The discovery of three pre-Iron Age chariots in the present-day Western Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district in June 2018 had electrified the historians and the archaeologists alike.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) stumbled upon the chariots, found inside burial pits at Sanauli, around 75 km from Delhi.
The site was earlier excavated in the years 2003-04 and 2005-06, revealing a necropolis. It is the largest known burial site in India.
The present excavations led by S K Manjul, Director of Institute of Archaeology, ASI found the chariots buried with dead bodies.
The chariots discovered have two wheels fixed on an axle that was linked by a long pole to the yoke of a pair of animals. A super structure was attached to the axle consist of a platform protected by side-screens and a high dashboard.
The wheels were found solid in nature, without any spokes, and studded with triangular pieces of copper.
According to a TOI report, carbon dating has now confirmed that the burials date back to 1900 BC, making the chariots 3,800 years old.
In this article, we will examine the implications of Sanauli findings.
OCP and Harappan culture in western UP
In a paper published in the Indian Journal of Archaeology, Vijay Kumar notes that the pottery found at the Sanauli site is of Ochre Coloured Pottery (OCP) culture.
The OCP is a 4000 BC to 2000 BC Bronze Age culture of the Indo-Gangetic plain. It was a contemporary neighbour of the Sindhu-Saraswati civilisation.
“No Harappan pottery or any other pottery except OCP was found from the graveyard of Sinauli. The grave in question belongs to the OCP people who were late contemporaries of Harappans”.
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