Linguistics, archaeology and the human past - Toshiki Osada and AkinoriUesugi eds. (2011)

Document Sample
Linguistics, archaeology and the human past - Toshiki Osada and AkinoriUesugi eds. (2011) Powered By Docstoc
					                                             ISBN 978-4-902325-61-4




         Occasional Paper 10




 Linguistics, Archaeology
           and
     the Human Past




               Edited by

Toshiki OSADA and Akinori UESUGI




               Indus Project
Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
                Kyoto, Japan
                     2011
         Occasional Paper 10




 Linguistics, Archaeology
           and
     the Human Past




               Edited by

Toshiki OSADA and Akinori UESUGI




                Indus Project
Research Institute For Humanity And Nature
                Kyoto, Japan
                     2011
     Occasional Paper 10: Linguistics, Archaeology and the Human Past

                  Editor: Toshiki OSADA and Akinori UESUGI


Copyright Ⓒ Indus Project, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature 2011


                               ISBN 978-4-902325-61-4


      Indus Project, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN)
      457-4 Motoyama, Kamigamo, Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8047 Japan
      Tel: +81-75-707-2371
      Fax: +81-75-707-2508
      E-mail: osada@chikyu.ac.jp


      Printed by Nakanishi Printing Co. Ltd., Kyoto, Japan
                                          CONTENTS



Preface


Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India: an ethnoarchaeological approach                   1
                                                                                        Kuldeep K. Bhan


Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat                    27
                                                            P. Ajithprasad, SV Rajesh and Bhanu Sharma


Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09                                            71
                                                           J. S. Kharakwal, Y.S. Rawat and Toshiki Osada


Report on the faunal remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat,
during the third field season (2007-08)                                                             105
                                                                          Pankaj Goyal and P.P. Joglekar


Preliminary anthracological analysis from Harappan Kanmer:
Human-environment interactions as seen through fuel resources exploitation and use                  129
                                                                    Carla Lancelotti and Marco Madella


Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat
(Field seasons 2006-2009)                                                                           143
                                                                                         Shahida Ansari


Memorial stones at Kanmer, Gujarat, India          	       	       	        	       	               175
                                            Tilok Thakuria, J.S. Kharakwal, Toshiki Osada and Y.S. Rawat
                                             Preface

I am very glad to announce the publication of the tenth volume of Occasional Paper (henceforth,
OP). I sincerely thank for all the contributors of this volume.


Our excavations at Kanmer (Kachchh, Gujarat) and Farmana (Haryana), both in India, were
completed by March, 2009. The first report of the Kanmer excavation was published in the second
volume of OP, and was reprinted in the second volume of “Indus Civilization: text and context”
(Manohar). The second report was published in the fifth volume of OP and was reprinted in the
third volume of RIHN-Manohar Indus project series titled Current Studies on the Indus Civilization
(Manohar). This OP includes the third and fourth report of the Kanmer excavations during 2007-
2009.


This OP consists of seven papers: the first two papers are written by Professors Kuldeep Bhan and P.
Ajithprasad, both from Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, the Maharaja Sayajirao
University of Baroda, India. Professor Bhan was a visiting professor at the International Research
Institute for Japanese Studies (IRIJS) in Kyoto from July 2008 to March 2009. During this period
he collaborated with Professor Uno who is one of our active core members based at IRIJS. Professor
Bhan contributes a paper on ethnoarchaeological approach toward pastoralism in the Late Harappan
Gujarat. Subsistence systems of the Indus Civilization are one of the key topics we have been
pursuing. To fully understand them, it is very important to know about pastoralism in addition to
different agricultural systems.


Professor P. Ajithprasad was a visiting fellow at our Institute for three months in 2008. He writes
a paper titled “Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat”.
This paper is based on his own research with his students before our Indus project started. Since
then, Professor Ajithprasad and our project members have conducted field research exploring
archaeological sites, including Harappan sites in India, in order to collect more extensive data. We
plan to publish a handbook on the excavated Harappan sites, based on our collaborative research,
next year.


The remaining five papers deal with the outcome of excavations at Kanmer. Dr. J.S. Kharakwal of
Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Dr. Y.S. Rawat of Archaeological Department of Gujarat State Government
and myself act as director and co-directors of Kanmer Archaeological Research Project. We
collectively overview the main results of excavations during the two seasons (2007-2008 and
2008-2009). The other four papers deal with specific topics. Dr. P.P. Joglekar and Mr. P. Goyal
of Deccan College give us a report on the faunal remains. Dr. C. Lancelotti and Dr. M. Madella
of Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Institució Milà i Fontanals, Spain, contribute
a paper on preliminary anthracological analysis. The paper by Dr. Shahida Ansari focuses on
ethnoarchaeological study at Kanmer. Mr. T. Thakuria and others write on memorial stones which
they recorded at the village of Kanmer.


In this OP we happen to have three papers on ethnoarchaeological study — one by Professor Bhan
and the second by Dr. Ansari and the third by Mr. Thakuria. India has a very long tradition in this
approach, and I am very impressed that Indian scholars still maintain this important tradition.
Anthracological analysis by Drs. Lancelotti and Madella, on the other hand, presents quite a new
approach to the investigation of the palaeo-environment of the Indus Civilization. According to
them, “(t)he anthracological evidence also suggests --- that the water regime of the Rann might
have been different from today, with higher water levels or longer periods of inundation”. Their new
approach thus helps us better understand the palaeo-environment of Kanmer, and of Kachchh in
general, which is a very important topic for our project.


Lastly, besides the contributors of this volume, I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Uesugi
who did fine editorial work on the whole volume.



                                              Toshiki OSADA
                                              Project leader and Professor
                                              Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
                                              Kyoto, Japan
                                              osada@chikyu.ac.jp
                       Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India: an ethnoarchaeological approach



                       Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India:
                                 an ethnoarchaeological approach


                                                       Kuldeep K. Bhan
                                      Department of Archaeology and Ancient History
                                            Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda




Abstract
The modern state of Gujarat has emerged as a very important area for understanding the Harappan Tradition and especially the later
phase of Harappan Period. The paper reviews the archaeological data of Late Harappan Gujarat in the light of ethnographic data of
pastoral communities of Gujarat. It has been argued in this paper, that shift in land use that is reflected in the proliferation of sites
of this phase in arid locale of north Gujarat that provided nutritious grasslands rich in minerals and salts, adequate water supply and
ideal landscape led to the development of seasonal short - lived camp settlements. During Late Harappan Phase there seems to be
more emphasis and on pastoral economy than agriculture.




                INTRODUCTION                                            which will serve as a background in understanding
                                                                        and appreciating archaeological and ethnographic
This paper is concerned with the relationship                           data.
                            1)
between pastoralism and settlements and the
manner in which this relationship is expressed in
the archaeological record. An ethnoarchaeological                                 PREHISTORIC CLIMATE
investigation of pastoralism carried in Gujarat will
be applied to body of archaeological data of western                    The climate and environment of Harappan period
India from a time period of second millennium B.C.,                     has long been debated in South Asian archaeology.
identified with Late Harappan Phase of the Harappan                     The disagreement comes concerning the amounts of
cultural tradition. This will allow more reliable                       rainfall and interpretations have ranged from greater
reconstruction of pastoral economy as well as better                    rainfall, to lesser or the same rainfall as today. The
understanding of the settlement pattern associated                      earliest scholars including Marshall (1931), Dikshit
with this economy.                                                      (1938), Mackay (1943) and Piggott (1962) argued that
    Understanding the ecology is necessary first step                   prehistoric climate and environment were distinct
in the analysis of pastoralism. The interaction among                   from today. Most of them argued for a wetter climate
the animals, land and people produces a complex web                     on the basis of variety of archaeological evidence. This
of ecological relationships. Besides, in any attempt                    included the presence of laboriously constructed dams
to understand the settlement pattern, subsistence                       in south Baluchistan called Gabar-bands, use of burnt
strategies and cultural change the climate and                          bricks at Mohenjo-daro and the depiction of animal
environment are prerequisite in any such study. In the                  which are commonly found in damp jungle country.
following pages we will first discuss prehistoric and                       Later Singh’s (1977, 1971) pollen sequence from salt
present-day geographical and environmental setting                      lakes – Sambhar, Didwana and Pushkar in Rajasthan


                                                                  -1-
                                                    Kuldeep K. Bhan



also suggested greater rainfall during Harappan                   suggestion of marshy habitat is not a precondition
Period, which was later supported by Bryson and                   to either rhinos existence, nor should it be treated as
Swain (1981: 135-45) on the basis of climate data from            indicator of any particular climate. Rhinos in Africa
other areas. The palaeoenvironmental reconstructions              live in areas, which are semi arid with xerophytic
indicated there was increased rainfall (as compared               vegetations. Besides, the repeated presence of draught
today) in northwest South Asia during Mature                      resistant crops – millet in the Harappan phase of
Harappan phase. Singh and others used this sequence               Gujarat suggests that the climate might not have been
as an explanation for the decline of the Indus Valley             very different from than today. This argument finds
tradition (Agrawal and Sood 1982; Allchin and                     additional support from the pollen analysis from the
Allchin 1997: 208). Vishnu-Mittre (1974a) expressed               Nal sarovar in north Gujarat. On the basis of this
doubts about the pollen indicators used by Singh                  pollen analysis Vishnu-Mittre and Sharma (1979: 99)
for suggesting wet climate. Misra (1984: 461-89)                  has indicated Savannah grassland types in the region
also argued the testing of this climatic theory and               of north Gujarat during second millennium B.C.
the Harappan collapse. Shaffer and Lichtenstein on                For Gujarat, the available localized data is generally
the basis of recalibrated radiocarbon determinations              interpreted as indicating no major difference between
refuted Singh’s climatic data. They suggested that sub-           third/second millennium B.C and today. (Meadow
phase IVa (between 3000-1800 B.C.) should fall in                 1989; Rissman and Chitalwala 1990). Therefore it
sub-phase IVb – period of increased aridity (Shaffer              appears that there is some sort of consensus among
and Lichtenstein 1989: 120-21).                                   scholars that there were no major climatic fluctuations
   This hypothesis of the increased aridity finds                 in Gujarat during Harappan period and the climate
additional support in the recent study carried by                 was not very much different from today. To appreciate
Enzel and his colleagues on the lacustrine record                 palaeoenvironment and the influence that climate
of Lunkaransar Lake in the Thar Desert. Their                     had on human affairs it is very useful to briefly outline
record suggests that the Lunkaransar Lake rose                    below the present environment and some current
abruptly around 5000 B.C. and persisted with minor                adaptations to it.
fluctuations for the following 1000 years and then fell
abruptly to range of 10 to 40 cm of water by 4200
B.C. and the final drying occurred between 2894 to                   PRESENT DAY GEOGRAPHICAL
2643 B.C. (Enzel et al. 1999: 127). However, there are              AND ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING
a host of other scholars who argued that climate was
similar to present times (Fairservis 1956; Hegde 1977;            The region of Gujarat is made up of two major
Raikes and Dyson 1961; Meadow 1989; Rissman and                   geological zones. The first is the Deccan trap, which
Chitalwala 1990; Posshel and Rawal 1989). Kenoyer                 was formed as a result of huge flows of lava during
(1991) notes that even if there were changes in rainfall,         Mesozoic. The trap formation dominated the
the area is so vast that it would not have affected all           lithology of peninsular Gujarat, known as Saurashtra,
regions uniformly.                                                the main parts of the southern mainland and Kutch.
   In Gujarat, large numbers of Harappan and other                The second feature is the recent alluvium brought
contemporary settlements has revealed bones of                    from the adjacent highlands by the rivers of Gujarat
rhinoceros, which is now confined to Assam in the                 plain. The Mahi River congenitally divides this into
east and some parts of Himalayan Terai in India.                  northern and southern segments, although it is an
Chitalwala (1990: 79-82) informs that Zeuner’s (1963)             arbitrary boundary.


                                                            -2-
                     Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India: an ethnoarchaeological approach




        Figure 1 Map showing the various regions of Gujarat, shading indicate concentration of pastoral communities


   S o uth Gu j a r at c a n b e d i v i d e d i nt o f o ur         some parts of the bhal tract wheat can be grown,
geographical regions for analytical purposes (Figures                when water withdraws around October. The residual
1 and 2). First and second are the northern and                      humidity is sufficient to permit the maturation of
southern halves of the Gujarat – a well-defined                      wheat without any further moisture input. In the
corridor of alluvium bordered by salt waste and sea                  central zone soils are high quality but are saline to
on the west and hills that extend up to the Ghats. The               the west and thin on the western slopes. Sorghum is
third region is the Kutch, a rocky and arid collection               the most popular grain during rabi season as well. It
of outcrops which surrounded on three sides by                       is also the most common fodder crop for the cattle
seasonally flooded salt flats called Rann. The last,                 (Patel 1977: 44).
to the south of Kutch is the peninsula Saurashtra or                    The rainfall in South Gujarat ranges from 60 to
Kathiawad, which is surrounded by the sea on all but                 150 cm (Figure 2) and increases sharply on the inner
its northern border.                                                 eastern hills, which have tropical dry deciduous forest
   South of Gujarat extends towards Bombay                           vegetation. Anogeissus latifolia, Terminalia tomeentora,
(Mumbai) and is bounded in the east by the granite                   Terminalia tomeentora and Tactone granlis (teak) are
hills of Sahyadri and Satpura ranges reaching up to                  the dominant trees (Gaussen et al. 1968: 38). Grasses
1000 m ASML (Patel 1977: 17). From these hills                       may occur but the canopy is more open. Andropogan
the Mahi, Dhadrar, Narmada, Kim and Tapti flow                       pumilus, Ischoemum angustifolium (Champion 1935:
to the Gulf of Khambhat. On the west, the Gulf of                    85), Iseilma laxum, Apluda artistata, Heteropgon
Khambhat and Arabian Sea bound it. The boundaries                    contortus and Cymbopogon martini (Whyte 1964: 99)
of Gulf of Khambhat are locally known as bhal and                    are characteristic grasses of this area.
bhalbaru area. Here soils are sandy and salty and                       North Gujarat is a sandier and more arid plain.
the ground water brackish. The modern cultivators                    It is again bounded in the east by Satpura hills and
avoid this area due to heavy flooding. However, in                   on the northwest by the Aravallis, which rise up to


                                                               -3-
                                                     Kuldeep K. Bhan



900 m. To the northwest the discontinuous hills                    is locally known as Nani-Banni and has some of the
reach up to 100 m AMSL (Patel 1977: 17-18). North                  best grassland types in India, having very high protein
Gujarat is bordered on the west by a salt desert and               content (refer Mann 1916 and Burns et al. 1916 for the
low-lying neck of the Saurashtra peninsula. The rivers             analyses of grasses). This area is the breeding center
flowing through this region includes the Rupen,                    of the world’s best tropical breed known as Kankrej
Banas, Sabrmati and Mahi. They are fed by monsoon                  or Wadhial (George 1985) and Murrah or Mehsana
rains and are ill suited for irrigation (Leshnik 1968:             buffaloes (Whyte 1964: 98). Besides, it also supports
298). The northern plain is drier, receiving 80 cm                 large population of sheep and goat and Asiatic wild
rain annually in the east grading down to 40 cm in                 ass.
the west. Soils are alluvium and have been derived                        In the third region of Kutch, the flow of Deccan
from wind and water erosion of the Aravalli ranges.                trap is patchy, while older facies date to Jurassic tomes
The percentage of silt and sand are higher, reaching               and comprise uplifted marine sediments, sandstone,
up to 90% in the west. Much of the area is saline and              limestone and shales (Wadia 1957: 264; Spate and
alkaline treeless steppe that merges with the desert               Learmonth 1967: 98). The soils of Kutch are mixed
thus is not encouraging for agricultural activities.               as a result of its parent rock. The outcrops of Kutch
Besides, the landscape of north Gujarat is relieved                face the sea on the southwest, while on all other
by frequent occurrences of relict sand dunes, giving               sides desolate salt flats, the Ranns, bond them. The
rise to numerous small lakes, near the inter dune                  Ranns of Kutch are alluvial deposit of clay and sand
depressions. These lakes retain monsoon run off for                brought down by minor rivers of Rajasthan as well as
two to six months after the monsoon. The soils of                  the eastern Nara of Sindh. The Ranns of Kutch were
north Gujarat are rich in chlorides, sulphates and                 originally shallow bays connecting with sea (Bombay
carbonates of sodium. This is especially true with the             Presidency 1884: 3; Patel 1977: 20; Gupta 1977: 205).
areas, which are frequently flooded and have poor                  During monsoon season the Ranns get flooded with
drainage systems.                                                  salt water to a depth of 1 m, but when water recedes
   The extensive alkaline areas in this zone are known             with the seasonal change a thick deposit of salt
as usar lands and have characteristic grass vegetation.            remains. This Rann supports a large population of
This area is dominated by Acacia, Capparis, Euphorbia,             flamingoes and wild ass.
Zizphus (Gaussen et al. 1968: 33) and Prosopis spieigera                  The climate of Kutch is most arid and rainfall
(Whyte 1964: 98). The grasslands occur as both                     ranges from 30 to 40 cm per year. The forest regime
undergrowth and open patches. The dominant grasses                 is of Acacia, Capparis, Zizphus, Salvadora oleoides
are Erichloa ramosa, Chloris virgata, Eragrostis ciliaris,         and Prosopis specigera. Like the western section of the
Dactyoctenium aegyptium, Sporobolus cormandelianus,                north Gujarat the southern section of Greater Rann
Echinochloa colonum, Eleusine compsessa, Eleusine                  of Kutch is vast grassland locally known as Moti Banni
brevifolia, Cynodon dactylon, and Aristida sp. Legumes             and is much favored by the breeders (Bose 1975: 6).
found growing in this area are Heylandia latibrosa and             The dominant grasses are various Andropogan species,
Indiggogera sp. In the same area but adjacent small                Anthistiria imberdis, Aristida adesencionis, Aristida
salt-water streams, river banks and the marshy area,               adesenscionis, Aristida hystricula, Sporobolus indicus,
dominant vegetation are Dichanthium annulatum,                     Cynodon dactylon, Chloris barbata, Eleusine flagellifera,
Sporobolus marginatus and Eriochloa ramosa.                        Eleusine aristata, Phrcigmites karke, Eragrostis ciliaris,
Sporobolus marginatus and Cressa cretica, etc. are                 Eragrostis cynosuroides, Eragrostis amabilis, Aeuropus
observed growing even on the pure salt crust. The tract            vilosus, Halopyrum musronatum, Dendroclamas


                                                             -4-
                    Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India: an ethnoarchaeological approach




                            Figure 2 Map showing the elevation and rainfall of Gujarat region.


strictus and Adiantum lunulatum.                                  vegetation of Dichanthium and Cenchrus grasslands
   The fourth region is the peninsula of Saurashtra.              growing in weathered patches. The rocky hills of the
The central part of Saurashtra is made of an                      interior, the Gir and Barda hills and the northern
irregular plateau, bisected by peaks near Chotila in              coast of Saurashtra are studded with areas of pastures
Surendernagar District, Girnar in Junagadh district               and are scenes of much pastoral activity (Government
and Alech and Barda in Jamnagar district. Soils                   of Gujarat 1969: 20). The pastoral animal stock of this
of Saurashtra are clayey black cotton soil derived                area are a breed of medium sized, heavy cattle, useful
form from weathering of bedrock. The rainfall                     for agriculture work and the cows give good milk.
over Saurashtra ranges from 40 - 80 cm. Thus the                  This breed of cattle is locally known as Gir, Surati or
vegetation of the peninsula is the same that of Acacia-           Sorahti. Besides, they also breed sheep, goat, buffalo
Capparis series as found in north Gujarat plain. Along            and camel.
the northwestern coast fronting the Gulf of Kutch is                 Saurashtra may have been cut off from the
stretch of Mangrove swamp (Government of Gujarat                  mainland of Gujarat at several times in the past. The
1970: 32). Meanwhile the Barda hills to the west, Mt.             land bridge connecting it to Gujarat plain appears
Girnar and Gir hills to the south, and the Plitana hills          to have been flooded up to six months of the year
to southwest support some anogeissus – terminalia –               until 1813, while the traveler’s report of 16th century
tectona and acacia – angogeissus woodland (Gauseen                state that a branch of Indus ran by the Khambhat
et al. 1968: 20). Many bedrock hillocks are also found            town (Government of Gujarat 1969: 170). Silting
there, some of them cover only a hectare, while                   by the rivers of the mainland and the peninsula has
some of them are considerably larger. The tips of                 connected the two wide swat of alluvial deposit
these hillocks are always barren with tufts of grassy             known as the Nal depression (Rissman 1985: 57). The


                                                            -5-
                                                     Kuldeep K. Bhan



rivers originate in the central highland region and                frequency of crop failure in the state. Among the local
flow in all directions in radial pattern. The large rivers         administrative units called talukas, of Gujarat, 22%
Bhadar, flowing westwards and the Shetrunji flowing                experience total crop failure at least once every six
eastwards are seasonally dry and turn into sporadic                years on average (Rissman 1985: 351). Another aspect
pools during hot summer months. The soils of the                   of the precipitation regime is the localized nature of
area clayey black cotton soil, derived from the residue            cloud burst. While one area may experience plentiful
of weathered basalt. Sandy alluvium and marine mud                 rainfall an adjoining area may be passing through
characterize the southwestern coastal strips.                      draught.
   A distinctive feature of Gujarat today and perhaps                 Another important part of the subsistence
in Harappan times as well, is the inherent seasonality             is animal husbandr y, by pastoral transhumant
in the ecological aspects of the region. It lies in the            communities like Rabaris and Bharvads, who do
zone of the monsoon marked by an annual variation                  not traditionally own any agricultural land and
in rainfall of greater than 30% of the mean (Rissman               derive income and subsistence from breeding or /
1985: 351). A great deal of fluctuation from year                  and herding cattle, sheep, goat, camel and buffaloes.
to year is evident; often an extremely dry one will                The profound nature of the seasonality with dry
follow a very rainy year. These shifts do not occur in             and wet periods in Gujarat results in movement of
a predicable sequence and thus make rainfall a risky               large population of these pastorals and their animals.
resource.                                                          Though these groups are distributed throughout
   Generally speaking, the agriculture of Gujarat                  Gujarat, large numbers are present in the bordering
is characterized by dry farming. Eighty five percent               villages of Nani and Moti Banni, Barda, Gir hill and in
of agriculture is rain fed. The greater majority of                northern and southern fringes of the coastal Gujarat
crop production occurs in monsoon season and is                    (Figure 1). It is in this environmental backdrop
harvested in autumn (kharif). The black cotton soil                that we will be examining the archaeological and
is labor reducing and during monsoon swells with                   ethnoarchaeological data.
water and later develops cracks as the dry farming
season wears on (Rissman 1985: 164). In much of
Gujarat, hoeing with blade harrow is practiced as                   ARCHEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND
a substitute to ploughing. Annual ploughing to
destroy weeds is not necessary because only one crop               During Late Harappan phase, the previously
is grown a year (Patel 1977: 39). Millets dominate                 integrated region of the Indus Civilization broke
subsistence crops of Gujarat – bajra (Pennisetum                   into three localized cultures defined by Shaffer
typhoides) and jowar (Sorghum bicolor). The village-               (1991) and Kenoyer (1991) as Localization Era. These
based agriculturists maintain up to five animals as                cultures named as Jhukar Phase, Cemetery H (Punjab
an incidental adjustment or an internal part of the                Phase) and Rangpur Phase, and were named after
farming enterprise, with the production of food and                the important sites where specific pottery styles were
cash crops as their preliminary activity.                          first discovered or the geographical regions in such
   Rainfall is the major source of moisture in Gujarat             settlements were found (Kenoyer 2005 and Bhan
and subsistence depends upon it. The productivity                  2001).
of the subsistence depends upon the year of good                      Rangpur phase refers to the entire region of
monsoon. The dependence of subsistence production                  Gujarat. Here also, a high degree of continuity from
upon rainfall is reflected in statistics on the relative           Mature to Late Harappan Phase has been indicated,


                                                             -6-
                      Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India: an ethnoarchaeological approach




                      Figure 3 Map of Gujarat showing major archaeological sites mentioned in the text.

though it is most evident in ceramics. Both regional                the introduction of Lustrous Red Ware. This Phase
pottery that are specific to Gujarat and classical Indus            was defined as the Initial Phase of Late Harappan.
forms undergo a period of change as the Mature                      The increase in frequency of Lustrous Red Ware,
Harappan ends. Alternation of certain ceramic forms                 painted Black and Red Ware and Coarse Red Wares
and the introduction of the Lustrous Red Ware –                     signaled the beginning of Rangpur III, the final
a novel method of surface treatment of burnishing                   period at Rangpur and represents the final phase of
the vessels to high luster (Rao 1963: 23) are thought               Late Harappan in Gujarat (Bhan 1989). However,
to represent the Late Harappan Phase in Gujarat.                    recent radiocarbon determinations from Rojdi have
Nevertheless, a clarification about Rangpur sequence                completely altered the earlier periodization and
that was used for more than three decades to define                 interpretation of Late Harappans in Gujarat.
the periodization of Harappan Gujarat is needed,                       On the basis of radiocarbon determinations,
since the interplay between settlement patterns is a                Possehl and Rawal have suggested that all the
crucial variable in the interpretation of past economy              settlements with pottery comparable to Rojdi should
and culture change.                                                 be dated to “urban” Mature phase and not to the
   In terms of Rangpur sequence, Period IIA was                     Late Harappan Phase (1989). Now the emerging
thought to be contemporary with Mature Harappan,                    immerging picture from their research is that there
Period IIB signaled the onset of Harappan period.                   are two categories of settlements during Mature
While certain ceramic forms like “Indus goblet” and                 Harappan phase in Gujarat. The first category of
beakers disappear, other forms seem to have simply                  settlements, which Possehl and Rawal designated
altered shape and decoration (Rao 1963: 22, 59-65).                 as “Sindhi” Harappan, share material inventory
The alteration of form continued in IIC along with                  of Mature Harappan sites of Indus (1989) and


                                                              -7-
                                                     Kuldeep K. Bhan




                   Figure 4 Jaidak - 1 (Pithad): Plan of entrance gate in the southern fortification wall.


the regional style ceramics (Bhan 1994). Large                    – island and the Ranns of Kutch banks (with the
concentration of such settlements has been reported               Lothal in Bhal region) belonged to the urbanized
from Kutch and is represented by excavated sites                  Harappan core area of the Indus/Ghaggar-Hakra-
of Desalpur, Surkotada and perhaps Dholavira in                   Nara Valley. While the “Sorath” Harappan, Prabhas
Kutch, Gola Dhoro (Bagasra), Lothal and Nageshwar                 Patan and “Padri” tradition in Saurashtra and the
in Saurashtra, and Nagwada and Jekhada in north                   “Anarta” tradition in north Gujarat plains formed
Gujarat represent this group (Figure 3). Besides                  the agro-pastoralists periphery, while the Ranns of
sharing the classical Harappan material inventory                 Kutch banks and the coastal borders of Saurashtra
most of the settlements are found associated with                 as narrow zones of interaction (1997:84). However,
some craft activity like shell bangle and ladle, stone            on the basis of ceramics and stratigraphic analysis of
bead, or faience production. The other category                   a Mature Harappan site at Gola Dhoro (Bagasara)
designated as “Sorath” Harappan are represented by                in Saurashtra, Ajithprasad and his colleagues have
small rural agriculture or pastoral camp settlements              indicated that though Rangpur sequence is not
and has more or less completely lack of evidence for              completely vertical, but the pottery sequence and the
substantial complex craft activity. These settlements             stratigraphy at Gola Dhoro is fully in agreement with
were earlier thought to represent IIB-C of Rangpur                the Rangpur ceramic sequence. Like Rangpur, at Gola
sequence or Initial phase of Late Harappan or Post                Dhoro also the Mature Harappan material inventory
Urban Phase in Gujarat. Herman (1997a : 187-                      is followed by Rangpur II A, II B-C pottery forms
198) questioned the Rangpur sequence on the basis                 (Ajithprasad et al. 1999). It is interesting to note here,
of stratigraphy and radiocarbon determinations                    that the excavations at Mature Harappan (Sindhi)
from Rojdi, relying heavily on the remarks made by                sites in Gujarat have always revealed IIB-C ceramic
Misra (1965) on the Rangpur sequence. Herman                      types above the Mature Harappan deposits. However,
puts forward core/periphery model to explain the                  it is not clear as yet if it is because that the Harappan
phenomenon.                                                       people of IIB-C phase (Sorath) occupied these
   Herman suggests that during the Harappan period                settlements after the Mature Harappan or it really has
(second half of the third millennium B.C), the Kutch              some chronological significance. The argument seems


                                                            -8-
                    Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India: an ethnoarchaeological approach




                              Figure 5 Circular hut structures at Jekhada (after Momin 1983)


to have come about a full circle and what we need at              been recovered so far. Rice grains (Oryza sativa) have
present are set of consistent radiocarbon dates form              been identified form the impressions in potsherds at
Gola Dhoro (Bagasra) itself and many more sites so as             Lothal and Rangpur IIA (Ghosh and Lal 1963: 161-
to fix its proper chronological position in Harappan              175; Rao and Lal 1985: 667-684). Rice grows wild
Tradition of Gujarat.                                             today in the marshes of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh
   Nearly 94% of these settlements of this phase are              (Vishnu-Mittre 1961: 18) and Gujarat (Vishnu-Mittre
located in Saurashtra, while 6% of the settlements                and Savithri 1982: 207), it cannot be concluded
are located on the eastern border of Little Rann                  that it was cultivated for subsistence. Besides, the
of Kutch in north Gujarat. The average size of the                study of charcoal from Lothal (Rao and Lal 1985:
settlements in Saurashtra is 5.3 hectares (Possehl                667-684) and Rangpur (Ghosh and Lal 1963: 161-
1980:65). However, settlements at Lolai, Jaidak, and              175) have indicated the presence of trees like Acacia,
Rojdi approximately range between 4 to 7 hectares                 Albizbia, Andina cordifolia and Tectone gradis (teak).
having structures with stone foundations and stone                The presence of teak at Lothal is intriguing. Today
walls circling them (Figure 4). Another category of               it grows in eastern Gujarat in the areas with rainfall
settlements of this phase has the remains of round hut            ranging from 75 to 175 cm and falls under the tropical
                             2)
floors as revealed at Jekhada (Figure 5)(Momin 1983)              deciduous type (Rao and Lal 1985: 680). However,
and Kanewal (Figure 6)(Mehta et al. 1980), in north               it is of interest to note here, that the strategy and
Gujarat, Vagad (Sonawane and Mehta 1985: 38-44)                   methods used at both the sites were not intensive
and Nesadi in Saurashtra (Mehta 1984: 227-230). The               enough to take them as representative of Harappan
recently located settlements of this phase in north               sites of Gujarat.
Gujarat are extremely small in size and have very thin               The first appearance of horse and donkey in the
and patchy habitational deposit. They fall into similar           faunal data and the apparent “millet” cultivation
settlement patterns as well as functional categories of           prompted Meadow (1989) to propose a second
pastoral camp settlements as well as other prehistoric            ‘revolution’ during the second millennium B.C.
settlements of north Gujarat.                                     However, Weber has refuted this on the basis of
   In the greater Indus subsistence pattern based                 evidence of “millet” and early radiocarbon dates
on domestic cattle and the winter crops of wheat                  from Rojdi in Saurashtra, which as mentioned
and barley is established by sixth millennium B.C.                above are proposed to be contemporary to the
(Meadow 1989), though subsequent diversity in                     Mature Harappan phase in Gujarat. The subsistence
the Harappan subsistence is a much debated topic.                 information of this phase (Sorath Harappan) comes
Little information is available on the subsistence                mostly from the American and the Gujarat State
pattern of Mature Harappan phase settlements in                   Archaeology Department excavation program carried
Gujarat, interestingly neither wheat nor barley have              out at Rojdi. The subsistence information available


                                                            -9-
                                                              Kuldeep K. Bhan



from Rojdi A and B include ‘millets’ – Eleusine                                 settlements such as Lothal B, Rojdi C, Prabhas Patan
coracana (ragi), Panicum milliare (little millet) and                           II, Jaidak, Rangpur IIC and perhaps Babarkot in
Setaria tomesntosa, S. glauca (yellow fox millet), S.                           Saurashtra appear to have witnessed a continuation
italica (fox millet). Weber argues that S. italica did not                      of a short period of urban organization of the Mature
become a prominent cultigen until 2000 B.C. (1989).                             Harappan Phase into the Late Harappan Phase 3).
This has been disputed by Reddy (1994: 28), she is of                           At Lothal and Surkotada also there is evidence
the opinion that Weber’s argument is based on a single                          of over-crowding and encroachment rather than
site and this could be result of changing demands by                            abandonment and decline. Most of the “Sindhi”
the community and the subsistence system. There are                             settlements except Rangpur were abandoned after
various theories regarding the center of origin of the                          this stage. As a matter of fact some settlements Rojdi
different millets and these are not considered native                           C show expansion, though Lustrous Red Ware was
of Gujarat and seem to have been brought to here                                not reported from any of the above mentioned sites
from elsewhere, however, timing and dynamics of this                            except at Rangpur IIC (Rao 1963). Herman (1997a:
process is much debated (Weber 1989). Although, the                             196; 1997b: 100) is of the opinion that the presence
lowest level at Rojdi has revealed a few barley grains,                         of Lustrous Red Ware in this phase at Rangpur is
Weber (1989) argues that barley could have been                                 debatable, because massive pits disturbed the layers.
traded instead of being grown locally.                                          Now the question arises whether Lustrous Red Ware
    In Gujarat, both the categ ories of Mature                                  does really belong to IIC or III of Rangpur sequence.
Ha r a p p a n P h a s e s e t t l e m e n t s i n d i c a t e t h e            This perhaps represents a transitional traditional
predominance of cattle husbandry over the raising                               phase from Mature Harappan to Late Harappan.
of sheep, goat, buffalo and pig. However, excavations                           Traditionally, the appearance of Lustrous Red Ware
at Nag wada in north Gujarat (Patel 1985) and                                   and changes in certain ceramic forms have has been
Nageshwar in Saurashtra (Shah and Bhan 1990)                                    used to distinguish between Mature Harappan and
have yielded large amounts bones of wild animal                                 the Late Harappan Phases.
like sambar, blackbuck, chital, gazelle and nilgai and                             Another categ or y of settlements, perhaps
other rare forms like hare, camel and wild ass (Patel                           slightly later than the above mentioned sites, are
1985: 47). Most of these animals inhabit grasslands                             represented by round hut floors with post holes
interspersed with scrub jungle.                                                 along the periphery such as at Ratanpura (Figure 7)
                                                                                (Bhan 1989), Kanewal (Figure 6)(Mehta et al. 1980)
                                                                                in north Gujarat, Vagad (Sonawane and Mehta
          LATE HARAPPAN PHASE                                                   1985) and Nesadi (Mehta 1984: 27-30) in Saurashtra.
                                                                                Except Kanewal none of the excavation reports are
As already mentioned above certain changes were                                 fully published as yet. However, reexamination of the
taking place around the turn of second millennium.                              pottery from Nesadi and Jekhada has indicated that
Researchers have seen these changes as a result of                              some of the hut floors might belong to this phase.
failing or at least changes in international exchange                           A preliminary analysis of the published pottery
networks ( Jarrige 1995: 5-30) and / or a change in river                       from Kanewal trench V laid at Kesarisingh’s Khetra
system (Misra 1984). In Gujarat also such changes                               represents two phases of circular hut floors positively
have been observed and three-tired settlement pattern                           belonging to this phase. A successive occupation
seems to have been established.                                                 from “Sorath” Harappan Phase to Late Harappan
    At Desalpur IB and Surkotada IC in Kutch and                                Phase is represented at this site. At Oriyo Timbo in


                                                                       - 10 -
             Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India: an ethnoarchaeological approach




                         Figure 6 Circular huts at Kanewal (after Mehta et.al. 1980)




Figure 7 Ratanpura: irregular patchy rammed floor (courtesy Dept. of Archaeology, M. S. University of Baroda)


                                                     - 11 -
                                         Kuldeep K. Bhan




Figure 8 Map showing distribution of prehistoric settlements in the western section of north Gujarat


                                                - 12 -
                       Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India: an ethnoarchaeological approach


                                  Table 1 Radiocarbon Dates for Late Harappan Phase in Gujarat.


Site                      Lab #              Date (5730 ½ life, B. C.)          Mid range for Corrected     Reference
                                                                                Dates (after Ralph 1973)
Surkotada, IC             TF-1294            1780± 100                          2170, 2110, 2050             Agrawal and Kusumgar
                                                                                                             1973
                          TF- 1297           1795± 100                          2170, 2110-2130, 2050        Agrawal and Kusumgar
                                                                                                             1973
Prabhas Patan,            RRL- 91            2020± 170                          2620, 2340-2460, 2190-2290 Kusumgar, Lal and Sarna
Period III                                                                                                   1963
                          PRL - 19           1245± 165                          1600–1640, 1460, 1220-1260 Kusumgar, Lal and Sarna
                                                                                                             1963
                          PRL - 20           1485± 110                          1780 -1910, 1690, 1660, 1650 Kusumgar, Lal and Sarna
                                                                                                             1963
Rojdi C                   BETA-61767         1730± 60                           2110–2130, 2080, 2040        Herman 1997b
                          BETA- 61768        1675± 60                           2080,2040,1920-1950          Herman 1997b
                          PRL-1084           1860±150                           2340-2410, 2160, 2070        Herman 1997b
                          PRL-1081           1081±15                            800,400-570,210-360          Herman 1997b
                                                                                                             Possehl 1992
Vagad                     BM 2612            1810±50                            2160, 2140                   M. S. Uni.
Ratanpura                 BM 2615            1800±50                            2160, 2120-2140, 2110        M. S. Uni.
Malvan                    TF-1081            800±95                             940,900,800-900, 800         Herman 1996
                                                                                                             Possehl 1992

Oriyo Timbo               PRL-1427           1385±115                           1690-1730,1570-1600        Possehl 1992
                          PRL-1424           1910±135                           2420-2480, 2180, 2110      Possehl 1992
Ahar                      TF-31              1275±110                           1570-1600,1490, 1310-1380  Kusumgar, Lal and Sarna
                                                                                                           1963
                          TF-32              1550±100                           2020-2040, 1770-1870,1660 Kusumagar, Lal and Sarna
                                                                                                           1963
Navdatoli                 P-204              1600±130                           2080,1800,1690             Stuckenrath 1963
Chandoli                  P-472              1300±70                            1570-1600,1510-1400-1450   Stuckenrath 1963
                          P-473              1330 ± 70                          1600-1640, 1510, 1400-1450 Stuckenrath 1963
                          P-474              1240±190                           1650,1460,1170 -1210       Stuckenrath 1963
                          TF-42              1175±120                           1600-1630,1320-1370,1220- Kusumgar, Lal and Sarna
                                                                                1240                       1963
                          TF-43              1040±105                           1300,1170,1020             Kusumgar, Lal and Sarna
                                                                                                           1963



Saurashtra, Ratanpura (Figure 7) and Datrana in                              into consideration. The radiocarbon dates from Oriyo
Gujarat settlements of this phase are without any                            Timbo (PRL-1427) and Prabhas Patan (PRL-91)
features. At times they only have irregular patches of                       calibrated to the beginning of third millennium B.C
rammed floor.                                                                are too early. Although greater precision is desired,
    In Gujarat radiocarbon dates are inconsistent.                           we will have to wait further excavations and more
Ho w e v e r, o n t h e b a s i s o f t h e r a d i o c a r b o n            carbon-14 determinations.
determinations ( Table 1) available from form                                   Saurashtra witnessed dramatic decrease in the
Surkotada IC, Vagad IC, Rojdi C, Prabhas Patan III                           settlement count and average site size. Majority of the
and Ratanpura in Gujarat and Ahar in Rajasthan,                              settlements are situated near river banks on alluvial,
Chandali in Maharashtra and Navdatoli in Madhya                              residual black cotton or black cotton soil famous for
Pradesh outside Gujarat provides a time bracket of                           its moisture retaining capacity, the prime agricultural
C. 2000-1500 B.C., which can be proposed for this                            soil of Saurashtra. Until now, approximately, 136
phase in Gujarat, if the late date of Malvan Phase I                         settlements of this phase have been reported from
(TF-1084) and Rojdi C (PRL-1081) are not taken                               Gujarat, out of which nearly 31% (51) are located in


                                                                    - 13 -
                                                           Kuldeep K. Bhan


                               Table 2 Archeobotanical remains from Late Harappan Sites of Gujarat


Surkotada, Period IC
          Millet:    Eleusine coracanna, Setaria italica, Setaria virids L. (70% of the total assemblage)
          Others:    Grasses:
                     Andropogon sp., Arundinella metzii, Brachiaria repatans, Dichanthium sp., Echinochloa stangina
                     Sedges:
                     Cyperus micheleanus, Eriophorum sp., Fimbristylis ovata, Amaranthus sp., (Vishnu-Mittre and Savithri
                     1982:214)


Rojdi C
          Millet:    Eleusine Coracona, Seteria italica, Panicum miliare, Sorghum bicolor (high percentage of Steria sp.)
          Pulses:    Phaseolus, Pisum, Lens


          Others:    Abelmoschus, Amarthanthus, Chenopodium album, Dactylotenium, Digitatia, Euphorbia postrata (Weber 1991;
                     Weber 1989: 179)


Lothal
          Millet:    Present
          Others:    Acacia sps. (Rao and Lal 1985: 679)


Rangpur
          Millet:    Pennistrtum typhoides
          Others:    Acacia sp., Albizzia sp., (Ghosh and Lal 1963: 163, 169, 171)


Oriyo Timbo and Babar kot
          Millets:   Eleusine Coracana, Setaria sp. and Panicum sp.
          Others:    Aizoon sp., Carex sp., Chenopodium/Amranthus sp., Cyperus sp., Digitatia sp., Zizyphus sp. (Reddy 1994, 1991:
                     80-81; Rissman 1985)



Saurashtra, conversely a large number of settlements                      other Chalcolithic settlements reported from form
63% (87) have been located in north Gujarat (Figure                       this region show close similarities in their location
8).                                                                       as well as in the nature of the settlement (Bhan
      In north Gujarat, settlements of this phase are                     1994: 2001). Most of the settlements are less than
situated bordering the Little Rann of Kutch and                           0.5 hectares. Some of the settlements like Chagda,
in the wastelands close to Rupen River and its                            Gudel, Khaksar and Popatpura in Bhalbaru region
tributaries. Most of the sites are associated with relict                 of north Gujarat and Dhama, Mujpur, Nayka, Vanod
sand dunes associated with inter dune depression,                         and Valewada in north Gujarat are so small that
which retain water for three to four months after                         only a few potsherds and bones are recovered from
monsoon. Settlements are small, having thin and                           these sites. Locating such sites is extremely difficult
patchy habitational deposits, with high density of                        in any type of exploration and we suspect that some
animal bones and at times out numbering the other                         number of settlements would have been missed in our
material relics of the site. As a matter of fact, all                     explorations. This perhaps explains why Misra and


                                                                 - 14 -
                    Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India: an ethnoarchaeological approach



Leshnik (Leshnik 1968) could not locate Sujinipur                    intensity thus larger settlements with greater potential
only a decade after Rao’s survey (Rao 1963: 177).                    and complex infrastructure (Desai 1985: 103). This
   Information on agriculture of this phase comes                    intensive explorations carried out in eastern section
mostly from Saurashtra and to some extent from                       of north Gujarat by Foote (1912), Sankalia and Karvel
Kutch, is indicative of summer crop cultivation,                     (1949) and Misra and Leshnik (Leshnik 1968: 259-
mainly millets (Table 2). The archaeobotanical                       309) has revealed large number of microlithic using
remains from Rangpur (Ghosh and Lal 1963), and                       comminutes communities and absence of Bronze
Surkotada (Vishnu-Mittre and Savitri 1982) are only                  Age settlements, except one isolated settlement
from one or two samples and therefore results are                    at Sujinipur. Although some interaction with the
limited. However, rigorous methods of recovery                       chalcolithic communities of Gujarat is reflected in
were employed at Rojdi (Weber 1989), Oriyo Timbo                     the presence of some fragmentary pottery and copper
(Wagner 1982; Reddy 1994) and Babarkot (Reddy                        tools recovered at the site of Langhnaj (Sankalia
1994). The millet crops recovered from this phase                    1974). The absence of Bronze Age settlements in the
include Panicum miliare, Eleucine coracana, Seteria                  western section of the north Gujarat and nature of
italica, Sorgum and Echinochloa sps. Besides, the                    the settlements indicate that the settlements were not
examination of charcoal samples from Rangpur have                    located for harnessing the agricultural potential of
indicated tree types like Acacia, Albizzia sps., Soymida             the region as thought earlier (Hegde and Sonawane
febrifuga, Pterocarpus santalinus (Ghosh and Lal 1963:               1986), but for some other reasons. The presence of
161-175).                                                            excellent nutritious grassland in the western section,
   The analysis of archaeozoological remains from                    that are supposed to be best grasslands types of India,
the majority of the excavated sites of this phase show               and availability of water in the inter dune depressions,
that the predominance of cattle over sheep, goat and                 that retain water on average for five to six months
buffalo continues. The faunal analysis carried out                   after the monsoon season, perhaps were the primary
at Ratanpura revealed 67.68% of cattle, 13% sheep/                   determinants for the development of settlements
goat and 3.06% buffalo, while the wild animals are as                in this region. Thus on the basis of location, and
high as 16.04% that and include chital 7.58%, sambar                 their ephemeral nature, we can suggest that the
2.97%, nilgai 1.44%, pig , blackbuck and gazelle                     settlements were temporary camps of the people
together is represented by 1.35%. Besides, other rare                involved in pastoral activities. The overall increase in
forms include hare, dog, fowl and wild ass (Bhan and                 the number of the settlements during this phase in
Shah 1990). The faunal analysis from north Gujarat is                north Gujarat perhaps suggests that the pastoralism
indicative of higher exploitation of wild animal forms               increased significantly during this phase, although the
as compared to the settlements from Saurashtra.                      area seems to have also attracted the Early, Mature
   The western section of north Gujarat, in which                    and Sorath Harappan for similar reasons (Bhan
settlements are clustered together, has low rainfall                 1994: 2001). A similar situation has been noticed by
(44-55 cm), alluvial soil with high salinity and very                Mughal in Cholistan desert where a 26% increase in
high percentage of silt and sand reaching up to 90%                  pastoral camp settlements have been recorded in Late
and the rate of crop failure is also comparatively very              Harappan Phase (1997: 56)
high. Therefore, this area has a low cropping intensity,                Recent palaeoethnobotanical studies carried out
smaller population potential and low-level of                        on the Late Harappan settlements at Oriyo Timbo
infrastructure. Conversely, the eastern section of the               and Babarkot in Saurashtra by Reddy (1994) have
region with higher soil fertility had higher cropping                further substantiatesed and strengths strengthened


                                                            - 15 -
                                                   Kuldeep K. Bhan



this view. Reddy’s investigations have suggested that               north Gujarat. This argument, though forwarded as
Babarkot cultivation of millet crops by the occupants               early as 1986 (Bhan 1989), has been unable to gain
was primarily as food grains. The practice of sedentary             confirmation either for against (Possehl 1997: 456;
agriculture was supplemented by sedentary animal                    Mughal 1992: 217; refer Sonawane and Ajithprasad
husbandry. The greater emphasis on the cultivation                  1994: 136 for a divergent view). This has highlighted
of Eleucine coracona (which has a limited use as a                  the problem of accurately differentiating pastoral
human food) compared to other millets – Seteria                     sites from hunter-gatherer and/or agriculturists.
italica and Panicum miliare at Babarkot was perhaps                 Therefore an ethnoarchaeological study of pastoralism
because it was cultivated as green fodder for animals,              in Gujarat was undertaken and the preliminary
She further suggests that the cultivation of millets was            results of this study are briefly presented below.
for use both as animal fodder as well as for human                  Ethnographic observations of the contemporary
consumption at Babarkot. It is suggestive of an                     pastoral comminutes of Gujarat provides insight into
economy more akin to sedentary agriculturists, with a               pastoral economy and helps to further strengthen the
minor pastoral component, that of sedentary animals                 proposed argument.
(1994: 381-382).
   Reddy’s palaeobotancial analysis at Oriyo
Timbo has indicated that millet was not cultivated                        ETHNOARCHAEOLOGICAL
at the site but instead was brought into the site as                            STUDIES
highly processed grain. She further suggests that
these grains were either brought to this settlement                 Livestock raising in Gujarat is almost exclusively
through trade or exchange with farming groups in                    carried out by professional breeders. A distinctive
the area, or cultivated elsewhere (outside the range                feature of the pastoral communities like Rabari,
of settlement) by the occupants and brought along                   Bharvad, Jat and to some extent Charan is that they
with them on their seasonal migration to the site                   make living primarily by breeding and/or herding
(1994: 382). Reedy’s observation finds additional                   animals. They are collectively called Maldharis. At
support from Rissman’s (1985) seasonality data from                 present there is no restriction of principle which
the annuli growth ring of cattle teeth that places the              governs the type of livestock they raise. Their livestock
occupation of Oriyo Timbo from March through                        are the type best suited to local ecological situations.
July. Reddy (1994: 383) also stresses that the economy              However, the meaning of Maldhari perhaps denotes
of Oriyo Timbo was not exclusively based on animal                  those who emphasizes cattle-breeding rather than
husbandry, since wild plants and animal exploitation                cattle-tending (Hellbusch 1975:123). The environment
was significant component of their subsistence                      imposes conditions upon animal breeders that
strategies.                                                         dictate the type of animals which can be produced
   The natural incentives of the environs of north                  successfully, tradition not with standing. An area,
Gujarat seems to have attracted various pastoral/                   once suitable only for cattle may be transformed by
hunter-gatherers and hunter-gatherers to north                      extended over-uses to one suitable for smaller animals
Gujarat as early as third millennium B.C (Bhan 2001).               like sheep and goat. Environmental factors influence
The pastoral activities also seem to have increased                 the choice of animal but cultural traditions connect
substantially during Late Harappan phase (Bhan                      these communities with specific animals. In general
1986: 1994), which is reflected in an increase in the               Rabaris are camel-breeders, the Charan and Jats
number of settlements of this phase in arid locale of               breed cattle along with buffalo, and the Bharvads are


                                                           - 16 -
                   Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India: an ethnoarchaeological approach



sheep and goat breeders. It seems the tradition was                    These breeders pursue their business with
more strictly observed in the past than at the present              considerable skill and knowledge. They are most
(Hellbusch 1975: 124).                                              careful about mating practices, early castration and
   Jats are the only Muslim breeders of Gujarat and                 herd their animals separately, take them to best grazing
inhabit the Moti-Banni area of Kutch. The Hindu                     grounds at the best season and produce excellent
breeder groups are distributed all over Gujarat, but                animals with the expenditure that could hardily
large number inhabit the bordering villages of Banni                lowered (Keatinge 1917: 17 and 31). The breeding
tract in Kutch, eastern border of Little Rann of                    communities of north Gujarat are responsible for the
Kutch in north Gujarat (Nani Banni), Barda and Gir                  development of world famous tropical breed of cattle
hills, and the northern fringes of Coastal Gujarat.                 like Kankrej or Wadhial which are similar to the Zebu
Certain cultural traits of Jats in Kutch are shared                 cattle’s characteristic hump and dewlap, which is very
with other animal breeding communities of Gujarat.                  proudly displayed as a symbol on Harappan seals.
Among these, of ethnographic interest are caste                     In the very recent past they were exported to north
panchayat, caste assemblies, and veneration of goddess              and South America for grading up indigenous cattle
(Hellbusch 1975: 122). Unfortunately, statistical data              (Imperial Gazetteer 1909: 11). Besides, breeders of this
regarding these communities does not exist.                         region are also responsible for the development of




                              Figure 9 Plan of the monsoon camp at Masali, north Gujarat


                                                           - 17 -
                                                     Kuldeep K. Bhan




            Figure 10 Monson camp site at Masali, north Gujarat (observe marshy wasteland in the background).


