ochre (Haematite) and sa.i.1imatti. Ja.i.iimatti is a natural alkaline efflorescence profusely found in the Ganga plains. Red ochre in such peptize clay liquids, used as surface dressing on pottery, gives a black shining surface when the pottery is baked lander reducing conditions.
The results of BhardwaJ*s experiments are contradi ctory to those of Hegde,
According to Bhard ;ad NBPrf slip
is due to the presence of carbon and because of haanatite, material Culturet A
large variety of ornaments, terracotta hman and
animal figurines and miscellaneous objects show flourish ing arts and crafts. 14aterial culture of NBP# can be studied under following headings: Om^imentst Beads are ornaments.
most prolific objects among the
are found in agate, Jasper, camelian.
chalcedony, gamet, beryl, crystalline quartz, glass, faience, clay, copper, gold, shell and bone. popular material was glass.
The cormnon shapes of beads
are circular, spherical, biconical, cylindrical, barrel, and square.^ome beads have been etched also* Bangles are found in terracotta, faience, glass, shell, stone and copper,
Special interest was attached to copper bangles
which were provided with a series of holes and rivets, peitiaps for adjustment.
Finger rings have been found in
copper, iron, horn and clay. Pendants have also been found in terracotta, agate and camelian. Kitchen ob.iects: Among the kitchen ob;}ects pestles and quenis are the most common. Pestles are found in stone as well as fired clay.
Circular stones for rolling chaoatis (bread)
are also found. Terracotta i'i.xurlnes: ^ie find large variety of terracotta human and
animal figurines. Majority of the human figurines are cast in moulds. Only in rare cases we find additional decoration added after they were taken out of moulds. Female figurines were provided with elaborate head-dress, ear-omaments, necklaces and girdles. Hale figurines are genera i.ly plain except for the presence of head-dress in some cases.
Of special Interest are the therianthropic figurines with human face and animal body from Hastinapura (Lai 1954-55s pi. XXXVI). Animal figurines are hand modelled but they are well executed,
elephants seems to have been the most
favourite animal. Other animals include horse, bull and ram. In the case of elephant figurines chains as also the richly decorated seat was produced by stanps. Modelled with graceful contours, specially the forehead, tusks and the trunk, it was richly decorated with impressed designs of chakra, le_ves and circles. Other animals are generally plain except sometimes with minor decorations with straight lines on the body.
The most ramaritable feature of many of these terracotta figurines of NBPi^ period is their complete stylization and standardization.
Among the miscellaneous objects terracotta toy carts are the most notable.
These are made in moulds.
Other objects are simple and animal headed gamesmen, terracotta disc, balls, flesh-rubbers and potters' stanps. Seals and sealings are also found bearing legends in Brahmi script. ;iubsiGtence< The evidence for grains cultivated during NBP'iT
period comes from Atranjikhera (Chowdhury
63-64) Purana Gdla CIAk 1972-73: 67) and Radhan (Lai 1978). Atranjikhera has yielded rice COi'v;
From i^rana Qila comes