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The recent excavation of Harappan site of Rakhigarhi by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has revealed the structure of some houses, lanes and drainage system


  • Rakhigarhi is the largest Harappan site in the Indian subcontinent.
  • Other large sites of Indus valley Civilization (Harappan civilization) in Indian sub-continent are Harappa, Mohenjodaro and Ganveriwala in Pakistan and Dholavira (Gujarat) in India.
  • At Rakhigarhi, the excavations are being done to trace its beginnings and to study its gradual evolution from 6000 BCE (Pre-Harappan phase) to 2500 BCE.
  • The site was excavated by Amarendra Nath of ASI.
  • Rakhigarhi is among the five iconic sites announced by Union Finance Minister during Budget Speech in 2020. 
  • The other such sites are Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh, Sivasagar in Assam, Dholavira in Gujarat and Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu.
  • The ASI excavations also revealed pieces of copper and gold jewellery, terracotta toys, besides thousands of earthen pots and seals.
  • The idea of this excavation is to make the archaeological site of Rakhigarhi accessible to people by exposing the structural remains and conserving them for future viewing, along with providing amenities to the visitors.
  • Also, DNA samples were collected from two unearthed human skeletons and sent for scientific examination, the outcome might tell about the ancestry and food habits of people who lived in the Rakhigarhi region thousands of years ago.

Major Findings of Rakhigarhi

  • The archaeological excavations revealed the mature Harappan phase represented by planned township having mud-brick as well as burnt-brick houses with a proper drainage system.
  • A cylindrical seal with five Harappan characters on one side and a symbol of an alligator on the other is an important find from this site.
  • The ceramic industry was represented by red ware, which included dish-on-stand, vase, perforated jar among others.
  • Animal sacrificial pits lined with mud-brick and triangular and circular fire altars on the mud floor have also been excavated that signifies the ritual system of Harappans.
  • The excavations have yielded a few extended burials, which certainly belong to a very late stage, maybe the medieval times.
  • Two female skeletons, who were buried with a plethora of pottery and adorned jewellery like jasper, agate beads and shell bangles, have been excavated.
  • Blades; terracotta and shell bangles, beads of semi precious stones, and copper objects; animal figurines, toy cart frame and wheel of terracotta; bone points; inscribed steatite seals and sealings.