Murrah and Mehsana buffaloes and are equally apt at                  along with other produces (Huntingford 1980: 81).
raising a local breed of sheep, which yields fine quality            Abul Fzual describes Kutch in the Ain-i-Akbari (1583-
wool, most of which is exported. It must have taken                  1590) as a territory with an excellent breed of horses,
thousands of years for these breeders to evolve the                  good camels and goats. The reference to Rabaris
best breed of animal suited to tropics, which would                  appears in Rasmala and other chronicles of Gujarat,
stand fly and mosquito nuisance and tropical diseases                which mentions of Lakho Fulani, who was a son of a
and could live grazing monsoonic grass and roughage.                 Rabari girl and ruled Kutch during 10th century AD.
   Such breeds can only be produced by a long                        (Williams 1958: 76) Later during the early twentieth
and uninterrupted period of breeding on sound                        century we find frequent flattering mention of these
principles, which are thoroughly understood by                       breeders in British policy discussions.
these professional breeders. Animals are not allowed                    Ethnoarchaeological studies have been carried
to cover their own progeny. They select their stud                   out in Gujarat over a period of six years (1989-1995).
animal with great care. The best bull-calves of a                    A number of variables regarded as possible factors in
particular year are chosen. The second or third calves               the choice of site of location were recording during
of exceptionally well shaped, big, young bull of good                survey. These include site maps, location, distance
pedigree are chosen.                                                 and gradient and known sources of water. A variety
   There is scanty, though useful, mention of                        of cultural remains left on these camps were also
these breeders in ancient literature. The Periplus of                recorded and mapped. Besides, a special attempt was
Erythraean Sea mentions the great herds of cattle                    made to record the type of vessels these pastoralists
in Saurashtra and export of clarified butter (ghee)                  carry with them.


                                                            - 18 -
                    Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India: an ethnoarchaeological approach




                           Figure 11 Mosoon camp at Daro-no-Nes (complex 2 and 3), Barda hills


   The study has revealed that these breeders                        source is at least 100 m or more from the camping
aggregate during monsoon season all along the river                  area perhaps to avoid being the victim of mosquitoes.
banks of north Gujarat specially Rupen, bordering                       In c ontra st to th e e xp e c tati ons o f many
areas of the Ranns, and also around the salt marshy                  archaeologists who think of pastoral camps as
wastelands known as padthar or kahrphat. In                          ephemeral sites without substantial traces that
Saurashtra they occupy the foothills of forested areas.              would enter the archaeological record, the monsoon
In north Gujarat and Kutch the presence of nutritious                campsites we studied in the Barda hills boast of
grasses, water in inter dune depressions and the                     a wealth of architectural features. As mentioned
availability of various salts and minerals in this area              above the slopes of foothills are usually preferred for
attracts even those pastoralist groups who may not                   locating the camp settlements. The complexes are
undertake long summer migrations to south or east                    provided with one or two circular huts along with
Gujarat later. Pastoralists here construct huts of thorn             animal enclosures. Usually stone are used to construct
bushes over hastily made circular plaster floors and are             the animal pens as well as the living area, which are
often linked together to animal enclosures (Figures                  provided with hearths and wattle and daub super
9 and 10). Usually, the camps are set on a dune top                  structures. At regular intervals the walls of the animal
or its slope to avoid rainfall accumulation. One of                  enclosure have been provided with outlets to drain
the obvious restrictions is on the location of camps                 out rainwater. Some of the complexes have raised
near or on the black soil and other soils because the                stone platforms to hold water vessels (Figure 11).
animals get infected by muddy hooves and are also                       The year of these breeders usually commences with
ideal for transmitting a variety of diseases. The water              Diwali festival, which falls in later part of October or


                                                            - 19 -
                                                   Kuldeep K. Bhan




                           Figure 12 Maldari’s on their annual migration from north Gujarat


early November (Figure 12). At this time each breeder              make them enduring from an archaeological point of
and their family leave for their monsoon camp and                  view.
at the onset of summer they disperse into south and                   Morphological studies of the vessels from five
eastern Gujarat. Of specific interest to archaeologists            pastoral camps have indicated that the vessels with
are archaeological material consequences and the                   constricted necks and narrow orifice have a greater
location of such camps. During summer season                       frequency than the vessels with short necks and wide
they move with their herds, halting 1-2 days on the                orifice – given their importance in transporting water
harvested fields or urban vacant lands, leaving behind             and dairy products during migration in pastoral
ephemeral hearth scars and little debris. At times they            economies. This has been further substantiated by
may also spend 4-20 days in summer camp usually                    ethnographic studies carried out in two pottery
after negotiating with landowner. Occupational debris              manufacturing centers in Kutch (Choksi 1995: 87-
is ploughed back into the field leaving little evidence            104). This is one of the important indicators that
of the summer encampment, while the rainy season                   could be used to delineate pastoral assemblages. It
camps usually have substantial stone or thorn animal               is interesting to note here that the ceramics analysis
enclosures and plastered platforms or living space.                of one of the Late Harappan settlements in north
These features are of special interest because some                Gujarat has revealed interesting results. The analysis
camp sites are repeatedly used. While evidence for                 carried out by one of our graduate students from the
the individual monsoon season occupation in certain                “kiln” area at Datrana has indicated that more than
cases perhaps may not preserve very well, the fact                 sixty percent of vessels recovered from the area have
that these features are at times refurbished and reused            comparatively long necks and narrow orifices (Devi


                                                          - 20 -
                    Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India: an ethnoarchaeological approach



2000: 51-56). Similar studies from other sites of north              was perhaps the result of increased environmental
Gujarat perhaps will also be rewarding.                              degradation combined with a break down of the
                                                                     Harappan integration sphere around 2000 B.C.
                                                                     It can be further proposed that the settlements
               CONCLUSIONS                                           close to R anns or Khar phats having g reater
                                                                     archaeological debris as monsoon season camps,
The Harappans of Gujarat were perhaps sure of two                    while settlements like Dhama, Mujpur, Nayaka,
things: First, that in the not too distant future the                Vagel, Vanod, Valewada, Papotpura, etc. (Figure 8)
monsoon would be bad enough to ruin his subsistence                  have comparatively very little habitational deposit as
production; second that things would be better                       summer encampments. Dispersion and aggregation
somewhere else. This type of monsoon places a heavy                  of prehistoric population in north Gujarat is seen
premium on subsistence production. Pastoralism and                   as result of seasonal availability of animal food
agriculture play complementary roles, keeping large                  resources. However, an interdisciplinary approach is
numbers of animals acts as a food reserve for those                  warranted to study the seasonality of these sites. Of
times when crops fail as a result of unpredictable,                  particular importance in such studies would be the
but regular, disasters such as draught, and perdition                use of ethnoarchaeobotanical, (like the one developed
by insects and birds. Therefore in such a situation a                by Reddy (1994), for Saurashtra), zooarchaeological
mixed pastoral-agriculture background strategy may                   data, ethnographic models and improved excavation
be the most secure way to ensure long survival. It is                methods like ‘open area excavation’ and ‘single layer
in this environmental background the proliferation                   plan’ as discussed by Harris (1979). Whether this
of pastoral encampment in the arid locale of north                   hypothesis presented here is proven correct or not,
Gujarat should be viewed. In summary, it can be                      further investigation in north Gujarat based on
proposed that the proliferation of settlements in the                the model presented here will contribute to better
arid locale of north Gujarat, that provided nutritious               understanding of the Harappan tradition in South
grasslands rich in minerals and salts, water in the                  Asia.
inter dune depressions and the presence of sand
dunes provided an excellent breeding ground for the                  Acknowledgments
animals. The decentralization of Harappan state in the               T h i s p ap er c o m e s f r o m th e a r c ha e o l o g i c a l
early second millennium B.C. as suggested by Reddy                   research work of last more than two decades and
also (1994) and perhaps accompanied by degradation                   ethnoarchaeological research undertaken carried out
in environment allowed for wider range of choices                    during 1989-1995 in Gujarat. The paper was written
of economic adaptation and particularly facilitated                  in calm and beautiful surrounding of International
the integration of two distinct but contemporary                     Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto (Nichibunken)
economies – agriculture and pastoralism in the semi-                 and I would like to acknowledge the support I
arid environment of Gujarat.                                         received from the entire faculty and particularly
   Taking the environmental and locational criteria                  my counter part, Prof. Takao Uno. I would like to
of the present day pastoral camps into consideration                 thank Dr. Seetha Narhari Reddy for accompanying
it seems that the area has played a very crucial role in             me in the initial stages of the fieldwork. I was highly
the development of settlements in north Gujarat from                 benefited by her critical comments and later her work
very early times. Increase in the number of pastoral                 on palaeoethnobotanical study in Saurashtra. I would
camp settlements during Late Harappan phase                          also like to acknowledge Dr. Paul Rissman’s work on


                                                            - 21 -
                                                         Kuldeep K. Bhan



the excavation at Oriyo Timbo that influenced my                              New Data from Bagasra, Gujarat. Paper presented at the

thought process. Professor and J. M. Kenoyer and Dr.                          annual meeting of ISPQS, Pune.

Massimo Vidale also share my acknowledgements for                          Allchin, B and F.R. Allchin (1997) Origin of Civilization.
                                                                              Viking-Penguin India, New Delhi.
their encouragement and many discussions I had with
                                                                           Bhan, K.K. (1989) “Late Harappan Settlements of Western
them. I am indebted to Mr. Gregg Jamison for going
                                                                              India, with Specific Reference to Gujarat”, in J.M. Kenoyer
through the first draft of this paper and suggesting
                                                                              (ed.) Old Problems and New Perspective in the Archaeology
many changes. Although, the above mentioned                                   of South Asia. Wisconsin Archaeological Report,
individuals, and many others have contributed                                 Madison. pp.61-74.
directly or indirectly to contents of this paper,                          Bhan, K.K. (1994) Cultural Development of the Prehistoric
the author accepts the sole responsibility for the                            Period in North Gujarat with reference to Western India.
interpretations presented here. At the end, I would                           South Asian Archaeology 10: 71-90.
like to acknowledge the Ford Foundation Research                           Bhan, K.K. (2001) “In the Sand Dunes of North Gujarat”,

Grant for carrying out the ethnographic work in                               in Dilip K. Chakrabarti (ed.) Indus Civilzation Sites In
                                                                              India: New Discoveries. Marg, Mumbai. pp.96-105.
Gujarat.
                                                                           Bhan, K.K. and D.R. Shah (1990) Pastoral Adaptation in
                                                                              the Late Harappan Tradition of Gujarat. Paper presented
                                                                              in the seminar on Rising Tends in Palaeoanthropology:
Notes                                                                         Environmental Changes and Human Responses (Last
1) To answer the basic question, what is pastoralism, is not as               Two Million Years), Pune.
   simple as it might see. In general, societies specializing              Bombay Presidency (1880) Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency,
   in animal husbandry are called pastoralist and those                       vol. 5: Cutch, Palanpur, and Mahi Kanta. Bombay.
   required periodic movement to maintain their animals                    Bombay Presidency (1884) Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency,
   are called pastoral nomads. The term nomads are pastoral                   vol. 7: Kathiawar. Bombay
   nomads. The term nomads and pastoralists are generally                  Bose, A.S. (1975) “Pastoralism nomadism in India”, in L.S.
   used interchangeably, at basic level they are analytical                   Leshnik and G.D. Sonhteimer (eds.) Pastoralists and
   distinct, the former referring to movement and the later to                Nomads of South Asia. O. Harrasowitz, Wiesbaden. pp.1-
   a subsistence.                                                             15.
2) Jekhada is also spelt as Zekhada. We prefer to maintain                 Bryson R.A. and A.M. Swain (1981) Holocene Variation of
   Jekhada in our text the name referred in the Survey of                     Monsoon and rainfall in Rajasthan. Quaternary Research
   India map.                                                                 16: 135-45.
3) A strong argument for a late date of Surkotada IC has                   Champion, H.G. (1935) A Preliminary Survey of the Forest
   been put forward recently on the basis of recalibrated                     types of India. Indian Forest Records 1: 1-204.
   radiocarbon dates and the ceramic of this phase. Refer                  Chitalwala, Y.M. (1990) The Disappearance of Rhino from
   Herman 1997: 99.                                                           Saurashtra: A study of Paleoecology. Bulletin of Deccan
                                                                              College, Postgraduate and Research Institute 49: 79-82.
References                                                                 Choksi, A. (1995) Ceramic Vessels: Their Role in Illuminating
Agrawal, D.P. and R . Kusumgar (1973) Tata Institute                          Past and Present Social and Economic Relationship. Man
   Radiocarbon Date List X. Radiocarbon 15(3): 547-85.                        and Environment XX(1): 87-104.
Agrawal, D.P. and R.K. Sood (1982) “Ecological Factors                     Desai, A. (1985) Spatial Aspects of Settlement Pattern, A Study
   and the Harappan Civilization”, in G.L. Possehl (ed.)                      of the Narmada Command Area of Mehsana District,
   Harappan Civilization. American Institute of India                         Gujarat. New Delhi.
   Studies, New Delhi. pp.223-252.                                         Devi, Y. Krishnabarnati (2000) Metrical Analysis of Sorath
Ajithprasad, P., V.H. Sonawane, A. Mujamdar and K. Dimri                      Harappan Pottery from Datrana. Unpublished M.A.
   (1999) The Harappan Cultural Sequence at Rangpur and                       Dissertation, Department of Archaeology, M.S. University


                                                                  - 22 -
                       Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India: an ethnoarchaeological approach



   of Baroda.                                                                     Gujarat (India): a reassessment”, in B. Allchin and F. R.
Dikshit, R.B.K.N. (1938) Prehistoric Civilization of the Indus                    Allchin (eds.) South Asia Archaeology 1995. Oxford and
   Valley. University of Madras Press, Madras.                                    IBH Publishing co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi. pp.187-198.
Enzel, Y., L.L. Ely, S. Misra, R. Ramesh, R. Amit, B. Lazer,                  He rma n , C . F. ( 199 7 b ) “ Ha r a p p a n” G u j a r a t : T h e
   S.N. Rajaguru, V.R. Baker, and A Sandler (1999) High-                          Archaeological-Chronological Connections. Paléorient
   Resolution Holocene Environment Changes in Thar                                22(2): 77-112.
   Desert, North Western India. Science 284: 125-128.                         Huntingford, G.W.B (ed.)(1980) The Periplus of the Erythrean
Fairsevis, W.A. (1956) Excavation in the Quetta Valley, West                      Sea. The Hckluyt Society, London.
   Pakistan. Anthropological Papers of the American                           Imperial Gazetteer of India 1909, vol. II.
   Museum and Natural History 45(2). American Museum                          Jarriage, J.-F. (1995) Du neolithique a la civilization de I’ Inde
   of Natural History, New York.                                                  ancienne: Contribution des recherches archeologiques
Foote, R .B. (1912) Indian Prehistoric and Proto-historic                         dans le nord-ouset du souscontinent into Pakistanais. Ars
   Antiquities in the Indian Museum: Note on Age and                              Asiatiques L: 5-30.
   Distribution. Government of Madras, Madras.                                Keatinge, G.F. (1917) Note on Cattle of Bombay Residency.
Gaussen H., P. Legris, F. Blasco, V.M. Meher-Homji and J.P.                       Department of Agriculture, Bombay.
   Troy (1968) Notice de la feuille Kathiawar. Extrait des                    Kenoyer, J.M. (1991) The Indus Valley Tradition of Pakistan
   Travaux de la section scientifique et technique de L’ Institute                and Western India. Journal of World Prehistory 5(4): 331-
   Francais de Pondichery. Hors. Serie 9.                                         385.
George, S. (1985) Operation Flood: an appraisal of current                    Kenoyer, J.M. (2005) Culture Change during Late Harappan
   Indian dairy Policy. Oxford University Press.                                  Period at Harappa: New Insights on Vedic Aryan Issue
Ghosh, S.S. and K.R. Lal (1963) Plant Remains from Rangpur.                       , in E.F. Bryant and L.L. Patton (eds.) The Indo-Aryan
   Ancient India 18-19: 161-77.                                                   Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History.
Government of Gujarat (1970) Gujarat State Gazetteers:                            Routledge, London/New York.
   Jamnagar District. Ahmedabad.                                              Kusumgar, R., D. Lal and R.P Saran (1963) Tata Institute of
Government of Gujarat (1969) Gujarat State Gazetteers:                            Radiocarbon Dates List I. Radiocarbon 5: 273-82.
   Bhavnagar District. Ahmedabad.                                             Leshnik, L.S. (1968) Prehistoric Exploration in northern
Gupta, S.K. (1977) “Holocene silting in the Little Rann of                        Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan. East and West 18 (3-4):
   Kutch”, in D.P. Agrawal and B.M. Pande (eds.) Ecology                          295-310.
   and Archaeology of Western India. Concept Publishers,                      Mackay, E.J.H. (1943) Chanhu-daro Excavations 1935-36.
   Delhi. pp.181-93.                                                              American Oriental Series Vol. 20. Boston Museum of Fine
Harris, E.C. (1979) Principles of Archaeological Stratigraphy.                    Arts, New Haven.
   Academic Press Inc., New York.                                             Mann, H. (1916) Fodder Crop of Western India. Department
Hedge, K.T.M. (1977) “Late Quaternary Environment in                              of Agriculture No. 77. Bombay.
   Gujarat and Rajasthan”, in D.P. Agrawal and B.M. Pande                     Marshall, J. (1931) Mohenjo-daro and the Indus Valley
   (eds.) Ecology and Archaeology of Western India. Concept                       Civilization. A Probsthain, London.
   Publishers, Delhi. pp.181-93.                                              Meadow, R . (1989) “Continuity and Chang e in the
Hegde, K.T.M. and V.H. Sonawane (1986) Landscape                                  Agriculture of the Indus Valley: The Paleobotanical and
   and Settlement Pattern in Rupen Estuary. Man and                               Zooarcheological Evidence”, in J.M. Kenoyer (ed.) Old
   Environment X: 23-30.                                                          Problems and the New Perspective in the Archaeology of
Hellbusch, S.W. (1975) “Changing in meaning of ethnic names                       South Asia. Wisconsin Archaeological Report, Madison.
   as exemplified by the Jats, Rabari, Bharvad and Charan in                      pp.61-74.
   Northwestern India”, in L.S. Leshnik and Gunther-Dietz                     Mehta, R.N. (1984) “Valabhi: A Station of Harappan Cattle
   Sontheimer (eds.) Pastoralists Nomads in South Asia. Otto                      Breeders”, in B.B. Lal and S.P. Gupta (eds.) Frontiers of the
   Harrassowitz, Wiesbeden.                                                       Indus Civilization. Books & Books, New Delhi. pp.227-
Herman, C.F. (1997a) “The Rangpur Sequence of “Harappan”                          230.


                                                                     - 23 -
                                                           Kuldeep K. Bhan



Mehta, R.N., K.N. Momin and D.R. Shah (1980) Excavations                     Rao, R.K and K. Lal (1985) “Plant Remains from Lothal”,
   at Kanewal. Archaeological Series No. 17. M. S. University                   in S.R. Rao (ed.) Lothal: A Port Town (1955-62), vol
   of Baroda.                                                                   II. Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India 78.
Misra, V.N. (1965) Book Review: Ancient India, Bulletin of                      Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi. pp.667-684.
   Archeological Survey of India nos. 18-19 (1962-63). The                   Rao, S.R . (1963) Excavations at Rang pur and other
   Eastern Anthropologist 18(1): 44-52.                                         Explorations in Gujarat. Ancient India 18, New Delhi.
Misra, V.N. (1984) “Climate, a factor in the rise and fall of the            Rao, S.R. (1978) Lothal: A Port Town (1955-62), vol.I. Memoirs
   Indus Civilization: Evidence from Rajasthan and Beyond”,                     of the Archaeological Survey of India 78. Archaeological
   in B.B. Lal and S.P. Gupta (eds.) Frontiers of the Indus                     Survey of India, New Delhi.
   Civilization. Books & Books, New Delhi. pp.461-489.                       Rao, S.R . (1985) Lothal: A Port Town (1955-62), vol.II.
Momin, K.N. (1983) Excavations at Zekhda. Puratattva 12:                        Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India 78.
   120-125.                                                                     Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi.
Mughal, M.R. (1997) Ancient Cholistan: Archaeology and                       Reddy, S.N. (1991) Archaeological Investigation at Oriyo
   Architecture. Ferozsons, Lahore.                                             Timbo (1989-90): A Post Harappan Site in Gujarat. Man
Mughal, M.R . (1992) “Jhukhar and the late Harappan                             and Environment XVI(1): 79-81.
   Cultural Mosaic of the Greater Indus Valley”, in C.                       Reddy, S.N. (1994) Plant Usage and Subsistence Modeling:
   Jarriage (ed.) South Asian Archaeology 1989. Prehistoric                     An Ethnoarchaeological Approach to the Late Harappan
   Press, Wisconsin Madison. pp.213-221.                                        of Northwest India. Ph.D Dissertation, the University of
Mughal, M.R . (1982) “Recent Archaeological Research                            Wisconsin, Madison.
   in Cholistan Desert”, in G.L. Possehl (ed.) Harappan                      Rissman, P.C. (1985) Migratory Pastoralism in Western India
   Civilization. American Institute of India Studies, New                       in the second Millennium B.C., the evidence from Oriyo
   Delhi. pp.85-96                                                              Timbo (Chiroda). Ph.D Dissertation, the University of
Patel, A. (1985) Vertebrate Archaeofauna from Nagwada: A                        Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
   Preliminary Study. M.A. Dissertation, Department of                       Rissman, P.C and Y.M. Chitalwala (1990) Harappan
   Archaeology, M.S. University of Baroda.                                      Civiliz ation and Oriyo Timbo. Oxford and IBH
Patel, G. (1977) Gujarat’s Agriculture. Ahmedabad.                              Publishing Co./American Institute of Indian Studies,
Piggott, S. (1962) Prehistoric India. Second Edition. Cassell,                  New Delhi.
   London.                                                                   Sankalia, H.D. (1974) Prehistory and Protohistory of India and
Possehl, G.L. (1980) Indus Civilization in Saurashtra. B.R.                     Pakistan. Deccan College, Pune.
   Publications, New Delhi.                                                  Sankalia, H.D. and I. Karve (1949) Primitive Microlithic
Possehl, G.L. (1992) The Harappan Civilization in Gujarat:                      Cultures and People of Gujarat. South Western Journal of
   The Sorath Harappan and Sindhi Harappan. The Eastern                         Anthropology LI (I): 28-34.
   Anthropologist 45: 115-154.                                               Shaffer, J.G. (1991) “The Indus Valley, Baluchistan and
Possehl, G.L (1997) The Transformation of the Indus                             Helmand Tradition: Neolithic through Bronze Age”, in R.
   Civilization. Journal of the World Prehistory 2(4): 425-72.                  Enrich (ed.) Chronologies in Old World Archaeology. Third
Possehl, G.L. and P.C. Rissman (1991) “The Chronology of                        Edition, vol. I. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
   Prehistoric India: From Earliest Times to the Iron Age”, in                  pp.441-456.
   R. Enrich (ed.) Chronologies in the Old World Archaeology.                Shaffer, J.G. and D.A. Lichenstein (1989) “Ethnicity and
   University of Chicago Press, Chicago. pp.465-490.                            Change in the Indus Cultural Tradition”, in J.M. Kenoyer
Possehl, G.L. and M.H. Rawal (1989) Harappan Civilization                       (ed.) Old Problems and New Perspective in Archaeology of
   and Rojdi. Oxford and IHB Publishing Co./American                            South Asia. Wisconsin Archaeology Report, Madison.
   Institute of Indian Studies, New Delhi.                                      pp.117-126.
Raikes, R .L and R .H. Dyson (1961) The Prehistoric                          Singh, G. (1971) The Indus Valley Culture, seen in the
   Climate of Bulachistan and the Indus Valley. American                        Context of Post Glacial Climatic and Ecological Studies
   Anthropologist 63: 265-281.                                                  in northwest India. Archaeology and Physical Anthropology


                                                                    - 24 -
                      Pastoralism in Late Harappan Gujarat, western India: an ethnoarchaeological approach



   of Oceania 6(2):177-89.                                                  A Study in inter-relationship. Geophytology 5(4) 1: 46-53.
Singh, G. (1977) Stratigraphic and Palynological Evidence for            Vishnu-Mittre and R . Savihtri (1982) “Economy of the
   Desertification in the Great Indian Desert. Annals of the                Harappans”, G.L. Possehl (ed.) Harappan Civilization.
   arid Zone 16(3): 310-20.                                                 American Institute of Indian Studies, New Delhi. pp.205-
Sonawane, V.H. and P. Ajithprasad (1994) Harappa Culture                    22.
   and Gujarat. Man and Environment XIX(1-2): 129-130.                   Vishnu-Mittre and C. Sharma (1979) Pollen Analytical
Sonawane, V.H. and R .N. Mehta (1985) Vagad: a rural                        Studies at Nal Lake (Nalsarovar). Palaeobotanist 26(1): 95-
   Harappan Settlement in Gujarat. Man and Environment                      104.
   IX: 38-44.                                                            Wadia, D.N. (1957) Geology of India. Macmillan, London.
Spate, O.H.K. and A.T.A. Learmonth (1967) India and                      Weber, S. (1991) Plant and Harappan Subsistence. Oxford
   Pakistan: A General and Regional Geography, third                        and IBH Publishing Co./American Institute of Indian
   edition. Methuen, London.                                                Studies, New Delhi.
Stuckenrath, R . Jr. (1967) University of Pennsylvania                   Weber, S. (1989) Plant and Harappan Subsistence: An Example
   Radiocarbon Dates. Radiocarbon V: 82-103.                                of Stability and Change from Rojdi. Ph.D. Dissertation, the
Suraj Bhan (1975) Excavation at Mitathal (1968) and other                   University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
   Exploration in the Sutlej-Yamuna Divide. Kuruskshetra                 Wagne, G.E. (1982) Floatation for Small-artifact Recovery
   Univeristy, Kuruskshetra.                                                at Oriyo Timbo. University Museum, University of
Vats, M.S. (1940) Excavation at Harappa. Government of                      Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
   India Press, New Delhi                                                William, L.F.R. (1958) The Black Hills: Kutch in History and
Vishnu-Mittre (1961) “Plant economy in Ancient Navdatoli-                   Legend. Booksellers Association of Great Britain and
   Maheshwar”, in J. Clutton-Brock, Vishnu-Mittre and A.N.                  Ireland, London.
   Gulati (eds.) Technical Report on Archaeological Remains.             Wheeler, R.E.M. (1958) The Indus Civilization. Cambridge
   Deccan College, Pune. pp.13-52.                                          University Press, Cambridge.
Vishnu-Mittre (1974a) “Palaeobotanical Evidence in India”,               Whyte, R.O. (1964) The Grassland and Fodder Resources of
   in S.J. Hutchension (ed.) Evolutionary Studies in World                  India. Council of Agriculture Research, New Delhi.
   Crops. Cambridge University Press. pp.3-33.                           Zeuner, F.E. (1963) Environment of early Man with Special
Vishnu-Mittre (1974b) Plant Remains and Climate from the                    Reference to the Tropical Regions. Baroda.
   Late Harappan and other Chalcolithic Cultures of India:




                                                                - 25 -
Kuldeep K. Bhan




     - 26 -
                          Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat



                       Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of
                                   Junagadh District, Gujarat


                                 P. Ajithprasad, SV Rajesh and Bhanu Sharma
                                     Department of Archaeology and Ancient History,
                                       The M.S. University of Baroda, Vadodara India




Abstract
A recent exploratory survey carried out in the Saurashtra coast in Junagadh district of Gujarat in western India revealed several
Harappan/Chalcolithic and Historic period sites. The newly discovered Chalcolithic sites included Prabhas ware sites and a few
sites showing Early Harappan Sindh related ceramic assemblages. This brief report discusses the importance of these new discoveries
in understanding the Chalcolithic cultural development and patterns of settlements that evolved in the region through the Historic
period.




                INTRODUCTION                                               habitation in Saurashtra has changed drastically.
                                                                           Discovery of several new sites and identification
The discovery of Harappan relics from Rangpur                              of a few region specific Chalcolithic cultural
on the Bhadar river in Saurashtra in the early 1930’s                      traditions at Somnath/Prabhas Patan and Padri
invoked considerable interest in the geographical                          along the Saurashtra coast (Figure 1) in Junagadh
spread of the civilization beyond the Indus basin.                         and Bhavnagar districts respectively played a major
Two decades later, in the 1950’s, similar discoveries                      role in bringing about this change (Subbarao 1958,
from Lothal and several other sites in the region                          Shinde 1992, Shinde and Kar 1992, Sonawane and
have firmly established the southward extension of                         Ajithprasad 1994, Ajithprasad 2004). Of the two, the
the Harappa culture into Saurashtra (Figure 1). In                         “Prabhas” remains was the first regional Chalocolithic
fact, the Harappan influence was felt much further                         tradition affiliated to the Harappa culture to be
south in the estuaries of the Narmada and the Tapi in                      identified after the joint excavation in 1955-56 by the
south Gujarat (Rao 1958). Over the years, more than                        M. S. University of Baroda and the then Bombay
700 Harappan and Harappan affiliated Chalcolithic                          State Archaeology Department at Prabhas Patan/
sites have been reported from Gujarat (Possehl 1997,                       Somnath in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh district
Rajesh and Patel 2007). A quick glance through the                         (Subbarao 1958, IAR 1955 to 57, Nanavati et al. 1971).
distribution of sites will suggest that majority of the                    Further excavations at the site in 1972 by the Deccan
above sites are located in Saurashtra. The Saurashtra                      College, Pune and the Gujarat State Archaeology
region or Kathiawad as it is traditionally known                           Department resulted in the discovery of an even
therefore figures prominently in the Harappan studies                      earlier Chalcolithic cultural assemblage (the Pre-
in Gujarat.                                                                Prabhas) stratified below the Prabhas remains (IAR
     In t h e l a s t t w o o r t h r e e d e c a d e s , o u r            1971-72, Dhavalikar 1984). The identification of
understanding about the Harappan/Chalcolithic                              Pre-Prabhas assemblage from Prabhas Patan as a


                                                                  - 27 -
                                                   P. Ajithprasad et al.




      Figure 1 Location of Prabhas Patan/Somnath and other major Harappan Chalcolithic sites mentioned in the paper


regional Chalcolithic culture that existed prior to the              traditions therefore must have played a major role
beginning of the Harappan tradition in Saurashtra                    in the Harappan and the Sorath Harappan cultural
presented a picture of Chalcolithic habitation in the                developments in Saurashtra. However, very little is
Saurashtra coast at least 500 years earlier than hitherto            known about these two early Chalcolithic cultural
believed (Dhavalikar and Possehl 1992, Sonawane and                  traditions; especially their geographical spread and
Ajithprasad 1994, Sonawane 2000, Ajithprasad 2002).                  other settlement features. A systematic exploratory
Meanwhile, excavation at Padri in the Bhavnagar                      survey was therefore carried out in and around
coast of Saurashtra in the early 1990’s brought to light             Prabhas Patan in the Saurashtra coast with a view
the “Padri” Chalcolithic assemblage that was very                    of assessing the importance of Prabahas and other
different not only from the Pre-Prabhas and Prabhas                  chalcolithic assemblages in the region.
but also from the Harappan. Dated to the middle of
fourth millennium BCE by radiocarbon, the regional
Chalcolithic remains reported from Padri are even
earlier than the Pre-Prabhas (Shinde 1992, Shinde
and Kar 1992). These two early regional Chalcolithic


                                                            - 28 -
                       Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat



      ExPLORATION PLANNING                                                 ENVIRONMENTAL SETTINGS
          AND STRATEGY
                                                                      The Saurashtra Peninsula in western India is a
The Prabhas and the Pre-Prabhas assemblages at the                    reasonably large landmass jetting in to the Arabian
type-site – Somnath/Prabhas Patan – are culturally                    Sea (Figure 1). It is separated in the east from the
and stratigraphically well documented. Among                          mainland by the Gulf of Cambay/Khambhat and in
the two, the Pre-Prabhas is a very rare assemblage                    the north by the Gulf of Kachchh. The central part
reported until very recently only from the early levels               of Saurashtra is an elevated and rugged hilly land
at Prabhas Patan. Little is known about its spread                    formed of the Deccan lava flow. The rather flat and
into geographically nearby areas. The Prabhas pottery                 narrow coastal plain is formed of tidal mudflats,
on the other hand is slightly better known, on being                  sandy beaches and even coral reefs along the Jamnagar
reported in small numbers in the excavations from                     coast of the Gulf of Kachchh. The narrow coastal
Lothal and Rojdi in association with the Harappan                     land in between, drained by several small rivers and
remains. Besides, nine more sites in central Saurashtra               streams, had supported human occupation from the
showing Prabhas type pottery had been reported by                     Palaeolithic times onwards. The Chalcolithic site at
P.P Pandya, S.R. Rao and others in the late 1950’s                    Prabhas Patan in Junagadh district is located on the
(IAR 1958). Barring these reports, the immediate                      fringes of this fertile strip in the southern coast of
geographical spread of these two assemblages is rather                Saurashtra.
poorly known (Rao 1963). This has greatly impeded                         Several types of rock formations and Quaternary
in assessing the regional character and impact of                     deposits are found along the seacoast and in the
this tradition in the overall cultural development                    interior Saurashtra. The most predominant basal
of the region. The current exploration therefore                      rock in the region is the Deccan Trap, which in the
was undertaken to locate Chalcolithic sites along                     central part of Saurashtra is exposed extensively as the
the Saurashtra coast especially in the vicinity of                    rugged tableland at a general height varying from 300
Somnath/Prabhas Patan. It is assumed that if there                    to 600 m. There however are several relict tableland
are Chalcolithic cultural relics dating back to 3000                  features that form high hills. Most prominent among
BCE showing region-specific traits at Somnath there                   these is the Girnar hill in Junagadh district which at
is a strong possibility of coming across a few more                   1117m is the highest in Saurashtra followed by the
sites contemporary to the Prabhas assemblage in the                   Barda hills which is 637m (Merh 1995). In addition
vicinity of Prabhas Patan. As a working strategy we                   to this, sedimentary formations of the Tertiary
selected an area falling within 40 to 50 km radius                    sandstones and Quaternary miliolites are found as
from Somnath along the coast in the first leg for an                  basal rocks especially in the coastal areas. These two
intensive foot-survey for locating sites after assessing              formations today are quarried out in an alarmingly
the geographical and environmental setting of the                     large scale as they are used as raw materials in the
region. We used topographic sheets of 1:250,000                       flourishing cement and detergent industries. The
and 1:50,000 scale as well as satellite images for this               coastal region also has several littoral dune formations
purpose.                                                              and beach sand deposits. The area along the coast is
                                                                      mostly covered by a sandy loam and the black cotton
                                                                      soil whose thickness varied considerably. The mantle
                                                                      of soil cover has maximum thickness near the coast
                                                                      and it becomes thin towards north in the interior.


                                                             - 29 -
                                                       P. Ajithprasad et al.




                                 Figure 2 Location of Chalcolithic and Historic period sites in
                               the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh and Porbandar districts of Gujarat


Chalcolithic sites: 1. Somnath/Prabhas Patan, 2. Warodra-I, 3. Haveda Bapa (Warodra-II), 4. Bhana bhai no Khetar, 5. Khandini
Timbo, 6. Khandero, 7. Bhavani Timbo, 8. Shapur, 9. Lohij-I (Sanavav Pa-1), 10. Lohij-II, 11. Lohij-III, 12. Kokru, 13. Khaganath
no Timbo, 14. Madhavrai no Timbo.
Historic Period sites: 15. Kalej-I, 16. Kalej-II, 17. Thumliu no Timbo-I, 18. Thumliu no Timbo-II, 19. Humbliu Timbo, 20.
Gelki, 21. Vakodar, 22. Vanankio Timbo, 23. Gayatrimata ni Thumdo-I, 24. Ganeswari ni Timbo, 25. Dhoro Timbo, 26. Madsimar,
27. Panchnath Mahadev, 28. Sonesa ni Timbo.



This tract is extremely fertile and a major part of the                 of Junagadh district that receive more than 800 mm
modern agriculture is confined to this narrow strip                     annually. The highest rainfall that had been recorded
of land that affords cultivation of food grains/millets                 in this region in recent years was 1105 mm in 1998.
such as bajra, jowar; pulses as well as groundnuts,                     The area therefore is quite green and supports good
cotton and other cash crops.                                            cultivation and natural growth of vegetation. The
    Saurashtra falls within the semi-arid climatic                      annual average winter temperature is 11° Celsius and
zone wherein the rainfall ranges from 400 mm                            the maximum temperature in the summer ranges
in the northern region to 800 mm in the south-                          from 38° to 41° Celsius. The hilly forested terrain here
eastern Saurashtra coast. Rainfall in the coastal area                  is predominated by mixed deciduous type vegetation.
is relatively less as it ranges from 400 to 600 mm. It                  The littoral landscape along the coastal line is marked
is a bit better, about 700 mm, further inland. There                    by typical coastal topography with lush green tropical
are some pockets of heavy rainfall in the hilly areas                   vegetation mixed with scrub-jungles where the soil


                                                               - 30 -
                          Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat


     Table 1-1 Newly discovered/revisited Chalcolithic and the Historic Period sites along the Junagadh coast of Saurashtra.

CHALCOLITHIC SITES

#                Site                                 Village,               Approx. size    Cultural affiliation and remarks
1      Somnath/Prabhas Patan (Nagara Timbo)           Somnath                600 x 150 m     Pre-Prabhas, Prabhas and Early Historic
       20° 54’N, 70° 25.3’E                                                  (9 htr.)
2      Warodra-I                                      Warodra                10 x 10 m       Early Harappan Sindh related pottery.
       (20° 48.75’N; 70° 31.41’E)                                            (0.01 htr.)
3      Haveda Bapa (Warodra -II)                      Warodra                200 x 135 m     Sorath Harappan + Early Historic
       20° 49.07’N; 70° 31.07’E                                              (2.7 htr.)
4      Bhana bhai no Khetar                           Pasnawara              95 x 50 m       Sorath Harappan + Early Historic
       (Gayatrimata ni Thumdo-II)                                            (0.48 htr.)
       20° 49.36’N; 70° 33.33’ E
5      Khandini Timbo                                 Lodhwa                 40 x 30 m       Prabhas + Sorath Harappan + Early
       20° 49.35’N; 70° 35.52’E                                              (0.12 htr.)     Historic
6      Khandero (Bhimbhai no Khetar)                  Lodhwa                 25 x 20 m       Sorath Harappan (Heavily abraded) +
       20°49.45’N, 70° 35.46’E                                               (0.5 htr.)      Late Medieval
7      Bhavani Timbo                                  Dhamlej                100 x 70 m      Sorath Harappan + Early
       20° 47’N, 70° 35.9’ E                                                 (0.7 htr.)      Historic
8      Shapur (Puncha Hira ni Khetar)                 Shapur                 220 x 140 m     Prabhas + Early Harappan. Shell bangles
       21° 5.65’N; 70° 7.56’E                                                (3.08 htr.)     + Late Medieval
9      Lohij-I (Sanavav Pa-1)                         Lohij                  175 x 40 m      Prabhas, Shell objects;
       21° 9.53¢N, 70° 3.45¢E                                                (0.7 htr.)      Stone structures
10     Lohij-II (Sanavav Pa-II)                       Lohij                  10 x 10 m       Prabhas/Sorath Harappan.
       21° 9.49¢N, 70° 3.50¢E                                                (0.01 htr.)     Very few descriptive potshreds.
11     Lohij-III (Devariya Nagari)                    Lohij                                  Early Harappan Sindh pottery + Early
       21° 9.66’N; 70° 3.1’E                                                    ----------   Historic and Medieval
12     Kokru                                          Sil                    200 x 75 m      Prabhas
       21° 10.81’N, 70° 2.70’E                                               (1.75 htr.)
13     Khaganath no Timbo                             Atroli                 135 x 120 m     Prabhas + Sorath Harappan + Late
       21°13.14’N, 70° 0.33’E                                                (1.6 htr.)      Medieval
14     Madhavrai no Timbo                             Mul-Madhavpur          65 x 30 m       Sorath Harappan
       21°15.32’N; 69° 58.79’E                                               (0.19 htr.)



cover is thin.                                                            channel and flows into the Arabian Sea near Somnath.
     Drainage in Saurashtra follows a radial pattern                      The Chalcolithic Prabhas site at Somnath is located
as most of the rivers and streams originate from the                      very close to the seashore on the left bank of the river.
elevated plateau in the centre. The present study area                    The Saraswati is about 52 km long and joins the Hiren
in the Junagadh coast is drained by four major rivers,                    near Kalij village about 2 km east of Somnath. The
the Hiren, the Saraswati, the Megel and the Noli and                      third river Megal joins the Arabian Sea about 33 km
their tributaries (Figure 2). As they originate from the                  northwest of Somnath between Simar and Chorwad
south of the elevated central Saurashtra plateau, the                     villages. It has about 46 km long channel. The Noli is
rivers do not have great channel length. The longest                      a small stream with just 36 km long, narrow channel
among these is the Hiren, which has a 64 km long                          that joins the Sea near Sariyaj village. Yet another


                                                                 - 31 -
                                                        P. Ajithprasad et al.


      Table 1-2 Newly discovered/revisited Chalcolithic and the Historic Period sites along the Junagadh coast of Saurashtra.

HISTORIC PERIOD SITES

#               Site                      Village               Approx. size             Cultural affiliation and remarks
15.     Kalej-I ( Jiva Bhai no Khetar)    Kalej                 45 x 30 m                Early Historic (RPW)
        20° 53.58’N; 70° 29.95’E                                (0.13 htr.)
16      Kalej-II (Pinch Per)              Kalej                 70 x 70 m                Early Historic (RPW)
        20° 53.45’N; 70° 30.1’E                                 (0.49 htr.)
17      Thumliu no Timbo                  Ghorakhmadi           160 x 120 m              Early Historic (RPW)
        20° 54.4’N; 70° 31.6’E                                  (1.92 htr.)
18      Humbliu Timbo                     Umbri                 200 x 100 m              Early Historic (RPW)
        20° 54.07’N; 70° 31.71’E                                (2 htr.)
19      Gelki                             Sutrapada             200 x 200 m              Medieval + Early Historic (RPW)
        20° 53.61’N; 70° 31.05’E                                (4 htr.)
20      Vakodar                           Ghorakhmadi           300 x 150 m              Medieval + Early Historic (RPW)
        20° 55.36’N: 70° 32.4’E                                 (4.5 htr.)
21      Vanankio Timbo                    Warodra               200 x 200 m              Early Historic
        (Warodra-III)                                           (4 htr.)
        20° 48.84’N; 70° 32.04’E
22      Gayatrimata ni Thumdo-I           Pasnawara             110 x 75 m               Early Historic + Late Medieval
        20° 49.3’N; 70° 33.2’E                                  (0.83 htr.)
23      Ganeswari ni Timbo                Adri                  200 x 200 m              Early Historic + Late Medieval
        20°57.7’N; 70°17.13’E                                   (4 htr.)
24      Dhoro Timbo                       Shidogar              200 x 150 m              Early Historic + Late Medieval?
        20° 56.72’N 70° 8.6’E                                   (3 htr.)
25      Madsimar                          Simar                 15 x 10 m                Late Medieval
        21° 1.04’N; 70° 16.73’E                                 (0.15 htr.)
26      Panchnath Mahadev                 Chorwad               12 x 11 m                Early Historic
        (21° 01.77’N 70° 12.88’E                                (0.13 htr.)
27      Sonesa ni Timbo                   Gotana                145 x 105 m              Early Historic + Late Medieval
        21° 5.40’N, 70° 12.84’E                                 (1.5 htr.)



small stream having just about 18 km long channel                        the team moved away to adjoining areas after taking
that meets the Sea further northwest near Sil village                    into account of the natural depressions and other
is the Nali. It drains the village Lohij and surrounding                 geographical features such as the presence of fertile
area which has reported three Chalcolithic sites in the                  tracts, marshy areas and rocky/stony waste etc., which
exploration.                                                             are readable in the Survey of India topographic maps
      Assuming that prehistoric or Chalcolithic                          and satellite images of the region.
settlements would be linked with perennial water                              As a part of the recording strategy we recorded
bodies as they were dependent on water availability,                     both known and newly located sites and their
we thought it would be a good strategy to use the                        geographical setting in detail. Geo-coordinates and
course of these river channels as the main guideline                     approximate height from the sea level are recorded
to carry out our foot survey. Ideally speaking after a                   using hand held GPS, Garmin eTrex Vista. A total
thorough survey of the areas close to the riverbanks                     27 sites were either newly located or revisited during


                                                                - 32 -
                       Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat



the exploration (Table 1). The sites belonged to                             THE CHALCOLITHIC SITES
different cultural periods starting from the Harappan
Chalcolithic to the Late Medieval period through the                  The total number of Chalcolithic sites found in this
Early Historic. Further divisions within these major                  region is 14. Three among these are found along the
cultural periods of occupation have been made on                      course of a small stream channel that drains through
the basis of the predominance of regional cultural                    Lodhwa and Dhamlej villages about 28 km east of
traits within the artefact assemblages and taking into                Somnath. Rest of the sites are all located just on
account their chronological context. The Harappan                     the seacoast; some of them, in fact, on the seashore
Chalcolithic sites have therefore been divided into:                  washed by the high tide today. A short description of
(a) The Early Harappan Sindh related assemblage, (b)                  each site is given below.
the Pre-Prabhas, (c) the Prabhas and (d) the Sorath
Harappan. A cursory look at the distribution of sites                 1. Prabhas Patan/Somnath
in the explored area will reveal that there is a good                 (20° 54’N, 70° 25.3’E)
concentration of sites in the coastal region during the               Locally known by Nagara Timbo, this ancient site is
Early Historic and Medieval periods (Figure 2). Sites                 located on the right bank of the Hiren river. This is
belonging to the Chalcolithic period are also equally                 a large and impressive site spread about 600 x 150 m
abundant along the coast.                                             along the right bank of the river and has an over all
    The list includes 14 sites belonging to the                       7.0 m thick cultural deposit (Figure 3). This is the
Harappan Chalcolithic and 13sites belonging to the                    type-site for the Prabhas and the Pre-Prabhas culture
Historic period (Table 1). A large number of sites, 9 of              remains, as the excavations in the 1950’s (Subbarao
them, showed both Chalcolithic and Historic period                    1958, Nanavati et al. 1971) and in the 1970’s (IAR
occupation. Seven among the fourteen Chalcolithic                     1955 to 1977, Dhavalikar 1984) had provided enough
period sites are predominated by the Prabhas pottery                  evidence of these two Chalcolithic cultural traditions
and three sites show evidence of Early Harappan                       in the earliest levels at the site.
Sindh related assemblage. Other Chalcolithic sites                        Most of the upper part of the mound actually
show primarily the Sorath Harappan affiliation. The                   was occupied during the Early Historic period, which
historic period occupation along the coast starts from                is represented by the Red Polished Ware (RPW),
the Early Historic period as indicated by the presence                red ware, grey ware and black-and-red ware. The
of Red Polished Ware (RPW) and sherds of torpedo                      south-western side of the mound has now partially
jars” or the so called Roman Amphorae. Among the                      been encroached by agricultural activities causing
18 sites belonging to this period, 6 are reasonably large             enormous destruction. There is little evidence of
and rich, measuring between 2 and 4 hectare. Some of                  Harappan or Chalcolithic occupation in the artefact
the sites show continued occupation in the Medieval                   assemblages found on the surface as they are buried
period too. Most of the medieval sites in the area are                deep at the bottom of the mound/site. However, rain
of Late Medieval period. A brief description of the                   gullies and the sections exposed by the construction of
sites given below provides geomorphic context and                     a recent road cutting across the site revealed isolated
general archaeological content of the sites.                          potsherds and remains of stone-built structures of the
                                                                      Chalcolithic period.




                                                             - 33 -
                                                   P. Ajithprasad et al.




                                   Figure 3 The Chalcolithic mound at Prabhas Patan


2. Warodra-I                                                         cluster of pottery found at Warodra-I and is also just
(20° 48.75’N; 70° 31.41’E)                                           on the seashore. The site probably on a stabilized
This site is a small cluster of potsherds that are found             coastal sand dune is now being systematically
exposed on the sea shore in between two small                        destroyed by the sand mining activity going on in the
elevations known as Vanankio Timbo and Haveda                        area. More than half of the site is completely razed
Timbo in the south of Warodra village (Figure 4).                    down by this activity. Besides, the site is bisected by a
The fact that the cluster is exposed due to erosion and              road track. Sections exposed by these activities clearly
high tide activity on the shore is a clear indication                show cultural deposits belonging to two periods: the
of the extent of damage these natural agents may                     Harappan and the Historic
have caused to the site. What is more interesting                        The Harappan relics at the site are restricted to
is that the pottery collected from this site showed                  a few isolated potsherds and shell bangle fragments
close resemblance with the pottery reported from                     which probably have come from the early levels
Early Harappan Sindh related pottery from north                      (Figure 7). The pottery shows Sorath Harappan
Gujarat (Figures 5 and 6). The assemblage included                   features. Since the basal part of the sections cut in the
some coarse pottery, which appeared hand-made.                       deposit was all found covered by a pile of thalus, it was
Unfortunately, in both the categories, there are no real             not easy to ascertain the actual context of this pottery.
rim-sherds in the collection, except one, that would                 The bulk of the subsequent deposit measuring 1.50
have helped the identification more precise in terms                 m belongs the Historic period. Apart from pottery,
of its cultural affiliation. In addition to pottery there            remains of several stone structures are also reported
are a few T. pyrum shell columella with saw-cut marks                from this deposit.
that are found at the site.                                              The Historic period occupation belonged to the
                                                                     medieval period after which the site was abandoned.
3. Haveda Bapa (Warodra-II)                                          What is important as far as the abandonment of
(20° 49.07’N; 70° 31.07’E)                                           the Medieval occupation is concerned is the 70 to
This site is located about 200 m northwest of the                    80 cm thick sand deposit that buries the site almost


                                                            - 34 -
           Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat




Figure 4 Warodra-I, The Early Harappan Sindh pottery site at Warodra-I washed away by high tides




        Figure 5 Close view of the in situ Early Harappan Sindh type pottery at Warodra-I


                                                 - 35 -
                     P. Ajithprasad et al.




Figure 6 Early Harappan Sindh related pottery from Warodra-I




  Figure 7 Harappan pottery from Haveda Bapa, Warodra-II


                             - 36 -
                       Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat



completely. As this deposit appears to be a local                     incised decoration (Figures 12 and 13). Some of the
phenomenon, it is possible that the deposit was                       pot-sherds show bichrome paintings. This site has a
formed by a localized high-energy event that hit the                  few shell columella and small pieces of shell bangles as
coast in the Medieval times. Further investigation is                 well as a few mammal bones.
needed to ascertain the veracity of this event.                           The Early Historic occupation at the top of
                                                                      the mound in the northwest of Prabhas occupation
4. Bhanabhai no Khetar (Gayatrimata ni                                measures 100 x 90 m and has a thickness about 1.5 m.
Thumdo-II)                                                            Pottery recovered from this site is predominated by
(20°49.36’N; 70°33.33’E)                                              RPW and associated wares.
The site is about 500 m east of the Gayatri Mandir on
the way to the temple from Pasnawara village. Some                    6. Khandero (Bhimbhai no Khetar)
part of the mound is destroyed by recent draught                      (20°49.45’N, 70°35.46’E)
relief digging. The soil on this mound is a bit stony as              This site is located in the field about 100 m north of
at many places the basal rock is found exposed on the                 the site Khandini Timbo across the Vekri stream. It
surface. The Harappan site is identified on the basis                 seems the large slightly elevated field in fact is cut
of a few potsherds primarily that of basins and pots                  into two by the stream. The entire field is now under
(Figure 8), spread to an area at present covering 95 x                heavy cultivation enhanced by the new irrigation
50 m. In addition to the Harappan pottery there are                   techniques. This site also has a prominent cultural
also Early Historic pottery represented by the RPW                    deposit of the Early Historic period whose remains
and other types as well as Medieval period sherds                     almost obliterate the Harappan artefact. It is only
all on the surface with no stratigraphic distinction.                 after the recent intense agricultural activity the
There are a few cut-columella of shell and shell                      underlying Harappan artefacts have started getting
working wastes collected from the site (Figure 9). It                 exposed on the surface. The Harappan occupation
is not very easy to suggest to which cultural context                 at the site is represented by a cluster of badly abraded
they may belong to, as they are all collected from the                pottery spread to an area roughly covering 10 x 10 m.
surface.                                                              This could be either part of the Khandini Timbo site
                                                                      or a seasonal occupation near to the stream by the
5. Khandini Timbo                                                     Harappans.
(20°49.35’N; 70°35.52’E)
The site is located about 3 km southeast of Lodhwa                    7. Bhavani Timbo
village on the bank of a Vokri/small stream. The                      ( 20°47’N, 70°35.9’E)
Harappan assemblage is found clustered on the south-                  The site is located about 2 km south west of the
eastern edge of the large mound, which also has an                    Dhamlej village. It is a reasonably large mound
Early Historic period deposit on the top.                             measuring 100 x 70 m in size and has a height close
    The Harappan site measures 40 x 30 m and is                       to 1.0 m from the surroundings. Bulk of the artefacts
exposed due to intense agricultural activity. The total               found at the site is of Early Historic period including
deposit may not be more than 60 to 70 cm thick                        a terracotta animal figurine (Figure 43). However
at this site. The Prabhas and the Sorath Harappan                     there are a few Harappan potsherds, mostly non-
potteries (Figures 10 and 11) collected from the site are             descriptive ones (Figure 14), found within the
predominated by convex sided bowls of the Prabhas                     Historic assemblage on the surface. It is therefore
type, pots with incipient rim and coarse wares with                   quite possible that the Harappan occupation of the


                                                             - 37 -
                                                     P. Ajithprasad et al.




                           Figure 8 Harappan potsherds from Bhanabhai no Kheter, Pasnawara




Figure 9 Shell bangles and craft waste from Bhanabhai no Khetar (a few of the shell bangles are of the Early Historic period)


                                                             - 38 -
  Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat




Figure 10 Prabhas and Sorath Harappan pottery from Khandini Timbo, Lodhwa




Figure 11 Prabhas and Sorath Harappan pottery from Khandini Timbo, Lodhwa


                                        - 39 -
                                                  P. Ajithprasad et al.




                  Figure 12 Prabhas and Sorath Harappan Pottery from Khandini Timbo, Lodhwa:
1, 2, 4, 6 Prabhas bowls and dish; 5, 7-9 Sorath Harappan Red ware; 10 Coarse balck and red ware with incised decoration
  (1, 6 reddish brown slip and dark pinkish brown painting, 2 Buff slip, 6 white and dark pinkish brown painted lines)




                                                         - 40 -
             Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat




          Figure 13 Prabhas and Sorath Harappan Potteries from Khandini Timbo, Lodhwa:
1-12 Red ware (1, 10 Light reddish brown slip) Large open mouthed vessels, 5-8 small/medium size pots/jars




                                                   - 41 -
                                                   P. Ajithprasad et al.




                               Figure 14 Harappan pottery from Bhavani Timbo, Dhamlej


site is partly concealed by the later, Early Historic                IIB and IIC type. A few Early Harappan Sindh type
deposits.                                                            potteries, especially medium size pots/jars with out
                                                                     turned rim and shallow dishes are also found in the
8. Shapur-I (Puncha Hira Chavda no Khetar)                           collection (Figures 22 and 23). A few pottery discs
(21°05.65’N; 70°07.56’E)                                             and a small shell bangle piece are the other antiquities
The site is located about 2 km southwest of Shapur                   found at the site (Figure 24). The collection includes
village on the Mangrol - Bara road and is about 500                  a few mammalian bones and teeth too (Figure 25). A
m away from the seashore. The site is a large oblong                 few isolated sherds of the Late Medieval pottery are
mound measuring 200 x 150 m (Figure 15). A recently                  also reported from the site. Overall thickness of the
constructed partition wall divides the mound into                    deposit is about 1.50 m.
eastern and western half and the eastern half is badly
destroyed by relief digging work. This has exposed                   9. Lohij-I (Sanavav Pa-I)
a number of rubble stones on the surface at the site                 (21°09.53’N; 70° 8.45’E)
suggesting the presence of buried stone structures.                  The site is located about 2 km south of the village
The western half is less disturbed as it is only used for            and is at present an agriculture field. It measures
cultivation.                                                         approximately 0.70 hectare (175 x 40 m) and more
    The artefacts recovered from the site includes the               than half of the site is under intense cultivation and
Harappan/Chalcolithic pottery especially Prabhas                     therefore quite badly disturbed (Figure 26). The
type bowls, pots, dishes and dish-on-stand (Figures                  relatively undisturbed part shows remains of rubble
16 - 21). The dish-on-stand resembles Rangpur Period                 stone structures on the surface. At some places,


                                                            - 42 -
                        Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat




                               Figure 15 Shapur-I, General view of the Prabhas site at Shapur


patches of stone robbing are also visible on the surface.              of Sanavav Pa site within the forestland that has been
The site appears to have a total deposit of 1 to 1.5 m.                recently developed by acacia plantation. Since there is
The artefacts collected from the site incorporated                     a good growth of vegetation all around, it is difficult
Prabhas type pottery and pottery resembling the                        to locate actual features of the site. However it is
Rangpur IIB and IIC type. There are Prabhas bowls,                     possible to trace remains of extensive rubble stone
Prabhas pots, Harappan dish-on-stand, basins, dishes                   structures exposed on the surface within this area.
and stud handled bowls (Figures 27 - 30). This site                    Remains of about 65 to 70 cm thick rubble stonewalls
appears to be a better preserved Prabhas site than the                 of a large structure measuring 60 x 20 m are found
other small sites reported in the current exploration.                 exposed in one of the areas where the vegetation cover
                                                                       is relatively less. The other end of this structure has
10. Lohij-II (Sanavav Pa-II)                                           been partially dug up exposing an ashy underlying
(21°09.49’N, 70°3.50’E)                                                deposit. A few Medieval potteries have been found
A small 10 x 10 m area with isolated sherds of the                     from this cutting indicating perhaps the structures
same type of pottery is found about 60 m east of the                   also may belong to that period.
above site. This could be an extension of Lohij-I or a                     However, a few Early Harappan Sindh related
pastoral site formed slightly later in time.                           potteries were reported from the site by Ms. Kalini
                                                                       Khandwal in 2001 (Personal communication)
11. Lohij-III (Devariya Nagari)                                        while she was exploring the site at a time the Forest
(21°09.66’N; 70° 03.1’E)                                               Department was carrying out some digging at the
The site is located about half a kilometre further west                site. From one of the cuttings she collected the


                                                              - 43 -
               P. Ajithprasad et al.




Figure 16 Prabhas bowls and dishes from Shapur-I




   Figure 17 Prabhas pottery from Shapur-I


                      - 44 -
                         Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat




                                           Figure 18 Prabhas pottery from Shapur-I:
  1-6, 8 Prabhas bowls with pinkish brown paintings; 7, 11 Sorath Harappan (2 black core, buff slip); 9, 10 Prabhas basin and dish



Early Harappan pottery (Figure 31). Now, with the                       Sindh related pottery at Datrana in north Gujarat
discovery of a few more shreds of similar pottery                       (Ajithprasad 2002).
from the coastal site at Warodra-I, there appears                           About half a kilometre further west along the
to have some evidence to suggest the contact of                         coast, the entire landscape is predominated by high
the Early Harappans in the Saurashtra coast dating                      coastal sand dunes that bury even a medieval burial
back to the first half of the third millennium BCE.                     ground in the village. The sand deposit here is at
This argument is supported by the presence of both                      present 4m high. Such a thick deposition of sand
the Pre-Prabhas pottery and the Early Harappan                          indirectly suggests involvement of a major Tsunami


                                                               - 45 -
                                                    P. Ajithprasad et al.




                    Figure 19 Prabhas and Sorath Harappan dishes and dish-on-stand from Shapur-I:
                                        1, 2, 5, 6 Prabhas ware; 3,4 Sorath Harappan
                 (5, 6 light greyish brown slip and dark brown painting; 5 painting on a white background).


type single high-energy event affecting the coastal                  and it appears the site has about 1 to 1.25 m thick
area.                                                                cultural deposit. The artefacts collected from this site
                                                                     included Prabhas type convex sided bowls, Harappan
12. Kokru                                                            pots, basins, dish on stand and dishes, etc (Figure 33).
(21°10.81’N, 70°02.7’E)                                              A small broken copper knife also is found from the
The site is located very close to the Khari stream                   site (Figure 34).
(Figure 32) at about 1 km south of the village Sil and
about 1.50 km northeast from the seashore. It is badly               13. Khaganath ni timbo
disturbed by recent intense agriculture activities                   (21°13.14’N, 70°00.33’E)
that have brought out on the surface a few rubble                    It is about 1 km southeast of the Atroli village in
stone slabs from some of the buried structures. The                  between the Khaganath temple and the Hanuman
artefacts at the site are found spread in a rectangular              temple. On the west, the site is protected by rocky
field over an area measuring 200 x 75 m (1.5 hectare)                ridges of very low height, that act as an effective


                                                            - 46 -
                       Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat




                             Figure 20 Prabhas and Sorath Harappan pottery from Shapur-I:
                                             1-9 Red ware (1,7,8 dark brown slip)


windshield. Besides, it is located close to a shallow                 farming activity. The rubbles that are exposed due to
natural depression, which at present retains water till               ploughing are collected by the farmers for building
the beginning of summer. The artefacts on the surface                 compound walls of low height around their fields.
at the site are found spread over an area of 135 x 120 m                  The artefacts collected from the site primarily
(Figure 35). In fact, the site is now cut up into small,              are of the Prabhas along with a few Sorath Harappan
cultivated fields and is also dissected by a narrow                   pottery, which are badly abraded and often the slip
pathway. The site has good collection of Prabhas                      completely pealed off the surface. The vessels include
pottery along with the Sorath Harappan. It also has                   dishes, dish on stand, large storage jars, pots, Prabhas
a patch of Medieval artefacts on the top, especially at               bowls and Prabhas type pots (Figures 36 and 37). In
the highest part of the site. Wherever the medieval                   addition to these there are a few stud-handled bowls
deposit is disturbed and partially removed it is easy to              as well as convex sided hemispherical bowls in the
locate the Prabhas pottery mixed with the Medieval                    collection.
remains. The overall thickness of the Prabhas deposit
at the site may be around 1.5 to 2.0 m.                               14. Madhavrai no Timbo
    The site appears to have several stone structures                 (21°15.32’N; 69°58.79’E)
belonging to the Prabhas occupation. These                            The site is a cultivated field just behind the Madhavrai
structures are disturbed partially at present due to                  temple in the heart of the Mul-Madhavpur village


                                                             - 47 -
                                                    P. Ajithprasad et al.




                          Figure 21 Prabhas and Sorath Harappan large size vessels from Shapur-I:
                                             1, 5 Prabhas; 2-4 Sorath Harappan


and is very close to the coastal State Highway. A                             HISTORIC PERIOD SITES
few Chalcolithic / Harappan potsherds are found
in a cultivated field at the edge of the present village              15. Kalej-1 ( Jiva Bhai no Khetar)
settlement, which in fact, is recently cut to expand the              (20°53.58’N; 70°29.95’E)
field. It is in this recently cut part of the settlement              The site is located on the left bank of the Saraswati
the Harappan pottery are found. As the entire village                 river and hardly 1 km south of the Vikrameshwar
sits over the ancient mound, it is difficult to assess the            Temple on the river bank. The large mound is under
actual size of the original Chalcolithic occupation.                  heavy cultivation and difficult to explore. A few Early
It appears the major part of the site is lying below                  Historic pottery including sherds of the RPW, fine
the present day settlement at the site. The potteries                 red ware and grey ware are collected from the edge of
collected are mostly non-descriptive sherds and are                   this site. The site measures approximately 120 x 95 m
abraded due to continuous cultivations in the field.                  and has a cultural deposit of about 1.0 to 1.50 m.




                                                             - 48 -
Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat




        Figure 22 Early Harappan Sindh type pottery from Shapur-I




     Figure 23 The Early Harappan Sindh type pottery from Shapur-I:
 1-6 fine red ware (2 light greyish brown slip, 5 and 6 dark reddish brown slip)


                                      - 49 -
                    P. Ajithprasad et al.




Figure 24 Shell bangle piece and pottery discs from Shapur-I
             Graffiti on the right bottom sherd




         Figure 25 Animal bones from Shapur-I


                            - 50 -
Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat




     Figure 26 Lohij-I, General view of the Prabhas site in Lohij village




                   Figure 27 Prabhas pottery from Lohij-I


                                      - 51 -
                                                   P. Ajithprasad et al.




                              Figure 28 Prabhas and Sorath Harappan pottery from Lohij-I


16. Kalej-II (Panch Pir)                                             in addition to a possible perimeter wall that protected
(20°53.45’N; 70°30.1’E)                                              it from the encroachment of the two rivers. Remains
This site is located about 300 m further south of                    of a temple including the image of a Nandi and a few
Kalej-I. The artefacts mostly belonging to the Early                 sculptures are also found at the site.
Historic period is spread to an overall 120 x 70 m                       The pottery found on the surface at the site is
area. The maximum cultural deposit is approximately                  predominated by the RPW. This includes several
1 to 1.25 m from the sections exposed in the field due               distinct shapes of the RPW pots, bowls, basins and
to agriculture activity. Red Polished Ware (RPW)                     sprinklers (Figures 38). There is also a “torpedo jar”
and associated pottery are the main artefacts collected              sherd with black resin stained interior (Figure 41) and
from the site.                                                       other associated red ware and grey ware of the Early
                                                                     Historic period in the collection. A few decorated
17. Thumliu no Timbo                                                 shell bangles and typical areca-nut shaped terracotta
(20°54.4’N; 70°31.6’E)                                               beads are also found at the site (Figure 42).
This is located in Ghorakhmadi village, just on the
road from Ajota to Ghorakhmadi at the meeting                        18. Humbliu Timbo
point of the Saraswati and the Bhundio streams. The                  (20°54.07’N; 70°31.71’E)
site measuring approximately 2 hectare (180 x 120 m)                 This Early Historic site is located on the opposite
is partly disturbed due to cultivation. It has an overall            of Thumlio ni Timbo across the river Saraswati on
deposit above 1.5 m. The site appears to have several                it left bank in the Umbri village. The site in fact is
rubble stone structures buried underneath the deposit                a large settlement which is spread along the bank of


                                                            - 52 -
                      Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat




                            Figure 29 Prabhas and Sorath Harappan potteries from Lohij-I:
                                      1-5 Prabhas bowls, 6-9 Sorath Harappan bowls
                 (9 Buff slip and reddish brown paintings, 10-14 Sorath Harappan dishes and dish-on-stand

the Saraswati up to almost 700 m, though the main                    artefacts found on the surface are predominated by
concentration is found within an area covered by 300                 the Early Historic RPW and associated coarse red
x 90 m. The site has a culture deposit close to 2.0 m                ware and grey ware (Figure 39). A stone rotary quern
thick and has buried rubble stone structures. The                    is also found at the site.


                                                            - 53 -
                                           P. Ajithprasad et al.




                    Figure 30 Prabhas and Sorath Harappan Potteries from Lohij-I:
     1 Red ware with bichrome dark reddish brown and red slip with a faint cream patch in between,
              2-3 Grey ware with dark reddish brown slip at the rim; 4-9, 11-12 Prabhas ware
(4-7, 9 a light buff/cream wash of slip, dark brown painted bands at the rim); 10 Soarth Harappan red ware



                                                   - 54 -
                       Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat




              Figure 31 Early Harappan Sindh type pottery from Lohij (reported in 2001 by Kalini Kandwala)


19. Gelki                                                             2.00 m. As the top part of the mound is levelled for
(20°53.61’N; 70°31.05’E )                                             cultivation the entire mound is quite ashy and loose.
The Gelki mound is located about 2 km southwest                       Artefacts collected from the site mainly belong to
of Umbri village and is close to Sutrapada in the                     Late Medieval period. However, a few sherds of the
southeast. This is a large ashy mound belonging to                    RPW (Figure 40) are also found at the site indicating
the Late Medieval period. However, a few sherds                       possible Early Historic occupation at the site.
of the RPW are also found at the site suggesting
there is some evidence of early occupation prior to                   21. Vanankio Timbo (Warodra- III)
the Medieval period. This is now almost completely                    (20°48.84’N; 70° 32.04’E)
concealed underneath the Medieval deposit. The site                   This Early Historic period site is located 1.5 km
measures 200 x 200 m and has an habitation deposit                    southeast of the village Warodra on the seashore. It is
close to 2.0 m.                                                       a large site measuring approximately 4 hectare (200 x
                                                                      200 m) and has 1.5 to 2.0 m thick maximum deposits.
20. Vakodar                                                           The site is disturbed badly by cultivation. A good
(20°55.36’N; 70°32.4’E)                                               collection of RPW, red ware and grey ware are the
This Medieval site in Ghorakhmadi village is located                  main pottery reported from the site. Shell bangles,
about 2 km north of the village on the right bank                     terracotta discs/objects and animal bones are the
of the Bhundio stream that joins the Saraswati near                   other artefacts and animal remains collected from the
Umbri. The site is reasonably large measuring 300                     site.
x 150 m having an overall cultural deposit of about


                                                             - 55 -
                           P. Ajithprasad et al.




Figure 32 The Kokru mound across the Khari stream where it joins the sea




                 Figure 33 Prabhas pottery from Kokru


                                   - 56 -
Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat




        Figure 34 A broken copper/bronze knife blade from Kokru




  Figure 35 General view of Khaganath Timbo, the Prabhas site in Atroli


                                      - 57 -
                        P. Ajithprasad et al.




Figure 36 Prabhas and Sorath Harappan pottery from Khaganath Timbo




         Figure 37 Prabhas pottery from Khaganath Timbo


                                - 58 -
      Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat




                  Figure 38 RPW from Thumliu Timbo, Ghorakhmadi




Figure 39 Early Historic RPW and associated pottery from Humbliu Timbo, Ghorakhmadi


                                            - 59 -
                                   P. Ajithprasad et al.




Figure 40 Early Historic pottery, Red Polished ware from Vakodar and Ganeswari ni Timbo




           Figure 41 Torpedo jar sherd from Thumliu no timbo, Ghorakhmadi


                                          - 60 -
                Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat




Figure 42 Shell bangles, TC beads and perforated disc, Early Historic from Thumliu no Timbo, Ghorakhmadi




            Figure 43 Historic period, Terracotta animal figurine from Bhavani Timbo, Dhamlej


                                                      - 61 -
                                                  P. Ajithprasad et al.




                       Figure 44 RPW sprinkler with incised decoration from Ganeswari ni Timbo


22. Gayatrimata ni Thumdo-I                                         Artefacts at the site are found spread over an area
(20°49.3’N; 70°33.2’E)                                              roughly measuring 200 x 200 m. The site appears
This site is located on the way to Gayatri Temple                   to have a cultural deposit of 1.0 to 1.5 m lying over
in the village Pansawara. The site in fact is a large               the basalt bedrock, which is found exposed on the
mound of low elevation which today is under                         surface in the vicinity of the site. The artefacts are
cultivation. As the entire site has good growth of                  predominantly of the Early Historic period, including
standing cotton crops the actual extend of the site                 the RPW and associated wares (Figures 40 and 44)
could not be ascertained from the surface spread. It                and a large rotary quern and a few shell bangles. A
appears that the artefacts are spread to an overall area            few remains of the Late Medieval period pottery are
of about 100 x 75 m. The pottery collected from this                also found on the surface indicating a two period
site is predominantly of Medieval period. However, a                occupation at the site.
few sherds of RPW and associated red and grey ware
are also found at the site. These may suggest an Early              24. Dhoro Timbo
Historic habitation at the site.                                    (20°56.72’N; 70°08.6’E)
                                                                    The site is located half a kilometre southeast of
23. Ganeswari ni Timbo                                              Shidogar village. It measures 200 x 150 m in overall
(20°57.7’N; 70°17.13’E )                                            size and has a habitation deposit close to 1.0 m. The
This is a reasonably large mound located about half                 artefacts collected from the site primarily include
a kilometre north of the Adri village on the left bank              RPW and other associated Early Historic pottery and
of a small stream, the Sankotri, that drains the region.            a few sherds of the Late Medieval period.


                                                           - 62 -
                       Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat



25. Madsimar                                                          sites reported in the exploration are located close to
(21°01.4’N; 70°16.73’E)                                               present seashore, within a distance of 10 km. Besides,
The site is located 200 m north of the Simar village                  many of them are very close to drainage channels
on the left bank of the Magel river. This is a small                  be it tributary streams as in the case of sites on the
site measuring approximately 65 x 30 m with a low                     Saraswati, Noli, Megal etc., or else close to a natural
elevation. The site belongs to the Late Medieval                      depression as in the case of the site at Khaganath
period as the pottery from the site indicates. Some                   temple. At least three small sites are found just a few
religious structures of recent period are found at the                hundred metres away from the edge of the seashore.
site.                                                                 As one moved interior about 20 to 25 km away from
                                                                      the coastal line, the landscape changed into rocky
26. Panchnath Mahadev                                                 and forested. There are no Chalcolithic/Harappan
(21°01.77’N; 70°12.88’E)                                              sites in this rocky terrain. It seems the Harappan/
Located about 3 km southwest of Chorwad village,                      Chalcolithic communities have avoided settling down
this site has a very small and isolated spread of pottery             in this rocky terrain primarily due to the absence of
that includes a few RPW sherds. There is also a small                 arable land for their agricultural activities. The fertile
rock cut well in the middle of the ruins at the site.                 alluvial soil close to the coast offered a more conducive
The thickness of habitation is less than 40 cm. This                  environment for the Chalcolithic pastoralists and
appears to be a sort of pastoral campsite of the Early                they selected pockets along the coastal belt based on
Historic period.                                                      the availability of water for their settlements. It will
                                                                      not be difficult to visualize this scenario in operation
27. Sonesa ni Timbo                                                   as early as the Pre-Prabhas occupation at Somnath
(21°05.40’N, 70°12.84’E)                                              dating back to 3000 BCE. Our exploration so far
The site is located about 2 km east of Gothana village                has not revealed sites having Pre-Prabhas pottery.
and is close to the Nali stream. The village road in                  This does not necessarily suggest complete absence
fact cuts through the site. This is an ashy mound                     of the Pre-Prabhas related assemblage in the region.
incorporating predominantly Medieval pottery and                      It is possible that this early Chalcolithic deposit is
a few Early Historic vessels especially the RPW. The                  not exposed on the surface due to the accumulation
site is approximately 150 x 100 m in size and has about               of later period deposits. This is the situation even at
1.5 m thick cultural deposits                                         Somnath where the surface artefacts do not reflect
                                                                      the Pre-Prabhas assemblage at all. It is only in the
                                                                      excavation the Pre-Prabhas pottery was identified in
        SITE DISTRIBUTION AND                                         the earliest habitation layers. Therefore, it will not be
        SETTLEMENT FEATURES                                           all together right to rule out the possibility of a Pre-
                                                                      Prabhas substratum in some of the newly discovered
Geographical features of Saurashtra, especially                       sites in the region.
availability of water and soils suitable for cultivation
and vast pastoral lands conducive for stock-raising,                  Early Harappan Sindh Related
played a decisive role in the selection of sites for                  Assemblages
occupation both in the Chalcolithic and the Historic                  This specifically refers to a cultural assemblage
periods. A cursory look at the overall pattern of                     primarily reported from Moti Pipli and several
distribution of sites suggests that almost all the                    other sites such as Nag wada, Santhli, Panchasar


                                                             - 63 -
                                                         P. Ajithprasad et al.



                     Table 2 Distribution of sites based on their approximate size in different cultural periods

Cultural Periods                     >0 – 1    >1–2     >2 – 3     >3 – 4        >4 – 5   >5 – 6   >6 – 7   >8 – 9   Total # of Sites
                                     htr.      htr.     htr.       htr.          htr.     htr.     htr.     htr.


CHALCOLITHIC

Early Harappan (Sindh type)          2                             1                                                 3
c. 3000-2500 BCE

Pre-Prabhas                                                                                                 1?       1
c. 3000-2500 BCE

Prabhas                              3         2                   1                                        1        7
c. 2400-1900 BCE

Sorath Harappan                      5         1        1                                                   1        8
c. 2400-1700 BCE

HISTORIC PERIOD

Early Historic                       8         3        2          4                                        1        18
c. 1st century ACE

Medieval                             4         2        1          4                                                 11
c. 1300 ACE



etc. in north Gujarat (Sonawane and Ajithprasad                           Researcher, the M. S. University of Baroda, while
1994, Majumdar and Sonawane 1996-97, Majumdar                             exploring the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh had
2001, Ajithprasad 2002). In fact, there are nine sites                    reported Early Harappan Sindh related pottery
in north Gujarat, apart from Moti Pipli, which                            (Figure 31) from Lohij-III, a site near Mangrol
incorporate this early assemblage. At Nagwada and                         (Majumdar 2001). The site falls within a patch of
Santhli, the two excavated sites of this category, the                    recently reclaimed forestland and is covered with
Early Harappan pottery showing close similarity with                      good vegetation. As a result, the visibility of cultural
Sindh and Baluchistan region are found associated                         relics at present on the surface at this site is limited.
with burials. The pottery is found as burial goods in                     While Ms. Kandwala was exploring the region in
both inhumation burials and in symbolic pot-burials                       2001, there was some digging activity going on at
at these sites. Interestingly, the early Harappan pottery                 the site and she could collect a few Early Harappan
at Nagwada is confined to the burials alone and is not                    pottery from the pits dug out for plantation purpose.
reported from the regular habitation deposit. Santhli                     We however, could not find any Sindh related
on the other hand has a very thin habitation layer that                   pottery at this site in our survey. Most of the isolated
incorporated the Early Harappan pottery. Our studies                      potsherds we collected from the surface belonged to
have suggested that the Early Harappan pottery of the                     the Medieval period. Despite the thick growth of
early third millennium BCE is generally spread along                      vegetation it is possible to figure out the plan of a very
the eastern margins of the Little Rann of Kachchh                         large multi-roomed stone structure with thick outer
in north Gujarat and adjoining regions of southern                        walls. The antiquity of this structure could not be
eastern Kachchh.                                                          ascertained from the surface finds.
    A few years back, in 2001, Ms. Kalini Kandwala,                           Yet another site that has the Early Harappan


                                                                 - 64 -
                       Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat



Sindh related pottery is Warodra-I, which is located                  Prabhas Sites
a few metres away from the seashore. In fact, the site                Reported first in the mid 1950’s from Prabhas
is represented by just a few potsherds exposed on the                 Patan/Somnath in the Saurashtra coast, the Prabhas
sandy shore (Figures 4 and 5). The potsherds are                      assemblage included a group of pottery very different
too fragmentary, because of the constant inundation                   from the so called “Late Harappan” pottery with
during the high tides and we could collect only one                   which it was found associated with (IAR 1957,
diagnostic sherd. This and most of the small un-                      Subbarao 1958, Dhavalikar 1984). It is generally
diagnostic potsherds that we have collected from the                  represented by hemispherical bowls with a thin
site looked very similar to the Early Harappan Sindh                  tapering rim and medium size pots and jars with
related pottery reported from north Gujarat sites                     a short rim and an incipient neck. The painted
(Figure 6). A third site that has incorporated a few                  decorations on the vessels are also distinct from the
sherds of the Early Harappan Sindh related pottery                    contemporary Harappan style. The Prabhas bowls are
(Figures 22 and 23) is Punja Hira no Khetar in Shapur                 generally decorated with geometric patterns within a
village, situated close to the seacoast in between Lohij              panel at the rim. The colour used in the paintings is
and Warodra. The potsherds – a few rims and body                      either purple or violet. Painted decorations similar
and base parts of pots and dish-on-stand – resemble                   to the above are found at the shoulder of Prabhas
those reported from Moti-Pipli in north Gujarat                       pots too. These features make it different from
(Sonawane and Ajithprasad 1994, Ajithprasad 2002,                     the Harappan pottery. The Prabhas assemblage at
Majumdar and Sonawane 1996-97). At the Shapur                         Somnath is associated with rubble stone structures
site, the Sindh related pottery is found along with                   and showed the use of stone blades of locally available
the Prabhas pottery. A few potsherds, especially the                  chert, chalcedony and jasper in addition to copper
nos.2 to 3 illustrated in Figure 30 from Lohij-I, are                 implements and lapidary beads of semiprecious
different from the usual Prabhas pottery and are                      stones, steatite and faience.
closer to the Early Harappan Sindh type pottery                           The Prabhas pottery has been reported from
(Figure 30). These discoveries from the sites along                   other Harappan sites such as Lothal (Rao 1985:432)
the Saurashtra coast are particularly significant as                  and Rojdi (IAR 1957-58) in the excavation. It has
the Pre-Prabhas pottery is reported from Datrana in                   also been reported in the surface survey from seven
north Gujarat in association with the Sindh related                   more sites in central Saurashtra. These discoveries
Early Harappan pottery (Ajithprasad 2002). This,                      certainly suggests the interactive sphere of the
therefore, suggests that the cultural contact and the                 Prabhhas cultural domain extending into the interior
movement of people between Saurashtra coast and                       Saurashtra even up to north Gujarat. Most of the
north Gujarat and probably Sindh may have begun                       newly located sites in the current survey, in fact, have
around 3000BCE itself in the Early Harappan times.                    a mixture of the Prabhas pottery and the Sorath
The discovery therefore has far reaching consequence                  Harappan pottery which certainly is an indication
in understanding the beginning and development of                     that Prabhas assemblage had a reasonably large spread
Chalcolithic way of life in Gujarat. The earlier idea of              around Somnath, along the coast. Seven sites among
Urban phase Harappans introducing the farming and                     the 13 newly discovered Chalcolithic/Harappan sites
pastoral way of life in Gujarat seems to be at peril in               in the region show the predominance of the Prabhas
the light of the new discoveries.                                     pottery. Both typical hemispherical bowls and
                                                                      medium size pots with incipient neck are found in all
                                                                      these sites. Besides, many of them have characteristic


                                                             - 65 -
                                                   P. Ajithprasad et al.



panels of geometric patterns painted in light pinkish                    The over all size and thickness of occupation
or red colour on them. These are small sites, often                  deposit and the quality of structural constructions
less than one hectare in size and approximately just                 are often a measure of the importance of the site in a
a metre or a little more than a metre thick cultural                 systemic perspective wherein all the sites in a region
deposit (Table 2). There however are three large sites               are functionally inter-related. Each site plays a specific
- Shapur-I, Khaganath Timbo in Sil and Sanavav Pa                    role in the development and proper operation of
in Lohij – measuring between 1.5 and 3.00 hectare                    cultural systems. Variation in the economic activities
affording more elaborate rubble stone structures. If                 of the society therefore is an expression of the varying
all these sites are contemporary, hat would suggest                  environmental setting of the sites and different
a functionally integrated network of settlements                     strategies adopted by the society for the exploitation
belonging to the Prabhas culture, which has hitherto                 of resources available in the environment. Hence,
not been reported. Besides, the graded size of                       the effect of geographical features and environmental
settlements within the network is an indication of the               factors are immense in the development of different
degree of evolution of this regional cultural tradition              type sites in a region. It is obvious that these factors
in the Saurashtra coast.                                             are crucial in the selection and in the development
                                                                     of sites in the Saurashtra coast too from the fourth
The Sorath Harappan Sites                                            millennium BCE onwards.
As has been mentioned earlier the Prabhas pottery at                     A close look at the overall features of the sites of
most of the above sites is found in association with                 both the Chalcolithic and the later, Historic period
the Sorath Harappan pottery that can be compared                     may reveal that there is no site in the region that
well with the assemblage from Rangpur IIA and IIB                    could be regarded as an important nodal site or sites
and Rojdi B. The Sorath Harappan pottery found at                    wherein most of the cultural and economic activities
these sites mainly includes convex and straight sided                were centred around (see Table 1.1 and 1.2). This is
bowls, dish-on-stands and pots and jars. Apart from                  true for both the Chalcolithic and the Historic period
these sites there are six more Chalcolithic sites where              sites in the region. Yet, as mentioned earlier, there
the Sorath Harappan pottery is not associated with                   appears to have some amount of gradation among
the Prabhas pottery. Material relics from these sites                the sites at least in their size and structural remains
incorporate slightly later period artefacts, especially              (Table 2). For instance, the site at Prabhas Patan
those belonging to Rojdi- C and Rangpur- IIC, in                     on the bank of Hiren river is the largest among the
addition to Rangpur- IIB. These sites also are small in              Chalcolithic and in the Historic period sites. The
size, in fact, even smaller than the sites having Prabhas            site in the Historic period is 9.00 hectares. Its overall
pottery. The sites do not actually suggest the presence              height is about 8 m from the ground level. It is not
of longstanding permanent structure in the form of                   sure the Chalcolithic habitation at the site was as
remains of rubble stone or brick walls. They probably                widely spread as the Historic period was. It probably
had flimsy structures made of wattle and daub. The                   may not be. Yet, the Chalcolithic occupation is
over all deposit at these sites is very thin and they                reasonably large and incorporates rubble stone
generally have few artefacts apart from pottery and                  structures suggesting the importance of the site. The
skeletal remains of exploited fauna. These probably                  site at Shapur probably was equally large during this
would be short-term pastoral campsites suggesting                    period. The other site that shows similarity in size
that the sites were occupied periodically even during                and structural features is Lohij, further north-west
the Post-Urban phase.                                                of Shapur. The sites showing exclusively Late Sorath


                                                            - 66 -
                        Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat



Harappan features are much smaller in size ranging                     (Majmudar 1960). That the Asokan rock inscription,
just 0.19 to 0.70 hectare.                                             followed by the inscriptions of the Kshatrapa and
    The pattern is continued even in the Historic                      the Gupta dynasties at Girnar hill, mention about
periods. The Nagro Timbo at Prabhas Patan once                         the construction and periodic upkeep of a large
again is the largest site in the coast belonging to                    reservoir by damming across the Suvarnarekha river
the Early Historic period marked by the prominent                      to augment water supply, bespeak the importance
presence of the Red Polished Ware (RPW). The                           that were attached to the settlements in this region.
uncanny resemblance of the RPW, both in technical                      It is apparent that the coastal region of Saurashtra
perfection and vessel features, with Roman pottery,                    must have played an important role in the Greco-
particularly the “Samian” pottery is unmistakable                      Roman sea trade resulting into the establishment of
(Subbarao 1953). Dated from the first century ACE                      economically sound settlements along the coast.
onwards, it shows wide distribution all along the                          Most of the Historic period sites discovered in
western coast in Gujarat. A recent survey lists 268 sites              the current survey belonged to the Early Historic
in Gujarat alone that has yielded the RPW (Patel and                   period. Many of them are found to be very rich in
Rajesh 2007). In the current exploratory survey we                     RPW and have substantial deposit. Three sites found
located/revisited seventeen Early Historic period sites                on either banks of the Saraswati river merit special
apart from Prabhas Patan. Six of these are found to                    mention here.
be reoccupied even during the Late Medieval period.
Many of the Early Historic sites are larger in size than
the Chalcolithic sites and have solid rubble stone and                       CULTURAL CHRONOLOGY
mud-brick structures. The remains of some sort of                                AND SUMMARY
a perimeter wall is suspected at Humblio timbo and
Thumlio ni timbo in Umbrio village. There are four                     The beginning of Chalcolithic food producing way
sites having an overall size falling between 3 and 4                   of life in Saurashtra has been dated to the middle of
hectare belonging to this period. They are very rich                   fourth millennium BCE from Padri, about 100 km
in artefacts, especially the RPW. Besides, the site at                 east of Prabhas Patan, in Bhavnagar district. This most
Thumlio ni timbo has a few sherds of the so called                     probably was an early regional Chalcolithic tradition
Roman amphora that have recently been identified as                    whose remains were reported from a few more sites
the “torpedo jars” of Mesopotamia (Tomber 2007).                       in the region suggesting its geographical influence
In contrast, the number of Chalcolithic period sites                   (Paul et al. 1997). However, the early Chalcolithic
falling in this size category is just one. This probably               “Padri” remains are not reported from Prabhas Patan
is a reflection of the increased intensity in the                      in spite of its geographical proximity with Padri.
economic activities during the Early Historic period.                  The ceramic assemblage and the lithic artefacts
The Saurashtra coast, especially along Junagadh and                    reported from the earliest levels at Padri are distinctly
Bhavnagar districts, was a major centre for both                       different from their counterpart at Prabhas Patan.
political and social activities right from the time of                 Besides, the beginning of Pre-Prabhas, the earliest
Asoka Maurya in the third century BCE onwards.                         Chalcolithic remains at Prabhas Patan, has been dated
The region also was a major Buddhist centre during                     to 3000/2900 BCE; about half a millennium later
this period as was evident from a number of both                       than the Padri. The Prabhas assemblage that follows
structural and rock-cut architectural remains of                       Pre-Prabhas at Prabhas Patan has been dated by C14
the Early Historic period found along the coast                        estimation to 2200 BCE (Calibrated, Possehl 1993).


                                                              - 67 -
                                                   P. Ajithprasad et al.



The Pre-Prabhas assemblage therefore can be dated                    of Saurashtra. The sites are essentially found within
between 3000 and 2600 BCE.                                           the narrow strip of fertile littoral corridor running
    Very little is known about the geographical                      between the seashore and the rocky ridges of the
spread of the Pre-Prabhas assemblage in Saurashtra.                  inland Saurashtra. The fertile soil in this narrow
However, a site showing the Pre-Prabhas pottery                      corridor supported development of village farming
has been reported from Datrana in north Gujarat,                     communities very early in the Chalcolithic period.
about 400 km north of Prabhas Patan (Ajithprasad                     The economic development during this period appears
2004). The Pre-Prabhas pottery at the site is found                  to be limited primarily due to the geographical
associated with the Early Harappan Sindh related                     constraints of the region. The Early Historic period
ceramics of north Gujarat. This is significant, as it not            let loose a set of economic forces based on new
only establishes the interaction between Saurashtra                  economic production incorporating enough inputs
and north Gujarat but also help dating the Early                     from trade. The Saurashtra coast during this period
Harappan Sindh related assemblages reported from a                   was one of the major centres of political development
number of sites in north Gujarat in the same bracket                 in Gujarat. No wonder the sites of this period are
as that of Pre-Prabhas.                                              larger and richer than the preceding Chalcolithic
    The Early Harappan Sindh related pottery in the                  period. To some extent this was to continue even in
current exploration has been reported from three sites               the Medieval period.
– Warodra-I, Lohij-III and Shapur – in the Saurashtra                    It is surprising that no microlith yielding
coast of Junagadh district. Among these three sites,                 Mesolithic sites was found in the region that we
the Early Harappan pottery is found independently                    have explored so far. Could we have missed them
– not in association with other regional cultural                    while looking for Chalcolithic and Historic period
remains – at Warodra-I and Lohij-III. It is found                    sites? There is always an outside chance of such an
along with Prabhas pottery in the third site at Shapur.              eventuality. However, the rigorous and systematic
However, the site at Shapur is badly disturbed by the                nature of our survey strategy makes that possibility
recent construction of a boundary wall cutting across                quite remote. If at all there were a few sites they
the site through the middle. The construction works                  are either completely buried under later habitation
may have brought up some of the Early Harappan                       or obliterated by later habitation activities. This
remains from the lower levels to the surface and                     is very intriguing as we do come across Mesolithic
thereby mixing it with the later Prabhas assemblage.                 sites in several parts of Saurashtra in var ying
These discoveries firmly establish the presence of                   ecological contexts. It is possible that the Mesolithic
Early Harappan sites along the Saurashtra coast prior                communities preferred forested rocky terrain of the
to the beginning of Prabhas tradition. The Prabhas                   interior Saurashtra that better suited to their hunting
therefore appears to be a cultural tradition developed               and gathering strategies than the coastal plains.
parallel to the Sorath Harappan along the Saurashtra                 That does not rule out different levels of interaction
coast drawing inspiration from the Early Harappan                    between the Chalcolithic and Mesolithic sites in the
and the Pre-Prabhas. The Sorath Harappan on the                      region. It has been shown to a reasonable degree of
other hand is rooted more in the interior Saurashtra.                confidence that such interactions were extremely
    To summarize, the current survey has brought                     important in the development of cultural patterns,
to light the importance of systematic and focussed                   both in the Mesolithic and Harappan Chalcolithic
survey in locating both the Harappan Chalcolithic                    settlements in Gujarat (Possehl 1980, Ajithprasad
and the Historic period sites in the Junagadh coast                  2004). The presence of copper and a few crude


                                                            - 68 -
                         Archaeological explorations in the Saurashtra coast of Junagadh District, Gujarat



potsherds in the Mesolithic context at Langhnaj in                             of the Indus Civilization. Books and Books, New Delhi.

north Gujarat (Sankalia 1965) and the presence of                              pp.243-251.

domesticated cattle and sheep/goat skeletal remains                        Dhavalikar, M.K. and G.L. Possehl (1992) The Pre-Harappan
                                                                               Period at Prabhas Patan and the Pre-Harappan Phase in
from a few other Mesolithic sites (Bhan 1994) are
                                                                               Gujarat. Man and Environment 17(1): 71-78.
a sure indication of the above interaction. Apart
                                                                           Dhavalikar, M.K., M.R. Raval, and Y.M. Chitalwala (1996)
from these, interaction between the Chalcolithic
                                                                               Kuntasi: A Harappan Emporium on West Coast. Deccan
settlements of the coastal region and the Sorath
                                                                               College Post Graduate and Research Institute, Pune.
Harappan and Harappan settlements of interior                              Hegde, K.T.M. and V.H. Sonawane (1986) Landscape and
Saurashtra were certainly responsible for the over all                         settlement Pattern of the Harappan Culture Villages in
development of Chalcolithic way of life in Saurashtra.                         the Rupen Estuary. Man and Environment 10: 23-31.
    Two important results of the current survey are                        IA R 1955 to 1977: Indian Archaeolog y - A Review.
the identification of six new sites showing the Prabhas                        Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi. IAR 1955-56:

pottery and three sites having the Early Harappan                              7-8; IAR 1956-57: 16-17; IAR 1957-58: 18-23; IAR 1958-
                                                                               59:19-21; IAR 1971-72: 12-13; IAR 1975-76: 13; IAR 1976-
Sindh related pottery along the coast. The former
                                                                               77: 17-18.
discovery provides much needed data for tracing the
                                                                           Majmudar, M.R. (1960) Historical and Cultural Chronology
geographical spread/extension of Prabhas sites in the
                                                                               of Gujarat. The M.S. University Oriental Institute
Saurashtra coast. This would help define the regional
                                                                               Publication, Baroda.
character of this Chalcolithic tradition and its role                      Majumdar, A. (2001) Emergence of Early Harappans in North
in the development of Chalcolithic settlements in                              Gujarat. Man and Environment 26(1): 23-38.
Saurashtra. The discovery of Early Harappan sites                          Majumdar, A and V.H. Sonawane (1996-97) Pre-Harappan
in the Saurashtra coast is even more significant as it                         Burial Pottery from Moti-Pipli: A New Dimension in
shows the Early Harappan influence from the Indus                              the Cultural Assemblage of North Gujarat. Prãgdharã 7

valley extending up to the Saurashtra coast much                               (1996-97): 11-17.

earlier than the beginning of the Mature Harappan.                         Merh, S.S. (1995) Geology of Gujarat. Geological Society of
                                                                               India, Bangalore. p.4.
                                                                           Nanavati, J.M., R.N. Mehta and S.N. Chaudhary (1971)
                                                                               Somnath - 1956. Department of Archaeology, Gujarat
References                                                                     State and M.S. University of Baroda, M.S. University
Ajithprasad. P. (2002) “The Pre-Harappan Cultures of                           Press, Baroda. pp.18-41.
    Gujarat”, in S. Settar and Ravi Korisettar (eds.) Indian               Pandya, P.P. (1958) In Indian Archaeology 1957-58 – A Review
    Archaeology in Retrospect vol.II Protohistory: Archaeology                 (IAR 1957-58) Department of Archaeology, Government
    of the Harappan Civilization. ICHR and Manohar, New                        of India, New Delhi: 18-23.
    Delhi. pp. 129-158                                                     Patel, A. and S.V. Rajesh (2007) Red Polished Ware (RPW) in
Ajithprasad. P. (2004) “Holocene Adaptation of the                             Gujarat, Western India – An Archaeological Perspective.
    Mesolithic and Chalcolithic Settlements in North                           Prãgdharã 17 (2006-07): 89-111.
    Gujarat”, in Y. Yasuda and Vasant Shinde (Eds.) Monsoon                Paul, A .B., B. Tripathy and V. Shinde (1997) “New
    and Civilizations. Roli Books Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.                        Archaeological Discoveries in the Lower Shetrunji River
    pp.115-132.                                                                Basin, Bhavnagar District, Gujarat”, in B.M. Khanduri
Bhan, K.K. (1994) Cultural Development of the Prehistoric                      and Vinod Nauriyal (eds.) Him-Kanti: Archaeology, Art
    Period in North Gujarat with Reference to Western                          and History. Book India Publishing co., Delhi. pp.53-63.
    India. South Asian Studies 10: 71-90.                                  Possehl, G.L. (1980) Indus Civilization in Saurashtra. B.R.
Dhavalikar, M.K. (1984) “Sub-Indus Cultures of Central and                     Publishing Corporation, New Delhi.
    Western India”, in B.B. Lal and S.P. Gupta (eds.) Frontiers            Possehl, G.L. (1993) Radiometric Dates from South East Asia


                                                                  - 69 -
                                                           P. Ajithprasad et al.


    (Unpublished list, Compiled by G. L.Possehl).                          Shinde, V. and S.B. Kar (1992) Padri Ware: a New Painted
Possehl, G.L. (1997) The Transformation of the Indus                           Ceramic Found in the Harappan Levels at Padri in
    Civilization. Journal of World Prehistory 11(4): 425-71.                   Gujarat. Man and Environment 17(2): 105-110.
Rajesh, S.V. and A. Patel (2007) A Gazetteer of Pre- and                   Sonawane, V.H. (2000) “Early Farming Communities of
    Protohistoric Sites in Gujarat. Man and Environment                        Gujarat, India”, in P. Bellwood, D. Bowdery, D. Bulbeck,
    32(2):61-136.                                                              D. Bear, V. Shinde, R. Shutter, G. Summerhayes (eds.)
Rao, S.R. (1958) In Indian Archaeology 1957-58 – A Review                      Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistoric Association 19: Indo-
    (IAR 1957-58) Department of Archaeology, Government                        Pacific Prehistory: Melaka Papers 3: 137-146.
    of India, New Delhi: 13-17                                             Sonawane, V. H. and P. Ajithprasad (1994) Harappa Culture
Rao, S.R . (1963) Excavations at Rang pur and Other                            and Gujarat. Man and Environment 20(1-2): 37-49.
    Explorations in Gujarat. Ancient India 18-19: 5-207.                   Subbarao, B. (1953) Baroda Through the Ages. The M.S.
Rao, S.R. (1985) Lothal: A Port Town (1955 - 62), vol.II.                      University Archaeolog y Series 1. Maharaja Sayajirao
    Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India no. 78.                      University of Baroda, Baroda. pp.58-64.
    Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi.                             Subbarao, B. (1958) The Personality of India. The M. S.
Sankalia, H.D. (1965) Excavations at Langhnaj: 1944-63. Part                   University Archaeology Series 3. The Maharaja Sayajirao
    I: Archaeology. Poona. (Building Centenary and Silver                      University of Baroda, Baroda. p.132.
    Jubilee Series 51). pp.41-64.                                          Tomber, R. (2007) Rome and Mesopotamia – Importers into
Shinde, V. (1992) Excavations at Padri - 1990-91: A                            India in the First Millennium AD. Antiquity 81: 972-988.
    Preliminary Report. Man and Environment 17(1): 79-86.




                                                                  - 70 -
                                   Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09



                                   Annual report of excavation at Kanmer
                                           2007-08 and 2008-09


                                                       J.S. Kharakwal
                              Department of Archaeology, Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur
                                                          Y.S. Rawat
                                 State Department of Archaeology, Gujarat, Gandhinagar
                                                       Toshiki Osada
                                    Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto



Abstract
Kanmer, a multicultural site, is located in Kachchh district of Gujarat state of India. Our controlled excavations have yielded four
fold cultural sequence at the site. During the Bronze Age it was a small Harappan settlement, which was protected by a very strong
fort wall. Among the interesting discoveries are Harappan objects like a few seal impressions, drill bits and unoxidised faience
beads, and historic materials such as Roman amphorae and Torpedo ware type pottery. Kanmer played a very important role in
trade or commercial activities right from the Harappan period.




                INTRODUCTION                                              site is composed of Jurassic piedmont having current
                                                                          bedded ferruginous sandstone and variety of shale. An
The Harappan site of Kanmer (23°23’N; 70°52’E) is                         iselberg next to the site which is identical to an upside
situated close to the Little Rann of Kachchh in Rapar                     down V-shaped hillock marks the site from a distance.
taluka in the Kachchh district of Gujarat (Figure 1).
Locally known as Bakarkot the site is situated on the
right bank of a seasonal rivulet Aludawaro Vokro                                            OBJECTIVES
which passes to the north of the present village of
Kanmer. The ancient mound was discovered by R.S.                          The ancient mound at Kanmer is squarish measuring
Bisht and his colleagues of Archaeological Survey of                      115 m from east to west by 105 m from north to south
India way back in the eighties of the last century (IAR                   on plan (Figure 2) with a height of about 8 m from
1985-86: 15-19).                                                          the ground level (i.e. 20 m above the mean sea level).
    The peninsula of Kachchh is largely composed                          It was chosen for excavation to understand the role
of marine and estuarine sediments and has a variety                       of small fortified settlements, distinct features of
of rocks ranging from middle Jurassic to recent                           architecture, regional variation in ceramic assemblage,
times. The area is marked by low lying bare rocky                         de-urbanization process and to comprehend the
hills, sandy plains and vast tracts of naked tidal mud                    Kachchh Harappan, besides to understand the role
flats, in the north-western and eastern parts, these                      of contemporary rural cultures in the urbanization
mud flats are known as Great Rann and Little Rann                         process. Till recently the Harappan archaeology has
respectively. The entire region is drained by seasonal                    been dominated by the excavation of large sites, and
rivulets. Of course it is one of the poorest areas as far                 as a result the role of smaller settlements like Kanmer
as rain fall is concerned. The landscape around the                       has not been fully understood.


                                                                 - 71 -
                                               J.S. Kharakwal et al.




                                        Figure 1 Location map of Kanmer

    With the above cited objectives, controlled small               Period III: KMR III (Late Harappan)
scale excavations at Kanmer were conducted for two                  Period IV: KMR IV (Early Historic)
field seasons 2005-06 and 2006-07, which allowed us                 Period V:    KMR V (Medieval)
to identify the following fivefold cultural sequence
(Kharakwal et al. 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009):                          In our earlier publications we have termed the
                                                                 cultural sequence as Pd I Early Harappan, Pd II
    Period I:    KMR I (Early Harappan)                          Mature Harappan and Pd III as Late Harappan. These
    Period II:   KMR II (Mature Harappan)                        cultural periods correspond to KMR I, KMR II and


                                                        - 72 -
                                Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09




                                           Figure 2 Contour plan of Kanmer


KMR III respectively. KMR stands for Kanmer.                        4) To train young students of archaeology in field
This new terminology is preferred because the total                 techniques.
Harappan deposit represents different stages of
culture. Of course we have local material including                     The following scholars and students from
bichrome potter y in KMR I, which gradually                         India, Japan and other countries participated in the
disappear in the upper levels. KMR IV represents the                excavation.
Early Historic deposit whereas KMR V is a medieval
one.                                                                Prof. S.N. Rajaguru, Drs. P.P. Joglekar, Shusma Deo,
       Besides, the remains of a massive fort, a few                Shahida Ansari, Mr. Pankaj Goyal, Miss C.V.Sharda,
Harappan and Historic structures, medieval silos                    Miss Yun Chong Suk, Mr. Tilok Thakuria, Mr.
were also partially exposed. However to understand                  Santanu Vaidya, Mr. Shingo Kameyama (all from
the results of these two initial seasons the excavation             Deccan College, Pune), Dr. Anil Pokharia, Birbal
work continued in the third and fourth seasons with                 Sahni Palaeobotany Institute, Lucknow,
the following objectives:                                           Profs. Takao Uno, Dr. Hirofumi Teramura, Dr.
                                                                    Kondo, Prof. Hideo Sakai, Prof. Toru Kishida, Miss
1) To understand the nature and history of the                      Asuka Kanto and Dr. H. Chiba, Dr. Endo Hitoshi,
fortification wall.                                                 Mr. Takashi Ito, Yukiko Takeuchi, Dr. Ainori Useugi
2) To understand the possible function of the site.                 (all from RIHN Japan), Miss Carla Lancelotti,
3) To enquire if there is a lower town or any settlement            Cambridge, Miss Sarah Luddy, London.
out side the main mound


                                                           - 73 -
                                                         J.S. Kharakwal et al.



Mr. Lal Chand Patel, Mr. Hansmukh Seth, Mr.                                  understand nature of structural complexes that were
Rajesh Meena, Mr. Suresh Meena, Mr. Asif Hussain,                            exposed partially during last season belonging to
Mr. Krishna Pal Singh, Mr. Bhim Raj Varhat,                                  periods KMR II and KMR III. In the north eastern
Mr.Sachin Dikshit, Mr. Digvijay Chauhan, Miss Rita                           area trenches Z15, Z16, Z17 and AA16, AA17 and
Chauhan, Miss Rashmi Salvi, Mr. Rohit Menaria, Mr.                           BB16, BB17 were selected for excavation mainly to
Hitesh Bunkar, Kalu and Ganesh (all from Institute                           under stand the details of the inner face and corner of
of Rajasthan Studies, JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth,                              the fortification.
Udaipur).
Mr. Na r a y a n Pa l i w a l a n d S a n j e e v K a t a r i a ,
Banaskantha, Gujarat, (Draughtsmen)                                                          STRATIGRAPHY
Teachers and students from HNB Garhwal University,
Uttarakhand, M.S. University, Vadodara, Institute of                         In the south central part layers one and two with
Heritage and Management, Delhi and Lok Vigyan                                a combined thickness of about 70 cm were found
Kendra, Almora.                                                              devoid of any cultural material, except for a few
                                                                             rolled pot sherds. These layers were light greyish in
                                                                             appearance and were found separated from each other
                    ExCAVATION                                               by a thin streak consisting of a few rolled pot sherds.
                                                                                 Layer three loose in nature was marked by a thin
In continuation of the previous season’s work it was                         layer of ashy deposit ranging from 5 cm to 30 cm
decided to lay down more trenches in the south                               in thickness. This deposit yielded medieval pottery
central, south eastern and north eastern parts of the                        associated with a few flimsy structures which were
mound. In addition to these areas, to understand                             partially exposed in the south eastern and southern
the constructional phases of the fort wall and the                           area. One of partially exposed such structures oriented
deposit accumulated along its exterior a small area                          roughly north-south (trenches AA34 and AA35), was
of the eastern face of the fort wall was exposed. To                         found right raised on the southern arm of Harappan
have a better understanding of stratigraphy and                              fortification. The western and eastern walls of this
layout of the settlement trenches X28, X29, X30,                             house were measured 3.50 m each, indicating squarish
Y28, Y29, Z28, Z31, AA28, AA29, AA30, AA31, AA32                             on plan. In the northern room of this house was found
and AA33 were laid in the south central area of the                          a rotary quern. A circular stone structure (diameter
mound. All these trenches were in fact extension of                          2.50 m) was found superimposed on this medieval
last season’s excavation in adjoining trenches Z29                           structure. Besides, in the central area (in trenches
and Z30 and Y30. The horizontal excavation in these                          Z29 and Z30) two large circular black burnt features
trenches allowed us to identify a pre- fortification                         (diameter about 1 m) were noticed, which may have
deposit followed by construction of a fort and several                       been used as fire places. In the south eastern area over
successive structural phases of the Harappan culture,                        a dozen silos belonging to this phase were found,
besides a few potter’s kilns (belonging to the Early                         which were dug into the Historic and the Harappan
Historic phase). In the south eastern area trenches                          deposit.
such as FF29, FF30, EE29, EE30 and GG29 were laid                                These medieval remains were raised on a 50 cm
down to the west of earlier exposed area (represented                        thick (average) deposit of dark greyish fine silt sticky
by trenches HH29, HH30 and II29, II30 partially                              in appearance. It was identified as layer 4, which did
exposed). These trenches were excavated mainly to                            not yield any cultural material. It was found deposited


                                                                    - 74 -
                                Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09



in the central depression overlying the Historic                     storage cannot be ruled out. These pits dug into the
remains. Therefore it was identified as a cultural break             Harappan deposit and structures underneath. It seems
between the Medieval and Historic periods.                           that these pits were of no use during the later phase
    The Early Historic remains were found in layer                   of Historical settlements at the site as people started
5, which is about 1.50 m thick in the central part                   throwing garbage in them. The regular dumping of
and gradually thinned down towards the peripheral                    such garbage has been identified in the form of lenses
regions where it measured hardly a few centimetres in                in one such pit exposed in trench Z30 in the third
thickness. The Historical remains were identified on                 season. Thus the total deposit of layer 5 was recorded
the basis of presence of terracotta seal impression with             about 1.55 m.
late Brahmi letters, Red Polished Ware, Red Ware                         Besides historical pottery, layer 5b also yielded
(Rang Mahal type) and a few potsherds of Roman and                   many fragments of Roman amphorae and West
West Asian origin. This deposit was further divided                  Asian Tarpedo Jar type pottery (Tomber 2007). The
into two sub layers levelled as 5a and 5b in the central             presence of these pottery types is good indicator of
part. Layer 5a was measured 55 cm in thickness and                   long distance trade that was being operational from
yielded residential structures, which were partially                 Kanmer. What commodities were traded from here is
exposed. It was composed of dark greyish soil generally              yet to be understood.
compact in nature. In northern part of trench Z29 and                    There was a very large depression in the south
AA29 a large number of yellow patches were noticed                   central part of the fortified area, when the Historic
in layer 5a. According to the villagers, the yellowish               people arrived at the site. This depression may have
clay may have been brought from a distant source                     been formed due to continuous structural or other
for pottery making. Interestingly, a huge dumping                    activity of the Harappans in the peripheral area
of partially broken bowls with featureless rim and                   towards the end of their occupation. This depression
tapering body was found in the north western corner                  was covered by a very thick layer of dark grey soil
of trench Z29 right on a floor. It is not clear if it was            which was coarse in nature. The thickness of this
a potter’s house or storage of such pots. Layer 5b                   dark grey layer gradually decreases as we approach
(thickness about 1 m) was largely ashy and appeared to               from central to the peripheral region. Considering its
be a formed due to regular dumping activity.                         contour, it appears that it may have been actually more
    In the central area of this ashy deposit more than               than 1.50 m thick in the central part whereas it was
half a dozen roughly circular burnt features (diameter               found only a few centimetre thick in the peripheral
about 3 m) were exposed. Excavation of two such                      zones. Thus these historic remains were underlined by
features revealed that they were actually conical                    a uniform deposit of dark grey soil, which was black
shaped pits with highly burnt base or beds. In these                 in appearance and coarse in nature. Levelled as layer
pits was found large quantity of historical pottery.                 (6) this deposit was found overlying almost all the
The purpose of such pits is not clear to us, though                  Harappan structures. It was devoid of any direct or
they were identical to the modern potter's kiln. In                  indirect human activity therefore has been identified
absence of vetrified, ill baked potsherds or potsherds               as desertion between the Early Historic and Harappan
with highly burnt surface or with black patches, we                  deposits. The composition of this deposit indicates
are not sure about their identification as kilns. Of                 that most of its contents were result of re-deposition
cource one can not miss a large quantity of ash spread               of the eroded material. From the south central part
in and around these pits. Possibilities of some of these             layer 6 was largely thrown away by the Historical
pits were used for grain storage or any other kind of                people to make their kilns (?). Therefore it survived


                                                            - 75 -
                                                 J.S. Kharakwal et al.



only in patches measuring in thickness about 35 cm.                 thickness of this ashy deposit gradually increases
Some places such as in trenches AA34, EE29 and                      towards the peripheral regions from central area. It
FF29 it was found about 80 cm thick.                                indicates that perhaps the peripheral regions along the
    Layer 7 varies from light greyish to ashy in                    fort wall remained occupied for longer period than
appearance. Its thickness varies from 10 to 40 cm                   the central part.
and was traceable only in trenches X28, X29 and                         Layer 8 also yielded various residential structures,
AA28, AA29 and AA30. It has been noticed that this                  Harappan material identical to urban phase along
deposit also got disturbed due to large pits dug by                 with Sorath Harappan and Anart elements. It yielded
the people of historic period for carrying out their                a large variety of Harappan objects and pottery,
various activities. As the result at places the historic            structures and floor levels including seals and seal
period material was found resting directly upon                     impressions. In the lower part of this layer (in trenches
the Harappan deposit. However the undisturbed                       AA28 and Z28) was found a lense of white clay (about
deposit of layer 7 yielded Harappan pottery, often                  10 cm thick) which looked like redeposited washed off
ochreous in appearance, along with black and red                    white plaster. While in the exposed section (section
(Ahar type?) and very Coarse (looks Gritty) Red                     facing south) of trench Y29 a series of lenses of fine
Ware (Misra et al. 1997). The ceramic assemblage                    clay, course sand and floors were noticed. Besides
is dominated by high neck jar and the Coarse Red                    these, several lenses of burnt soil were also noticed.
Ware pots which is often brittle. The fine variety of               This deposit has been identified as KMR IIB.
Red Ware was of course treated with red slip which                      Layers 9, 10 and 11 yielded identical cultural
has either peeled off or washed away and the pottery                material, though a few pieces of bichrome and other
gives ochreous colour while handling it. This kind of               local types appeared in the layers 10 and 11. The
pottery has concentration in south eastern part of the              combined thickness of these three layers was measured
mound. This pottery assemblage has been identified                  about 2.50 m. These three layers have been identified
as belonging to KMR III. Neither goblet nor script                  as part of cultural phase KMR II A.
material was discovered from this level.                                Layer 9 is yellowish in appearance and compact
    Layer 8 is also ashy and loose in composition. Its              in nature. This deposit is more than 1.0 m in thick
thickness varies from 0.50 m to 2.60 m in the central               in the central part and appears to decrease gradually
part whereas in the peripheral area, particularly                   towards western part. It is largely composed of
near the inner face of western fort wall, it measured               yellowish fine sandy clay, to which the local term
more than 3.0 m. This layer is largely formed due to                used by the villagers is pila lilva. It appears that the
dumping of large quantity of ash in the northern                    Harappans used this clay as binding and plastering
and western area. Successive episodes of dumping                    material in their stone houses. This layer has yielded,
have been identified in this deposit. In these dumps                in addition to the cultural material identical to the
evidences of local/ in situ burning have also been                  urban Harappan phase, course pottery types similar to
noticed. On the basis of the cultural material                      Anarta assemblage.
recovered from the central, NE, SE and western parts                    Layer 10 is also yellowish in appearance but it is
as well as the nature of deposit, it seems that layer 8             loose and less sandy in comparison to layer 9. It has
of the central part corresponds to layers 5, 6, 7 and               small lenses of pinkish and whitish clay. These lenses
8 of western part (trench Q28), layers 4, 5 and 6 (so               have caused possibly due to mixing of powdered shale
far excavated in Z 16, 17, AA 17) of the northern part              with clay for some purpose (floor making ?). Besides
and layer 4 of south eastern area of the mound. The                 urban phase cultural material, this layer also yielded


                                                           - 76 -
                                 Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09



a few pot sherds of bichrome and unslipped red ware                    site like Kanmer is one of the most impressive and
with a band of corrugated lines on the shoulder and                    significant discoveries at the site. The outer face of
body part of jar/ pots and bowls with perforated                       the fortification was partially visible on the northern
knob.                                                                  as well as on the southern slopes of the mound. This
    Layer 11 is largely composed of coarse sand,                       fortification stratigraphically belongs to KMR IIA.
which appears to have been formed due to some water                    Interestingly, the fortification of Kanmer was not
action. In the eastern and southern sections of AA28 it                oriented along the cardinal directions as has been
had greenish appearance perhaps indicating stagnancy                   noticed at most of the Harappan sites. It is rather
of water. It is hardly 25 cm thick. The cultural material              oriented in NNW-SSE direction. Hence there is a
of this layer was also identical to layer 10, of course the            deviation of about 26° (off the north-south line).
quantity and bichrome, Cream slipped, Coarse Red                       Therefore to understand its precise plan and growth
ware, unslipped red ware increased.                                    a few trenches were laid down at the south eastern,
    Layer 12 is about 35 cm thick (average) and is                     north eastern and north western corners of the
composed of light greyish soil. Its general appearance                 mound. Excavation of the wall face, in both of these
is whitish. It has several lenses of fine clayey material              areas, revealed that the main wall was provided with
with yellowish, whitish and pinkish in appearance.                     a revetting wall all along its outer face. Two corners,
These lenses indicate that perhaps the inhabitants                     the north-eastern and the south eastern, were exposed
mixed locally available powdered shale with the                        internally whereas the north eastern and north
different coloured soil for various day to day purposes.               western corner was exposed externally. In a cutting
This layer is resting right up on the ferruginous bed                  (trenches Y15, Y16 and Y17) near the north-eastern
rock. It has yielded ceramic assemblage which appears                  corner it was realized that the core of the wall was
to be dominated by localise pottery types such as                      actually made of mud bricks (mostly brown sandy
bichrome, Cream slipped, Red and chocolate slipped,                    clay) and it was veneered on either side by large semi-
un-slipped types and Coarse Red ware. Harappan                         dressed blocks of lime stone and sand stone procured
material in small quantity is also available. This kind                from the nearby hillocks. Some of the blocks placed
of material was also recovered from the deposit                        in the lower part of the wall measured about 2 m in
comprising layers 14 and 15 of trench Q28 in a trench                  length and 50 cm in breadth and 40 cm in thickness
laid along the inner face of the western fort wall and                 (Figure 3). The outer faces of the northern and eastern
belong to the pre- fortification phase at the site. On                 side along with the later additions were exposed up
the basis of its stratigraphical position and the type of              to a length of about 35 m and 36 m respectively. As
material it yielded this deposit has also been identified              many as 10 courses of eastern wall and 6 courses of
as cultural period KMR I.                                              the addition were exposed in order to understand if
    Layer 10, 11 and 12 were exposed in a small area in                the construction pattern matches with others, besides
trenches AA28 and Z28 in the central part and Q28                      deposit outside. The eastern wall was exposed up to
in the western part there fore the material recovered                  a depth of 3.20 m and its construction pattern was
from these layers is also small in quantity.                           found identical to rest of the walls.
                                                                           A few small cuttings put on the northern and
                                                                       southern slopes proved that the addition to the wall
                   FORT WALL                                           was actually a supportive wall (revetting) provided
                                                                       to the main fortification. This support was found
Presence of a strong fortification around a small                      running all along the exterior of the fortification. The


                                                              - 77 -
                       J.S. Kharakwal et al.




Figure 3 Stones places in the northwestern corner of the fort wall




        Figure 4 Inner face of the fort wall, western arm


                               - 78 -
                               Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09



construction was such that no visible gap between the               to the exterior of wall on all three sides appear to be a
revetting and the wall on the eastern and southern side             protective measure taken up after the calamity.
was noticed but in the northern side a narrow gap was                   The average width of northern and eastern walls
noticed which widened gradually from east to west.                  just below about 2.20 m from the highest point has
At places (near the north western corner) the gap                   been measured about 18 m. As the wall had an upward
was found more than 1m wide which was found filled                  tapering, it is likely that the width at the base would
with earth and rubble. Interestingly the main wall and              measure more than 20 m. Compared to its northern
the revetting both have been found standing on the                  and eastern counterparts the western wall is thinner as
same bed rock. This kind of situation leads to think a              its width measured only 15 m at a depth of 3.70 m from
slight change in orientation or planning at a later date            the highest point. On plan, two arms of the fort at
too! The exterior of the western wall does not reveal               the south eastern corner form an obtuse angle (about
any revetting like the other three walls. The height of             100º) while another two arms at north eastern corner
western wall is not preserved much. Comparatively                   form an acute angle. Thus these corner angles suggest
its extant height is about 3 m lower than its eastern               that on plan the fortification could have formed a
counterpart. It seems it has been robbed by the local               parallelogram. During the precise documentation
villagers for building graves as a grave yard is located            of the fortification the external length of eastern,
on the western and south- western slope of the                      western, northern and southern arm was measured 116
mound.                                                              m, 109.50 m, 107 m and 113.50 m respectively. Hence,
    To understand the history of the defense wall, the              the average east west length was about 110 m whereas
inner face of western wall was exposed (trenches P27,               north south was about 115 m. Similarly, the inner
P28, Q27, Q28) near a modern shrine of Hanuman                      length of these four walls was also found different
which is located on the extant top of the wall. In Q28              from each other. The inner length of northern,
the inner face of the fort wall was found overlying the             southern, eastern and western arm was measured
earliest cultural deposit, which has been identified                72.50 m, 79.50 m, 78.50 m and 74.50 m respectively.
as KMR I or pre-fortification deposit. In this area                 Therefore the average east-west inner length measured
the inner face of the wall has survived up to a height              76.50 m and north-south inner length measured 76 m.
of 5.70 m with 29 stone courses. In the construction                     Thus, all the four arms were found with different
of the stone veneer the Harappans had used the                      dimensions and the total area covered by the
yellowish clayey sand (locally known as pila lilva) or              habitation including the fort wall was about 12,430
the powdered white shale (locally known as dhodi                    sq m. Out of this total area about 6,616 sq m (more
mati) as binding material. The veneer on the either                 than 50%) area was covered by the fortification itself.
side shows a battering as a result of which the breadth             Thus only about 5,814 sq m space was available inside
of the wall gradually decreases with increase of the                the fortification for residential or other activities. It is,
height. This inner face of the western wall shows                   therefore, obviously a difficult question to address why
a considerable tilt towards west in its upper levels.               such a miniscule settlement was protected so well by
In fact, barring the 8 courses at the base, the entire              a strong fortification. Further excavation may provide
wall seems to be repaired in this part (trench Q28;                 some clue to it.
see Figure 3). It appears that some serious damage
was caused to the fort wall perhaps soon after its                                 TEST TRENCH N3
construction. Was it an earthquake (?), which brought
about this damage ? Perhaps the aforesaid additions                 A few trenches were laid on the northern and


                                                           - 79 -
                                                  J.S. Kharakwal et al.




                                  Figure 5 Outer face of the eastern fortification wall


southern slopes to know the precise orientation of the                              TRENCH Q28
main wall and the extension of revetting (addition)
provided to it. These cuttings helped us to understand             A laser survey carried out by us indicated a gap in the
the nature of main wall and the revetment. In trench               western fort wall near the modern shrine of Hanuman
N3, located on the north western slope right on the                which is situated on the top of the wall. To examine
outer face of the fortification, the extant height of              the possibilities of an entrance at this point and also
the north side wall was measured 4m with as many                   to reach the natural soil in this area a few trenches
as 15 semi-dressed stone courses which looks very                  were laid here. These trenches numbered as P27, P28,
impressive. In this cutting revetment was found                    Q27 and Q28 were laid across the wall, the extant top
sealed by layer 5.                                                 of which was visible right on the surface.
    Layer 6 represented the filling of about 1 m gap                   In these trenches layer 1 compact in nature was
between the outer arm and the addition. This gap was               found composed of dark greyish soil. It was about 10
measured about 1.10 m at the base whereas about 90                 cm thick and yielded mixed pottery comprising of
cm at the top surviving course of addition, indicating             both Historic and Medieval vintage. Layer 2, light
that it was gradually decreasing towards top. It was               greyish to pale yellowish in colour, was slightly loose
found resting on a 30 cm thick soil, dark greyish in               compared to layer 1. Its thickness was measured about
colour. It is locally known as kaanp. It was levelled              35 cm. Two residential structures were exposed in this
as layer 7 resting on the bed rock (locally known as               layer one in Q 27 and another in Q 28. Of these the
bhokar.                                                            one discovered in Q 27 was found just below 15 cm of
                                                                   the surface (at a depth of 3.60 m from the reference


                                                          - 80 -
                                Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09




                                          Figure 6 Seal with geometric design


point). It is a rectangular room measuring 3.70 m by                    Excavation did not revealed any gap in the
3.20 m and built with rubble stone walls of which two               western arm near the temple as was indicated by
courses are extant. A considerably large patch of ash               the laser survey. Of course, its upper courses were
(1.30 m from east to west) and 70 cm (from north to                 perhaps removed by the Historical people to prepare
south) was found close to the northern wall of this                 a staircase. Therefore it appears that this point could
house, besides a small heap of broken pot sherds of                 have been used as an entrance during the historical
red ware of Historical period. The purpose of such                  period.
heap could not be ascertained. Another wall, oriented                   Layer 4 was loose ashy deposit which yielded
east-west, was found joining this structure at its north            pottery belonging to KMR III. A stone structure was
western end. It is available up to a length of 3.20 m               partially exposed in the eastern section of this layer. It
only and could have joined the inner face of the fort               was found resting on layer 5. Layer 4 in the southern
in trench P27. The second room was discovered about                 half of trench P 27 yielded a rectangular steatite seal
2.50 m to the south of the first one in trench Q28.                 with perforated knob on the reverse. It has been found
The eastern and western walls of this room are of                   engraved with a cross like sign. This seal appears to be
inferior quality whereas the northern one was built                 quite interesting as it has coating of faience (Figure 6).
by erecting massive stone blocks perhaps robbed from                    Layer 5 was represented by a huge ashy dump
the fort wall. The southern wall was found 40 cm                    deposited in various successive episodes. As many as
in width. This Historical deposit was underlined by                 three major episodes represented by layers 5a, 5b and
a 25 cm thick dark greyish layer representing break                 5c were identified on the basis of nature of dumping,
between the Historic and Harappan deposit. It was                   its colour and signs of in situ burning. All these
numbered as layer 3. The Historic people prepared a                 layers deposited against the inner face of the fort
chute by cutting down layer 3 between the aforesaid                 were forming a steep slope. This direction of slope
rooms roughly in east-west orientation. The edges of                suggested that this ashy material was being thrown
this chute were lined with flat stone slabs. Perhaps it             from the top of the fort wall. Episode 5a was more
was a covered drain as some cap stones were found in                whitish compared to 5b, in which thin lenses of burnt
the exposed eastern end. The western end of the drain               earth and bits of charcoal were found. The thickness
passed through the then extant top of the western arm               of this episode gradually decreases as one goes away
of the fort. This channel perhaps served the purpose                from the face of the wall, besides the surface tends to
of an out let.                                                      become gentler. At the base of this layer was found


                                                           - 81 -
                                                   J.S. Kharakwal et al.



a thin lense of burnt earth, which looks almost                               SHIFTING OF NORTHERN
horizontal but actually has a gentler slope close to                                INNER ARM
the face of the wall. Episode 5c deposited against 15th
and 16th course of the wall is more or less horizontal                Towards the end of the KMR II B the width of
and is composed of thin lenses of burnt earth and ash.                northern wall was narrowed down by shifting its inner
The combined thickness of these three episodes was                    face about 10 m further north. It is identified as the
measured about 3m. Layer 6 was light grey and pale                    third major structural phase of the fort wall (Figure
yellowish soil mixed with ash, the surface of which                   7). It appears that the outer face was maintained as
was burnt black. It was loose in composition much                     per original either right on the revetting wall or the
harder than any episode of layer 5. Layer 7 composed                  original wall face. This new inner face was exposed
of compact white clayey material was only about 10                    in trenches Y15 and Z15 up to a length of 8.50 m. Its
cm thick. Layer 8 loose in composition consists of                    extant height measured 1.15 m with 5 stone courses.
dark greyish soil mixed with brown sandy clay. Layers                 It was made up of large stone blocks some of which
9, 10, 11 and 12 were primarily composed of brown fine                measured about 80 cm in length and 35 cm in height.
sandy clay. These were separated mainly on the basis                  In trench Z15 it was found joined by a north-south
of their compactness and colour variation. Layers                     oriented retaining wall (5.40 m long ) at the right
12 and 13 were found deposited against the earliest                   angle. Only seven courses of retaining wall are extant
courses of the wall. These were composed of floor                     with a height of 1m. At its southern end it takes
levels and patches of powdered shale. The cultural                    a turns towards east and joins another wall (2.50
material, particularly pottery, of layers 5, 6, 7 and 8               m long ) roughly oriented in NNW-SSE. Initially
is comparable to layer 8 of central area or KMR II B                  it was suspected that it may be corner of an inner
whereas layers 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 yielded material that             bastion. Therefore, in the third and four field seasons
is grouped under KMR II A.                                            more area was exposed to understand the structure
    Underlying the fort wall 14, 15 and 16 belong to                  fully. During the excavation the above mentioned
the pre-fortification phase at the site. This deposit                 another wall oriented roughly in NNE-SSW was
measuring about 70 cm in thickness yielded fragments                  exposed up to a length of 6.80 m. It was found built
of bichrome ware and coarse red ware pottery, besides                 of huge stone blocks. Its northern half shows an
a few sherds of unslipped red ware. This deposit is                   eastward curve while the southern half is straight and
comparable to KMR I material of central part. Layer                   oriented roughly north-south and appears to joining
16 was a thin layer of soil resting on top of ferruginous             the eastern inner arm of the fort. As many as seven
sand stone bed rock (locally known as bhokar). A few                  courses of the face were exposed, but we could not
flakes of agate were discovered from this layer.                      reach the base as it was right in the core of the fort
    It is interesting to note that successive floor levels            wall of earlier phase.
were noticed along the inner face of the fort wall                        In the northeastern corner were found several
suggesting that residential structures were built very                parallel revetments, oriented in NNE-SSW. Two
close to the wall and as such there seems no scope for                of them were found curved towards west on their
any street along the same.                                            south western end. One of them located close to the
                                                                      inner corner of the fort was exposed up to a depth of
                                                                      2.40 m (14 courses), but we could not reach its base,
                                                                      because it was erected right in the core of the fort
                                                                      wall. These may represent local repairing of fort wall.


                                                             - 82 -
                               Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09




                             Figure 7 Third structural phase of the fort wall, northern arm


Somewhat similar parallel stone alignments were also               which is still unknown to us. Presence of the ash
noticed in the north western corner of the fort wall.              dumps on either side of the fortification seems to be
Perhaps these indicate sub-structural phases of the                result of such burning activities.
fort construction and may belong to KMR IIB.                           Therefore, towards end of the urban phase the
    After exposing these parallel walls, it seems that             width (on top) of the northern arm may have been
there was no inner bastion at the north eastern corner,            reduced to about 6 m. It is yet to be ascertained
at least after the end of urban phase KMR IIB. Could               whether the width of other three arms of the fort were
there be a watch tower kind of structure, squarish                 reduced like the northern wall in order to create more
on plan, the corners of which were rounded? Either                 space inside the fortification or for other unknown
these parallel walls were result of successive veneer              reasons. It can be confirmed only after further
added to the northern arm of fort at its eastern end               excavations, though the construction pattern, size of
or were simple constructions is yet to be ascertained.             stones, binding material found in the northern and
Some such indications were also exposed in the north               southern exposed corners of eastern inner are quite
western corner too.                                                different in appearance.
    It appears that the 10 m wide space created                        Thus the shifting of northern inner face further
towards the end of the urban phase KMR IIB, i.e.                   north was identified as the third major construction
after shifting the inner face of northern wall further             phase of the fortification. By going through the
north may have been used for some activity. It has                 construction method of Harappans it is likely that
been observed that large scale burning activities were             the fort wall at Kanmer may not have been 20 m
carried out regularly in large pits for some purpose               wide or 9 m high right from the beginning rather its


                                                          - 83 -
                                                  J.S. Kharakwal et al.



width increase gradually with addition provided from                 result it appears in two sets. It is not clear if it was
external as well as internal side. Similarly its height              caused due to an earthquake? However, this event
may have been raised with each successive addition.                  could not be corroborated by any other such evidence
These types of gradual additions have been reported                  in the habitation deposit.
from Dholavira also. Of course, to understand the                        It seems that in monsoon seasons the powdered
precise history of growth of the fort wall, one has                  shale was gradually washed off and in due course
to cut through the wall to identify its construction                 of time largely got deposited on the tapering outer
phases.                                                              surface of the fort wall. While exposing the outer
    The outer face of the southern arm, barring the                  face of the fort wall such material sticking on the wall
lower courses, was largely missing. However, the core                betrays coating. It may have eventually strengthened
of the wall was exposed at several locations. It was                 the veneer as it was too difficult to expose such area of
noticed that the lower part of its core was built mainly             the wall.
of mud bricks. The bricks were prepared of brown                         The eastern end of the northern arm of the fort
sandy clay (locally known as lilva). In the upper part               appears to have survived with maximum height of
of the construction of core, however, bricks made of                 about 9.70 m with 30 courses. It was sealed with white
yellowish sandy clay (pila lilva) were also added to                 plaster prepared from white shale.
the brown sandy ones. The same clays were also found
used as cement in the stone veneer. Besides white,
pinkish powdered shale was also used as binding                      POSSIBLE LOCATION OF THE GATE
material towards the end in the fort wall.
    The evidence found near the south eastern corner                 Excavation of the eastern half of the northern arm
indicates that the top of the fort wall was sealed                   and northern half of eastern arm of the fort wall
perhaps with a thick layer of clay. Here, on the top of              ruled out the possibility of entrance to the settlement
the wall a 65 cm thick deposit consisting of successive              from these sides. Similarly, close examinations of
layers of a variety of clays (variety of sandy clays such            surface features of the mound indicate that there
as brown, greyish, yellowish and white and pinkish                   may not be any entrance on the eastern and western
powdered shale) was exposed (in trenches II29, HH29                  arm either. However, the contour map of the site
and HH30). The average thickness of each layer                       shows that there is a general slope towards south.
was found about 4 cm. It is interesting to note that                 Horizontal excavation in the south central part also
repetition of such layers more than once and sealed                  reveals a gentle slope towards same direction. Thus it
every time by white or pink powdered shale suggests                  seems that the entrance to the Harappan settlement
phases of regular repairing or maintenance of the fort               was provided from south through the southern arm.
wall. Of course, they may have to mine large quantity                Unfortunately, outer arm at the possible location
of shale available locally. This feature is evidenced                of entrance is largely missing or destroyed by the
only at the top of south eastern and north eastern                   villagers. Perhaps further excavation across the wall at
corners. Thus the 9 m high strong fort with white                    this point of arm may provide some evidence of the
plastered top must be a very impressive construction                 entrance.
of its builders. It is a bit difficult to asses how much
time, labour and energy went into its erection. It is
interesting to note here that the horizontal layers of
thick clay deposit show a slight vertical sinking as a


                                                            - 84 -
                                Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09




                                    Figure 8 Residential structures in the central part


     RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES                                             The earliest residential structure at Kanmer was
       IN THE CENTRAL AREA                                          partially exposed in the north eastern half of trench
                                                                    Z30 at depth of 3.80 m below the surface. It was
Excavation at the site revealed five major phases of                exposed up to a length of 2.20 m. Oriented in NNW-
Harappan structural activities. Of them the first                   SSE its width was measured around 45 cm. Beneath
three have been identified in the central area (Figure              this structure were of course found four floor levels
8) while the two later ones, belonging to the Late                  (at a depth of 4.50 m from surface). Interestingly, the
Harappans were exposed in the south eastern area                    successive floors show a gradual shift towards north to
of the site. Each of these major structural phases has              a street or open space.
sub phases suggesting constant addition or alteration                   The second structural phase was identified in
by various generations. The few partially exposed                   the same trench (Z30) overlying the first one. It was
structures of these phases revealed that most of them               represented by a partially exposed room (4.80 m
were largely disturbed or destroyed by the activities of            by 3.0 m) with a platform (1.53 m by 1.23 m) on the
the subsequent occupants of the site.                               street or open space to its north. The walls of this
    In the first cultural period, i.e. KMR I no                     structure join each other at right angle and are made
structure could be discovered so far as the excavation              of stone. Yellowish sand was used as binding material.
was restricted to very small area. However, as many as              The extant height of its northern wall has measured
four successive floor levels were identified in trenches            88 cm (6 courses) whereas the height of western
AA28, Z28, and Z30 in the central part. The earliest                wall measured 45 cm with 4 courses. A platform
among them was prepared right on the bed rock.                      seems to be provided at the entrance of the house. A


                                                           - 85 -
                                                J.S. Kharakwal et al.



medium sized jar found placed near its outer north-               measured 1.20 m. This wall measured 3.85 m in length.
eastern corner appears to be a sullage jar. About 7m              It seems all these structures belong to sub phases of
north of the platform was found a room of another                 second structural phase.
house (northern house) measuring about 2.25 m by                      All these structures were made of semi-dressed
1.50 m in dimension. Exposed partially it was also                stones. The locally available yellowish fine sandy clay
found roughly oriented in NNW-SSE direction thus                  (pila lilva) was used as binding material. The breadth
conforming to the general orientation of the site.                of walls was found ranging from 45 cm to 50 cm. The
A stone alignment (3.56 m) was discovered in the                  lay out plans of these structures indicate that they
western half of Z28, which seems to be contemporary               restrictedly followed the orientation of the main fort,
to the aforesaid house. Thus the supposed street or               thus indicating a planned settlement inside.
open space was exposed up to 5m from east to west in                  The third structural phase belongs to KMR IIB.
length and up to 7m from north to south in width. It              It seems that by now the open space (exposed in Z29)
was found continuing towards further west.                        had encroached upon by structures. Several structures
    A sub-phase of this complex was identified                    of this phase were exposed in a large area (trenches
with rectangular rooms situated to the south of                   X28, X29, X30, Y28, Y29 and AA29) located on
open space or street. As many as three rooms were                 the previous open space or street. In this phase the
partially exposed in trenches AA30, Z31 and Y30. The              average breadth of walls was found about 50 cm.
aforesaid open space appears to be a by-lane towards              Use of yellowish sandy clay was stopped foe binding
south, perhaps connected to the main entrance of                  material in constructions. In X30 a button shape
the settlement as the gentle slope in the stratigraphy            steatite seal with perforated knob was discovered in
would indicate. This structural complex was possibly              layer 8. More than half a dozen rectangular rooms of
located to the east of this lane.                                 this phase were identified in the central part. In one
    About 1 m to the east of the northern house                   of the rooms a gap found in the western wall indicates
was found an alignment (3.20 m) of stones, oriented               that entrance was provided from the west side.
NNW-SSE, the southern end of which was missing.                       The floors prepared by levelling and filling of soil
To the west of its existing southern end a small                  were finely plastered possibly with the powdered shale
squarish platform was found whereas to the east of                mixed with cow dung. Even today the local villagers
this structure was found a floor and a large circular             prepare their house floors in such way. Therefore the
patch of ash (1.50 m by 1.25 m). Further to the east              local folks were easily able to identify the ancient
of this structure was found another stone alignment               floors during excavation.
at about 3 m distance. What is interesting to note
here that these structures appear to have been made
by encroachment on the open space or the lane.                             SOUTHEASTERN AREA
Therefore, these partially exposed structures show
some kind of change in planning. A terracotta sealing             In continuation of the second season’s excavation a
was found from the SW corner of Z28 on the floor                  few more trenches such as GG29, GG30, FF29, FF30,
levels of layer 9.                                                EE29 and EE30 were laid in south eastern area of the
    A few more walls, belong ing to different                     mound order to understand the partially exposed
rectangular rooms, were discovered to the east and                large structural complex near the south eastern corner
northeast of the house exposed with a platform. The               of the fort. During the excavation a large number (a
extant height of one of the walls of these rooms has              dozen) of circular pits were exposed just below the


                                                         - 86 -
                               Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09



surface. All these pits were made of fine clay, perhaps                Based on the stratigraphy, it appears that there
brought from near by lake or pond and were coated                  were three successive structural phases of stone walls.
with white fibrous material. Many of them yielded                  It has been noticed that each time the complex may
layers of sand and ash and medieval pottery and                    have 4 or 5 rooms. In case of the latest complex
charred grains. Therefore these pits were identified               numbered as LH 1, the width of wall increased up to
as silos and were assigned to cultural period V of                 60 cm whereas in older structures it was hardly 50 cm.
Kanmer. Underlying these pits were discovered a
few minor structures with one or two courses. These
structures perhaps belonged to Historical phase as                          NORTHEASTERN AREA
some of them were cut by the pits. These structures
were found in FF30, EE30 and EE29 whereas the pits                 Barring a few lower courses, the outer face of north
were somewhat evenly distributed throughout the                    eastern corner of the fort was missing. As the extant
exposed area.                                                      top of the revetment was visible close to the corner
    Like other parts of the mound the dark grayish                 we decided to expose outer arm of the fort as well as
layer, represented by layer 2 in this area, was found              the revetting wall to understand the constructional
overlying the Harappan remains. In the northern half               phases (Kharakwal et al. 2008). In continuation of
of GG29 was exposed a circular platform made of                    the last season’s work the outer addition or revetting
stones in layer 3, the diameter of which was found 1.50            was exposed up to a length of 28 m. The entire face
m. On the southern side of this circle were discovered             was found with a considerable southward tilting.
two medium sized pots of Coarse Red or Gritty Red                  The addition or revetting was largely made of semi
Ware. It appears that perhaps this could be a floor                dressed stones of the average size of about 30 x 25 x
level inside a house. However the exact use of the                 8 cm. However, some of the stone blocks were quite
circular structure is not known. In the north western              large as their length measured 60 cm and thickness 10
corner of the same trench was discovered a highly                  cm. Such large stones were mostly used in the lower
burnt red feature in a small area (60 cm by 40 cm) on              part of the wall. It has been observed that the original
the floor of a house. The eastern and southern walls               exterior of the fort was made of well dressed large
of this house were also partially exposed in the same              stone blocks than to the latter addition or revetting.
trench.                                                            Therefore the original wall looks very impressive. Near
    In the southern half of FF29 half a dozen stone                the north eastern corner the fort height seems to have
structures, possibly belonging to equal number of                  survived intact as the plaster of white shale, perhaps
houses in layer 3 have been recorded. Some of them                 applied on its top is still visible. The total height of
have been found destroyed by later pits. Among these               the outer face was found 9.50 m.
at least four walls appear to be superimposed on the                   Trenches Z16, Z17, Z18, AA16, AA17, AA18 and
older ones suggesting stratigraphically a succession               BB16 and BB17, located in the north eastern corner
of structures in south eastern area. These walls have              of the mound, were basically selected in order to
survived with courses ranging from 3 to 5 with length              expose the inner corner of the fort to understand its
from 1.50 m to 3 m. In the south western corner of                 inner growth. Soon after the removal of surface soil in
FF30 also stone walls of three different phases were               trenches Z16, AA16 and BB16 it was realised that this
noticed. In the northern half of FF29, close to the                whole area was perhaps used as dumping space by the
northern section facing south, also two structures                 Historic people as it yielded large amorphous shaped
were discovered jetting out of the section.                        burnt patches. In fact it seems that the Historic


                                                          - 87 -
                                                  J.S. Kharakwal et al.



people dug the core of the Harappan fort wall made                  like powdered shale mixed with yellowish sandy clay.
few pits also. Therefore the historical material was                It was found against the eighth course of the fort wall.
found resting directly on the Harappan fort wall.                   Perhaps it was the binding material of the wall which
However, layer 1 in trenches Z17 and Z18, AA17 and                  appears to have washed off and deposited against the
BB17 yielded mixed pottery belonging to Historic                    wall. Layer 7a was formed of brownish sandy material
and medieval period. Layer 2 was represented by                     and compact in nature whereas 7b was loose. As
thick deposit of dark greyish soil, which was coarse                many as 13 courses of the inner face of the fort wall
in nature. The nature of this layer was very well                   were exposed in this trench with a total height of
comparable to layer 6 of central part, layer 3 of                   about 2 m. In this area it seems that the inner face was
western area and layer 2 of south eastern area. It has              repaired as the size of semi dressed stones used was
been identified as a break between the Early Historic               much smaller (20 x 10 x 8 cm average) compared to
and the Harappan deposit. In layer 3 a retaining wall,              other exposed areas. No binding material was found
oriented roughly east-west, was partially exposed,                  between the stones. Excavation could not continue
against which was found a floor level. Its extant height            further down in this area due to discovery of a furnace
measured about 1m. To the east of this floor level                  with a central column. All these layers were found
was found a residential structure (LH 3), oriented                  sloping towards south. Perhaps this entire deposit
roughly north-south, which was partially exposed (up                seems to be thrown down from the top of the fort
to a length of 3.50 m) in trenches AA16 and AA17. It                wall. Layer 7b in which the furnace was discovered
has survived up to a height of about 1 m with seven                 close to the face of the wall was the last activity carried
courses. The southern wall of this house oriented                   out inside.
roughly east-west has survived up to a length of 3.40                   The inner corner of the fort was exposed in
m. The average width of these walls measured about                  trench AA17. The eastern inner arm was exposed up
60 cm. The eastern and northern walls of the room                   to a length of 5.50 m, whereas the northern inner arm
are missing. From the floor levels fragments of dish                was exposed up to a length of 8 m. The northern inner
on stands, jar and Gritty Red Ware, besides featureless             arm appears to have been repaired close to the corner
bowls were recovered. Most of this material was                     as it is made of much smaller stones compared to the
ochreous. Thus on the basis of stratigraphy and                     eastern one and neither has the binding material like
ceramic assemblage the aforesaid structures and floor               the surviving eastern one. The eastern wall was located
levels and pottery was assigned to cultural period                  about 1.80 m below the surface. It was made of large
KMR III.                                                            semi dressed stone, some of which were measured
    In order to expose the inner face of the fort wall              about 60 to 80 cm in length, 25 to 45 cm in breadth
excavation continued in AA16 also. In this trench                   and 25 cm in thickness. The Harappans often used
layers 4, 5, 6 and 7 were found deposited against the               white and pinkish powdered shale and yellow sandy
inner face of the fort wall. The total height of this               clay locally known as pila lilva as binding material.
exposed section was measured about 3 m. Among
these excavated layers, layer 4 was composed of ash
whereas layer 5 was light greyish in appearance and                                      FURNACE
was composed of brownish sand mixed with sand and
also bits of charcoal. Layer 6 was composed of various              A bulb-shaped plan of a furnace with a central
lenses of burnt earth, charcoal etc. One of the lenses              cylindrical hollow column (diameter 31 cm, depth
of layer 6 was composed of white clay which looked                  35 cm) (Figure 9) was exposed in trench Z17 about


                                                           - 88 -
                               Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09




                                       Figure 9 Furnace with a central column


10 m west of north eastern corner of the fort. It                  was found inside the column. Several tubular faience
was built close to the inner face of the wall and was              beads were recovered from the furnace area and near
oriented in NNW-SSE direction. It measured 1.40                    the square platform. Therefore, it is likely that this
m from north to south and 96 cm from east to west.                 was a faience bead making furnace. This furnace was
The clay walls of the furnace were barely 4 cm thick               found sealed by layer numbered 4. This layer consists
and the area between the column and outer clay wall                of several episodes of ash which was possibly thrown
was found completely filled with ash. The column                   from the top of the fortification wall by the people
with an opening only from top was found filled with                also belonging to KMR IIB phase. The furnace seems
whitish ashy material. The burnt red colour of the                 to have been built during the initial stage of this
cylindrical column, the outer clay wall and the earth              phase.
around the furnace indicate that the temperature
raised in the furnace may have been more than 700°
C. Indications are that the heat generated in the                                MINOR OBJECTS
furnace also damaged the face of the fort wall. A small
square (90 x 90 cm) platform made of flat stones just              A large variety of minor objects such as beads of
to the east of the furnace also seems to be associated             terracotta, paste, semiprecious stones, gold, shell,
with it. This platform was prepared on a floor level.              seals, seal impressions, terracotta cakes, dices,
A thick cubical sandstone block was found lying on                 gamesman, amulets, bead polishers, drill bits, rough-
the eastern margin of the floor to which was found                 outs and weights have been discovered. Terracotta
sticking some whitish substance identical to what                  cakes were found distributed throughout the deposit


                                                          - 89 -
                                                 J.S. Kharakwal et al.




                                                                                                   5cm




                           Figure 10 Terracotta objects with a seal impression from Kanmer

in the urban phase (KMR II). They are smaller in                  impressions, found in a room in layer 9, is circular in
size in the beginning and gradually were made bigger              shape, flat on the obverse and convex on the reverse.
during the later part of the urban phase (KMR IIB).               The impression was made by a square seal, which
A few of them were also discovered in the upper                   may have been about 26.7 x 25 mm. The diameter of
levels with KMR III deposit. Beads outnumber all                  this seal impression was measured 34.52 mm. It has
other finds as they have been discovered over 20,000              a perforation (diameter 4.15 mm) which is slightly
in number. The most striking discovery of the site                off the center. On the obverse is depicted a unicorn,
appears to be three identical terracotta objects with             besides a few Harappan letters. The reverse shows
a seal impression, which appear to be sort of identity            a signature. The reverse signature in each case is
cards or passport, perhaps used by Harappans during               different than the others.
their long distance trade (Figure 10). One of the seal                Among others objects a button shaped steatite
                                                                  seal depicting a donkey (?) appears to be quite
          Table 1 Beads discovered at Kanmer                      significant. The discovery of over 158 drill bits of
          Material           Number                               Ernestite (Figure 11) and about half a dozen of
        1. Steatite          17580                                Rohri chert is perhaps the other significant finding
        2. Faience           328                                  considering the size of site and duration of work
        3. Paste             14                                   carried out at the site. The Rohri material appeared
        4. Agate             31                                   at the site from KMR II. The find of large quantity of
        5. Carnelian         59                                   raw material, particularly agate, variety of drill bits,
        6. Lapis             11
                                                                  rough outs of carnelian, debitage, chips, unfinished
        7. Amazonite         4
                                                                  products, beads polishers all strongly indicate that
        8. Serpentine        1
                                                                  perhaps bead making was one of the most popular or
        9. Sandstone         1
                                                                  prized occupation of Harappans at Kanmer.
        10. Limestone ?      1
                                                                      The majority of Harappan beads type are disc,
        11. Terracotta       30
        12. Shell            141
                                                                  bicone and tubular. Beads of steatite outnumber all
        13. Bone             5                                    others as more than 18,000 have been discovered so
        14. Gold             8                                    far. They have been recorded as micro-beads, mini


                                                         - 90 -
Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09




                                                            2cm



           Figure 11 Drill bits from Kanmer




                                                            2cm




        Figure 12 Carnelian beads from Kanmer


                          - 91 -
                                                  J.S. Kharakwal et al.



disc type, disc type, cylindrical or tubular, segmented,             inferior. A few examples of shell, bone and metal ones
wafer type and triangular ones. Except for one hoard                 have been found from the Mature and Late Harappan
from a house of KMR III level most of them have                      levels. The following Table 1 shows quantity of beads
been found from streets. Some of the tubular beads                   of different material at Kanmer discovered in the
have been decorated with circular marks. In KMR                      Harappan deposit.
III, the quantity of tubular beads decreases and
sometimes they have been found coated with green
or blue colour, perhaps to look like faience. Faience                                    LITHICS
beads are disc type, short tubular or tubular and
blackish, greyish and greenish in appearance. The                    Hundreds of lithic objects such as flakes, cores,
blackish or greyish examples appear to be the result of              lunates, notches, long parallel sided blades were
ill or over firing. Most of the tubular ones are 2 cm to             discovered from Kanmer. They are being studied by
3 cm in length and have been discovered from north                   H. Endo of Research Institute for Humanity and
eastern area (trenches Z16, Z17, Z18, and AA17). It is               Nature, Kyoto. The raw material of lunates, flakes
likely that they were manufactured in the northern                   and cores was mostly agate and local chert, perhaps
area of the mound, which strongly appears to be used                 from Mardhak Bet. However notches, Ribbon blades
for craft activities. The paste beads, though very few in            (Figure 13) were made of Rohri chert. Interestingly no
quantity when compared to steatite, were found quite                 raw material or any core of Rohri chert was found at
attractive. Most of them are either black or red or                  the site. Perhaps the Harappans of Kanmer received
white and globular, disk type or cylindrical in shape.               finished blades of Rohri. What is interesting is that
    The beads of semiprecious stone have been                        we have been able to locate as many as 9 drill bits of
identified as carnelian (Figure 12), agate, lapis lazuli,            Rohri from the site. It seems that besides Ernestite
chalcedony, serpentine and bloodstone. The site                      only Rohri chert was used for preparing drill bits at
yielded raw material of agate besides, chipped, rough                Kanmer.
outs, grinded, unpolished bead blanks. A large variety
of shapes such as cylindrical, disc type, biconical,
truncated bicone, circular, barrel, globular, circular,                                  POTTERY
flat bicone, diamond were found. All these findings
indicate that a variety of beads were manufactured                   The ceramic assemblage was mainly represented
at the site. Perhaps the raw material was brought                    by Red Ware right from the beginning, which was
from nearby Mardhak Bet, about 20 km northeast                       treated with a variety of slip e.g., Red, chocolate,
of the site in the Little Rann. Except for lapis lazuli/             buff, cream, black and reserve. Except for black
sodalite, source of raw material for all these beads                 slip and finer variety of reserve slip (grey variety),
types could have been the Little Rann and its adjacent               all other types were introduced at the site right
areas. Lapis may have been brought either from Ajmer                 from the beginning. Both fine and coarse varieties
in Rajasthan or from Afghanistan. The beads of                       remained in use throughout the habitation, of course
carnelian are disc type, globular, bicone and tubular                the coarse variety accounts for a small percentage
and etched ones. These beads were drilled after                      of the assemblage in the early levels and it gradually
polishing as the find of many broken but polished                    increased in the subsequent phases with a mat surface.
examples would indicate. In the Late Harappan phase                  Besides Red Ware, Reserve Slipped with grey core,
the quality of surface treatment of such beads was                   Black-and-Red, Buff ware were some of the other


                                                            - 92 -
Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09




            Figure 13 Lithics from Kanmer




                                                    10cm




        Figure 14 Painted pottery from KMR I


                          - 93 -
                                                  J.S. Kharakwal et al.



types used. The fine variety of Red Ware (in case of                 types gradually increased in the later levels. A variety
bowls, dishes and medium sized jar/pots) was very                    of bowls with flared body and inverted rim or with
often treated either with red slip or with chocolate                 slightly pronounced body and featureless rim or with
slip or sometimes with both. In the lower levels                     carinated body and everted rim or with stand were
(KMR I and KMR IIA) the slip was uniformly                           part of this assemblage. Two different types of stands
applied on external surface whereas later on very often              such as cylindrical shape and with flared body were
the outer surface appears to have been moistened                     discovered. Perhaps the former one was part of dishes.
with slip. Sometimes slip was not applied to the entire              Both types were often decorated with bichorme
outer surface rather wide panels were prepared all                   paintings. Bowls with carinated body and featureless
round the body leaving major area unslipped. Though                  rim types continued in the subsequent cultural
pottery was fired at high temperature, it seems that                 periods too but with little change both in material
the uniform firing was not maintained in all the types.              and shape. Basins with carinated body appear to have
Towards the end most of the pottery types appear                     been popular in the lower levels. Often the fine variety
ochreous. It is not ascertained if this kind of character            was wheel thrown, though slow wheel and handmade
is result of poor firing technique.                                  types pre-dominate the assemblage. The bichorme,
    KMR I was represented by both slipped and                        cream slipped and coarse type pottery is also common
unslipped red ware, bichorme and polychrome, cream                   in Anarta complex of North Gujarat (Ajithprasad
slipped, chocolate and buff slipped pottery (Figure                  2002).
14). The jar/pots were dominated by globular body                        A variety of design patterns such as panel of
shapes often with concave neck and everted rim.                      triangles, chess board patterns , vertical registers of
The bichrome types were treated with black or dark                   wavy lines or squares, diamond shape designs, fish
greyish or light brown or red slip. Very often a white               scales discovered in bichrome type jar pots in from
panel was prepared on the neck or shoulder portion                   Kanmer (KMR I) appear to be identical to those
on which variety of geometric patterns were executed                 ones found from Amri Period I by Casal (1964).
with black, brown or red colour. In case of some                     For example a panel of triangles (Period IA Fig. 44
polychrome decorations sometimes orange colour                       type 49, Period I D Fig 66 type 232), chess board
was also used either to fill gaps or to make boarder.                patterns (Fig 44 type 52, Period IC Fig 56 type 159),
It looks as if it was used to highlight certain design.              vertical register of way lines or squares from Period
Compared to bichrome the polychrome sherds are                       IB, diamond shape designs (Period IC Fig 57 type
only a few.                                                          162), fish scale (Period I D Fig. 64 type 214) of Amri
    Sometimes unslipped Red Ware or buff slipped                     have exact parallels at Kanmer in the first or earliest
medium sized jar/pots were decorated with a band                     cultural phase (KMR I).
of thin grooved lines all around the shoulder perhaps                    Besides, a few bowls with everted rim and
by a comb like instrument. These sherds remind the                   carinated body, with flared sides and featureless rim,
Kot Diji type pottery. Jar/pots with coarse fabric                   bowls with stand, with vertical sides and featureless
were generally left unslipped and the lower part of                  rim, jar/pots with concave neck and everted rim,
their body was rough. From this assemblage, except                   basins and dish on stand (?) with nail headed rim also
for bichrome and polychrome types, jar/ pots with                    have parallels at Amri in Period I and II (see e.g., Fig.
grooved decoration tend to disappear in KMR II as                    51 type 112; Fig 64 type 216, Fig 65 type 228; IC Fig.
the discovery of only a few stray fragments indicates.               54 type139; Fig. 62 types 200, 202, 203; Fig 65 type
On the other hand the chocolate and red slipped                      226; Fig. 70 type 282’ Fig 69 type 273; Fig 74 tye 317;


                                                            - 94 -
                                Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09



Fig 79 type 347).                                                    motifs become visible only after making them wet.
    In KMR IIA most of the shapes of KMR I                           Did the Harappan use such pots for storing water?
continue with little change, but now the assemblage                  It seems that the painting may have been visible only
is dominated by fossil types identical to urban phase                when there was water in them.
e.g., S shaped jars, perforated jars, dish on stands,                    In this assemblage, a few rim and body sherds
large jars with clubbed rims, terracotta cakes, besides              of jar/ pots, bowls were treated with red or orange
a few fragments of goblets with flattened base.                      slip and their core was whitish. Their appearance
In case of bowls a few fragments of handles with                     is different than buff pottery. It seems that the
perforation were found, besides Black-and-Red Ware                   Harappans mixed powder of white or pink shale with
with featureless rims and with pronounced body. In                   clay to make such pottery.
case of medium and large jar/pots generally one or                       In KMR III most of the KMR IIB types continue
sometimes two parallel lines were depicted running                   and jar with elongated neck appear to be common.
all around the shoulder or body part. Of course some                 The entire assemblage appears ochreous. The gritty
of the medium sized jar/pots were decorated with                     sometimes appears brittle.
natural motifs such as papal leaf or some other leafs or
branch like motif.
    In KMR IIB the pottery of earlier phase continue,                             FAUNAL REMAINS
but some new types were introduced at the site
such white painted Black and Red Ware and Sorath                     The faunal analysis is being carried out by P.P. Joglekar
Harappan material. Bowls with featureless rim and                    and Pankaj Goyal from Deccan College, Pune.
vertical sides, sometimes with stud handles and star                 Though faunal remains were recovered from almost
motif were common. Besides, a very coarse Red Ware,                  all the trenches, they were not evenly distributed. In
which may also be called as gritty Red Ware appears                  most of the trenches bones were encrusted with soil,
in this phase. It has often been treated with thick red              but they were able to identify cut marks on bones
slip on the shoulder and rim part whereas the lower                  and charred bones in some cases. They have identified
part of the body is very rough or seldom appears                     several animal taxa, which include mammals, birds,
rusticated. A variety of deep incised geometric design               fish, reptiles and molluscan species. Among the
patterns have been engraved on the shoulder portion                  domestic animals, cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and
of such pots with some sharp object. In fact together                pig were identified. More than a dozen wild animals
with white painted Black and Red ware this pottery                   were identified in the collection, including the nilgai,
type reminds the Ahar pottery of Southern Rajasthan                  antelopes, deer, carnivores and rodents.
(Misra et al. 1997). It is possible that the idea of such                In the Late Harappan phase domestic animals
pottery types travelled to this region from Ahar                     predominate like in the other cultural phases at the
complex. Large and medium sized jars of this gritty                  site. Among the domestic animals the cattle and
type are often found burnt black on the inner side,                  buffalo constitute a majority and many of them bear
discovered particularly from south eastern part of the               cut marks or are charred suggesting that they were
mound. It is possible that they were used for heating                consumed. The wild animals represented in the Late
bead blanks or raw material at the site. We carried out              Harappan phase include a large bovid, wild pig ,
some such experiment at the site which yielded similar               antelopes, deer, carnivores and small mammals like
result. Most of the pottery types become finer during                hare and rodents (9.60%). In the Mature Harappan
this period. In some medium sized pots painted                       phase 96% faunal remains belong to cattle and buffalo


                                                            - 95 -
                                                    J.S. Kharakwal et al.



(81.09%), followed by sheep and goat (13.93%).                              PALAEOETHNOBOTANICAL
Besides these, wild animals like nilgai (blue bull),                            INVESTIGATIONS
four-horned antelope, a suidae species and the
porcupine were identified.                                             In order to understand subsistence of the Harappans,
    Thus as many as twenty-four species were                           Anil K . Pokharia (Birba l Sa hni Institute of
identified, out of which the domestic mammals                          Palaeobotany, Lucknow, India) continued the study of
were represented by seven species (cattle, buffalo,                    palaeobotanical remains, particularly of charred grains
sheep, goat, pig, dog and cat) wild mammals were                       in the third and fourth seasons. He has been able
represented by 14 species (Nilgai, wild pig, antelopes                 to conduct preliminary examination of some of the
(Blackbuck, Chinkara and Four-horned antelope),                        samples collected by him from the site. He primarily
deer (Sambar, Chital, and Mouse deer), a felid species,                employed water flotation technique to retrieve the
porcupine, hare and rodents (house rat and desert                      charred grains at the site. He was assisted by several
rat). Besides these, a few birds, reptiles, fish and shells            research students of Rajasthan Vidyapeeth and water
were also identified.                                                  was brought from a distance by bullock cart to wash
    Evidence of charring, butchering and cut marks                     the samples. Initially we attempted quantitative
has been found on a large number of bones which                        control on our sampling, but gradually we realized we
perhaps indicate that these animals may have been                      require some strategy for varied context. For example
part of their diet. The relative proportion of charred                 from our floors or general habitation levels ten
bones was larger in the Mature Harappan phase                          ghamelas soil was sampled for floatation. Ghamela is
compared to the Late Harappan and Historic. Some                       a deep basin kind of metal utensil. From hearth/ fire
of the bones of cattle/buffalo and sheep/goat were fire                places generally two ghamelas and from burnt patches
hardened and it is likely that they may have been used                 five ghamelas of soil sample was employed for washing
as tools.                                                              to retrieve the grains. One ghamela contains about 5
    Goyal and Joglekar (in press) conclude that                        kg of soil. Soil samples for wet flotation were selected
“domestic animals were the most important resource                     from north eastern, central, south eastern and western
to the animal-based subsistence throughout the                         areas. Each sample was poured into the body of water
occupational history. The higher percentage of                         in a tub that was agitated so that light material is
domestic animals like cattle, buffalo, sheep and goat                  buoyed to the surface and skimmed off through a 25
may suggest that stock raising and pastoralism was                     mesh sieve. Floatation allowed recovery of all size
an important component in the subsistence activity                     and classes of botanical material preserved in the
of the community in all the periods”. They further                     sediment, making qualitative and quantitative analysis
point out that the proportion of wild mammals used                     possible. A large amount of carbonized material was
in the Late Harappan phase was more than any other                     gleaned from well stratified trenches.
cultural phase, clearly indicating an increase on the                      A sizeable amount of botanical material was
dependence on the wild mammals. Of course one                          found in utterly fragile, highly burnt and mutilated
has to keep in mind that in all our trenches we have                   state of preservation. The inferences of the study,
exposed Late Harappan deposit more than any other                      therefore, are based on a small fraction of the
cultural phase. Eventually the faunal assemblage of                    material. The remains were sorted out under the
the Late Harappan outnumbered all other phases.                        stereo-binocular microscope and thereafter cleaned in
Therefore, this conclusion, as the authors have                        acid-alcohol (glacial acetic acid 10% + ethyl alcohol
pointed out, is tentative.                                             50% in equal volume). The identification, Pokharia,


                                                              - 96 -
                                  Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09



Table 2     Botanical remains recovered from Harappan Kanmer identified by Anil Pokharia of Birbal Sahni Institute of
Palaeobotany, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

    S. no Area of mound Trench and Qdt         Cult. Pd        Layer       Depth in meter Botanical Remains
1         Central        Z30 SW               KMR I       12              10.02           Vigna, Macrotyloma
2         Central        Z30 SW               KMR I       12              9.62            Ho rd e u m , Vi g n a , M a c r o t y l o m a ,
                                                                                          Trianthema
3         Central        Z30 SW               KMR I       12              9.42-9.67       Hordeum vulgare, Triticum aestivum,
                                                                                          Trianthema triquetra, Polygonum sp.,
                                                                                          Ziziphus nummularia, Vicia sp.
4         Central        Z30 SW               KMR I       12              9.33            H o r d e u m v u l g a r e , Po l y g o n u m s p . ,
                                                                                          Tr i a n t h e m a t r i q u e t r a , Z i z i p h u s
                                                                                          nummularia
5         Central        Z30 SW               KMR II A 11                 9.23            Z iziphus nummul aria, Trianthe ma
                                                                                          triquetra
6         Central        Z30 SW               KMR II A 11                 9.06            Z iziphus nummul aria, Trianthe ma
                                                                                          triquetra
7         Central        Z30 SW               KMR II A 11                 9.00-9.06       Vigna sp., Pisum sp., Trianthema sp.,
8         Central        Z30 SE               KMR II A 10                 9.9             Hordeum, Vigna sp., Trianthema, Ziziphus
9         Central        Z30 SE               KMR II A 10                 9.4             Hordeum, Setaria, Trianthema, Ziziphus
10        Central        Z30 NE               KMR II A 10                 9.2             Hordeum, Vigna sp., Trianthema
11        Central        Z30 NE               KMR II A 10                 9.09            Hordeum, Oryza, Trianthema
12        Central        Z30 SE               KMR II A 10                 9.09            Trianthema
13        Central        Z30 NE               KMR II A 10                 9.04            Hordeum, Setaria sp.
14        Central        Z30 NW               KMR II A 10                 9.04            Hordeum, Triticum, Ziziphus, Trianthema
15        Central        Z30 NE               KMR II A 10                 8.9            Setaria sp.
16        Central        Z30 NW               KMR II A 9                  9.93-9.98      Ziziphus sp., Setaria sp.
17        Central        Z28 SE               KMR II A 9                  7.83           Ziziphus
18        Central        Z28 SE               KMR II A 9                  7.53           Ziziphus
19        Central        Z28 NW               KMR II A 9                  7.51           Hordeum, Trianthema, Polygonum
20        Central        Z28 SW               KMR II A 9                  7.4            Hordeum, Ziziphus, Trianthema
21        Central        Z28 NE               KMR II A 9                  7.33           Hordeum, Ziziphus, Trianthema
22        Central        AA28 NW              KMR II A 9                  7.33           Hordeum, Trianthema
23        Central        AA28 SW              KMR II A 9                  7.59           Vigna radiata, Trianthema
24        Central        AA28 SW              KMR II A 9                  7.38           Vigna radiata
25        Central        AA28 NW              KMR II B 8                  7.11           Linum
26        Central        AA28 SW              KMR II B 8                  7.11           Gossypium
27        Central        Y28 SE               KMR III     7               5.73           Hordeum, Gossypium, Trianthema
28        Northeastern   Z17 SW               KMR II B 6                  5.39           Hordeum vulgare, Triticum aestivum,
                                                                                         Chenopodium sp., Setaria sp., Trianthema
                                                                                         triquetra, Ziziphus nummularia
29        Northeastern   AA17 NW              KMR II B 6                  5.4            Sorghum bicolor, Sesamum indicum
30        North eastern Z18 NW                KMR II B 4                  3.95           Vigna radiata, Ziziphus nummularia,
                                                                                         Polygonum sp., Trianthema triquetra,
                                                                                         Setaria sp., Scleria sp., Acacia sp.,
31        North eastern Z18 NW                KMR II B 4                  3.9            Triticum aestivum, Oryza sativa, Vigna
                                                                                         radiata, Linum usitatissimum, Sesamum
                                                                                         indicum, Setaria sp.,
32        North eastern Z18 NW                KMR II B 4                  3.82           Hordeum vulgare, Triticum aestivum,
                                                                                         Oryza sativa, Pennisetum typhoides, Vigna
                                                                                         radiata, Lathyrus sativus, Macrotyloma
                                                                                         uniflorum, Sesamum indicum, Gossypium
                                                                                         arboreum/herbaceum


                                                                 - 97 -
                                                 J.S. Kharakwal et al.



 S. no Area of mound Trench and Qdt       Cult. Pd       Layer       Depth in meter Botanical Remains
33    North eastern Z18 NW            KMR III        3              3.84            Linum usitatissimum, Ziziphus
                                                                                    nummularia, Setaria sp., Polygonum
                                                                                    sp., Solanum sp., Trianthema triquetra,
                                                                                    Asphodelus sp., Vicia sp.
34    North eastern Z18 NW            KMR III        3              3.72            Triticum aestivum, Oryza sativa, Vigna
                                                                                    radiata, Pisum arvense, Macrotyloma
                                                                                    uniflorum, Sesamum indicum, Linum
                                                                                    usitatissimum, Gossypium arboreum/
                                                                                    herbaceum, Eleusine ?, Cucumis sp., Setaria
                                                                                    sp., Asphodelus sp., Solanum sp., Polygonum
                                                                                    sp., Trianthe ma triquetra, Z ziphus
                                                                                    nummularia, Vicia sativa
35    North eastern Z18 NW                           3              3.6             Vigna sp., Ziziphus nummularia, Setaria
                                                                                    sp., Trianthema triquetra
36    North eastern Z17 SW-NE         cultural       2              5               Hordeum vulgare, Setaria sp., Cyperus sp.,
                                      break                                         Trianthema triquetra
37    North eastern Z17 NE            cultural       2              5               Hordeum vulgare, Triticum aestivum, Vigna
                                      break                                         radiata, Lathyrus sativus, Pisum arvense,
                                                                                    Linum usitatissimum, Sesamum indicum
38    North eastern AA11 SW           KMR II B 4                    5.22            Hordeum vulgare, Triticum sp., Polygonum
                                                                                    sp., Ziziphus nummularia, Trianthema
                                                                                    triquetra
39    South eastern FF29 NW           KMR III        3              4               Pennisetum typhoides, Sorghum bicolor
40    South eastern FF29 SW           KMR III        3              3.79            Vigna radiata
41    South eastern FF29 SE           KMR III        3              3.77            Pennisetum typhoides, Ziziphus sp., Setaria
                                                                                    sp.
42    South eastern FF30 NE           KMR III        3              3.12            Sorghum bicolor, Pennisetum typhoides,
                                                                                    Ziziphus sp.
43    South eastern FF30 NW           KMR III        3              3.23            Vigna radiata, Ziziphus nummularia
44    South eastern GG29 NW           KMR III        3              3.16            Hordeum vulgare, Oryza sativa, Ziziphus
                                                                                    nummularia, Trianthem triquetra

45    South eastern GG29 NW           KMR III        3              3.14            Vigna radiata, Setaria sp., Trianthema
                                                                                    triquetra
46    South eastern GG29 NE           KMR III        3              2.9             Vigna radiata, Chenopodium sp., Indigofera
                                                                                    sp., Setaria sp.
47    South eastern EE29 NE           KMR III        3              4.1             Setaria, Polygonum
48    South eastern EE 29 NW          KMR IV         1              3.25            Pennisetum typhoides, Sorghum bicolor,
                                                                                    Macrotyloma uniflorum, Vigna radiata,
                                                                                    Linum usitatissimum, Ziziphus sp.,
                                                                                    Ipomoea sp., Polygonum sp., Dactyloctenium
                                                                                    aegyptium, Chenopodium sp., Acacia sp.,
49    North eastern AA 17 SW          KMR IV         1 (dump) 4.08                  Barley, Chenopodium sp., Trianthema
                                                                                    triquetra
50    North eastern AA16 NW           KMR IV         1 (dump) 2.86                  Vicia sp., Andropogon sp., Trianthema
                                                                                    triquetra, Solanum sp., Indigofera sp.,
51    Central       Z 29 SE           cultural       6              6.47            Coix sp.
                                      break
52    North eastern Z 16 SE           KMR IV         1              2.99           Hordeum vulgare, Pennisetum typhoides,
                                                                                    Macrotyloma uniflorum, Linum
                                                                                   usitatissimum, Scleria sp.




                                                           - 98 -
                               Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09



is based on the morphological details preserved in                 the dominant dry thorny vegetation.
the carbonized grains and seeds by comparing them                      They have also identified species such as Avicennia
with the corresponding parts of extant plants of the               marina, Mysistica malabarica and Wrightia tinctoria,
same species. These remains represent the accidentally             which may have been used for some activities other
scorched portion of a larger amount.                               than fuelling their hearths. For example, Lancelotti
    In the first field season several cereals and                  and Madella suggest that the presence of Wrightia at
pulses such as barley (Hordeum vulgare), bread-                    the site can be associated with dyeing activities as its
wheat (Triticum aestivum), dwarf-wheat (Triticum                   leaves produce a blue dye similar to Indigo. With their
sphaerococcum), rice (Oryza sativa), field-pea (Pisum              preliminary observations they have postulated that
arvense), grass-pea (Lathyrus sativus), and green-                 intensive exploitation of dry scrubland and riverine
gram (Vigna radiata) were identified, besides cotton               species, combined with increasing aridity may have
(Gossypium arboreum/herbaceum), some weeds and                     led to the environmental deterioration.
wild taxa (see Kharakwal et al. 2007). In the second                   We have so far received 27 radiocarbon dates for
field season, largely focused to understand the history            Kanmer given in Tables 3 and 4.
of fortification wall, we could retrieve number of                     These dates appear to support our identification of
charred grains of jowar-millet (Sorghum bicolor),                  different cultural period and chronology at Kanmer.
Pearl millet (Pennisetum typhoides), sesame (Sesamum               To our surprise there are three dates at our disposal
indicum), and horse-gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum).                  from the upper levels of Kanmer, which fall around
Besides, remains of weeds and other wild taxa were                 4th millennium BCE. However, these early dates
also encountered reflecting the ecological conditions              may be errors of some kind or due to contamination
and ground vegetation. Table 2 presents summary                    as there is no indicator in the archaeological remains
results of samples so far analysed by Pokharia,                    which points to such early dates.
belonging to third and fourth field season.
    Besides charred grains, Carla Lancelotti studied
a few samples of charcoal from Kanmer in order to                                  CONCLUSION
understand the fuel system of the Harppans with an
idea if the shortage in fuel accelerated the decline of            In fact out of 555 known Harappan and Chalcolithic
the mighty Harappans (Lancelotti and Madella in                    settlements in Gujarat as many as 63 are located in
this volume). They have identified a large number                  Kachchh (Possehl 1999; Seth et al. 2007; Rajesh and
of woody and grass plant remains belonging to dry                  Patel 2007). Among them, only a few sites, such
scrubland and riverine species. They have pointed out              as Dholavira (IAR 1967-68: 14-16; Bisht 1989a, b,
that a variety of wood species flourished at Kanmer                1991, 1997), Surkotada ( Joshi 1990) and Juni Kuran
during KMR II or urban phase. The most abundant                    (Pramanik 2003-2004), have been subjected to
species identified by them are Ziziphus, Salvadora                 horizontal excavation whereas Desalpar, Pabhumath,
and Capparis, of course belonging to dry scrub                     Sikarpur were subjected to small scale excavation.
land. On the basis of their charcoal evaluation and                Of course Shikarpur is now being re-excavated by
phytoliths studies, they suggest that there may have               M.S. University of Baroda. Sikarpur is also a small
been watercourse near the site which supported good                settlement like Kanmer and has a similar fortified
vegetation cover and coast line was much closer to the             enclosure, of course made of mud bricks. Besides,
site. According to them, the Harappans were able to                Khirsara, located in western Kachchh is under
exploit riverine specie and mangrove forest, besides               excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India.


                                                          - 99 -
                                                             J.S. Kharakwal et al.


                                        14
                             Table 3     C dates of Kanmer by the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany

                                                        14
no Trench        Depth       Layer Lab Ref. No.          C date               Calibrated date Calibrated date Sample from cultural
                 (cm)              BSIP                 (yrs BP)              (BP)            (BC/AD)         deposit

1    Y-30        930         19        BS-2619          4190±80               4838-4573        2888-2623 BC       KMR I
2    R-21        466         7         BS-2627          3870±100              4344-4262        2470-2149 BC       KMR II B
3    HH-30       280         3         BS-2628          3610±90               4080-3735        2130-1785 BC       KMR II A
4    GG-31       224         2         BS-2692          810±90                726-722          1224-1239 AD       KMR V
5    S-21        350-380     6         BS-2618          1250±80               1277-1062        673-888 AD         KMR IV




                           Table 4 AMS radiocarbon dates of samples from Kanmer by Paleo-Labo, Japan

             Layer/                                                                                        Caribrated age
             Depth                                     Conventional Conventional
                                              δ13C
no   Trench (cm)/          PLD No.                    radiocarbon age radiocarbon age
                                             (‰)                                                1σ range                    2σ range
            Cultural                                   (not rounded)     (rounded)
             period

                 3-5/
      central                                                                             263AD(14.4%)277AD         257AD(28.7%)301AD
 1                -/       PLD-13115    -25.24±0.18      1708±16              1710±15
     trench/-                                                                             330AD(53.8%)383AD         317AD(66.7%)395AD
                KMR V


                 3-5/
      central                                                                             263AD(14.6%)278AD         257AD(29.0%)301AD
 2                -/       PLD-13116    -22.43±0.22      1708±17              1710±15
     trench/-                                                                             330AD(53.6%)383AD         317AD(66.4%)395AD
                KMR V


                  7/
      cenral                                                                               255AD(10.0%)265AD        242AD(93.0%)351AD
 3                -/    PLD-13117       -23.24±0.18      1739±17          1740±15
     trench/-                                                                              273AD(58.2%)335AD        369AD( 2.4%)379AD
                KMR III


                  8/                                                                      2474BC(33.0%)2454BC
      central
4                 -/    PLD-13119       -24.10±0.12      3931±18          3930±20         2419BC(13.2%)2406BC      2479BC(95.4%)2345BC
     trench/-
                KMR IIB                                                                   2377BC(22.0%)2351BC


                  8/
      central                                                                              2135BC(14.9%)2119BC      2188BC( 1.0%)2184BC
 5                -/    PLD-13120 -24.82±0.14            3701±18          3700±20
     trench/-                                                                             2096BC(53.3%)2040BC      2142BC(94.4%)2031BC
                KMR IIB


                  8/                                                                      2121BC(26.0%)2095BC
      central                                                                                                       2133BC(35.2%)2083BC
6                 -/    PLD-13121       -24.31±0.13      3661±19          3660±20         2041BC(27.1%)2016BC
     trench/-                                                                                                      2057BC(60.2%)1960BC
                KMR IIB                                                                   1996BC(15.1%)1980BC


                  11/
      central                                                                             2459BC(42.3%)2401BC      2466BC(88.3%)2335BC
7                  -/   PLD-13122       -24.15±0.12      3895±18          3895±20
     trench/-                                                                             2382BC(25.9%)2348BC      2324BC( 7.1%)2301BC
                KMR IIA

                                                                                          2278BC(22.7%)2251BC
       NE     6/
                                                                                          2229BC( 6.0%)2221BC
8    trench/ 363/  PLD-14748 -25.08±0.25                 3782±26          3780±25                                  2292BC(95.4%)2137BC
                                                                                          2211BC(13.6%)2195BC
      AA17 KMR III
                                                                                          2176BC(25.9%)2145BC

                                                                                                                   2279BC( 7.2%)2250BC
        SE    3/
                                                                                          2204BC(62.6%)2134BC      2230BC( 1.5%)2220BC
9    trench/ 385/  PLD-14749 -25.50±0.28                 3751±27          3750±25
                                                                                          2077BC( 5.6%)2064BC      2211BC(68.2%)2121BC
      FF29 KMR III
                                                                                                                   2095BC(18.5%)2041BC



                                                                    - 100 -
                                   Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09



             Layer/                                                                                    Caribrated age
             Depth                                   Conventional Conventional
                                        δ13C
no   Trench (cm)/        PLD No.                    radiocarbon age radiocarbon age
                                       (‰)                                                  1σ range                    2σ range
            Cultural                                 (not rounded)     (rounded)
             period

        SE    3/
                                                                                       2271BC( 8.0%)2259BC     2287BC(92.7%)2133BC
10   trench/ 385/  PLD-14750 -25.54±0.21               3769±24             3770±25
                                                                                      2206BC(60.2%)2141BC      2079BC( 2.7%)2061BC
      FF29 KMR III


     central     12/
                                                                                      2564BC(37.9%)2534BC       2571BC(56.2%)2513BC
11   trench/    972/    PLD-14751     -22.76±0.13     3984±24              3985±25
                                                                                      2494BC(30.3%)2472BC      2504BC(39.2%)2466BC
       Z30     KMR I


     central  10/                                                                     2476BC(35.6%)2437BC
                                                                                                               2560BC( 3.2%)2536BC
12   trench/ 904/  PLD-14752 -24.26±0.13               3935±24             3935±25    2421BC(12.4%)2404BC
                                                                                                               2491BC(92.2%)2341BC
       Z30 KMR IIA                                                                    2379BC(20.2%)2349BC


        SE    4/
                                                                                      2132BC(44.8%)2084BC       2141BC(89.2%)2011BC
13   trench/ 458/  PLD-14753 -24.53±0.24               3682±24             3680±25
                                                                                      2058BC(23.4%)2030BC       2001BC( 6.2%)1977BC
      EE30 KMR IIB


     west   11/
                                                                                      2462BC(42.4%)2398BC
14 trench/ 800/  PLD-14754 -25.92±0.29                 3896±25             3895±25                             2467BC(95.4%)2299BC
                                                                                      2384BC(25.8%)2346BC
     Q28 KMR IIA


       west   12/                                                                     2455BC(16.2%)2420BC      2464BC(90.4%)2281BC
15   trench/ 820/  PLD-14755 -26.07±0.14               3866±25             3865±25    2406BC(15.5%)2377BC       2250BC( 3.9%)2231BC
       Q28 KMR IIA                                                                    2350BC(36.5%)2291BC       2219BC( 1.1%)2212BC


     central     12/                                                                  2455BC(19.0%)2419BC
                                                                                                               2465BC(94.9%)2286BC
16   trench/    891/    PLD-14756 -25.45±0.20          3873±24             3875±25    2406BC(17.3%)2377BC
                                                                                                               2247BC( 0.5%)2243BC
       Z28     KMR I                                                                  2350BC(31.9%)2296BC


      cenral  9/                                                                                                2337BC( 2.2%)2323BC
17   trench/ 788/  PLD-14757 -11.41±0.22               3809±23             3810±25    2286BC(68.2%)2205BC      2308BC(86.7%)2196BC
      AA28 KMR IIA                                                                                             2172BC( 6.5%)2146BC


       west   13/
                                                                                      2459BC(42.1%)2391BC
18   trench/ 845/  PLD-14758          -21.25±0.18      3892±24             3890±25                             2466BC(95.4%)2298BC
                                                                                      2385BC(26.1%)2346BC
       Q28 KMR IIA


       west   11/
                                                                                      2462BC(42.8%)2402BC      2468BC(87.9%)2335BC
19   trench/ 809/  PLD-14759 -25.29±0.14               3898±22         3900±20
                                                                                       2382BC(25.4%)2348BC     2324BC( 7.5%)2301BC
       Q28 KMR IIA


   central       8/                                                                   2455BC(20.0%)2419BC
20 trench/      711/    PLD-14760 -22.33±0.15          3875±23             3875±25    2406BC(17.7%)2377BC      2464BC(95.4%)2288BC
    AA28        IIB                                                                   2351BC(30.5%)2298BC


       west
21   trench/   10/803   PLD-14761 -25.68±0.17          3886±27             3885±25    2457BC(68.2%)2342BC      2466BC(95.4%)2292BC
       Q28


   central
                                                                                       2288BC(18.5%)2267BC     2344BC(90.6%)2196BC
22 trench/     12/924   PLD-14762 -24.22±0.20          3814±24             3815±25
                                                                                      2260BC(49.7%)2206BC      2172BC( 4.8%)2146BC
    AA28



                                                                 - 101 -
                                                  J.S. Kharakwal et al.



Most of these settlements belong to urban and post                    during our archaeological diggings and the results
urban phase of the Harappan Civilization. The                         of digital recording indicates that the shape of the
concentration of sites appears to be in the eastern part              fortified settlement was like a parallelogram. The total
of the peninsula, which is believed to be an arm of sea               thickness of the wall was measured about 18m in the
in the past (Gupta and Pandya 1980). It is held that                  middle level of its height.
the accessibility of marine resources, semiprecious                       The remains of post urban phase identified as
stones and arable land were major factors for the                     KMR III were found overlying the remains of KMR
expansion of enterprising Harappans in Gujarat.                       II. The pottery assemblage of KMR III generally
Though researches on the Harappans in Gujarat have                    appears ochreous. It is likely that the Late Harappans
unfolded various new facets, e.g., elaborate water                    also used the existing rampart initially but did not
structures, dock yard (!), diverse craft industries,                  maintained it as it was not required then and finally
regional variation in architecture, ceramic and so                    they raised their houses right on top of the rampart.
on, there are still various challenging issues yet to be              Thus there was no cultural discontinuity throughout
addressed, such as function of strongly fortified small               the deposit of Harappan vintage.
sites, decline/ de-urbanisation of the Harappans, role                    After the decline of the Harappans the site
of non Harappans cultures in civilisation process.                    remained unoccupied for about 1600 years. This long
    The earliest settlement (KMR I) was raised on a                   period of time was represented by a thick layer of dark
thin soil cover overlying the bed rock, which may also                grey sandy soil, often loose in composition and devoid
be stated as pre-fortification deposit. It was identified             of any structural remains. It was identified as layer
on the basis of presence of Anarta types coarse Red                   6 in the central part whereas layer 2 in the northern
Ware, bichrome and polychrome types, cream slip                       area and layer 3 in the western part. The Historic
pottery, Red ware (sometimes decorated with a panel                   structures, belonging to KMR IV, were raised on
of grooved decoration on the shoulder or body part)                   this break. The discovery of large number of sherds
together with some Harappan type fossils. Except for                  of West Asian Tarpedo Jar and Roman Amphorae
Coarse Red, all other types gradually disappear in the                indicate that Kanmer, directly or indirectly, was also
subsequent cultural deposit. The urban phase deposit                  included in the Indo-Roman trade network. The site
has been levelled as Period KMR II, which is further                  seems to be again deserted for a few hundred years
sub-divided in two parts Period KMR IIA and                           after the Historic period. During this long spell of
Period KMR IIB on the basis of appearance of new                      abandonment the site again got deposition of fine
ceramic types, nature of deposit, change in planning                  silt mixed with clay indicating that Aeolian soil was
of settlement at the site. It seems during this period                getting deposited in the large depression surrounded
a planned settlement was built at Kanmer, which                       by the ruins of the fort and subsequently getting
was secured with a massive and strong fortification.                  reworked by the rain..
An addition was made all along the outer arm of                           Outside the rampart area no other settlement
the fort wall during period KMR I perhaps to check                    like a lower town could be located. Of course there
some serious damage to the wall. It was identified as                 is a very thin deposit of Late Harappan period to
the second major structural phase of the fort wall.                   the east of the main mound and the laser survey
Towards the end of period KMR II the height of                        has indicated an outer defence wall like feature to
fort was further raised but its width was reduced.                    the east of the main mound. From the deposit of
It was identified as the third or last constructional                 the Mature and Late Harappan phase considerable
phase of the fort wall. The lay out plan documented                   quantity of nodules of agate have been recovered.


                                                            - 102 -
                                Annual report of excavation at Kanmer 2007-08 and 2008-09



These were perhaps brought from Mardhak Bet, an                      Project sincerely thanks Archaeological Survey of
island, located in the Little Rann about 20 km to the                India for granting permission to continue further
northeast of Kanmer. It is likely that this raw material             studies at the site. We thank various authorities
was used for making variety of beads, blades and                     of JRN R ajasthan V idyapeeth, Udaipur, and
weights. The faunal and floral remains clearly indicate              Government of Gujarat for encouraging us and
that agriculture and cattle breeding were among the                  providing administrative support for field research in
important occupation at the site right from the third                Kachchh. The authors would like to express sincere
millennium.                                                          gratitude to Profs. D.P. Agrawal, R.S. Bisht, R.S.
    From the early levels at Kanmer, i.e. pre-                       Fonia, Ajithprasad and Randle Law for enlightening
fortification deposit nodules of agate, flakes, blades,              on various issues related to Kanmer. We would also
and rough-outs were discovered. In the second                        like to record special thanks to Prof. B.S. Garg, Prof.
cultural period, i.e. KMR II (contemporary to urban                  Divya Prabha Nagar of Rajasthan Vidyapeeth for
phase) a large number of drill bits, rough outs, variety             constantly supporting for analysis of the excavated
of beads of semi-precious stone were discovered. One                 material in the institute at Udaipur. The authors also
may argue that the local rural non Harappan folks or                 thank Mr. Hansmukh Seth, Rajesh Meena, Suresh
the early Harappans knew the source of raw material.                 Meena, Asif Hussain, K.P. Singh, Narayan Paliwal,
The aforesaid nature of discovery indicates that they                Rohit Menaria, Soyeb Qureshi and Miss Deepshikha
might be aware of the technology of bead making                      for lending us helping hand in the institute while
too. The Harappans, being enterprising people, may                   working on the excavated material.
have realized the importance of source of raw material
and bead making process. It is therefore likely that
they may have begun the marketing or raw material
as well as finished products. Besides this, a large                  References
number of faience beads have been discovered from                    Agrawal, D.P., Kharakwal, J.S., Y.S. Rawat, T. Osada, and
the site and many among them are un-oxidized. It is                      P. Goyal (2010) Redefining the Harappan Hinterland.
likely that they were also supplying faience otherwise                   Antiquity vol. 84 (323) on line publication.
they would not buy un-oxidized faience. Perhaps to                   Agrawal, D.P. and J.S. Kharakwal (2003). Bronze and Iron
protect the resource or raw material and the craftsmen                   Ages in South Asia. Aryan Books International, Delhi.
the Harappans required a strong protection. This                     Ajithprasad, P. (2002) “ The Pre-Harappan Cultures

may be a possible answer to understand why they                          of Gujarat”, in S. Settar and Ravi Korisettar (eds.)

spent so much of energ y to build massive fort at                        Protohistory: Archaeolog y of the Indus Civilization.
                                                                         Manohar Publication, Delhi. pp.129-158.
Kanmer for their miniscule settlement. The discovery
                                                                     Bhan, K.K. (1994) Cultural development of the prehistoric
of seals, seal impressions , sealing suggest that they
                                                                         period in North Gujarat with reference to Western India.
were involved in trade. There are many other fortified
                                                                         South Asian Studies 10: 71-90.
sites in Kachchh, which may have played similar role.
                                                                     Bisht, R.S. (1991) Dholavira: new horizons of the Indus
Thus it may be stated that the Harappans of Kanmer
                                                                         civilization. Puratattva 20: 71-82.
were engaged in some kind of resource management                     Bisht, R.S. (1989a) “A new Model of the Harappan town
(Agrawal et al. 2010).                                                   planning as revealed at Dholavira in Kutch: a surface
                                                                         study of its plan and architecture”, in Bhaskar Chatterjee
Acknowledgements                                                         (ed.) History and Archaeolog y (Prof. H.D. Sankalia
The entire team of Kanmer Archaeological Research                        felicitation volume). Ramanand Vidya Bhawan, Delhi.



                                                           - 103 -
                                                       J.S. Kharakwal et al.



    pp.397-408.                                                            and Nature, Kyoto. pp.21-46.
Bisht, R.S. (1989b) “The Harappan colonisation of Kutch:               Kharakwal, J.S., Y.S. Rawat and T. Osada (2008) “Preliminary
    an ergonomic study with reference to Dholavira and                     observations on the excavation at Kanmer, Kachchh,
    Surkotda”, in Krishna Deva and Lallanji Gopal (eds.)                   India 2006-07”, in T. Osada and A. Uesugi ‘eds.)
    History and Art. Ramanand Vidya Bhawan, Delhi. pp.                     Occasional Paper 5. Research Institute for Humanity and
    265-72.                                                                Nature, Kyoto. pp.5-24.
Bisht, R.S. (1997) “Dholavira excavations: 1990-1994”, in              Kharakwal, J.S., Y.S. Rawat and T. Osada (2009) Excavation
    J.P. Joshi (ed.) Facets of Indian Civilization: Recent                 at Kanmer: A Harappan site in Kachchh, Gujarat.
    Perspectives. Aryan Books International, New Delhi. pp.                Puratattva 39: 147-164.
    107-120.                                                           Lancelotti, C and M. Madella (2010) “Fuelling Harappan
Casal, J.M. (1964) Fouilles D’A mri, vol. 1. Librairie C.                  Hearths: Fuel exploitation and use during the Mature
    Klincksieck, Paris.                                                    Harappan phase at Kanmer (Kachchh, Gujarat, India)”,
Dikshit, M.G. (1950) Excavation at Rangpur 1947. Bulletin of               in this volume. pp.129-142.
    Deccan College Research Institute 11(1): 3-55.                     Misra, V.N., V.S. Shinde, R.K. Mohanty, Lalit Pandey and
Ghurye, G.S. (1939) Two sites in Kathiawar. Journal of the                 Jeewan S. Kharakwal. (1997) Excavations at Balathal,
    University of Bombay 8 (1): 3-12.                                      District Udaipur, Rajasthan (1995-97), with special
Gupta, S.K. and S. Pandya (1980) Kutch Harappans-their                     reference to Chalcolithic Architecture. Man and
    communication routes- a discussion. Vidya 23 (1): 39-46.               Environment 22(2): 35-59.
IAR: Indian Archaeology - A Review. Annual Publication of the          Possehl, G.L. (1992) The Harappan Civilization in Gujarat:
    Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi.                             the Sorath and the Sindhi Harappans. The Eastern
Joglekar, P.P. (2007) “Report of the faunal remains recovered              Anthropologist 45 (1-2): 117-154.
    from Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat, during the first                    Possehl, G.L. (1999) The Indus Age. Oxford, Delhi.
    season (2005-06)”, in T. Osada (ed.) Occasional Paper              Pramanik, Shubhra (2004) Excavation at Juni Kuran: 2003-
    2. Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto.                  2004 a preliminary report. Puratattva 34: 45-67.
    pp.47-76.                                                          Rajesh, S.V. and Ambika Patel (2007) Gazetteer of Pre and
Joshi, J.P. (1972) Exploration in Kutch and excavation at                  Protohistoric sites in Gujarat. Man and Environment 32
    Surkotada and new light on Harappan migration. Journal                 (2): 61-136.
    of the Oriental Institute 22 (1-2): 137-143.                       Rao, S.R . (1962-63) Excavations at Rangpur and other
Joshi, J.P. (1990) Excavation at Surkotada 1971-72 and                     explorations in Gujarat. Ancient India 18-19: 5-207.
    Exploration in Kutch. Archaeological Survey of India,              Seth, H., L.C. Patel and B. Varhat (2007) “Harappan sites in
    New Delhi.                                                             Gujarat”, in T. Osada (ed.) Occasional Paper 2. Research
Kharakwal, J. (2005) “The Indus Civilization: an overview”,                Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto. pp.111-126.
    in T. Osada (ed.) Occasional Paper. Research Institute for         Sonawane, V.H. and P. Ajitprasad (1994) Harappan Culture
    Humanity and Nature, Kyoto. pp.41-85.                                  and Gujarat. Man and Environment 19 (1-2): 129-39.
Kharakwal, J.S., Y.S. Rawat and T. Osada (2005) “Harappan              Tomber, R. (2007) Rome and Mesopotamia – importers into
    sites in Kachchh and new opportunities of tourism”, in                 India in the first millennium AD. Antiquity 81 (2007):
    Heritage Tourism. Government of Gujarat. pp.35-43                      972–988
Kharakwal, J.S., Y.S. Rawat and T. Osada (2007) “Kanmer: A             Vats, M.S. (1935) Trial excavation at Rangpur, Limdi State,
    Harappan sites in Kachchh, Gujarat, India”, in T. Osada                Kathiawar. Annual Reports of Archaeological Survey of
    (ed.) Occasional Paper 2. Research Institute for Humanity              India 1934-35: 348.




                                                                 - 104 -
               Report on the faunal remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during the third field season (2007-08)



                        Report on the faunal remains recovered from
                    Kanmer, Gujarat, during the third field season (2007-08)


                                           Pankaj Goyal and P.P. Joglekar
                                                 Department of Archaeology
                           Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute, Pune, India




ABSTRACT

The three seasons of excavation at Kanmer revealed a large number of animal skeletal remains. This paper presents the results of the
analysis carried on the excavated faunal material during the third season (2007-08) from Kanmer. More than 25,000 bone fragments
were collected during this season at Kanmer; however, this report is based on a part of this collection mainly the material coming
from two trenches Z29 and Z30 located in the central part of the mound. A total of 2984 fragments were analyzed from these two
trenches belonging to different cultural periods. The bone identification revealed the presence of both domestic and wild mammals.
The domestic species include cattle, sheep, goat, pig, horse (found only in the Medieval Phase-KMRV), ass and cat. The wild mam-
mals include wild buffalo, nilgai, deer (Sambar, spotted deer, barking deer and hog deer), antelopes (blackbuck, gazelle and four-
horned antelope), pig, porcupine, hare, elephant and carnivores (wolf and jungle cat) and house rat. The non-mammalian species
identified are domestic fowl, peafowl, pond heron, monitor lizard, Chitra turtle and Indian sawback turtle. Any signature of bone
modifications observed is also recorded. So far, information regarding the change in the animal based subsistence pattern from the
Mature Harappan to the Late Harappan phase is virtually unknown. It is on this background the faunal remains unearthed from
Kanmer are important.




                INTRODUCTION                                            whereas the northeastern and southwestern corners
                                                                        form acute angles. The site is very close to the well-
Kanmer, locally known as Bakar Kot is an impor-                         known Harappan sites like Surkotada and Dholavira
tant addition to the list of Mature Harappan sites in                   and might have played an important role as well. Ex-
Gujarat (Figures 1 and 2). The ancient site was first                   cavations have been going on at Kanmer for last three
discovered by R.S. Bisht, Y.S. Rawat and other Ar-                      years under the supervision of J.S. Kharakwal, Y.S.
chaeological Survey of India (ASI) team members in                      Rawat and Toshiki Oshada. (Kharakwal et al. 2005;
1985. The site has an impressive mound that measures                    2007; 2008a and b; 2009)
about 110 m E-W and 120 m N-S. The total thickness                          Study and analysis of the cultural material exca-
of the deposit is 11 m. The stratigraphy of the periph-                 vated from the site of Kanmer allowed the excavators
eral area of the site is different from that of the central             to identify the following fivefold cultural sequence at
part of the mound. The site revealed a very large forti-                the site:
fication wall. The excavation and GPS and GIS survey
conducted at the site showed that this fortification                        Period I:     KMR I
is a parallelogram. The northwestern and southeast-                         Period II:    KMR II
ern corners of this fortification make obtuse angles                        Period III:   KMR III


                                                              - 105 -
                    P. Goyal and P.P. Joglekar




Figure 1 Map showing Kanmer with other Harappan sites in Gujarat




        Figure 2 A general view of the mound at Kanmer


                              - 106 -
             Report on the faunal remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during the third field season (2007-08)



    Period IV:    KMR IV                                              different phases of Harappan occupation at the site.
    Period V:     KMR V                                                   This report deals with the faunal remains un-
                                                                      earthed at Kanmer in the third season of excavation
    KMR stands for Kanmer and KMR I, II and III                       (2007-08). The previous two reports dealing with the
represents the different phases of Harappan occupa-                   faunal material recovered at Kanmer in 2005-06 and
tion at the site. This terminology is preferred by the                2006-07 have already been published ( Joglekar 2007;
excavators as the total Harappan deposit represents                   Goyal and Joglekar 2008). The authors have also pre-
different stages of culture. KMR IV represents the                    sented research papers connected with the results of
Early Historic deposit, whereas KMR V the Medieval                    the faunal analysis done so far in different conferences
one. In addition, two cultural breaks have also been                  ( Joglekar 2006; Joglekar and Goyal 2008; Goyal and
noticed. The first break was noticed between KMR                      Joglekar 2008; 2010a; 2010b).
III and IV represented by layer 6 of trenches Z29 and
Z30. This layer, dark grayish in colour, revealed no
structural activity and yielded mixed types of pottery                               METHODOLOGY
(Historic and Late Harappan). Therefore, it has been
designated as a break between the Historic and the                    The process of retrieval of the faunal material at the
Late Harappan phase (Kharakwal et al. 2008). The                      site was supervised by the first author. It is widely rec-
other break was found between KMR IV and KMR                          ognized that the bones of small animals are frequently
V represented by layer 4 of the same trenches. How-                   missed during excavation (Payne 1975). Therefore,
ever, no such break has been recognized between the                   utmost care was taken to recover all the micro-faunal




                                          Figure 3 Cleaning of the faunal material


                                                            - 107 -
          P. Goyal and P.P. Joglekar




Figure 4 A top view of trenches Z29 and Z30




      Figure 5 Faunal material in situ


                    - 108 -
              Report on the faunal remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during the third field season (2007-08)



remains. The recovered faunal material was washed                        den Driesch (1976).
and dried in the shade at the site itself (Figure 3).                        The skeletal fragments containing cut marks
After cleaning and drying, the bones were packed                         were identified to the exact anatomical area and an
first in the paper bags and then in cloth bags with                      attempt has been made to properly record all types
proper context written on each bag. The micro-faunal                     of cut marks. Identifiable specimens were compared
remains have been packed separately in small plastic                     with the modern specimens of known species housed
boxes with proper labelling to avoid their breakage                      at the Deccan College Archaeozoology Laboratory at
during the transportation.                                               Pune and Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. In
    Trenches Z29 and 30 were taken up for this study                     addition, help from the published literature was taken
since these trenches represent all the cultural phases in                like Joglekar et al. (1994), Miguad (1992), Gupta et. al.
a well-stratified context (Figures 4 and 5). A prelimi-                  (1987, 1990), Higham (1975) and Schmidt (1972), etc.
nary study of the material was conducted at the site                     Epiphyseal fusion and tooth wear stages have been
itself and only the remaining skeletal fragments have                    recorded to find out kill off pattern in the case of do-
been taken to the Deccan College Archaeozoology                          mestic animals such as cattle, sheep, goat and pig.
Laboratory for further processing. At first, an initial                      The bones of cattle and buffalo are very similar
sorting was done and fragments were categorized into                     and very difficult to differentiate if suitable morpho-
identifiable and non-identifiable parts. The identifi-                   logical markers are not present. Therefore, fragments
able parts were then identified up to a specific skeletal                of ribs, vertebrae and other very fragmented bones
element and whenever possible to the species level.                      not containing any morphological markers were
The bone fragments that could not be identified were                     recorded in the category of Bos/Bubalus. The same is
termed as the unidentified material (UF) and were                        done for sheep and goat and a category called Capra
further categorized into three different types, i.e. large               hircus/Ovis aries was created. To attain a fine level
unidentified fragments (UL), medium unidentified                         identification of sheep and goat published literature
fragments (UM) and small unidentified fragments                          like Prummel and Frisch (1986) and Pawankar and
(US) based on the relative sizes of the skeletal frag-                   Thomas (2001) was consulted. In addition, categories
ments. Broken skeletal fragments of a same element                       like small mammal, medium mammal, general deer,
were refitted and considered as a single unit following                  general reptile, small sized birds and medium sized
Clason’s (1972) method of counting the specimens.                        birds were also created.
No attempt of refitting was done if the fragments be-
longed to different stratigraphic units. Criteria given
by Sadek-Kooros (1975) to describe intentional frac-                              THE FAUNAL MATERIAL
turing were used. Whenever possible, measurements
of the recovered material were taken following Von                       The present report is based on the faunal material

                                         Table 1 Details of faunal material examined

Phase                                       Contexts                            NISP             UF            TF        NISP %
KMR V-The Medieval Phase                    Z29 (3), Z30 (3)                       25               29          54         46.29
KMR IV-The Historical Phase                 Z29 (5), Z30 (5)                       315          206            521         60.46
KMR III-The Late Harappan Phase             Z29 (7), Z30 (7)                      159           124            283          56.18
KMR II-The Mature Harappan Phase            Z29 (8,9,10, 11)                     1317           809           2126          61.91
Total                                                                            1816           1168          2984          60.85



                                                               - 109 -
                                              P. Goyal and P.P. Joglekar



recovered from two trenches Z29 and Z30 (Figure                    (n=1168) (Figure 6). Bones belonging to both axial
4) located in the central part of the mound. A total               and appendicular skeleton were present in the faunal
of 3020 fragments were analyzed belonging to four                  assemblage; however, in case of all the animals, the
cultural periods - Mature Harappan Phase (KMR                      axial skeletal parts were scantly represented in all the
II), Late Harappan phase (KMR III), the Historic                   cultural phases. Maximum representation was of ribs
Period (KMR IV) and the Medieval Period (KMR V)                    and vertebrae. Phalanges, astragalus, calcanium, carpal
(Table 1). The material (n=36) belonging to the first              and tarsal bones were well-preserved and mostly com-
two layers of trenches Z29 and Z30 were not included               plete.
in the analysis as this layer represented the modern
soil cover. The layer 1 did not contain any faunal ma-
terial except a second molar of Bos indicus (K1319)                                  THE SPECIES
and few unidentified skeletal fragments. A handful
of fragments recovered from the break between the                  The faunal material analysed this year revealed pres-
Medieval (KMR V) and the Historic Phase (KMR                       ence of a large number of species (Tables 2 - 3, Figures
IV) were not analyzed. Similarly, the cultural break               7 - 10) that include mammals, birds and reptiles. The
recognized between the Historic (KMR IV) and the                   material also revealed a large number of fish fragments
late phase of Harappan culture at the site (KMR III)               and a small number of molluscan species; however,
revealed a few fragments of bones and was not in-                  these were not included in the present report. These
cluded in this analysis.                                           fragments have been kept separately and would be
    The other layers revealed 2984 skeletal elements,              analysed independently. Nine species of domestic
out of which 1816 (60. 85%) could be identified (Table             mammals have been identified this year – the cattle,
1). The bone fragments that could not be identi-                   buffalo, sheep, goat, pig, horse, ass, dog and cat.
fied were termed as the unidentified material (UF)                     The wild mammals include 16 species – the wild




                                Figure 6 Chart showing faunal material from Kanmer


                                                         - 110 -
Report on the faunal remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during the third field season (2007-08)




Figure 7 Bones from the Mature Harappan context: a. First phalanges of cattle, b. Buffalo bones,
                 c. Antilope cervicapra bones, d. First phalanges of Gazella bennetti




                       Figure 8 Bones from the Mature Harappan context:
       a. A complete humerus of Axis axis, b. Sus scrofa bones, c. Bird bones, d. Reptile bones


                                                - 111 -
                                                       P. Goyal and P.P. Joglekar




    Figure 9 Bones from the Historic context: a. Bos indicus bones (from Medieval context), b. Second phalanges of buffalo,
                      c. A. cervicapra bones (first two); Gazella bennetti bones (last two), d. Humerus of dog




Figure 10 Bones from the Late Harappan context: a. Capra hircus bones (A-C); Scapula of Ovis aries (D), b. Astragalli of Axis axis (A-
B); Tibia of Antilope cervicapra (C) and Tibia of Gazella bennetti (D), c. Lepus nigricollis bones (A-D), d. Lepus nigricollis bones (A-C)


                                                                  - 112 -
              Report on the faunal remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during the third field season (2007-08)



buffalo, nilgai, elephant, antelopes (blackbuck, gazelle               information about the way in which these fragments
and four horned antelope), deer (spotted deer, hog                     were discarded/deposited. Most of the bone frag-
deer, sambar and barking deer), wild pig, wolf, jungle                 ments were well-preserved; however, bones belonging
cat, porcupine, hare and house rat. There was also a                   to the layers located deep in the trenches (layers 9-11)
species of equid that could not be identified with cer-                were impregnated and encrusted with minerals. The
tainty. Similarly, a species of deer could not have been               effects of this varied noticeably from fragment to frag-
identified up to species level. The faunal material also               ment, but almost all fragments were affected to some
revealed the presence of birds and reptiles. However,                  degree. Layer 5 revealed a large number of skeletal
it was not possible to identify many such fragments.                   fragments in which flaking of the outer crust could
The identified birds include domestic fowl, peacock                    be seen. This can be attributed to their exposure to
and pond heron, while the reptiles include monitor                     Sun for a long period of time. In case of a few bone
lizard and two species of turtle. These fragments have                 fragments from the same layer, root impression was
been kept separately for further examination in the                    noticed on them.
laboratory.                                                                A number of bones revealed the marks of modern
                                                                       breaking. For example, the distal end of first phalanx
                                                                       of Axis axis recovered from the Mature Harappan
         BONE MODIFICATIONS                                            phase (layer 10) showed the evidence of modern
                                                                       breaking. Similarly, a skeletal fragment belonging to
A careful recording of bone modifications (Table 4) is                 the radius of Antilope cerviapra (layer 9) were broken
very important as these can provide us with some vital                 into two fragments. Some of these fragments were




                   Figure 11 A. Bone modifications; B. Bone modifications; C. Bone tools; D. Bone object


                                                             - 113 -
                                             P. Goyal and P.P. Joglekar




                          Figure 12 Chart showing bone modifications observed at Kanmer


broken during excavation, while some other broke                  charring noticed. A number of such fragments were
during their transportation to the laboratory at                  found from all the cultural phases revealed; however,
Deccan College. The bones like carpals, tarsals and               the Mature Harappan phase revealed the maximum
phalanges were better preserved, and very few cases               number of charred fragments. Some peculiar bone
of bone modifications were noticed on these bones,                fragments charred at the anterior end only were no-
which can be attributed to their non meat-bearing                 ticed in the Mature Harappan phase last year (Goyal
character.                                                        and Joglekar 2008); however, no such fragment was
    No cases of embryonic bones getting associated                noticed this time. Butchering and cutting marks have
with the faunal assemblage have been noticed this                 also been noticed from all the periods. Cutting and
year. Sixteen cases of porous bones were noticed                  butchering marks are produced during various stages
this season, 2 belonging to the Medieval phase, 2 to              of carcass utilization and a proper recording of these
the Historical phase and 12 to the Mature Harap-                  marks can throw light on various aspects of food
pan phase. Few cases of bone gnawed by rodents                    preparation and food processing activities.
and carnivores were also noticed. A large number                      A small number of modified bones have been ob-
of bones having charring marks were noticed from                  served from Kanmer which seemed to be used as tools
all the cultural phases. These charred fragments have             or made for some other purpose. The Mature Harap-
been recorded as three different types, i.e. charred,             pan yielded a total of five such fragments. All these
completely charred and charred and turned white                   were made on bones of cattle/buffalo and sheep/
(calcified) based upon the relative proportion of                 goat, mainly the metapodia. For example, an object


                                                        - 114 -
                Report on the faunal remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during the third field season (2007-08)



                            Table 2 Animal species identified at Kanmer in the third season’s material

Domestic mammals                   Wild mammals                                        Non-mammals
Bos indicus (Cattle)               Bubalus arnee (Wild buffalo)                        Gallus domesticus (Domestic fowl)
Bubalus bubalis (Buffalo)          Boselaphus tragocamelus (Nilgai)                    Ardeola grayii (Pond heron)
Capra hircus (Goat)                Tetracerus quadricornis (Chowsingha)                Pavo cristatus (Peafowl)
Ovis aries (Sheep)                 Antilope cervicapra (Blackbuck)
                                                                                       Varanus bengalensis (Monitor lizard)
Sus domesticus (Pig)               Gazella bennetti (Gazelle)
                                                                                       Kachuga tecta (Indian sawback turtle)
Canis familiaris (Dog)             Axis axis (Spotted deer)
                                                                                       Chitra indica (Chitra turtle)
Equus caballus (Horse)             Axis porcinus (Hog deer)
Equus asinus (Ass)                 Cervus unicolor (Sambar)
Felis catus (Cat)                  Muntiacus muntjak (Barking deer)
                                   Sus scrofa (Wild pig)
                                   Canis lupus (Wolf )
                                   Felis chaus ( Jungle cat)
                                   Hystrix indica (Porcupine)
                                   Elaphus maximus (Elephant)
                                   Rattus rattus (House rat)
                                   Lepus nigricollis (Hare)



made on the metapodium (K770), recovered from                             buffalo bones in all the layers belonging to the Mature
layer 9 has a polish on its outer surface. Similarly, a                   Harappan phase. Similarly, the bones of goats were
metacarpal (K773) of cattle revealed sharp cuts at the                    more in number than sheep.
proximal end and was polished on both sides. One                              Layer 9 of trench Z30 revealed a very interesting
such fragment was noticed in the Medieval phase. The                      finding. This layer brought to light a number of iden-
exact function of these modified bones is yet to be                       tified skeletal fragments belonging to very young cat-
determined.                                                               tle (Table 5). There were many more fragments which
                                                                          seem to be of the same cattle. As these fragments were
                                                                          not having any identifiable morphological features,
           KMR II:                                                        these were grouped in the category of unidentified
  THE MATURE HARAPPAN PHASE                                               fragments (UF). Measurements of only few of these
                                                                          could be taken due to their badly preserved condition.
The bulk of the faunal material examined from two                         These skeletal elements were recovered just outside a
trenches belonged to the Mature Harappan phase,                           large Mature Harappan structure. It is also important
and the number of species identified is also large. A                     to mention that the density of bones outside struc-
total of 1317 fragments were identified out of 2126                       ture was much higher than inside the structure. It
fragments recovered from the Mature Harappan                              does not seem that this animal was used for food as
phase (Table 1). The contribution of domestic animals                     not a single bone show any mark of human activity
is very large in the total assemblage. The domestic ani-                  (cut marks and charring marks). On the other hand,
mal contributed 87.15% of which a major part comes                        it seems that there were two skeletons of very young
from the cattle and buffalo (62.65%), followed by goat                    cattle, which were disturbed due to post-depositional
and sheep (24%). The cattle bones were more than the                      factors.


                                                                - 115 -
                                                 P. Goyal and P.P. Joglekar



                                     Table 3 Summary of identified species at Kanmer

Species                       Medieval Phase            Historic Phase                 Late                  Mature
                                                                                  Harappan Phase          Harappan Phase
                              NISP          %         NISP            %           NISP        %           NISP        %
Domestic Mammals           
Bos indicus                           3          12          28           8.89           6        3.77           98       7.44
Bubalus bubalis                       1          4           10           3.17            1       0.63           11       0.84
Bos/Bubalus                          13          52         189            60            72       45.3       714          54.2
Capra hircus                          _          _             1          0.32            5       3.14           24        1.82
Ovis aries                            _          _             1          0.32            1       0.63           10       0.76
Capra hircus/Ovis aries               5         20           54           17.1           34       21.4       282          21.4
Equus caballus                        3          12           _               _          _           _           _           _
Equus asinus                          _          _            _               _          _           _            1       0.08
Sus domesticus                        _          _            _               _          _           _            2       0.15
Canis familiaris                      _          _             1          0.32           _           _            1       0.08
Felis catus                           _          _                            0          _           _           4         0.3
Wild Mammals                                                                                                                  
Bubalus arnee                         _          _             1          0.32           _           _           _           _
Boselaphus tragocamelus               _          _             1          0.32           _           _           4         0.3
Cervus unicolor                      _           _            _               _          _           _           _           _
Equus sp.                            _           _            _               _          _           _            2       0.15
Elaphus maximus                      _           _            _               _          _           _            2       0.15
Axis axis                            _           _             1          0.32            1       0.63           10       0.76
Axis porcinus                        _           _            _               _          _           _            1       0.08
Deer general                         _           _            _               _          _           _            1       0.08
Sus scrofa                           _           _            _               _          _           _            3       0.23
Muntiacus muntjak                    _           _            _               _          _           _            2       0.15
Tatracerus quadricornis              _           _            _               _          _           _           4         0.3
Antilope cervicapra                  _           _           12           3.81           4        2.52           14       1.06
Gazella bennetti                     _           _             5          1.59            3       1.89           18        1.37
Canis lupus                          _           _            _               _           1       0.63           _           _
Felis chaus                          _           _            _               _          _           _            3       0.23
Hystrix indica                       _           _            _               _           1       0.63           _           _
Lepus nigricollis                    _           _             3          0.95           21        13.2          17       1.29
Rattus rattus                        _           _             1          0.32            1       0.63           15       1.14
Medium Mammal                        _           _            _               _           1       0.63            1       0.08
Small Mammal                         _           _            4           1.27           4        2.52           39       2.96
Reptiles                                                                                                                      
Chitra indica                        _           _            _               _          _           _            1       0.08
Kachuga tecta                        _           _            _               _          _           _            1       0.08
Varanus bengalensis                  _           _            _               _           1       0.63           _           _
General Reptile                      _           _            _               _          _           _            1       0.08
Birds                                                                                                                         
Gallus domesticus                    _           _             1          0.32            1       0.63            8       0.61
Pavo cristatus                       _           _            _               _          _           _            3       0.23
Ardeola grayii                       _           _            _               _           1       0.63           6        0.46
Medium sized birds                   _           _            2           0.63           _           _           11       0.84
Small sized birds                    _           _            _               _          _           _            3       0.23
Total                                25         100         315           100        159          100        1317         100



                                                           - 116 -
              Report on the faunal remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during the third field season (2007-08)



                                  Table 4 Bone modifications observed in different phases

              Phase                 The Medieval Phase          The Historic Phase          The Late Harappan         The Mature
                                                                                                    Phase           Harappan Phase
           Comments                  Total        % of NISP     Total        % of NISP      Total      % of NISP Total % of NISP
Charred Bones                                 7        63.64           37         26.62             27       57.45     73      28.74
Completely Charred Bones                     0          0.00           50          35.97             2        4.26     41      16.14
Charred and Turned White                     0          0.00           21           15.11            2        4.26      4        1.57
Butchering Marks                             0          0.00             5          3.60             4         8.51    12       4.72
Cut Marks                                     1         9.09            13           9.35            8       17.02     87      34.25
Gnawing Marks                                0          0.00             0         0.00              2        4.26      0       0.00
Carnivore Marks                              0          0.00             3          2.16             2        4.26       9       3.54
Rodent Marks                                 0          0.00             8          5.76             0        0.00      11      4.33
Porous Bones                                  2         18.18            2          1.44             0        0.00     12       4.72
Bone Tool                                     1         9.09             0         0.00              0        0.00       5       1.97
NISP                                         11          100          139            100            47         100    254        100


    The contribution of domestic pig was almost neg-                       people as indicated by the human activity noticed on
ligible as only two bone fragments (second phalanx                         the skeletal fragments. A complete humerus of Axis
and ilium part of pelvis) of this animal were found                        axis (K825) was recovered from the Mature Harap-
from layer 8 and 9, respectively. No butchering and                        pan phase. The jungle cat was represented in the form
charring marks had been observed on the pig remains                        of three fragments only and no human activity was
excavated from the Mature Harappan phase. The                              noticed on these fragments. Elephant was represented
previous reports have also revealed the same picture                       in the collection by the presence of two fragments of
( Joglekar 2007; Goyal and Joglekar 2008). However,                        ivory. The Mature Harappan people also exploited
looking at previous such cases at other Harappan                           the small game like Indian hare (1.29%).
sites, it is certain domestic pigs were used for dietary                       Reptiles were identified in the form of only three
purpose. The other domestic animals include ass, dog                       bones, two representing Chitra indica and Kachuga
and cat. The occurrence of domestic ass from the Ma-                       tecta, while one could not be identified up to genus
ture Harappan suggests its use as a beast of burden.                       level and termed as general reptile. Although, a large
Domestic dog was identified in the form of only one                        number of bird remains could not be identified up to
fragment of mandible unearthed in layer 9. The do-                         species level, it seems that they played an important
mestic cat was represented in the form of four skeletal                    part in the subsistence activity of the Mature Harap-
fragments, i.e. distal portion of a humerus (K790), a                      pan people. Birds contributed 2.4% of the total as-
complete calcaneum (K791), distal portion of radius                        semblage. The identified birds include domestic fowl
(K1030) and distal portion of the metapodium. There                        (Gallus domesticus), peafowl (Pavo cristatus) and pond
is no evidence to show that ass, dog and cat were used                     heron (Ardeola grayii). A large number of these bird
for food purpose as no human activity is noticed on                        fragments were having charring marks giving a clear
these fragments.                                                           indication of their use as an item of food. A clear
    The wild animals represented in this phase in-                         picture of the contribution of birds will become clear
clude nilgai, deer, antelopes, wild pig, elephant, jungle                  after the analysis of other trenches. No evidence of
cat and other small mammals (10.25%). Of these the                         crab has been noticed so far at Kanmer, though these
most numerous were fragments of gazelle (Gazella                           have been reported from a number of other Harappan
bennetti), blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) and spotted                     sites in Gujarat.
deer (Axis axis) forming 3.20% of the NISP (Table
3). These animals were included in the diet of the


                                                                 - 117 -
                                                  P. Goyal and P.P. Joglekar


               Table 5 A detailed description of the identified skeletal elements belonging to two young cattle

Reg. No.         Skeletal Element                      Portion                        Side                 Fusion
K902             Astragalus                            Complete                       Left                 -
K903             Astragalus                            Complete                       Left                 -
K911             Ulna                                  Proximal                       Right                Unfused
K914             Matacarpal                            Distal                         Indeterminate        Unfused
K915             Metatarsal                            Proximal                       Left                 Unfused
K916             Mandible                              Condyle portion                Indeterminate        -
K918             Calcanium                             Complete                       Left                 Unfused
K919             Pelvis                                Ilium                          Indeterminate        Unfused
K920             Humerus                               Proximal                       Left                 Unfused
K921             Metapodial                            Distal                         Indeterminate        Unfused
K922             Astragalus                            Complete                       Right                -
K923             Femur                                 Proximal                       Indeterminate        Unfused
K924             Femur                                 Distal                         Indeterminate        Unfused
K925             Tibia                                 Proximal                       Indeterminate        Unfused
K926             Humerus                               Distal                         Indeterminate        Unfused
K927             Calcanium                             Proximal                       Indeterminate        Unfused
K928             Femur                                 Proximal                       Indeterminate        Unfused
K929             Pelvis                                Ilium                          Indeterminate        Unfused
K930             First Phalanx                         Complete                       Right                Unfused
K931             Humerus                               Distal                         Indeterminate        Unfused
K938             Pelvis                                Ischium                        Indeterminate        Unfused



                KMR III:                                              The other domestic animals reported earlier ( Joglekar
       THE LATE HARAPPAN PHASE                                        2007; Goyal and Joglekar 2008) like cats and pigs
                                                                      were not noticed in this season’s faunal sample.
    Faunal material from this phase contained 283                         The wild mammals formed the next major com-
skeletal fragments of which 159 (56.18%) could be                     ponent in the subsistence activity of Late Harappan
identified (Table 1). The analysed material revealed the              people since these animals together formed 23.25% of
presence of both domestic and wild mammals, reptiles                  the total bones, which is quite a significant propor-
and birds like the previous cultural phase (Table 3).                 tion. The wild mammals include spotted deer, black-
The domestic mammals include cattle, buffalo, sheep                   buck, gazelle, wolf, porcupine, hare and house rat.
and goat. As noticed in the other cultural phases,                    Hare (13.2%) dominated the group of wild mammals
cattle/buffalo (49.7%) dominated the assemblage fol-                  and was represented by both axial and appendicular
lowed by goat/sheep (25.2%). Cattle were more than                    fragments. Most of these fragments were having char-
buffalo as the later one is represented by three bones                ring marks and few of them were with butchering
only. Likewise, goats were more than sheep. However,                  marks indicating the use of this small game as food.
the lowest proportion of cattle/buffalo was noticed in                In addition, most of the skeletal elements found were
this phase in comparison to other cultural phases. All                fragments with high meat value. It seems that hare
of these animals were included in the diet of people.                 was an important food item during the Late Harap-


                                                            - 118 -
               Report on the faunal remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during the third field season (2007-08)


                                           Table 6 Measurements of scapulae from Kanmer

   Reg. No.           Trench            Layer                3                           4                      5                          Species
K669            Z30                5                        70.51                       48.95                 57.22         Bos indicus
K1041           Z30                11                       25.54                       16.36                 19.43         Ovis aries
K1177           Z30                7                        32.33                       18.37                 23.81         Ovis aries
K990            Z30                11                       20.75                       22.56                 17.89         Antilope cervicapra
K1297           Z30                7                        10.56                       8.88                  6.52          Lepus nigricollis
K1313           Z30                7                        10.87                       8.12                  8.42          Lepus nigricollis

3: Maximum length of the articular process; 4: Width of the articular process; 5: Length of the glenoid cavity

                                        Table 7 Measurements of humerus bones from Kanmer

Reg. No.         Trench        Layer            GL            Bp                   Bd            Td                 GLC        Species
K825             Z30           8                180.00        35.79                28.00         24.12              29.35      Axis axis
K985             Z30           9                -             -                    33.92         --                 --         Axis axis
K1151            Z29           4                -             --                   69.13         --                 --         Bos indicus
K1310            Z30           7                -             --                   26.44         24.18              --         Capra hircus
K1216            Z30           5                -             32.81                --            --                 29.00      Gazella bennetti

Bp: Maximum proximal width; Bd: Maximum distal width; WTH: Width of the distal trochlea


                                         Table 8 Measurements of radius bones from Kanmer

Reg. No.           Trench          Layer            Bp              Tp                   Bd           Wd                    Species
K753               Z29             5                25.86           15.86                --              --                 Antilope cervicapra
K1152              Z29             4                78.00           38.11                --              --                 Bos indicus
K772               Z30             9                69.26           38.85                --              --                 Bos indicus
K759               Z29             5                --              --                   63.30           48.64              Bos indicus
K807               Z30             8                26.29           13.79                --              --                 Gazella bennetti

Bp: Maximum proximal width; Tp: Proximal width; Bd: Maximum distal width; Wd: Width of the distal articular surface


pan phase.                                                                         porcupine in the assemblage. As noticed in the case
    Spotted deer (Axis axis) made its presence in                                  of wolf, this also seems to be an accidental inclusion
the assemblage in the form a complete astragalus                                   in the habitation deposit. Blackbuck (Antilope cer-
(K828) only recovered from layer 7 of trench Z30.                                  vicapra) was present in the collection in the form of
Similarly, wolf (Canis lupus) was present in the form                              four bones. These include a fragment of tibia (K795),
of one bone fragment only, i.e. distal portion of radius                           a fragment of femur and two astragali, one complete
(K1194). The presence of wolf seems to be a chance                                 (K829) and other broken at the distal end. Three frag-
inclusion in the habitation deposit as this fragment                               ments of gazelle (Gazella bennetti) were identified,
does not bear any mark indicating that it was used for                             i.e. two first phalanges (K796 and K1195) and distal
food. A very badly preserved and weathered molar of                                portion of a tibia (K994). Both blackbuck and gazelle
porcupine (Hystrix indica) was recovered from layer                                were used for food purpose as suggested by the marks
7 of trench Z30. This was the lone representation of                               noticed on these fragments.


                                                                         - 119 -
                                                             P. Goyal and P.P. Joglekar


                                            Table 9 Measurements of femora from Kanmer

Reg. No.        Trench         Layer               Bp              Bd                  Td           GLC               TC         Species
K766            Z30            10                  --              24.20               41.98        --                --         A. cervicapra
K668            Z30            5                   --              74.43               --           --                --         Bos indicus
K1299           Z30            7                   19.14           --                  --           7.80              7.25       Lepus nigricollis

Bp: Maximum proximal width; GLC: Length of the capitulum; TC: Width of the capitulum; Bd: Maximum distal width



                                            Table 10 Measurements of tibia from Kanmer

Reg. No.          Trench           Layer            Bp                  Tp                  Bd                Dd             Species
K1073             Z30              5                --                  --                  25.48             20.93          Antilope cervicapra
K1075             Z30              5                --                  --                  25.26             19.60          Antilope cervicapra
K776              Z30              10               --                  --                  21.44             18.36          Antilope cervicapra
K795              Z29              7                --                  --                  27.02             22.10          Antilope cervicapra
K1081             Z30              5                --                  --                  55.07             --             Bos indicus
K1034             Z30              11               39.13               38.60               --                --             Capra hircus
K994              Z30              7                --                  --                  20.69             17.49          Gazella bennetti
K1250             Z30              5                --                  --                  11.53             6.37           Lepus nigricollis

Bp: Maximum proximal width; Tp: Proximal width; Bd: Maximum distal width; Dd: Maximum distal thickness


                           Table 11 Measurements of Bos indicus astragalus bones from Kanmer

Reg. No.      Trench       Layer           Gll             GLm               Bd             Dl           Dm                   Species
K901          Z30          9               66.71           60.83             39.20          36.03        35.30                Bos indicus
K902          Z30          9               51.7            47.85             30.05          26.16        26.32                Bos indicus
K903          Z30          9               51.35           47.58             29.44          26.87        --                   Bos indicus
K1097         Z30          3               62.64           57.42             41.76          33.58        32.51                Bos indicus
K1121         Z30          5               69.90           63.63             42.47          33.60        35.70                Bos indicus
K1159         Z30          5               70.51           62.50             43.48          35.63        36.70                Bubalus bubalis
K868           Z30         7               28.04           26.90             19.28          15.62        16.98                Axis axis
K829           Z30         7               27.24           26.23             17.15          15.04        --                   Antilope cervicapra
K1134          Z30         9               24.67           23.59             15.08          13.40        13.14                Tatracerus quadricornis
K803           Z30         8               24.60           23.80             14.82          13.43        16.00                Gazella bennetti
K804           Z30         8               25.80           25.18             15.80          12.27        --                   Gazella bennetti

GLl: Lateral Length; GLm:Medial length; Bd: Maximum distal width; Dl: Maximum lateral thickness; Dm: Maximum medial
thickness



    Reptiles and birds do not seem to have made a                                      the Late Harappan phase in the form of cervical verte-
significant contribution to the food economy of the                                    bra belonging to monitor lizard (Varanus bengalensis).
Late Harappan people as evidenced by the recovered                                     The birds made their presence felt in the assemblage
fragments. Only one reptile could be identified from                                   in the form of one bone fragment each of domestic


                                                                             - 120 -
               Report on the faunal remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during the third field season (2007-08)


                            Table 12 Measurements of Bos indicus calcaneum bones from Kanmer

 Reg. No. Trench Layer         Maximum Length         Maximum Width            Maximum Height                    Species
  K800        Z30      8               --                   14.61                    19.52        Capra hircus
  K801        Z30      8              57.37                  16.36                   19.52        Capra hircus
  K982        Z30      9             66.07                  19.45                    25.43        Axis axis
  K1143       Z29      5              51.18                 15.04                    21.94        Gazella bennetti
  K786        Z30      8               --                   14.28                    21.56        Antilope cervicapra
  K780        Z30      10            54.42                   15.80                   21.77        Antilope cervicapra
  K802        Z30      8              51.58                  15.67                   22.58        Antilope cervicapra


fowl (Gallus domesticus) and pond heron (Ardeola                        nilgai, spotted deer and house rat were represented
grayii). Though the skeletal fragments belonging to                     in the form of one fragment each. Wild buffalo was
birds do not bear any marks, perhaps the identified                     present in the form of a complete second phalanx
birds were used as food.                                                (K1146) recovered from layer 5 of trench Z29, while
                                                                        Axis axis was in the form of distal portion of a right
                                                                        sided first phalanx (K1076). Blackbuck dominated
                   KMR IV:                                              the wild mammals and was represented in the form of
             THE HISTORIC PHASE                                         12 skeletal fragments. It contributed 3.81% to the total
                                                                        faunal assemblage recovered from this phase. After
A total of 521 fragments belonging to this phase were                   blackbuck, gazelle seems to be an important animal
analysed of which 315 (60.46%) could be identified                      and 5 bone fragments of blackbuck were identified.
(Table 1). Five domestic animals have been identified                   The nature of skeletal fragments belonging to black-
from the Historic phase - cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat                  buck and gazelle suggest that these were hunted for
and dog. Cattle/buffalo (72.06%) dominated the as-                      dietary purpose. Hare (n=3) also seems to have been a
semblage followed by sheep/goat (17.75%). Human                         food item in the food economy of the Historic phase
activities on the skeletal fragments of these domestic                  people of Kanmer. All the house rat skeletal elements
mammals suggest that all these (cattle, sheep and goat)                 identified from this phase were later intrusions.
were used for food purpose. Dog was represented in                          The non-mammals exploited by the Historic
the form of distal portion of humerus unearthed from                    phase people at Kanmer include only birds. The
layer 5 of trench Z30 only. This fragment was devoid                    reptiles were completely absent from the assemblage.
of any marks and therefore, it can be said that this                    Only three fragments of birds have been identified of
fragment did not belong to the food refuse at Kan-                      which only one could be identified up to species level,
mer. Pig, cat and horse were identified from this phase                 i.e. Gallus domesticus, while the other two fragments
earlier ( Joglekar 2007; Goyal and Joglekar 2008),                      were identified as of medium-sized birds.
however, these were not represented in the collection
this year.
    Wild mammals identified from this phase include                                         KMR V:
Bubalus arnee (wild buffalo), Boselaphus tragocamelus                                  The Medieval Phase
(nilgai), Axis axis (spotted deer), Antilope carvicapra
(blackbuck), Gazella benetti (gazelle), Lepus nigricol-                 A very small number (n=54) was recovered from this
lis (hare) and Rattus rattus (house rat). Wild buffalo,                 phase, out of which only 25 could be identified (Table


                                                              - 121 -
                                               P. Goyal and P.P. Joglekar


                                 Table 13 Measurements of first phalanges from Kanmer

Reg. No.       Trench       Layer      GL           Bp               Tp        Bd           Species
K671           Z30          5          --           26.20            32.90     --           Bos indicus
K752           Z29          5          57.31        26.23            26.55     25.16        Bos indicus
K762           Z30          10         54.03        26.53            33.06     24.92        Bos indicus
K778           Z30          10         --           --               --        18.61        Bos indicus
K905           Z30          9          56.02        26.2             31.96     25.85        Bos indicus
K906           Z30          9          56.69        25.9             32.16      27.28       Bos indicus
K907           Z30          9          56.28        28.29            30.55      27.32       Bos indicus
K908           Z30          9          55.52        26.65            31.46      26.46       Bos indicus
K930           Z30          9          --           --               --         14.80       Bos indicus
K977           Z30          9          56.63        25.54            31.74      25.90       Bos indicus
K1048          Z30          5          --           36.26            42.14      --          Bos indicus
K904           Z30          9          61.58        32.15            35.18      32.29       Bubalus bubalis
K978           Z30          9          55.36        27.47            29.55      25.15       Bubalus bubalis
K1049          Z30          5          --           36.22            42.50      --          Bubalus bubalis
K1090          Z30          5          64.30        35.66            35.35      33.56       Bubalus bubalis
K1110          Z30          2          57.70        36.17            34.54      34.67       Bubalus bubalis
K782           Z30          8          36.52        11.85            12.86      11.72       Capra hircus
K823           Z30          9          39.86        14.46            15.28      13.04       Capra hircus
K952           Z30          9          37.85        13.36            14.91      12.5        Capra hircus
K979           Z30          9          40.17        12.62            13.96      11.75       Capra hircus
K1238          Z30          6          40.10        14.23            16.06      12.62       Capra hircus
K1259          Z30          8          --           --               --         11.02       Capra hircus
K760           Z29          5          --           12.90            15.11      --          Capra/Ovis
K1076          Z30          5          --           --               --         14.06       Axis axis
K779           Z30          10         31.9         9.25             13.02      7.49        Gazella bennetti
K781           Z30          8          33.5         10.35            14.08      7.93        Gazella bennetti
K796           Z29          7          36.52        10.89            14.06      --          Gazella bennetti
K917           Z30          9          33.66        9.85             14.13      8.14        Gazella bennetti
K980           Z30          9          35.48        9.71             13.37      8.46        Gazella bennetti
K988           Z30          11         32.93        10.03            12.29      9.46        Gazella bennetti
K1187          Z30          5          33.43        10.10            14.27      8.52        Gazella bennetti
K1195          Z30          7          28.39        9.37             11.41      10.00       Gazella bennetti
K1331          Z30          10         --           --               --         8.15        Gazella bennetti
K666           Z30          5          35.8         10.28            14.79      8.84        A. cervicapra
K667           Z30          5          35.98        10.38            14.53      8.96        A. cervicapra


GL: Maximum length; Bp: Maximum proximal width; Tp: Proximal thickness; Bd: Maximum distal width




                                                           - 122 -
                 Report on the faunal remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during the third field season (2007-08)


                                      Table 14 Measurements of second phalanges from Kanmer

   Reg. No.          Trench           Layer         GL            Bp              Tp          Bd            Species
    K1080              Z29              5          39.78         27.11           27.87       23.94          Bos indicus
    K1309              Z30             7             --         23.47            24.86         --           Bos indicus
    K1386              Z30             11            --           --                  --     12.68          Bos indicus
    K1407              Z30             9           28.99         23.18           27.41       20.81          Bubalus bubalis
     K981              Z30             9           33.56        26.78            27.22       23.66          Bubalus bubalis
    K1144              Z30             6           39.78         37.87           37.56       35.84          Bubalus bubalis
    K1146              Z30              5          48.19         35.53           40.16       30.37          Bubalus bubalis
     K1138             Z30             8           30.12        20.77            22.01       17.02          B. tragocamelus
     K799              Z30             10          36.07         22.4            28.89       25.11          B. tragocamelus
     K1181             Z30             9           20.07         9.41            10.52        7.55          Axis porcinus
     K763              Z30             10          18.69         8.94            10.53       7.27           Gazella bennetti
    K1406              Z30             9           19.71         8.72            11.31       7.67           Gazella bennetti
     K764              Z30             10          18.95         7.44            9.89        6.64           Gazella bennetti
     K1182             Z30             9           16.99         8.99             9.57       6.95           Muntiacus muntjak
     K783              Z30             8           17.94         11.63           11.65       8.50           Sus domesticus
     K754              Z29              5          22.45         8.80            11.78        7.58          A. cervicapra


GL: Maximum length; Bp: Maximum proximal width; Tp: Proximal thickness; Bd: Maximum distal width


                                            Table 15 Measurements of incisors from Kanmer

      Reg. No.                Trench                 Layer                   Length                 Width             Species
       K1337                    Z30                       11                  12.59                  6.74             Bos indicus
       K1388                    Z30                       11                   8.93                  4.20             Bos indicus
      K1402                     Z30                       11                  13.24                  7.62             Bos indicus
       K1403                    Z30                       11                  12.98                  6.45             Bos indicus
      K1404                     Z30                       11                  13.27                  6.90             Bos indicus
       K890                     Z30                       10                   7.23                  2.43             Capra/Ovis



1). The identified material belonged to the domestic                      and two metapodia. The nature of the material shows
mammals only. The cattle dominated the whole as-                          that cattle, sheep and goat were used for food, whereas
semblage and contributed 68% of the total assemblage                      the horse was not consumed.
recovered from this phase (Table 3). The rest of the
assemblage was represented by goat/sheep (20%)
and horse (12%). In the absence of any distinguishing                                 BONE MEASUREMENTS
marker, it was difficult to separate faunal fragments                                         (Tables 6-18)
belonging to goat from those belonging to sheep.
Therefore, all of these have been kept together in the                    Recording bone measurements is an essential part of
category of Capra/Ovis. Horse was represented by                          standard archaeozoological methodology. The bone
three skeletal fragments, i.e. proximal end of a femur                    measurements provide a tool to look at the sizes of


                                                                - 123 -
                                                P. Goyal and P.P. Joglekar



past animals, particularly the domestic ones. With the                ferent animal groups (Table 20) revealed that the
estimates of the size and height of the animals at the                type of animals in different cultural periods were
withers, it is possible to compare the domestic stocks                different. It is clear from Table 20 that wild animals
at various archaeological sites and in different cultural             played a significant role in the animal based subsis-
periods ( Joglekar 2000-2001). All the measurements                   tence economy in the Late Harappan phase. The wild
were recorded in mm using a digital caliper with a                    animals form a significant proportion (23.25%) in the
least count of 0.01 mm. It has been possible to esti-                 whole assemblage belonging to this phase. The previ-
mate the height of the cattle at the withers using the                ous report (Goyal and Joglekar 2008) also indicated
medial length of the astragalus (Zalkin 1970). A few                  a slight increase of wild animals in this phase. A look
point estimates of the height of cattle found at Kan-                 at the composition of wild animals in this particular
mer are given in Table 19. Earlier Joglekar (2007) has                phase revealed that Indian hare (Lepus nigricollis)
reported the height of cattle at withers found from                   contributed appreciably forming a share of 13.2% in
the Late Harappan phase at Kanmer to vary from110                     the whole assemblage (Table 3). The other trenches
to 117 cm.                                                            currently under investigation are showing a similar
    The distal width of the trochlea of the humerus                   trend and revealing good number of skeletal frag-
can be converted to estimate the fat-free carcass                     ments of Indian hare from the Late Harappan phase.
weight (kg) using the factor given by Noddle (1973).                  This animal is widely distributed in India and usually
A single estimate obtained from cattle humerus                        lives in the neighbourhood of villages and areas under
(K1151) showed that cattle at Kanmer from the cul-                    cultivation. It is also known for entering the agricul-
tural break between the Medieval and the Historic                     tural fields and inflicts severe damage to crop yields.
Phase had fat-free carcass weight equal to 146.43 kg.                     Slightly more than 60% material presented in this
                                                                      report comes from the Mature Harappan phase con-
                                                                      texts. The analyzed material revealed the dominance
  DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION                                           of cattle in all the cultural phases at Kanmer. The skel-
                                                                      etal elements of cattle were present in all the layers an-
Animal remains throughout the occupation at Kan-                      alyzed. The maximum representation of this animal is
mer indicate that the food economy was mainly based                   noticed in layer 9 (Mature Harappan Phase) of trench
on the consumption of domestic animals. In general,                   Z30. The high proportion of cattle bones indicates
the economy was mainly dependent on domestic                          the value of this animal not only for food purposes
animals, but it was observed that exploitation of wild                but also for other secondary products. The cow dung
fauna was at its peak in the Late Harappan phase. A                   was extensively used for plastering the floors and walls
similar pattern of animal exploitation was also seen at               of the houses as revealed by the excavation in almost
other Harappan sites in Gujarat like Rangpur (Nath                    all the cultural phases. The presence of bifid spines of
1962-63), Surkotada (Sharma 1990), Nageswar (Shah                     the thoracic vertebra suggests the presence of humped
and Bhan 1992), Kuntasi (Thomas et al. 1996) and                      variety of cattle at Kanmer.
Shikarpur (Thomas et al. 1995) etc., where the exploi-                    As mentioned above, this report is based on a
tation of wild fauna was at its maximum towards the                   part of the faunal material unearthed in the third sea-
close of the Harappan period. The contribution of                     son (2007-08) at the site of Kanmer. Therefore, these
reptiles and birds was very less in comparison to the                 results are preliminary in nature like the previous
mammals (Figure 13)                                                   reports ( Joglekar 2007; Goyal and Joglekar 2008).
    A closer look at the relative proportion of dif-                  A comprehensive report at the end of excavations at


                                                            - 124 -
             Report on the faunal remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during the third field season (2007-08)


                              Table 16 Measurements of premolars and molars from Kanmer


Reg. No.       Trench         Layer                         Tooth                  Length          Width    Species
K892           Z30            10          Maxillary         First molar            22.29           17.22    Bos indicus
K1391          Z30            1           Maxillary         Second molar           18.34           15.08    Bos indicus
K1401          Z30            11          Maxillary         Third molar            15.05           9.23     Ovis aries
K1400          Z30            11          Maxillary         Second molar           18.31           10.11    Bos indicus
K1005          Z30            7           Mandibular        First molar            29.80           12.28    Bos indicus
K983           Z30            9           Mandibular        Third molar            37.23           12.61    Bos indicus
K984           Z30            9           Mandibular        Third molar            12.36           6.93     Bos indicus
K1091          Z30            5           Mandibular        Third molar            40.30           14.84    Bos indicus
K997           Z30            9           Mandibular        Second premolar 18.36                  13.18    Bos/Bubalus
K1328          Z30            9           Mandibular        Second premolar 8.48                   5.14     Bos indicus
K945           Z30            9           Mandibular        Fourth premolar 19.02                  11.46    Bos indicus
K996           Z30            9           Mandibular        First molar            13.53           7.70     Capra/Ovis
K1353          Z30            10          Mandibular        First molar            14.97           8.52     Capra/Ovis
K1245          Z30            5           Mandibular        First molar            14.49           10.19    Capra hircus
K1314          Z30            7           Mandibular        First molar            13.28           8.04     Capra hircus
K1333          Z30            10          Mandibular        Second molar           14.18           6.95     Capra hircus
K1387          Z30            11          Mandibular        Second molar           15.76           7.32     Capra hircus
K1026          Z30            11          Mandibular        Second premolar 17.02                  10.71    Capra hircus
K1397          Z30            10          Mandibular        Second molar           22.08           14.08    Axis axis


                                   Table 17 Measurements of metapodia from Kanmer
Reg. No.       Trench         Layer        Bone               Bp           Tp              Bd       Td        Species
K1122          Z29            5            Metacarpal         --           --              55.90    28.88     Bos indicus
K1123          Z29            5            Metacarpal         --           --              61.45    32.56     Bos indicus
K1071          Z30            5            Metacarpal         --           --              53.93    30.49     Bubalus bubalis
K761           Z30            5            Metacarpal                                      20.50    9.87      Ovis aries
K989           Z30            11           Metacarpal         20.42        15.9            --       --        Ovis aries
K1284          Z30            8            Metacarpal         19.94        14.87           --       --        Gazella bennetti
K915           Z30            9            Metatarsal         32.15        28.97           --       --        Bos indicus
K1154          Z29            4            Metatarsal         44.87        39.09           --       --        Equus caballus
K1155          Z29            4            Metatarsal         --           --              45.30    36.54     Equus caballus
K1124          Z29            5            Metatarsal         23.79        21.38           --       --        A. cervicapra
K1355          Z30            10           Metatarsal         14.69        14.63           --       --        A. cervicapra



Kanmer would project a full picture of animal-based                   kwal, Y. S. Rawat and Prof. Toshiki Osada for entrust-
subsistence economy at Kanmer.                                        ing the faunal material from Kanmer for analysis to
                                                                      us. The authors also thank the other team members of
Acknowledgements                                                      the Kanmer Archaeological Research Project (KARP)
The authors are extremely grateful to Drs. J. S. Khara-               for their support during this research, without which


                                                            - 125 -
                                                            P. Goyal and P.P. Joglekar



                                         Table 18 Measurements of mandibles from Kanmer

  Reg. No.       Trench        Layer Condyle width                 dP2                 dP3                   dP4                 Species
   K916           Z30            9       37.98                      --                  --                    --                Bos indicus
   K1040          Z29           6           35.54                    --                  --                   --                Bos indicus
   K1398          Z30           11               --            length: 4.81         length: 8.29       length: 14.59            Capra hircus
                                                               width: 3.06          width: 5.21           width: 6.27
   K1405          Z30           9           20.37                  --                   --                    --                 Ovis aries


                                         Table 19 Cattle height at the withers estimates (cm)

Phase                                                 Height
The Medieval Phase                                    105.08
The Historical Phase                                  116.44
The Mature Harappan Phase                             87.07, 87.56, 111.32


                                     Table 20 Relative proportion (%) of different animal groups

Groups                    Medieval           Break*                 Historic Phase       Break**   Late Harappan Mature Harappan
Cattle/Buffalo            68                 100                    72.06                71.07     49.7                 62.65
Sheep/Goat                20                 -                      17.75                21.38     25.2                 24
Others Domestic           12                 -                      0.34                 -         -                    0.5
mammals
Wild Mammals              -                  -                      8.9                  6.3       23.25                10.25
Reptiles                  -                  -                      -                    -         0.6                  0.2
Birds                     -                  -                      0.95                 1.25      1.25                 2.4


* between the Medieval and the Historic Phase, ** between the Historic and the Late Harappan Phase




                                     Figure 13 Relative proportion (%) of different animal groups


                                                                          - 126 -
              Report on the faunal remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during the third field season (2007-08)



this work was not possible. The authors also acknowl-                             Paper presented during the 3rd International Congress

edge the help given by the Department of Archaeol-                                of the Society of South Asian Archaeology (SOSAA)

ogy, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda during                                 held at University of Kelaniya, Colombo, Sri Lanka,
                                                                                  20th-21st August 2010.
their stay there. The first author thanks Dr. Arati
                                                                         Gupta, S.K., D.N. Sharma and R .L. Bhardwaj (1987)
Deshpande-Mukherjee for her help time to time. The
                                                                                  Comparative Anatomy of the Hard Palate of
authors also thank C.V. Sharda for her help in taking
                                                                                  Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and Ox (Bos indicus).
the photographs of the bones. The villagers of Kan-
                                                                                  Haryana Veterinarian 26: 22-26.
mer also lend a hand in different ways and the authors
                                                                         Gupta, S.K., D.N. Sharma and R .L. Bhardwaj (1990)
are thankful to them.                                                             Comparative Anatomy of the Bony Palate of Ox,
                                                                                  Buffalo and Yak. Indian Journal of Animal Science
                                                                                  60(4): 436-438.
References                                                               Higham, C.F.W. (1975) The Faunal Remains from the 1996
Bartram, L.E.J., and C.W. Marean (1999) Explaining the                            and 1998 Excavations at Non Nok Tha, Northeastern
         “Klasies Pattern”: Kua Ethnoarchaeology, the Die                         Thialand. University of Otago, Otago.
         Kelders Midle Stone Age Archaeofauna, Long Bone                 Joglekar, P.P. (2000-2001) Applications of Mathematics and
         Fragmentation and Carnivore Ravaging. Journal of                         Statistics in Archaeozoological Research at Deccan
         Archaeological Science 26: 9-29.                                         College. Bulletin of the Deccan College Post-graduate
Clason, A .T. (1972) Some Remarks on the Use and                                  and Research Institute 60-61: 109-136.
         Presentation of Archaeozoological Data. Helinium                Joglekar, P.P., P.K. Thomas, Y. Matsushima and Seema
         12(2): 139-153.                                                          J. Pawankar (1994) Osteological Differences
Driesch von den, A. (1976) A Guide to the Measurement of                          between the Forelimb bones of Ox (Bos indicus),
         Animal Bones from Archaeological Sites. Harvard                          Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and Nilgai (Boselaphus
         University Press, Cambridge.                                             tragocamelus). Journal of Bombay Veterinary College
Goyal, Pankaj and P.P. Joglekar (2008) Faunal Remains at                          5 (1-2): 1720.
         Kanmer: A Multi-Cultural site in Gujarat. Paper                 Joglekar, P.P. (2006) Preliminary Report of the Faunal
         presented during the 36th Conference of the Indian                       Remains from Kanmer, Gujarat. Paper presented
         Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies                           during the First Conference of the Society of South
         (ISPQS) held at Bhubaneswar (29-31 December                              Asian Archaeology held at Mumbai (16-18 December
         2008).                                                                   2006).
Goyal, Pankaj and P.P. Joglekar (2008) “Report of the Faunal             Joglekar, P.P. (2007) “Report of the Faunal Remains recovered
         Remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during                           from Kanmer, Gujarat, during the First Field Season
         the Second Field Season (2006-07)”, in T. Osada                          (2005-06)”, in T. Osada (ed.) Lingusitic, Archaeology
         and A. Uesugi (eds.) Lingustic, Archaeology and the                      and the Human Past: Occasional Paper 2. Research
         Human Past: Occasional Paper 5. Research Institute                       Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto. pp. 47-
         for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto. pp. 25-43                                76.
Goyal, Pankaj and P.P. Joglekar (2010a). Animal Utilization              Joglekar, P.P. and Pankaj Goyal (2008) Faunal Remains from
         Patterns at Kanmer, Gujarat, Paper presented during                      Historic Phase at Kanmer, a Multi-culture Site in
         the Bhuj Roundtable 2010: International Conference                       Kachchh Region of Gujarat, India. Paper presented
         on Gujarat Harappans and Chalcolithic Cultures                           during the Second Conference of the Society of South
         held at Bhuj, 28-31 January 2010.                                        Asian Archaeology held at Islamic Azad University of
Goyal, Pankaj and P.P. Joglekar (2010b) Reconstructing                            Kazeroun, Shiraz, Iran (25-29 May 2008).
         Animal Based Subsistence of Harappan Culture in                 Kharakwal, J.S., Y.S. Rawat and T. Osada (2005) “Harappan
         Gujarat: A Case Study from the Region of Kachchh.                        Sites in Kachchh and New Opportunities of



                                                               - 127 -
                                                    P. Goyal and P.P. Joglekar



         Tourism”, in Heritage Tourism. Government of                              of Sheep and Goat. Journal of Archaeological Science
         Gujarat. pp. 35-43.                                                       13: 567-577.
Kharakwal, J.S., Y.S. Rawat and T. Osada (2007) “Kanmer:                  Sadek-Kooros, H. (1975) “Intentional Fracturing of Bone:
         A Harappan site in Kachchh, Gujarat, India”, in T.                        Description of Criteria”, in A.T. CLason (ed.)
         Osada (ed.) Lingusitic, Archaeology and the Human                         Archaeoz oolog ical Studies. Nor th-Hol land
         Past: Occasional Paper 2. Research Institute for                          Publication, Amsterdam. pp. 139-150.
         Humanity and Nature, Kyoto. pp. 21-46.                           Schmidt, E. (1972) Atlas of Animal Bones. Elsevier,
Kharakwal, J.S., Y.S. Rawat and T. Osada (2008a) Preliminary                       Amsterdam.
         Report of the Excavation at Kanmer, Kachchh,                     Shah, D.R. and K.K. Bhan. (1992) “Faunal Remains”, in
         Gujarat 2006-07. Shodh Patrika 59(1-2): 99-132.                           K.T.M. Hegde, K.K. Bhan, V.H. Sonawane, K.
Kharakwal, J.S., Y.S. Rawat and T. Osada (2008b) Preliminary                       Krishnan and D.R . Shah (eds.) Excavation at
         Report of the Excavation at Kanmer, Kachchh,                              Nageswar, Gujarat: a Harappan shell working site
         Gujarat 2006-07. Shodh Patrika 59(1-2): 99-132.                           on the Gulf of Kutch. M.S. University Archaeology
Kharakwal, J. S., Y. S. Rawat and T. Osada (2009) Excavations                      Series No. 18, Baroda. pp. 145-47.
         at Kanmer: A Harappan Site in Kachchh, Gujarat.                  Sharma, A.K. (1990) “Animal Bone Remains”, in J.P.
         Puratattva 39: 147-164.                                                   Joshi (eds.) Excavations at Surkotada 1971-
Mig uad, P. (1989) Discriminating Characters on the                                72 a n d E x pl orati on i n Ku tch. Mem o ir s of
         Acropodium of Domestic and Wild Pig. Acta                                 the Archae olo g ica l Sur ve y of India no.87.
         Veternaria (Brno) 42: 109-133.                                            Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi. pp.
Nath, B. (1962-63) Animal Remains from Rangpur. Ancient                            372-383.
         India 18-19: 153-160.                                            Thomas, P. K., P.P. Joglekar, A. Deshpande-Mukherjee and
Pawankar, S.J. and P.K. Thomas (2001) Osteological                                 S.J. Pawankar (1995) Harappan Subsistence Patterns
         Differences b et we en Blackbuck (Antilop e                               with Special Reference to Shikarpur, a Harappan
         cervicapra), Goat (Capra hircus) and Sheep (Ovis                          Site in Gujarat. Man and Environment XX (2): 33-
         aries). Man and Environment 26(1): 109-126.                               41.
Payne, S. (1975) “Partial Recovery and Sample Bias”, in A.T.              Thomas, P.K., Y. Matsushima and A. Deshpande (1996)
         Clason (ed.) Archaeozoological Studies. North-                            “Faunal Remains”, in M.K. Dhavalikar, M.H. Raval
         Holland Publishing Company, Ltd., Amsterdam.                              and Y.M. Chitalwala (eds.) Kuntasi: A Harappan
         pp. 7-17.                                                                 Emporium on West Coast. Deccan College, Pune.
Prummel, W. and H.J. Frisch (1986) A Guide for the                                 pp. 297-330.
         Distinction of Species, Sex and Body Side in Bones




                                                                - 128 -
                                    Preliminary anthracological analysis from Harappan Kanmer



                Preliminary anthracological analysis from Harappan Kanmer:
    Human-environment interactions as seen through fuel resources exploitation and use


                                                       Carla Lancelotti
                      Department of Archaeology and Anthropology – Institució Milà i Fontanals
                             Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Barcelona – Spain/
                              Department of Archaeology – University of Cambridge – UK
                                                        Marco Madella
               ICREA & Department of Archaeology and Anthropology – Institució Milà i Fontanals
                              Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Barcelona – Spain




Abstract
This paper presents the preliminary results of charcoal analysis conducted on samples collected at the site of Kanmer during the
2008 fieldwork season. The main aim of the sampling was to analyse and understand the exploitation and use of fuel resources
during the Mature Harappan Phase of occupation at the site. Sediments form fireplaces, pits, floors and ash accumulations were
floated in order to retrieve charred wood remains. The analysis has revealed the use of a surprisingly high variety of arboreal species,
including some that are not currently found nearby the site. This new data allows the formulation of hypothesis on the presence of
different environmental conditions at Kanmer during the Mature Harappan Period.




                INTRODUCTION                                              and the Rann of Kachchh, which is about 5 km away
                                                                          to the south. The archaeological mound measures
During the months of January and February 2008,                           105 m x 115 m and rises 8 m above the surrounding
archaeobotanical sampling was carried out at the                          plain (Kharakwal et al. 2007, 2008). It is encircled
site of Kanmer (Kachchh, Gujarat) with the aim                            by a massive stonewall and its top is shallow with
of understanding the exploitation and use of fuel                         peripheral regions slightly higher than the central
resources during the Mature Harappan Period.                              part.
Investigation at the site of Kanmer has been                                  An ephemeral stream (nullah), known as
conducted since 2005-2006 by a joint team of                              Aludawaro Vokro that originates in an inselberg-
researchers from the Institute of Rajasthan Studies,                      type hill 2 km west of the mound, drains the area
JNR Rajasthan Vidyapeeth (Udaipur), the Gujarat                           around the site. Rajaguru and Shuhsama (2008)
State Department of Archaeology and the Research                          suggested that the nullah was permanently active
Institute for Humanity and Nature (Kyoto, Japan).                         during Harappan times. Presently, the only source
     The modern village of Kanmer is located in Rapar                     of water, except deep ground water, is a large natural
Taluka, Kachchh District. The archaeological mound,                       tank located to the southeast of the hill. It is not as
known locally as Bakar kot, stands to the north of                        yet clear whether this water basin was in use during
the village (23°23’N; 70°52’E). A small natural hill                      the Harappan period although findings of Harappan
oriented northeast southwest, lays between the village                    pottery on its margins may suggest this. However,


                                                                - 129 -
                                                 C. Lancelotti and M. Madella



the basin could have also been dug into Harappan                       many other dry/saline areas of India and Pakistan.
deposits in a later period, which could also explain the
presence of Harappan pottery along the shore.
    The geology of the area is dominated by sandstone                       MATERIALS AND METHODS
intercalated with white shale. These sediments are
often traversed by faults and linear features running                  A total of 37 contexts were floated and 41 soil samples
west-northwest and east-southeast (Rajaguru and                        were collected during the 2007-2008 field season. Of
Shushama 2008). The vegetation around the site is                      these only 10 flotation samples were deemed suitable
today scarce, composed predominantly by Prosopis                       for analysis within the scope of this research. This
juliflora, Azadirachta indica, Salvadora persica and S.                was due to the fact that most of the other samples
oleoides, Capparis decidua and Calotropis sp. (personal                collected belonged to historical or medieval periods
observations). These are the dominant species of the                   and were thus outside the time frame of this work.
dry-thorn scrubland formation that characterises                           As there was not running water on site, samples
this region. Trees are scarce and Prosopis juliflora                   were processed by bucket flotation with water
(Sw.) DC dominates the assemblage. This species was                    delivered on site by bullock cart from the nearby
introduced from South America in the last decades                      tank (Figure 1). A mesh of 0.5 mm was used in order
of the 19th century as a powerful tool to re-vegetate                  to collect small seeds as well as charcoal. Whenever
the area and now has become so invasive that it is the                 possible, a standard quantity of soil (20 litres) was
most common shrub/tree in the territory as well as in                  floated so as to have control on the quantitative




  Figure 1 Bucket flotation at Kanmer where water was collected from the nearby tank and carried to the site by bullock cart.


                      Table 1 Kanmer: Samples divided by the trenches where they were collected from.

                       Trench                   Charcoal samples (n.)             Sediment samples (n.)

                       AA17                                    3                              2

                       FF29                                    1                              0

                       Z17                                     4                              11

                       Z18                                     0                              2

                       Z30                                     2                              1




                                                             - 130 -
                              Preliminary anthracological analysis from Harappan Kanmer




                         Figure 2 Kanmer: Kiln structure dated to the Mature Harappan Phase
                         unearthed in trench Z17 at a depth of 5.39 meters below the datum point.


                              Table 2 Kanmer: Distribution of samples per context type.

                               Context type                   No. of charcoal samples

                               Fireplace                                    4

                               Floors                                        1

                               Ash accumulations                             1

                               Occupation levels                             3



analysis. The flots were dried in the shade and then                Schweingruber 1990).
transported to the G. Pitt-Rivers Laboratory for                        The samples analysed during this work were
Bioarchaeology, University of Cambridge, UK. Here                   recovered from five trenches that cover the three
they were sorted under a low power microscope to                    excavated areas. Table 1 shows the distribution of
separate charcoal from eventual seeds. The charcoal                 samples per trench. Samples were recovered from
was then analysed at high magnification with a Leica                fireplaces, floors, ash accumulations, and occupation
microscope and identified using reference material                  levels (Table 2).
appositely created for this work as well as published                   Due to its nature, the big kiln found in Trench
material (Asouti and Fuller 2007; Fahn et al. 1986;                 Z17 (Figure 2) was sub-sampled: one bulk soil sample
Hather 2000; Inside Wood Database 2004-onwards;                     from the level just above the kiln; three sediment


                                                          - 131 -
                                                 C. Lancelotti and M. Madella



samples from the kiln central cylindrical structure;                      of indeterminate and determinate fragments in a
one bulk sample from just outside the fuel chamber;                       sample. It is a parameter to evaluate taphonomy in
one bulk sample from the inside of the fuel chamber.                      the samples and its value stands in the comparison
The flot from the latter sample contained no charcoal.                    between the samples rather than in its absolute
                                                                          value for each individual sample (Asouti 2003). The
                                                                          Simpson’s Diversity Index measures the presence
  ANTHRACOLOGICAL ANALYSIS                                                and distribution of a specific taxon in the sample.
                                                                          This formula can be used to distinguish between
A total of 1222 fragments recovered from 10 contexts                      generalised (such as pits or accumulation of charcoal
were examined from the site of Kanmer. The contexts                       refuse) and specialised (such as fireplaces) assemblages
chosen were the only ones that dated to the Mature                        (Asouti 2003). Density, expressed as the total weight
Harappan phase of occupation. Although the                                of charcoal material per litre of floated sediment,
context number is lower than the one recommended                          provide informative comparisons on different samples
for anthracological analysis, the total number of                         and can be a tool for a first assessment of taphonomic
fragments is adequate for quantification and statistical                  processes over the samples when combined with other
analyses (Chabal 1997; Chabal et al. 1999; Scheel-                        indices (Asouti 2003).
Ybert 2002).                                                                  The quantity of charcoal retrieved from each
                                                                          sample is low ; the Density Index is below the
Taphonomy and preservation                                                average in 78% of the samples (Figure 3). However,
The percentage of undetermined fragments, the                             the percentage of undetermined fragments is also
Simpson’s Diversity Index and the Density Index                           generally low and it is below the average in 70% of the
were used as a measure of the preservation conditions                     samples (Figure 4).
of the charcoal fragments. The Percentage of                                  Although these figures need to be considered
Unidentified Fragments shows the proportions                              carefully due to the very high standard deviation


                 Table 3 Kanmer: Mean, Standard Deviation and Median values for the Density, percentage
                                      of undetermined fragments and Diversity Indices.

                                          Density Index                    Undetermined %               Diversity Index
       MEAN                                    22.63                             0.023                       0.81
       STDEV                                    11.56                            0.024                       0.09
       MEDIAN                                  19.27                             0.017                       0.82


             Table 4 Kanmer: Spearman's coefficient of correlation for values of Density Index and percentage of
                undetermined fragments. There is no significant correlation at the 0.05 interval level (2-tailed).

                                                                                            Density       Undetermined%
        Spearman's rho        Density                   Correlation Coefficient                 1.000          -0.350
                                                        Sig. (2-tailed)                           .             0.356
                                                        N                                        9                  9
                              Undetermined %            Correlation Coefficient              -0.350            1.000
                                                        Sig. (2-tailed)                         0.356               .
                                                        N                                        9                  9



                                                                - 132 -
                                      Preliminary anthracological analysis from Harappan Kanmer



                  Table 5 Kanmer: Spearman's correlation test between Simpson’s Diversity Index and percentage of
           undetermined fragments. There is no significant correlation between the values at the 0.05 interval level (2-tailed).

                                                                                            Diversity          Undetermined %
     Spearman's rho          Diversity               Correlation Coefficient                  1.000                  -0.458
                                                     Sig. (2-tailed)                            .                    0.215
                                                     N                                          9                      9
                             Undetermined %          Correlation Coefficient                 -0.458                  1.000
                                                     Sig. (2-tailed)                          0.215                     .
                                                     N                                          9                      9




Figure 3      Kanmer: Results of the Density Index (average 22.63). The contexts have been grouped according to their type: A) ash
accumulation; FL) floor deposit; FP) fireplace; HL) general occupation level. KMR FL002 does not have a result for this Index, as
the charcoal retrieved from the single floor sample analysed was hand picked.


of the data, they show that post-depositional                                can be the result of burning conditions, of recovery
taphonomic processes should not be a major concern                           methods or of a scarce use of wood fuel a priori. The
in the preser vation of Kanmer charcoals. The                                last possibility seemed to be confirmed by the strong
Spearman’s Coefficient of correlation between the                            positive correlation between Density and Simpson’s
Density and percentage of undetermined fragments                             Diversity Indices (Table 6). This means that when
indices confirms this result (Table 4). This is further                      the density increases, the possibility of finding a
supported by the total absence of correlation between                        higher number of species augments, which means that
the percentage of undetermined fragments and the                             arboreal species were probably abundant around the
Simpson’s Diversity Index (Table 5), which proves                            sites. As the density is very low it can be postulated
that all samples, independently of their preservation                        that wood was not exploited as the preferential source
state, display the same range of variety.                                    of fuel.
    The preservation of charred material during and
after the burning activity is more problematic. The
small volumes of charcoal preserved in the sediments


                                                                   - 133 -
                                                      C. Lancelotti and M. Madella




Figure 4   Kanmer: Percentage of undetermined fragments over the total number of charcoal fragments identified in each context
(average 0.023). The contexts have been grouped according to their type: A) ash accumulation; FL) floor deposit; FP) fireplace;
HL) general occupation level.

                  Table 6 Kanmer: Spearman’s correlation between Density and Simpson's Diversity Indices.
                                There is a strong positive correlation at the 0.01 interval level (2-tailed).

                                                                                       Density                   Diversity
 Spearman's rho       Density           Correlation Coefficient                         1.000                     0.831
                                        Sig. (2-tailed)                                    .                      0.006
                                        N                                                  9                         9
                      Diversity         Correlation Coefficient                         0.831                     1.000
                                        Sig. (2-tailed)                                0.006                         .
                                        N                                                  9                         9


Plants as fuel: descriptive and                                              relative abundance of species relating to riverine
quantitative results                                                         environments and to coastal habitats (mangrove
A total of 23 taxa were identified in the samples                            forest) is remarkable (Figure 6). As explained in the
analysed, plus two that could not be identified, as they                     introduction, at present the only water bodies near
were not found in the reference collections that were                        the site are an ephemeral nullah that receives water
used for this work. The assemblage is dominated, both                        during the monsoon season but is otherwise dry,
in terms of fragments count and ubiquity occurrence,                         and the tank to the southeast of the modern village.
by the arid dry thorn scrubland species Ziziphus sp.,                        The percentage and ubiquity occurrence of Acacia
Azadirachta indica and Capparis decidua and by the                           nilotica suggests that this taxon was not imported
riverine species Acacia nilotica (Table 7 and Figure                         but must have been growing in the vicinity of the site
5). In addition, there are some species, such as the                         and therefore there must have been a watercourse
mangrove coastal forest Avicennia marina, that even                          nearby (see Table 7 and Figure 5). Furthermore the
if not abundant in the record are very important as                          identification of Dalbergia sissoo, Shisham or Indian
palaeoenvironmental indicators.                                              rosewood, confirms the presence of a watercourse
    If the dominance of species relating to arid                             near the site (Orwa et al. 2009).
environments is not surprising, the presence and                                 Even more significant is the presence of a


                                                                   - 134 -
                                  Preliminary anthracological analysis from Harappan Kanmer



Table 7   Kanmer: Ubiquity scores (number of samples in which the species has been identified over the total number of samples
analysed) of the major taxa in the samples analysed and their ecological significance (where known). ADT= Arid Dry Thorn
scrubland; R= Riverine; M= Mangrove forest. In brackets the total number of samples analysed.

                                                                         Site       Ash       Floor    Fireplace   Occupation
Species                                                                  (10)       (2)        (1)        (3)         (4)
Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (ADT)                                          8         2          1          2           3
Capparis decidua (Forssk.) Edgew. (ADT)                                    8         2          1          1           4
Acacia nilotica (L.) Willd ex Delile (R)                                  6          1          1          1           3
Ziziphus nummularia (Bum. f.) Wight & Aru. (ADT)                           5         1          0          2           2
Salvadora persica Wall. (ADT)                                              5         1          0          2           2
Prosopis cineraria (L.) Druce (ADT)                                        5         1          1          1           2
Acacia senegal Willd. (ADT)                                                5         2          0          1           2
Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T. Aiton (ADT)                                5         0          1          1           3
Acacia sp. (ADT)                                                           5         2          0          1           2
Ziziphus sp. (ADT)                                                        4          1          0          0           3
Salvadora sp. (ADT)                                                       4          0          0          2           2
Avicennia marina (Forssk.) Vierh. (M)                                     4          1          0          1           2
Type A                                                                     3         0          0          1           1
Senna siamea Lamk. (ADT)                                                   2         0          1          0           1
Clerodendrum sp. (ADT)                                                     2         1          0          0           1
Monocotyledon                                                              2         0          0          1           0
Cordia sp. (ADT)                                                           1         1          0          0           0
Ziziphus mauritiana Lam. (ADT)                                             1         1          0          0           0
Salvadora oleoides Decne. (ADT)                                            1         1          0          0           0
Tamarix aphylla (L.) Karst. (R)                                            1         0          0          0           1
Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. (R)                                                 1         1          0          0           0
cf. Wrightia tinctoria (Roxb.) R. Br.                                      1         0          0          1           0
Ficus sp. (ADT)                                                            1         0          1          0           0
Myristica sp.                                                              1         0          0          0           1
cf. Phoenix sylvestris Roxb. (ADT)                                         1         0          0          0           1
Type C                                                                     1         0          0          0           0
Leaf fragments                                                             1         0          0          0           1
Bark fragments                                                             1         1          0          0           0


mangrove species, Avicenna marina, grey or white                       whereas fireplaces contain the most homogeneous
mangrove, which occurs in intertidal areas. Naidoo                     deposits (Figure 8). This is in accordance with the
(1987) showed that the optimum growth rate is                          theory that sees fireplaces as short-term deposits and,
achieved at a level of salinity of about 20%, which                    therefore, they contain a less varied range of species
marks out this species as one of the most salt tolerant                (Chabal 1997).
among mangroves (Tengberg 2002). Its wood presents                         A few fragments of an “exotic “ taxon, Myristica
a very distinct transverse section with vessels in rows                sp. from the nutmeg family, have been found in a
of 4 or more and scanty paratracheal parenchyma. The                   single context. The preservation of the fragments
rays are composed of mixed cells and are 1 to 3 cells in               and the lack of reference material did not allow
width. Vessels present simple perforation plates and                   for identification to species level. Four species of
alternate pits (Figure 7).                                             Myristica are native to western India, all from the
    These data show that people in Kanmer used a                       Western Ghats, concentrated more or less between
great variety of wood resources. In fact, all the contexts             Mumbai and Goa (Gamble 1902). Among these, only
analysed show a very high Diversity Index value (see                   one has been historically used for timber: Myristica
average in Table 3). Among the context types, ash                      malabarica (Bombay mace or false nutmeg ), and
accumulations show the highest Diversity Index,                        none are reported as good fuel sources. The wood of


                                                             - 135 -
                                                C. Lancelotti and M. Madella




                   Figure 5 Kanmer: Pie chart showing the most abundant species in the samples analysed.
                          Only species with overall scores >10% in the ubiquity test were considered
                             and the species belonging to the same genus were grouped together.




                          Figure 6 Kanmer: Pie chart showing the distribution of vegetation types.


this genus is characterised by solitary vessels or vessels             context KMR FP005 Z17. The wood of this tree is
in short radial rows of two, axial parenchyma in                       used today for turning, carving and making toys
marginal bands, vessels with scalariform perforation                   and its leaves are used for dying (Gamble 1902; Patel
plates (Figure 9) and alternate to opposite pits, rays                 1971). Microscopically it is characterised by vessels in
of 1-2 cells wide composed by a body of procumbent                     short radial rows of 2-4, axial parenchyma diffuse in
cells with 1 or 2 marginal rows of square/upright cells.               aggregates, vessels with simple perforation plates and
    Another species identified at Kanmer, which                        alternate pits, rays 1-2 seriate composed of a body of
prime use was probably not for fuel is Wrightia                        procumbent cells with 4 or more marginal rows of
tinctoria. This small tree, which does grows in                        upright/square cells (Figure 10).
Gujarat, albeit rarely (Patel 1971), was identified from


                                                             - 136 -
                               Preliminary anthracological analysis from Harappan Kanmer




      Figure 7 Kanmer: Avicennia marina, TS, and RLS of a fragment from context A007 AA17 (magnification 200X).




                    Figure 8 Kanmer: Simpson's Diversity Index scores for the different context types.



Environment and vegetation at Kanmer                                of humidity, as this species thrives well in brackish
The anthracolog ical data from Kanmer show                          waters. It is possible that at least the mangrove was
that a great variety of wood species was exploited                  imported to the site. Indeed, Avicennia wood is
during the Harappan period and that environments                    considered a good fuel that might have been desirable
different from the current ones were present. The                   for specific purposes and the leaves are used as fodder
most significant point raised by the anthracological                for camels and cattle (Selvam 2007).
analysis at Kanmer is the presence of more water                        The suggestion of a permanent watercourse in
than is currently the case. The relative abundance of               the vicinity of the site, as well as higher water levels
species related to riverine environments indicates that             in the Rann, finds further confirmation in the recent
a river course was probably flowing nearby the site                 geomorphological survey conducted by Rajaguru and
(Figure 6 and Table 7). The presence of mangrove,                   Shushama (2008) on the fluvial sediments around
although only in one context, suggests that the waters              the site. Although in a preliminary form, the authors
of the Rann might have been more permanent than                     conclude that the water levels in the Rann were
today or that the sediments maintained a higher level               higher during the Mid-Holocene and that the nullah


                                                          - 137 -
                                               C. Lancelotti and M. Madella




Figure 9    Kanmer: Microphotograph of one of the fragments identified as Myristica sp. that shows part of a scalariform
perforation plate (magnification 200X). The identification was achieved through comparison with published material (Inside
Wood Database, 2004-onwards).




Figure 10 Kanmer: Microphotographs of the TS of Wrightia tinctoria charcoal from context FP005 Z17 (magnification 200X).


bordering the site presented, during the Harappan                   species for their fuel collection (Figure 11).
Phase low energy fluvial activity consistent with a                     Unfortunately as the samples collected represent
perennial course of water. The anthracological data                 a single field season, and the number of samples is
shows that, during the Mature Harappan Phase,                       rather limited, it has not been possible to trace fuel
people seem to have constantly relied on riverine                   exploitation during the entire occupation of the site.


                                                          - 138 -
                                 Preliminary anthracological analysis from Harappan Kanmer




            Figure 11 Kanmer: Presence and trends of ecological zones exploitation in the different context types.


Correspondence analysis of charcoal                                   Avicennia marina separating them on the second
assemblages                                                           dimension by clustering with the fireplace/occupation
Correspondence analysis ran on the charcoal                           level group.
assemblage shows that the samples separate into
three distinct clusters (Figure 12). Floor deposits
are separated from the other context type on the                       DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
first dimension, which is mainly characterised by
Calotropis procera, Prosopis cineraria, Senna siamea                  Anthracolog ical analysis at Kanmer sug g ests
and Ficus sp. These four species have a contribution                  that preservation of charred remains might be a
to the inertia greater than 0.1. Fireplace deposits and               problem. The extremely low concentrations of
occupation levels separate from ash accumulations                     charcoal retrieved from excavation contrasts with
on the second dimension. Acacia senegal, Ziziphus                     the variability of the species identified. The poor
nummularia, Cordia sp. and Salvadora sp. all                          preservation of charcoal might be linked to the high
contribute to the inertia of the second dimension by                  salinity of the soils, as salt crystallization increase
more than 0.1.                                                        the fractures of charred plant remains and, when
    Species indicators of specific ecologies tend to be               dissolved during flotation, disaggregate the charcoal
equally distributed in the three groups. For example,                 pieces. Dry sieving might therefore be a more suitable
the two riverine forest indicators identified in the                  method for recovering charred plant remains at this
samples (Acacia nilotica, Dalbergia sissoo) cluster one               site. The low density of samples at Kanmer does
with floor deposits and one with ash accumulations.                   not, however, impair the validity of the analysis. In
However, among those 2 species, Acacia nilotica sums                  fact, it has been shown that sample diversity is not
up to over 7% of the entire assemblage against the 0.4                correlated to density (Table 6) and for this reason the
Dalbergia sissoo. Therefore, it can be said that riverine             interpretation of the anthracological analysis has to be
species characterise mainly floor deposits. The other                 considered reliable.
two groups are characterised by a mixture of dry thorn                    The number of woody taxa identified during
scrubland species with the mangrove forest indicator                  the analyses represents a richer variety of wood


                                                            - 139 -
                                               C. Lancelotti and M. Madella




     Figure 12 Kanmer: Correspondence analysis scatterplot for wood assemblages with samples grouped by context-type.


species than the one observed around the site today.            woodland habitats (although nilgai also live in open
The most abundant species recovered, Ziziphus,                  grassland) and the four-horned antelope, in particular,
Salvadora and Capparis belong to the dry-thorn                  do not live very far from water courses (Mallon
scrubland environment that characterise the area at             2008). Finally, also geological survey and analyses of
present. The anthracological evidence also suggests             the area support the hypothesis of a higher presence
that near the site once flowed a watercourse able to            of water around the sites. The work of Rajaguru and
sustain good vegetation cover and that the water                Sushama (2008) demonstrated that the nullah that
regime of the Rann might have been different from               flows nearby the sites was probably permanent at the
today, with higher water levels or longer periods               time of the Mature Harappan settlement.
of inundation. People exploited riverine species                     The intensive exploitation of dry scrubland and
and coastal resources in addition to the dry thorn              riverine species, combined with increasing aridity,
scrubland vegetation, which was dominant around                 might have led to environmental depletion. The
the site. This reconstruction is also supported by              absence of Avicennia marina from the area today
the archaeozoological analyses that have identified             can be seen as a combination of environmental
Boselaphus tragocamelus Pallas (nilgai) and Tetracerus          and anthropic causes. Indeed, it has been shown
quadricornis Blainville (four-horned antelope)                  in the United Arab Emirates that the combination
(Goyal and Joglekar 2008). These two species prefer             of environmental stresses, such as aridity and high


                                                          - 140 -
                                 Preliminary anthracological analysis from Harappan Kanmer



salinity, with harvesting of plants for fuel and fodder                           London.

has a major impact over the reproduction of mangrove                    Chabal, L. (1997) Forêtes et Sociétés en Languedoc (Nèolithique

species (Howari et al. 2009).                                                     Final, antiquité Tardive). L’Anthracologie, Mèthode
                                                                                  et Paéoécologie (Documents d’Archeologie Francaise
    The presence at the site of species like Myristica
                                                                                  63). Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de
malabarica, and Wrightia tinctoria, which were not
                                                                                  l’Homme, Paris.
primarily exploited as fuel (although mangrove are
                                                                        Chabal, L., L. Fabre, J.-F. Terral and I. Théry-Pariso (1999)
sometimes used as fuel as well), provides information
                                                                                  “L’anthracologie”, in C. Bourquin-Mignot, J.E.
on various activities. First, the Bombay Mace or false
                                                                                  Brochier, L. Chabal, S. Crozat, L. Fabre, F. Guibal,
nutmeg (Myristica malabarica) indicates contacts
                                                                                  P. Marinval, H. Richard, J.-F. Terral and I. Rhéry
between this part of Gujarat and the Maharashtra                                  (eds.) La Botanique. Editions Errance, Paris.
coast south of Mumbai. As its name suggests, this                       Fahn, A., E. Werker and P. Baas (1986) Wood anatomy and
species fruits are used as a surrogate for the more                               identification of trees and shrubs from Israel and
expensive nutmeg and its presence at the site can be                              adjacent regions. The Israel Academy of Sciences
probably related to the commerce of this spice. It is                             and Humanities, Jerusalem.
improbable that this species was imported to be used                    Gamble, J.S. (1902) A Manual of Indian Timbers: An Account

as fuel. More likely, the fragments detected in the                               of the Growth, Distribution, and Uses of the Trees

sample came from a tool, a small object or an artefact                            and Shrubs of India and Ceylon with Descriptions of
                                                                                  Their Wood-structure. S. Low, Marston & co. ltd.
that was imported and subsequently burned. The
                                                                        Goyal, P. and P.P. Joglekar (2008) “Report on the faunal
same can probably be said of Wrightia tinctoria whose
                                                                                  remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during
wood is currently used for carvings and furniture
                                                                                  the second field season (2006-07)”, in T. Osada and
making. Its presence on site can be linked with dyeing
                                                                                  A. Uesugi (eds.) Occasional Paper 5: Linguistics,
activities as its leaves produce a blue dye similar to
                                                                                  Archaeology and the Human Past. Research Institute
indigo (Orwa et al. 2009). The fact that these species
                                                                                  for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto. pp.25-43.
are found in fireplaces even though their primary use                   Hather, J. G. (2000) The Identification of the Northern
was not as fuel might indicate the recycling of worn                              European Woods. A guide for archaeologists and
out tools or other objects. Unfortunately, the absence                            conservators. Archetype Publications, London.
of samples from later phases as well as the unclear                     Howari, M.F., B.R. Jordan, M. Bouhoche and S. Wyllie-
stratigraphy at the site make it impossible to delineate                          Echeverria (2009) Field and remote-sensing
a chronological sequence of wood exploitation at                                  assessment of mangrove forestsand seagrass beds

Kanmer at present, or to infer changes through time                               in the Northwestern part of the United Arab

that can confirm the hypothesis of environmental                                  Emirates. Journal of Coastal Research 25: 48-56.
                                                                        Inside Wood Database (2004-onwards) Inside Wood Database,
degradation.
                                                                                  http://insidewood.lib.ncsu.edu/search.
                                                                        Kharakwal, J.S., Y.S. Rawat and T. Osada (2007) “Kanmer:
References                                                                        a Harappan site in Kachchh, Gujarat, India”, in
Asouti, E. (2003) Woodland vegetation and fuel exploitation                       T. Osada (ed.) Occasional Paper 2: Linguistics,
         at the prehistoric campsite of Pinarbas I, south-                        Archaeology and the Human Past. Research Institute
         central Anatolia, Turkey : the evidence from                             for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto. pp.21-46.
         the wood charcoal macro-remains. Journal of                    Kharakwal, J.S., Y.S. Rawat and T. Osada (2008) “Preliminary
         Archaeological Science 30: 1185-1201.                                    obser vations on the excavation at Kanmer,
Asouti, E. and Fuller, D.Q (2007) Trees and Woodlands of                          Kachchh, India 2006-2007”, in T. Osada and
         South India: Archaeological Perspectives. UCL,                           A. Uesugi (eds.) Occasional Paper 5: Linguistics,



                                                              - 141 -
                                                C. Lancelotti and M. Madella



         Archaeology and the Human Past. Research Institute          Scheel-Ybert, R. (2002) “Evaluation of sample reliability in
         for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto. pp.5-23.                              extant and fossil assemblages”, in S. Thiébault (ed.)
Mallon, D.P. (Access 2008) Tetracerus quadricornis, IUCN                       Charcoal Analysis. Methodological Approaches,
         2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, www.                       Palaeoecological Reconstruction and Wood Uses. BAR
         iucnredlist.org.                                                      International Series 1063. Archaeopress, Oxford.
Naidoo, G. (1987) Effects of Salinity and Nitrogen on                          pp.9-16.
         Growth and Water Relations in the Mangrove,                 Schweingruber, F.H. (1990) Anatomie Europäischer Hölzer/
         Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh. New Phytologist                      Anatomy of European Woods. Verlag Paul Haupt,
         107: 317-325.                                                         Bern und Stuttgatrt.
Orwa, C., A. Mutua, R. Kindt, R. Jamnadass and S. Anthony            Selvam, V. (2007) Trees and Shrubs of the Maldives, Maldives
         (2009) Agro Forestry Tree Database. http://www.                       & Bangkok. Ministry of Fisheries, Agriculture and
         worldagroforestrycentre.org/                                          Marine Resources & FAO.
Patel, R .I. (1971) Forest Flora of Gujarat State. Forest            Teng berg , M. (2002) “ Vegetation histor y and wood
         Department of Gujarat State, Baroda.                                  exploitation in the Oman Peninsula from the
Rajaguru, S.N. and G.D. Shushama (2008) “Preliminary                           Bronze Age to the Classical period”, in S. Thiebault
         observations on Holocene fluvial sediments around                     (ed.) Charcoal Analysis: Methodological Approaches,
         Kanmer, Gujarat, India”, in T. Osada and A. Uesugi                    Palaeoecological Results and Wood Uses. BAR
         (eds.) Occasional Paper 5: Linguistics, Archaeology                   International Series 1063. Archaeopress, Oxford.
         and the Human Past. Research Institute for                            pp.151-157.
         Humanity and Nature, Kyoto. pp.1-3.




                                                               - 142 -
                             Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat



    Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat
                            (Field seasons 2006-2009)


                                                         Shahida Ansari
                                               Lecturer cum Keeper in Museology
                                     Deccan College Post-Graduate & Research Institute
                                                              Pune, India




Abstract
This paper is based on the ethnoarchaeological observations carried out at Kanmer and nearby villages during the field-seasons
2006-09. It attempts to brief the adaptation pattern through settlement and subsistence studies of the settled and ago-pastoral
communities (Rabari and Bharwad) of Kanmer. The various traditional knowledge systems, utility for storage facilities, hearth types,
pottery tradition, belief system, ornamentation, textile and tattoo are also discussed in this paper.




                 INTRODUCTION                                              Kachchh is land of few trees like nim (Melia
                                                                           Azadrachta Linn.), pipal (Ficus religiosa), babul/bavar
Gujarat is a land of great contrasts; it stretches from                    (Acacia sp.), tamarind, banyan (Ficus Bengalensis), and
the wet, fertile, rice-growing plains of the west coast,                   mango (Mangifera indica); on the coast the coconut
north of Bombay city to the almost rainless salt                           is difficult to rear as reported in Imperial Gazetteer
deserts of Kachchh in the Northwest. Kachchh (or the                       of India 1908 (1908: 77). J.M. Campbell (1880: 30)
sea-cost land) comprising a single district is bounded                     reports of large wild animals like lions and tigers in
on the south by the Gulf of Kachchh and on the north                       Kachchh. The Imperial Gazetteer of India 1908 (1908:
and east is separated from Pakistan and the mainland                       77) gives an account of large game, like leopards,
of India by the Rann of Kachchh, best described as                         wild hog and smaller game like hare which occurred
a vast salt marsh covering about 18,000 sq. km. The                        in large numbers; and the wild ass (Equus hemionus
Rann floods during the rainy season, slight though                         Pallas) frequented the wastes of the Rann. G.D. Patel
the rains, and Kachchh is converted into an island; in                     (1971: 36-44) in Gujarat State Gazetteers: Kutch
the dry season it is a sandy, salty plain plagued by dust                  District, reports of panther (dipdo/Panthera Pardus
storms. To the south of Kachchh is the large peninsula                     Linn.), Indian wolf (varu/Canis lupus Linn.), hayaena
of Kathiawar (Saurashtra), lying between the Gulf of                       (taras/Hyaena hyaena Linn.), jackal (shial/ Canis
Kachchh and the Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay). The                             aureus Linn.), fox (lonkadi/Vulpes bengalensis Shaw),
Little Rann of Kachchh extends northeast from the                          wild boar (dukkar/Sus scorfa Linn.), blackbuck
Gulf of Kachchh and occupies about 5,100 sq. km in                         (kaliar/Antelope cervicapra Linn.), wild ass (khar
Gujarat. Originally an extension of the Arabian Sea,                       gaddha), Indian hare (saslo/Lepus nigricollis Guvier),
the Rann of Kachchh has been closed off by centuries                       snakes and fishes. About 223 species of birds listed by
of silting. During the time of Alexander the Great                         Captain C.D. Lester in the year 1898 and Salim Ali’s
it was a navigable lake, but it is now an extensive                        list of 324 species of birds (both resident and migrant)
mudflat, inundated during monsoon seasons.                                 in the year 1945 in Kachchh are documented in this
     Settlement is limited to low isolated hills.                          gazetteer.


                                                                 - 143 -
- 144 -
                                                                                      Shahida Ansari




          Figure 1 Map depicting villages where ethnographic survey was carried out
                         Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat



    Gujarat is one of the most intensively explored                  (Mature Harappan) intensive burning activity is
areas (approximately 500 sites reported) in India,                   reported inside the fortification wall, the garbage
of which more than sixty Harappan sites are from                     thrown outside the fortification wall. The Late
Kachchh alone. The important excavated Harappan                      Harappans (Period III) initially used the fortification
sites in Kachchh, Gujarat are ; Prabhas Patan                        wall as defence wall, but subsequently its function
(excavated in 1955-57, 1971-72, 75-77), Desalpur (23°                ceased to its purpose. They erected structures right
25’ N.; 60° 10’ E.; excavated in 1964), Surkotada (23°               on top of the fortification wall to make houses. The
27’ N.; 70° 50’ E.; excavated in 1971-72), Pabhumath                 Harappans moved out of Kanmer and after 1600
(23° 40 N.; 70° 44’ E.; excavated for three seasons                  years of gap, the Iron Age people occupied this
1977-80), Dholavira (23° 52’ N.; 70° 13’ E.; excavated               site. This historical deposit is marked by residential
for fourteen years beginning in the year 1989-90),                   stone structures. A few medieval stone alignments
Shikarpur (23° 16’ N.; 70° 41’ E.; excavated in 1987-                belonging to medieval period are reported from the
90, 2006-09), and Junikuran (cited in Kharakwal et                   site (Kharakwal et al. 2008).
al. 2008: 6).                                                            The prerequisite of any successful settlement
    R.S. Bisht and his colleagues of Archaeological                  is supply of water and various other resources for
Survey of India were the first to locate the site of                 sustenance. Interestingly, there are no permanent
Kanmer in the 1980s (IAR 1985-86: 15-19). The                        rivers in Kachchh, but during the rainy season ( July-
excavations at Kanmer (23° 23’ N; 70° 52’ E), a                      October) many streams of considerable size flow from
Harappan site in Kachchh, Gujarat, India, began                      the central ranges of hills northwards to the Rann
in field season 2005-06 under the directions of                      and southwards to the Gulf of Kachchh (Imperial
J.S. Kharakwal (Institute of Rajasthan Studies,                      Gazetteer of India 1908: 74-75). For the rest of the year
JNR Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur), Y.S. Rawat                       the courses of these streams are marked by successions
(The Gujarat State Department of Archaeolog y,                       of detached pools. Owing to the porous nature of
Gandhinagar) and Toshiki Osada (Research Institute                   the upper soil, storage of water ponds and reservoirs
for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan). The site is                  is difficult; but brackish water is readily found in
locally referred, as ‘Bakarkot’, and is situated about               rocks at no great depth from the surface and wells
200 m north of the present village and five and half                 of this kind are fairly numerous. The site of Kanmer
kilometres from the Little Rann of Kachchh (Figure                   is drained by a seasonal nallah known as Aludawaro
1). The mound covers an area of 115 x 105 m with a                   Vokro and the village is surrounded by numerous
considerable height of eight metres from ground, and                 wells, which serve as an important water source till
has impressive stonewall fortification, visible while                today.
nearing to the site (Figure 12b).
    The site has yielded five-fold cultural sequence:
Period I : Early Harappan, Period II : Mature                           LAYOUT OF KANMER VILLAGE
Harappan (Subdivided into II A and II B), Period III:
Late Harappan, Period IV: Historic and Period V:                     The settlement pattern adopted at Kanmer village
Medieval. The site has impressive stone fortification                is according to the caste hierarchy. The central
wall (trapeze in shape, total thickness is measured                  portion is occupied by those higher in the social
about 18 m) constructed during the Mature Harappan                   scale, such as the landlords, money lenders, village
and later renovated/ strengthened during the Late                    officials and higher caste families followed by those
Harappan period after a short gap. In Period II B                    of the agriculturists, agro-pastorals, artisans and


                                                           - 145 -
                                                          Shahida Ansari




                                                               a                                                                  b




                                                               c                                                                  d




                                                           e                                    f                                 g




                                                               h                                                                  i

Figure 2 (a) Source of lelwa matti (b) Stone quarrying near Kanmer (c) Stone structure (d) Use of lelwa matti while construction
    (e) Stone foundation for house (f ) Application of plaster to beautifying stone structures (g) Use of wattle and daub above
        stonewalls (h) Use of sengtara above stonewalls (i) Use of dhauli matti and mirror for beautification of house walls


                                                               - 146 -
                         Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat



outskirts occupied by the lower caste group. Thus,                    clay), dhauli matti (white shale procured from the
the occupancy within the settlement maintained                        nearby hill section), lal leluwa (Reddish brown sandy
through generations are; Gadvi, Darbar (Rajput),                      clay brought from nearby pond), pila leluwa (yellow
Rujput (Agriculturist), Bhar wad (Herdsmen),                          sandy clay brought from the nearby pond), kali matti
Rabari (Herdsmen), Bavaji (Priest), Vania (Traders/                   (black soil), mathadhowa ni matti (Fullers Earth), and
Jain), Musalman, Mali (Husbandmen), Koli 1) ,                         rakhodi (ashy coloured clay/ located 3 km north along
Darva Maharaj, Luhar (Craftsmen- Ironworker or                        the local river). These soils are used for construction,
Blacksmith), Nai (Barbers), and Harijan (Vankar/                      flooring, beautification of wall, storage bins, pottery
Weavers). The Gadvi and Darbar are the most                           making and also for medicinal purposes.
powerful group who occupies the central and the                           Most of the houses have either mud walls or
best agricultural land in Kanmer. The communities in                  stonewalls plastered with clay and cow-dung emulsion
Kanmer are mainly agriculturist, including Rabari and                 (Figure 2f ). Stones are locally abundant around
Bharwad who are agro-pastorals.                                       Kanmer (Figure 2b). Those who are materially
    The Gadulia Luhar's of Radhanpur are mobile                       prosperous like the landowners and moneylenders
ironworkers who visit Kanmer once a year, i.e. on 15th                use burnt bricks for constructing houses. The binding
March, when they arrive at the village and stay for few               agent of stonewall is plastering clay called leluwa,
days. They are mainly invited by the villagers to repair              which they collect from the nearby area or by walking
agricultural tools or to make new iron objects. There                 half a kilometre to get it (Figure 2a). Generally, in
are other groups of Gadulia Luhar, coming from                        front of their houses small mounds of leluwa is kept
Rajasthan, who settle down at Adhoi and Anjar once                    for repairing purposes.
in a year (Figure 8c). They make temporary shelters in                    Roof is generally covered with country-tiles or
agricultural field in the month of January before they                sometimes by straw grass. Inclined roofs are mostly
move out at different places in Kachchh.                              made. The slope in front is generally longer than the
    At Kanmer, small, narrow roads or streets                         one at the back, as the former encloses the verandah
branching off into lanes and bye-lanes usually separate               adjoining the main living room. In some of the
the rows of the houses. The linear arrangement                        courtyard walls were also covered by thatched straw or
of houses is the most common pattern though                           grass collected from nearby area popularly known as
isolated clusters are not uncommon. The houses are                    sengtara (Figures 2g and 2h).
rectangular or square with single and double rooms                        According to the excavators (Kharakwal et al.
with common sidewalls and a common verandah in                        2008) the Mature and Late Harappans floors at the
front surrounded by central courtyard. All houses                     site were first levelled by packing base with yellow
have a verandah where members of family sit and                       sandy clay (pila leluwa) mixed with fine clay (khotedo).
carry out household chores, serving as living cum                     Above it was less than 5-cm thick bed of reddish sandy
meeting room. A separate kitchen is seen among the                    clay (lal leluwa) sometimes even rammed. Finally a
Darbar, Rujputs, Bharwad, Rabaris and Harijans. A                     thick plaster of white shale (dhauli matti) mixed with
courtyard encloses the open spaces in front of the                    cow dung was applied (plaster sometimes were 15 cm
house of agriculturist where they keep cattle and the                 thick). The Mature Harappan floors were thinner
artisans pile up their household industry.                            compared to the Late Harappan floor.
    Almost all villagers have wide knowledge of                           Presently, the villagers of Kanmer, Ghanithal,
soil of the region. At least seven type of soil is easily             Gagodar and Palanswa (surrounding villages) follow
recognised and known locally as: khotedo (pond                        almost similar kind of flooring technique as employed


                                                            - 147 -
                                       Shahida Ansari




                           a                                          b                          c




                                             d                                                   e




                               f                                                                 g




                                      h                                                          i

Figure 3 (a,b,f ) Movable clay hearths (c,d,e,g,i) Immovable hearths (h) hearth made by potter


                                            - 148 -
                        Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat




                     Figure 4 Dumping of ash, cow dung, other waste, outside the courtyard or lanes,
                           which is later collected to be spread over the agriculture field as manure

by the Harappans at Kanmer (Figure 1). Except the                     storage bins (kothlas), walls and door frames of their
foundation or the base of the house is made of ½                      houses, are decorated with embossed designs studded
m thick quarried stone (brought from the nearby                       with abhlas (tiny pieces of mirrors), show the innate
hillocks), top of layered stone is three inch of fine                 artistic taste of this agro-pastoral community. In some
clay (khotedo), above which 5 inch thick deposit of                   of the houses the doorways have torans embroidered
yellow sandy clay (pila leluwa/sturdy as cement) is                   or made of beads, while chaklas or square pieces of
put, before finally ramming it to get even floor base                 cloth similarly worked in beautiful traditional designs
(Figures 2d and 2e). The floor above this is made of                  are the most popular mode of wall decoration (Figure
1 inch mixture (thep) of black soil (kali matti) + cow                2i).
dung + water which is sealed with thick plaster (gar)                        A cooking hearth (U-shaped ) was found
prepared of white shale (dhauli matti) + water. The                   associated with the Mature Harappan floor, the
women of the house repeat the application of plaster                  diameter of which was measured 30 cm (Kharakwal
of white shale + water regularly sometimes within                     et al. 2008). It has survived up to a height of 30 cm.
three days or weekly (Figure 2i).                                     Presently; the cooking hearths in Kanmer are of
    The artistic taste of the people is also visible in               two types, i.e. movable and immovable (Figure 3).
the interior decoration of their houses, which they                   Movable hearths are made of clay (Figures 3a, 3b
try to beautify in variety of ways. The arrangement of                and 3f ) and other can is acquired/purchased from
wooden chest called pataras, household utensils, and                  the potter (Figure 3h), whereas immovable ones are
other belongings in one of the interior room of the                   made with stone and clay (Figures 3c, 3d, 3e and 3g).
houses is attractive. The clay work done by Rabaris on                Cooking area is separate from other rooms and is


                                                            - 149 -
                                                    Shahida Ansari



generally located at one corner of the entrance of the                   of ash (sheli/from hearth) and then 6-inch layer
house (Figure 3i). Firewood and cow dung cakes are                       of sand (reth/brought from nearby stream) was
used as fuel.                                                            evenly spread over. Above this jowar grains were
    The garbage dump comprising of cooking waste,                        filled in. Before closing the pit 6 inch layer of sand
cow dung, hearth ash are generally dumped outside                        was spread over, above which 1 foot high mound
the courtyard wall, or the lanes, which appears like                     (tekada) was made of clay + straw plaster, which
a pile from a distance These piles are later carried to                  covered the khann.
agriculture field as manure (Figure 4).
                                                                         Type 2: At Palanswa, the khann, was located in
                                                                         front courtyard of the house. It was circular in
                     PIT SILOS                                           shape, 1 m deep and 1.50 m wide. At the base of the
                                                                         pit, 10-cm thick layer of ash (sheli) from hearth was
Staple foods, especially grain, are usually kept                         evenly spread. Above the ashy layer, jowar stalks,
sometime in storage before being consumed, so that                       (twisted and made into thick rope-puda), were
the preservation is a matter of importance everywhere.                   placed, it also covered the pit wall. Above the stalk,
The underground grain storage facilities found in                        old blanket (godadi) was placed and then jowar
archaeological sites are popularly referred as pit                       grain was filled in the pit. On top of the grain,
silos, storage pits or corn pits. This seems one of the                  old blanket was placed. Then 10-cm thick ashy
simplest of all that have ever been tried by agricultural                layer was put before closing it. A small mound, i.e.
people through time. A number of pits and pit silos                      tekada made of clay + straw covered the khann.
are reported at the site in structural complex (St. no 1)
belonging to the Historic period in the northwestern                      Only the surplus grains were kept for storage
part of the mound (trenches R21, S21, T21 and U21)                    in khann. In this storage facility the grains could be
at Kanmer (Figure 12a; Kharakwal et al. 2008: 11).                    easily stored for two to three years. They were opened
Ethnographic sur vey in Kanmer and Palanswa                           only if there was real need for grains. The grains in the
(nearby village) has envisaged our knowledge of                       khann did not have any effect of rain, as it is scanty in
circular underground grain storage pit, i.e. khann.                   this region. And if the rains did spoil the stored grain,
This technique was used to store millets, i.e. lal                    the grain used to turn black and pungent smell used
jowar (Sorghum sp. Moench.). This technique is now                    to emit from the khann. The use of ash and sand is for
abandoned due to frequent earthquake in this region.                  dissuading insect or ant attack in the storage.
The traditional knowledge of khann, however still                         A recent ethnographic study (2007-8) of
                                   2)
survives among the elderly people of the two villages,                underground grain storage technique, i.e. Khanni in
who inform that this technique used to safeguard                      Orissa (eastern India) strengthens our understanding
their grain from thief. Two process of khann narrated                 of similar knowledge system of storage of rice/paddy.
by the villagers are as follows:                                      Two types of underground storage facility, i.e. the
                                                                      half-yearly underground storage popularly referred
   Type 1: At Kanmer, the khann, was located in front                 as Vedi Khanni (Figure 5a), rectangular in shape with
   of the house. A circular pit, 1.5 m deep and 1.75 m                a raised platform above the ground) and the year-
   wide was dug and plastered (gar) with three inch                   round storage (circular in shape, slight platform above
   thick layer (thar) of leluwa + cow dung was applied                the ground) popularly known as Kuan Khanni are
   on the pit base and wall. Above this 10 cm layer                   prevalent (Figure 5b). The soil type defines which type


                                                            - 150 -
                        Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat




                                                      a                                                                 b
             Figure 5 Line drawing representing processes of Underground grain storage technique, i.e. khanni
                                            (a) Veddi khanni (b) Kuan khanni

of khanni is to be employed in the area. Generally in               khanni is practised where the soil is sandy loam.
the coastal area, vedi khanni is practised where the                    The technique employed for khanni is as
soil type is clayey loam and in the inland area, kuan               following (Figure 5).


                                                          - 151 -
                                                      Shahida Ansari



                                                                        can be closed after reopening. There is no effect of
   1) The grain used for storage is rice/paddy. The                     rain on the grain. But care has to be taken as no water
   grains stored in khanni cannot be used as seed for                   logging occurs during rain in khanni area, which can
   next cropping as it losses its germination quality.                  lead to water seepage. This traditional technique of
   2) For location of khanni the areas preferably used                  underground storage continues in Ganjam district
   is in front/rear of the house or in the farmyard. The                of Orissa, as the locals prefer this khanni rice for
   choice of area for storing grains largely depends on                 consumption. Besides, that the grain can be stored in
   two factors, i.e. the amount of grain to be stored                   bulk with 0.01% damage from insects and rodents,
   and the elevation.                                                   the khanni rice is easy to dehusk, non-sticky when
   3) Firstly, a pit having depth of 3 to 4 feet in desired             cooked, and can be easily digested by the elderly
   shape of square/circular is dug. The pit is left for                 people.
   drying for at least five to ten days. The depth of                       The Rajput and Jain communities of Kanmer
   khanni mainly varies according to the amount of                      village also make bambaiyyu (bohera, in north
   grains to be stored.                                                 Gujarat), an underground storage chamber at the
   4) A thick layer of rice straw (nada) is placed at the               basement, which has two-top window opening (bari/
   base and walls of the pit. Men continuously make                     jali) (Figure 6f ). This chamber is accessed through
   rope (bara/bada) of rice straw, which is to be added                 staircase. Thick layer (thar) of ash (shaeli) is kept at
   at a regular interval. They place the straw rope at                  the base, before the grains are spread over it evenly.
   the centre and rotate it in a clockwise direction                    While filling the grains in chamber sometimes these
   touching the sidewalls till it reaches the top. Again                windows are also used, from where the grain is poured
   a layer of straw is placed in the pit before grains are              from the top and it also works as ventilator. Six-inch
   poured in it.                                                        layer of sand/river gravel (reth brought from the
   5) When it reaches the ground level a new round                      seasonal river/nallah) covers the grains. Finally, the
   of straw rope is added above ground for half or one                  windows are sealed with a mixture of clay or mud, as
   metre more. Straw is then added on the side before                   the heat should not touch the grain in the storage.
   pulling the soil for support for the raised rope wall.                   The sand broug ht from seasona l river is
   6) Five pieces of dried cow dung cake is kept on                     considered pure, is sieved (by chalni) when the grains
   the grains, which serve as insecticide, after which                  are removed for use. Year round storage is easily
   a layer of straw is put. Above the straw cover,                      possible in bambaiyyu. During rainy season no effect
   straw rope is again laid down from side to top in                    on the grain can be seen, as rains are insufficient to
   clockwise fashion. Straw is again laid down on this                  flood it. The scanty rainwater is generally absorbed by
   and then lump of soil and soil is put on the khanni                  the soil within minutes after rain, besides the houses
   and left overnight for settling down.                                are always located on elevated area. This technique is
   7) This is then plastered by thick coat made of                      also being abandoned slowly as many of the people
   clay + cow dung + water, at repeated interval                        have filled these storage chambers with soil and bricks
   throughout the year.                                                 after a series of earthquake in last ten years in this
                                                                        region. The grains preferably stored in bambaiyyu
    In vedi khanni, the grains are removed from the                     are jowar, mugh, and bajra. Cotton is usually sold
pit after the first rain in June (Figure 5a). But for kuan              immediately after the harvest and wheat cannot
khanni the storage lasts for years together (Figure 5b).                withstand the underground heat.
The grains can be removed at any part of the year and                       The advantages of underground storage structures


                                                              - 152 -
        Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat




                                          a                                                   b




                                     c                                                        e




                                         d                                                    f


Figure 6 Storage techniques (a, b, c, e) Kotha-kothi (d) Chaursi or Mujuguda (f ) bambaiyyu



                                           - 153 -
                                                     Shahida Ansari



is that they are free from the seasonal variations in                     The Chaursi or Mujuguda is square shaped with
temperature and humidity provided that adequate                       four-legged base (Figure 6d). It has two opening; one
precautions are taken against the seepage of water in                 from the top and the other is a wooden window in the
the structures, especially in areas where the water table             body of the bin. Kotha is rectangular or cylindrical
is high. Underground storage structures are also safer                in shape. Sometimes grains like math and mugh are
from threats from various external sources of damage,                 mixed with sand before storage. This technique is
such as theft, rain or wind. However, they are not                    employed especially by the Rabaris who believe that
good when the quantity available for storage is small,                grains can be stored for a longer period of time and
and there are a number of grain varieties to store. The               insect attack is less. When the grains are used they are
underground storage structures are easier to fill up                  sieved.
owing to the factor of gravity. However, it becomes                       At Palanswa a rectangular wall storage bin, i.e.
cumbersome to take out the grains from these                          kotha-kothi was observed at Lakshman Bhai Rujput’s
structures. Whereas the advantage of surface storage                  house, which was prepared by his great grandfather
structure is that they can be maintained in a hygienic                (Figure 6a). He continues to use it now, for which
condition by cleaning or plastering at regular interval.              they occasionally plaster it with dhauli matti. The
The danger of heating up of grain due to internal heat                interesting feature of this bin is that the two walls of
is lesser. Thus, the agricultural communities employ                  the house support the long rectangular bin (earlier
both the techniques.                                                  three walls had bin facility, one of which was removed
    The pearl millet (bajra) with stalk is also kept                  recently). It has openings from the top, from where
in open storage, i.e. kanduaa, a stack made of                        the grains are poured in and also has wooden windows
bajra straw/stalk, at the centre of which they keep                   from where the grains can be accessed. This storage
bajra. Storage of bajra can be for months together.                   facility is also used for keeping blankets and clothes.
Sometimes a room is also converted for storing bajra.                 All kind of grains can be stored in kotha-kothi.
    The aboveground clay storage facilities popularly
used by Rujputs and Rabari of Kanmer and Palanswa
is known as Kotah-Kothi (Figures 6a, 6b, 6c and 6e),                       CROPS GROWN AT KANMER
Chaursi or Mujuguda (Figure 6d). A variety of grain
like bajra, mugh, math can be stored in them. These                   In Kachchh, saline and alkaline soils cover the area
storage facilities are also used for keeping blankets,                to the north of Lat. 23 ½° N. A narrow strip below
utensils, milk, cooked food and vegetables.                           this consists of red and brown soils. In the rest of the
    For ma king these clay bins a m ixture in                         district, black soils prevail deep in the western half
proportion of 2 (khotedo/pond clay): 1 (leluwa/sandy                  and medium elsewhere except for a narrow strip in
clay): 1 (sheli/hearth ash): 1 (laad/horse dung ): 1                  the east with grey soils (NCA 1976: 6). The Kachchh
(gobar/cow dung ), with water and chaff of bajra/                     falls in the lowest rainfall zone, which ranges from 26
wheat is prepared. Once the clay bin is prepared to                   to 40 cm, in July its about 15 cm, followed by August
a desired shape, proportion made with mixture of 1                    with 8 cm rainfall (NCA 1976: 6).
(dhauli matti/white shale): 1 (laad) is applied on the                    The villagers of Kanmer grow kharif or the rain-
bin. To keep the bin cool dhauli matti mixed with                     fed crops, sown in June-July and harvest in October-
water is applied with the help of soft cloth; this gives              November. This is the main cropping pattern in the
a bright look to the bin. It is also decorated with                   area as no important crops are grown in rabi season
appliqué designs and mirror work (Figure 6d).                         in the absence of adequate irrigation facilities. The


                                                            - 154 -
                        Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat



rabi or irrigated crops sown in September-October                   morning.
and harvested in February and March is only a recent                    Khemji Bhai a potter of Gagodar use semi-
phenomenon. The principal crops of the region are                   circular kiln or bhatti to bake his pots (Figures 7a and
bajra, jowar (kharif), fodder, other pulses, cotton and             7b). The placement of the kiln is in his courtyard. In
groundnut occupying more then 90 % of the cropped                   the kiln at the base he places dried acacia branches
area (NCA 1976: 9).                                                 (35 cm thick layer) or hay, broken pots and the pots
    At Kanmer the main crops are pearl millet (bajra/               to be baked. Above this another layer of dried babul
Pennisetum typhoides), jowar-millet (jaar/Sorghum                   branches is placed, a cover of broken pots and tavdi
sp. Moench.), cotton (kapas), and wheat. The pulses                 (pan) to be baked are kept. Above this layer of hay
like green gram (mugh/Vigna radiata) and mat bean                   (covering half of the kiln), ash (sheli) is spread. A pot
(math/Vigna aconitifolia) are grown. Other food crops               with green leaves is lighted and the kiln is left to burn
are groundnut (Mung-phali/Arachis hypogaea), sesame                 during the night. If the twigs have been well laid, the
(til/Sesamum indicum), castor (erunda/Ricinus                       fire burns slowly and evenly throughout the entire
communis), cumin (jeeru/Cuminum cyminum),                           period of baking. The baked pots are collected in the
red gram/pigeon pea (tuwar/adad/Cajanus cajan),                     morning.
horse gram (kalthi/Dolichos biflorus), gram/chick                       The important observations at potter’s yard are as
pea (chola/Cicer arietinum), and Indian butter bean                 follows.
(val/Dolichos lablab), Indian oat (javawata/Avena
byzantia) and barley (Hordeum vulgare). They also                      1) Three kind of soil is used for making pots- black
grow vegetables and fruits like onions (dungri),                       soil, red soil and yellow soil, which are collected
spinach (taka), brinjal (rengana), tomatoes (tamata),                  from three different locations around the village
chilli (mirch), garlic (lahsun), valor, galaka, turiya,                (Figure 7d). For making tavdi they use only black
givada, guvar, bhinda (lady’s finger), kakoda, tinda                   and yellow soil.
and watermelon (kariga).                                               2) The pots are made on wheel (chak), wooden
                                                                       beater (thapa) and stone dabber (pinda) are used
                                                                      for shaping pots (Figure 7g). The wheel is placed
   POTTERY MAKING TRADITION                                           on a pivot stone, which has perforation at centre
                                                                      (Figures 7e and 7f ), having smooth but pointed
At Kanmer wheel-turned wares having painting of                       wood on which the wheel rotates. Stone is used to
leaves, fish, bands of wavy lines, diamond shapes,                    sharpen this wood at regular intervals. The potter
executed with black or dusky red pigment are                          use thread to cut the base of the pot on the wheel.
reported from all the cultural period. To understand                  3) To decorate they use white, red, dark maroon
the pottery tradition in the region the potters                       colours. Soft coloured stones having yellow and
(Kumbhars) of Gagodar and Palanswa villages were                      red colour are collected from the seasonal nallahs,
visited, who are the local suppliers of variety pots to               and soaked in water before application. They make
the near by villages including Kanmer. At Palanswa                    variety of painting , which includes geometric
they use open-fire in a circular depression in the                    symbols, flowers, animal (scorpion, fish and crab)
ground, composed of cow dung cakes, stalk of bajra,                   and birds. The girls and womenfolk generally do
babul branches, surrounded by a ring of broken pots                   paintings (Figure 7i).
(Figures 7a, 7b, 7c). The kiln is lit in the afternoon,               4) They make variety of pots according to the
allowed to burn all-night and dismantled the next                     requirement and season. For example pots (ghado)


                                                          - 155 -
                                                      Shahida Ansari




                                                                                                                                b




                                                         a                                                                      c




                                                                                                                                f




                                                         d                                        e                             g




                                        h                                                     i                                 j


Figure 7 (a,b,c) Potter’s kiln (d) Soil types for making pottery (e) Potters wheel (f ) Bored stone (g) Beater and dabber (h)
                     Variety of pots (i) Painting the pots (j) Pot headrest made of coloured glass beads



                                                             - 156 -
                        Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat



  with narrow neck (for keeping water), wide neck                   the oppression of the Sumras. The Chavada Rajputs,
  (cooking rice, keeping butter milk, setting curd),                who then ruled over Kachchh, granted the Sammas
  pan (making chapati), and basin (kneading dough).                 a tract of land; but in the time the latter subverted
  During marriage season the potters make a variety                 the rule of the Chavadas, and reigned in their stead
  of pots (Figures 7h and 7i).                                      (1320). The sections of the Sammas forming the ruling
  5) The villagers from as far as 15 to 20 km come to               family in Kachchh were known as Jadejas. Till 1540
  collect various kinds of pots from Khemji bhai.                   the Jadejas ruled over Kachchh in three branches;
  He listed the name of the villages like Kidiyanagar,              until that year Khengar, the son of Jam Hamir, with
  Nadiyadimb, Paragparthi, Thoriali, Sankapar,                      assistance of the Muhammadan king of Ahmedabad,
  Kanmer, Ganithal, Malampar, Vanthia, Chotapar                     succeeded in making himself head of the tribe and
  and so on.                                                        master of the whole province. For six generations
                                                                    after Khengar the Raos succeeded according to
                                                                    primogeniture till 1762 when Ghulam Shah Kalhora,
       HISTORY OF THE REGION                                        ruler of Sind, taking advantage of the disorders of
                                                                    the State, twice invaded Kachchh with some success
The ethnographic account of the orig in and                         in 1762-5. The disorder became intensified by the
movement of the Rabaris and Bharwads is important                   insanity of Rao and the struggles of rival factions, one
in the light of understanding the early historic data               of which was headed by minister Fateh Muhammad,
available to us from Imperial Gazetteer of India (1908:             until in 1809 the help of the British Government was
77-79, 85). It gives account of the earliest historic               sought to restore order. In 1815, British force moved
notices of Kachchh, by the Greek writers. The waters                in Kachchh to restore order. The regency ( Jadejas
of the Rann were navigable lake in Alexander’s time                 nominated a minor to be successor, with the British
(325 B.C.) and a shallow lagoon at the date of Periplus             Resident and few chiefs as regency) was closed in
(third century AD), and there are local traditions of               the year 1834 when Rao Desalji became full king.
seaports on its borders. About 155-130 B.C., Kachchh                Followed by Pragmalji II (1860-75), Khengarji III
was part of the Menander’s kingdom, and shortly                     (1876-1942), Vijayrajji (1942-1948), and Madansinghji
afterwards passed to Parthians. Between AD 140 and                  (1948). After independence Kachchh was placed
390 the Kshatrapas of Saurashtra ruled Kachchh. It                  directly under the Central Government, Government
was included for a time in the Gupta Kingdom of                     of India. On the bifurcation of the Bombay State on
Magadha and was ruled later by the Vallabhi kings.                  1st May 1960, the Kachchh district became a part of
In the seventh century Kachchh formed part of the                   the newly formed Gujarat State.
province of Sind. Hiuen Tsiang refers to it as K’ie-
ch’a. Invasions of Charans, Kathis, and Chavadas
followed. In the 9th century the Arabs settled on the                        ETHNO-HISTORY OF
coast. In 1023 Bhima Deo I of Anhilvada fled before                        RABARIS AND BHARWADS
Mahmud of Ghazni to Kandhkot; and at the close of
that century the peninsula was overrun by Singhar,                  The earliest reference on Rabaris is by Lieutenant-
the fourth Sumra ruler of Sind.                                     Colonel James Tod (1873: 289-293), who lists the
    The modern history of Kachchh dates from its                    Rebarris as the tribe inhabiting the desert and valley of
conquest by the Sind tribe of Samma Rajputs in the                  Indus. The term Rebarris according to him is known
14th century. The Sammas fled to Kachchh to escape                  throughout Hindustan to denote persons employed


                                                          - 157 -
                                                    Shahida Ansari



in rearing and tending camels, are always Moslems. In                Kachchh), Kathiawar, Palanpur and Ahmedabad.
Rajputana they are a distinct tribe employed entirely                They are identified as ‘an immigrant tribes of
in rearing camels or in stealing them, in which they                 herdsmen who were formerly resident in Marwar and
                              3)
evince a peculiar dexterity , competing with the                     Sind, and perhaps at a remote date in Baluchistan.
Bhats in the practice. S.C. Dutt (1884: 53, 55-56)                   They worship the g oddess Hinglaj and make
lists Rebarris as one of the principal wild tribe lying              pilgrimages to her shrine in Baluchistan’.
between Rajwara and the Indus. He identifies them                        R.E. Enthoven (1922: 252-258) in his book- The
as shepherds, goatherds and camel breeders, and has a                Tribes and Castes of Bombay takes account from the
name for stealing camels, in which they are said to be               notes provided by M.K. Mehta, states that the Rabaris
dextrous.                                                            of Kathiawar and Kachchh rear cows, buffaloes,
    B. Kirparam (1901: 287-289) in his compilation                   goats and sheep, and camels. They were also known
work in Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, Gujarat                  as Bhopa, Mogha, Raika, Vishotar and Sanai in
Population: Hindus, gives two origins of Rabaris                     Cutch. Jyotrindra Jain and Mallika Sarabhai (1985:
‘firstly, Shiv while performing religious penance or tap             46) mention that the Rabari of Kutch (presently
created a five-footed camel and a man to graze it. This              Kachchh) is divided into three sub-castes, i.e. the
man had four daughters who married Rajputs of the                    Kachhela of western Kutch and the Dhebaria and
Chohan, Ghambir, Parmar and Solanki tribes. These                    Vagadia of eastern Kutch.
and their offspring were all camel grazers. Other                        According to K.S. Singh (1997: 1011-12) the
Rajputs joined them and they formed a separate caste.                Rabari of Gujarat believe that their forefathers were
Secondly, that they were Rajputs, who instead of                     the inhabitants of Dwarka and Brindavan, the two
marrying Rajput women, married celestial damsels or                  places associated with Lord Krishna, subsequently
apsaras that, is perhaps Charan women, devputris or                  they migrated to Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. He provides
daughters of gods as they style themselves. According                us with their distribution in the districts of Mehsana,
to this account because they did not marry Rajput                    Surat, Ahmedabad, Baroda and Sabarkantha. Their
wives they were called Rahabaharis, i.e. goers out of                habitat ranges between arid and semi-arid climate
the path. Their original home is North-West Provinces                zone. They are traditionally and primarily cowherds
from which they moved to Mar war and from                            and milkmen. A few of them are small and marginal
Marwar to Gujarat Kathiawar and Kachh (presently                     farmers and also work as agricultural labourers.
Kachchh). This story is supported by the fact that                       B.L. Mankad (1939: 31-32) mentions that the
the chief seat of Sikotra, the tribal goddess of some                word Rabari comes from the words ‘rah’ and ‘bari’
Rabaris, is at Jodhpur’. He identifies them as ‘herdsmen             meaning whose ways are quite distinct from those
who rear cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep and camels in                 of other people, i.e. those who take to outlawry and
Kathiawar and Kachh. With their droves of cows and                   nomadic life. He traces their history to be at first
buffaloes they move about the country in search of                   the inhabitants of Baluchistan, where they occupied
pasture. They make their living chiefly from the sale of             rocky, mountainous, barren and sandy places. They
clarified butter and the wool of sheep. A few among                  kept number of camels, which were reared for long
them work as husbandmen and messengers’.                             journeys in barren tracts. They milked these camels
    M.K. Mehta provides the other important                          and made coarse cloth out of their hair, prepare
information on Rabaris in 1909 to the Superintendent                 ghee from milk of the dromedaries (Arabian camel
of the Ethnoagraphic Survey (1909: 1-6) stating                      with one hump) for use and sale. Due to population
that Rabaris are chiefly found in Cutch (presently                   increase they migrated to Marwad and settled there.


                                                           - 158 -
                           Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat



Suitable climate was agreeable and profitable for                      account of the term Bharwad as a modified form of
their business. They soon found that their camels                      the word ‘badawad’, i.e. ‘bada’ meaning sheep, and
and dromedaries were very useful for transport and                     ‘wada’ meaning a compound in Gujarat. The persons
speed message. They were recognised for skill for                      who possessed compounds with sheep were referred
managing and training camels that they supplied                        to as the Badawad, which in course of time came to be
to the States, for warfare activities. Marwad too                      pronounced as Bharwad. Interestingly, their name is
proved a small country for Rabaris so they migrated                    also related to the Bharade, a cattle-herder community
to Cutch. For some time they lived in Cutch before                     of Madhya Pradesh. According to Singh (1997: 114)
migrating to Kathiawad. In Kathiawad they were in                      their traditional occupation is goat and cattle herding,
different geographical feature having fertile soil and                 the Bharwad also work as agricultural and non-
rich pastures led them in breeding buffaloes. In short                 agricultural labourers. They sell milk in towns and a
period of time their clarified butter or ghee from                     few are engaged in marginal cultivation.
Kathiawad went as far of India and Africa.
    B. Kirparam (1901: 267-285) in his compilation
works in Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, Gujarat                             ORNAMENTS OF
Population: Hindus, gives account of Bharvads as                              RABARIS AND BHARWADS
shepherds who are found all over Gujarat. According
to one story, the Bharvads are the same caste as the                   The Rabari and Bharwad men and women commonly
Mehers, to whom Krishna’s foster-father Nand Meher                     wear certain ornaments. These included kanthi
belonged. According to another story, they are the                     (Figure 8a) around the neck, a silver kandora around
descendants of a Vaishya father and a Sudra mother.                    the waist and a vinti (ring ) on one or more of the
Their original home is said to be Gokal Vrindavan                      fingers. The use of ivory is extensively found among
near Mathura from where they are said to have moved                    Bharwads and Rabaris in this region. The social and
to Mewar, to spread into Gujarat, Kathiawar and                        economic status of the household or the class of
Cutch. They are closely related to the Rabaris with                    society to which they belong mostly determines the
whom they eat but do not intermarry. The Bharvads                      use of gold and silver ornaments they adorn.
are ‘husbandmen and labourers, but the bulk are                            The traditional ornaments worn by Rabari
shepherds or cattle-keepers. Their flocks of sheep                     women are; heavy ivory (hansu) chuddla (thick
and goats are kept in the outskirts of villages and                    hand bracelet, purchased from Ahmedabad and
are driven into the grass and bush lands by day and                    Maniara) worn in forearm and is a marker ornament
brought back at night. Between November and June                       of their caste (Figures 8e and 8g ). They also have
they move about the country in search of pasture, they                 plastic imitation of chuddla, which are made and
sell goat, cow milk, weave, and sell woollen blankets.                 sold at Bhachau. Other ornaments for hand include
They are also paid in grain or in cash for penning their               mandriyo (bracelet) and bangdi (bangles).
flocks in empty fields, as the manure is highly valued.                    Interesting ly, M.K . Mehta in 1909 to the
Instead of sheep and goats, many Bharvads keep                         Superintendent of the Ethnoagraphic Survey (1909:
cattle, both cows and buffaloes, and make their living                 2) provides information that in 1315 AD ‘the Rabaris
chiefly by selling clarified butter’ as also seen among                took refuge with the Sammas (of Sind) and went
the present day Rabaris.                                               with them to Cutch, supplying them with milk from
    R.E. Enthoven (1920: 118) has referred to the                      their herds of camels and cows. But they never forgot
Bharvad as the Gadarias. K.S. Singh (1997: 113) gives                  their former patrons, the Sumras, and to this day,


                                                             - 159 -
                                                    Shahida Ansari



their women do not colour their ivory bangles but                stamped with the petals of a flower.
wear them white as a sign of mourning’. Though the                   It is interesting to note here that young Mer4)
present day Rabaris at Kanmer are unaware of this                girls of Saurashtra/Kathiawar wear a leaf or diamond-
information, they continue to adorn themselves with              shaped flat gold ornament with floral designs in
heavy ivory ornament, i.e. hansu which still remains             relief in their upper ear. Because of its leaf shape it
the most enigmatic ornament of Rabaris.                          is called pandadi (leaf ). It is the prominent use of
    The vedhala are typical silver earrings in the form          gold distinguishes Mer ornaments from those of
of a pile of four rhombi, worn in the upper ear, and             Rabaris ( Jain and Sarabhai 1985: 46). At Kanmer
kamp in earlobe (Figure 11e). The vari are rings worn            2008-09 a gold leaf is reported from the excavation.
in the upper ear by unmarried girls only. The kadla              The ornament study between the two communities’
(Figure 8b) are worn in anklets, kanthi, twisted silver          has shown that ornaments worn are related to their
wire ornament worn in neck, necklace made of plastic             custom, belief and tradition. From childhood to
buttons, black beads and gold beads, kaieda is heavy             marriage they amass and adorn typical ornaments
silver finger rings and chametiya the toe rings.                 for the occasion. Some ornaments represent as caste
    The Bharwad women wear chudo/sudo (Figures                   marker.
8i and 11b), a large cylindrical ornament covering                   The jewellery of rural Kachchh is predominantly
forearms, khoto balaiyaan are the false ivory imitation          made from silver. The most important centres of
ornament popularly worn by them in forearm                       silver ornament making in the Gujarat are Rajkot and
(Figure 11c), lockit in upper arm. They wear silver              Ahmedabad. Bhuj, Anjar and Mandhavi in Kuchchh
ornament like vedhala in her upper ear, doiyana and              are famous for relief, filigree and enamel work. The
pokhadadi in earlobe, phul as nose pin. The Ramrami              castes that have worked over generations are the
and Sanpagalu (gold/silver/ivory plated with gold/               Soni and Luhar. The selected crafts of Gujarat of
silver strips) are the variety of gold necklace worn by          Census of India 1961 discuss that ivory bangles were
married women only (Figures 8f, 11a and 11b). The                manufactured in all-important towns by artisans of
kadala are worn as anklets, they also have variation in          Brahmakshatriya caste. The important centres were
anklets known as kambiyun, i.e. anklets with dropping            Jamnagar, Jamkhambhalia, Wadhwan-Surendranagar,
at each side, silver kaieda are heavy finger rings and           Dhrangadhra, Palitana, Mandvi, Anjar, Bhuj,
chametiya toe rings.                                             Ahmedabad, Surat, Kodinar, Palanpur, Patan and
    The Bharwad and Rabari men predominantly                     Baroda. There is special mention of Mahuva town of
wear silver ornaments. They usually put on a dokiyu              Bhavnagar district, which ranks first on account of
made of beads of coloured glass and gold around their            ivory carving workmanship (Trivedi 1967: 23).
neck (Figures 9a and 9b). In the upper ear they wear                 A number of beads are reported from the site of
gold or silver button called bhungri, through a hole             Kanmer, made of steatite, agate, carnelian, lapis lazuli,
in the centre of which is passed a gold ring called ver,         terracotta, shell, faience, and gold. The steatite beads
and just under is thoriyan (Figure 9c). Bharwad men              however outnumber the collection (Kharakwal et al.
will always wear handsome bracelet, i.e. kadla, of               2007). The nearest source of agate around Kanmer
heavy filigree work, with a flower and very small box-           is in the little Rann of Kachchh. This is an isolated
like cylinders welded on to it which is also the marker          piece of land, known as the Mardak Beyt/Mardakh
ornament of the caste (Figures 9d and 9e). Some                  Bet, covering an area of 2,100 acres, is also an existing
men also wear silver finger rings. Some Bharvad boys             mining source for agate (akik), chalcedony and jasper
wear a silver necklace and a bracelet, whose end are             deposits (Figure 1).


                                                           - 160 -
                       Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat




                                                             a                                                      b




                                   c                                       d                                            e




                          f                                      g                                                      h




                               i                                                    j                               k

         Figure 8 Ornaments of womenfolk and tattoo (a) Bharwad and Rabari girls wearing kanthi (b) Kadla are
worn in anklets (c) A Gadulia Luhar women (d) A Bhil women (e, g) Ivory (hansu) made chuddla (f ) A Kumhar women with
                                   gold ornaments (h) Golibar ( i, j, k) Tattoo on body parts


                                                             - 161 -
                                                    Shahida Ansari



    R .K. Trivedi (1964: 10), gives an interesting                    After the tattooing operation is over, turmeric powder
information regarding the Bhils (a hunting-gathering                  is applied to the area tattooed for its antiseptic value.
community of Gujarat) who used to pick up the                         For more than a week the tattooed area is avoided
Kapadvanj agate, chiefly found in the beds of the                     with any contact of water (at times if tattoo is spoiled
river Majam and sold them to Mandva Bohras, who                       the colour doesn’t come on the tattooed area when
disposed them off to Cambay stone merchants. This                     washed). This process is generally painful and has
piece of information gives a wonderful example                        resulted to periodic death. This traditional technique
of how hunting-gathering community in 1960s                           of tattooing is however banned by the Gujarat
interacted with traders (A Bhil women at Adesar                       State Government now. At Kanmer the Rabari and
Figure 8d). Such interaction in the region around                     Bharwad women though still continue to tattoo
Kanmer will be looked into in future studies. The                     through traditional as well as by modern technique
other sources of agates in Gujarat are Rajpipla,                      (Figures 8i, 8j and 8k). Traditional technique of
Ranpur, Mahedpur, Tankara and the river Majam,                        tattooing is done by oneself and sometimes to each
near Kapadvanj in Kaira district (Trivedi 1964: 9). At                other.
Adesar, gypsum and agate stones are found.                                The tattooing symbols have variations and
                                                                      represents meaning (Figure 13). The older women have
                                                                      retained the knowledge of these varied symbols and
         TATTOOING (TRAZAWA)                                          can identify its significance by mentioning it as – ‘the
                                                                      highest form of adornment, which can be carried even
The formally frequent practice of tattooing is now                    after death’. The tattooing also represents a marker
fast dying out. Examples of tattooing were to be                      for endurance. Only married women are allowed to
found among women of all age group. The name of                       tattoo their legs. Among the elderly Rabari women
god and goddesses, personal names and traditional                     a variety of symbols are seen which they recognise
symbols are tattooed on cheeks, chin, forehead,                       when asked for, whereas among the younger girls
between eyebrows, neck, chest arms, wrist, legs and                   identifying symbol is less and sometimes even nil.
calves. The tattoo marks reveal two-colour preference                     Following trees were observed by the author
green and black. According to information provided                    around Kanmer: kheri jar/pilu (Salvodora persica
by M.K. Mehta in 1909 to the Superintendent of the                    Linn; English known as Mustard tree/Saltbush/
Ethnographic Survey (1909: 3) states that ‘both men                   Tooth-brush tree), mithi jar/mithe pilu (Salvodora
and women were fond of tattooing their bodies, the                    oleoides Decne), thor (Euphorbia tirucalli Linn./
men their arms, and the women their cheeks, chin,                     Indian Tree Spurge/Milk Bush), avar (Cassia
lower lip, breast and arms’.                                          auriculata Linn.), laso bavar (Leucoena glauca Benth.
    Tattooing is achieved by a simple manual                          or White Popinac/Lead tree), bavar (Acacia arabica
operation constituting of dipping the sharp end of a                  Willd.), khijdo/khejra (Prosopis spicigera Linn.) and
needle or thorn in the chosen pigment and pricking                    gando bavar (Prosopis juliflora DC.) which are also
the skin of the area chosen for tattooing with it. The                represented in symbolic tattoo form.
materials used for preparing the dye are indigenous,
consisting of lamp-soot5) (made out of kerosene), juice
collected by soaking of bark of beeoo6) and the bright                                     TExTILE
                                                       7)
green juice of leaves of the creeper-golibad/golibar
(Figure 8h). The mixture of all this is known as pilari.              The Rabari of Kachchh can be easily recognised due


                                                            - 162 -
                       Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat




                                                                                                                         b




                                                  a                                    c




                 d                                  e                                  f                                 g

Figure 9 Ornaments and attire of men folk (a, b) Traditional dress and ornaments (dokiyu) of Bharwad (c) Ornament like
Bhungri and thoriyan worn by Bharwad man (d, e) Kadla worn by Bharwad man and a young boy (f ) A villager at Ghanithal


                                                         - 163 -
                                                         Shahida Ansari




                                                                 a                                                             b




                                                                                        d




                                       c                                                e                                       f




                                   g                                   h                              i                         j




                                                    k                               l                                         m

   Figure 10 (a) Kiln used for making colour for tie and dye textile at Adesar (b) A Harijan weaver working at handloom at
 Ghanithal (c) A Rabari women displaying the items made from sheep and camel wool (d) Bundles of sheep and camel wool (e)
 Woollen rope used for making cot and pillow by Rabari at Kanmer (f ) Abandoned rectangular loom pit filled with clay next to
the in use clay lined loom pit (g) Embroidery done on dhabra (h) Fagal pal (i) Raw material for making Bandhani (j, l, m) Textile
                            made at Ghanithal (k) Bharwad women doing embroidery on Bandhani


                                                             - 164 -
            Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat




                    a                                          b                                   c




                                        d                                                          e
Figure 11 Dress worn by women folk (a) Kumbhar women at Palanswa (b) Bharwad women at Kanmer
    (c) Bharwad women at Anjar (d) Rabari women at Kanmer (e) Vedhala, a typical silver earrings
             in the form of a pile of four rhombi worn by old Rabari women at Kanmer


                                               - 165 -
                                                      Shahida Ansari



to black woollen veil clothes, ivory bangle and profuse                at times, plastic mirrors and plastic buttons are used.
silver ornament (Figures 8, 9 and 10). Bharwad and                     The colour of the tie-dyed design is orange for an
Rabari women put on petticoats embroidered with                        unmarried girl and red for married women. The
glass pieces (abhlas). Instead of sari they put on a red               motifs made by them are flowers, medallions, stylised
or dark coloured cloth called odhani.                                  horse and rider, dear, peacock and scorpion. Bharwad
    Bandhani is very popular in Kachchh where it                       women wear a long back less tight fitting bodice either
is customary to present it to the bride at the time                    of silk or of cotton (Figures 11b and 11c). The Harijans
of marriage. Sarees, odhani (shawl), ghaghra (skirt)                   are master weavers and the main producers of (Figures
and rumal (handkerchief ) or bandhani, popularly                       10j, 10l and 10m).
known as ‘tie and dye’, is the process of resist printing,
is one of the most important crafts of the Kachchh,                       1) Black and red woollen head cloth (charmalia)
especially noticed at Adesar, about 56 km from Rapar.                     for women (Figure 11b),
The raw materials required are cloth, colours and                         2) Shawl woven in narrow width loom in two
thread procured from the local market. The process of                     pieces and put together by the women; joint is
bandhani production is simple yet laborious and time                      embroidered with multicoloured threads (Figures
consuming. The cloth which may be silk, georgette,                        10g and 10k),
voile or mulmul is spread on a table or wooden plank                      3) And white blanket (dhabra) for men has series
and designs are marked on it with the help of wooden                      of borders woven at both ends, an architectural
blocks or by hand (Figure 10i). It is then tied in tiny                   pattern woven into the body. The typical Bharvad
knots with thread, where after the cloth is dyed in                       dress for men is three blankets of undyed wool one
appropriate colours. On completion of this process,                       wound in broad bans round the head, a second
when the ties are removed, the finished product                           tied round the waist reaching the knee, and a
presents a repeat design in dots covering a variety                       third thrown across the shoulder. These are made
of motifs. The colours, which are generally used in                       in large variety of decorative pieces for use in the
Kachchh, are red green, blue and black. The only tools                    commercial urban markets (Palanswa, Bhimasar
and equipment needed are utensils for dyeing (Figure                      and Rapar).
10a) and wooden blocks for printing designs.
    The Harijans of Ghanithal village (20 km north                         These are made in large variety of decorative
of Kanmer) are the main weavers in this region                         pieces for use in the commercial urban market
(Figures 10b). The Rabaris and Bharvads wear clothes                   (Palanswa, Bhimasar and Rapar).
those made by these Harijans. The Harijans, Rabaris                        Traditionally, the Rabaris used to supply wool to
and Bharvads produce skilled embroidery, which is                      Harijans and in return they used to make blankets/
bold and vigorous in style in this region. The Bharvad                 shawls. In earlier days the Rabaris wore only black
decorate their ghaghras and woollen head cloths with                   coloured dress. As they were barred to wear any
wide borders. Thick tie-dyed fabric is made heavier                    colourful dress, the reason being they are of lower
with large geometric, animal and floral motifs in                      caste. Some 25 years back they used to barter wool
brilliant yellow, blue, purple, green, red and orange                  in exchange for grain, pottery, and iron objects with
colours (Figures 10g and 10k). Plastic and glass are                   other communities. Those residing in the Kanmer
now used for embellishment. The Rabari bride must                      village continue to make wool out of sheep/goat and
own three heavily worked blouse and a woollen tie-                     camel hair. It is while grazing their animals in the
dyed shawl embroidered with borders and medallions,                    field or far off places for pasture, that they carry a bag


                                                             - 166 -
                          Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat



having hair of the goat and camels. While walking                       earlier days he moved to Saurashtra, Ahmedabad,
they make (thin or thick) rope by adding bunch of                       Panchmahal and Varodara with his sheep and
hair and simultaneously twisting it, this is then made                  camel. To reach Saurashtra they crossed Little
into a woollen ball (Figure 10d). It is of two colours                  Rann of Kachchh, which approximately takes one
black and cream/off white colour. The items made                        and half day. Movement generally begins in night;
are: woollen rope (used while making wooden cots),                      they travel for first 12 hrs and then take 7-hour
pillows (though rough in texture but are still preferred                rest before moving again. While travelling they
for its sturdiness and warmth), bags, straps of different               carry cooked food or items, which can be eaten
shape and size to be put on camel (use of thick large                   on way. Across the little Rann is village Teekar,
iron bangles/rings are used, and galon used to through                  where they take rest before moving to different
stone on wild animals and birds (Figures 10c and 10e)                   areas in Saurashtra like Mahoa, Paragarh, Thowai,
                                                                        Daboi, and Junagadh. The whole family moves in
                                                                        this temporary movement except the old parents
MOVEMENT PATTERN OF RABARIS                                             and pregnant ladies, who stay back at the village.
                                                                        He also informed that many families also moved
A shepherd, Vajju Bhai (55 yr. old), a Rabari was                       towards central India (Malwa region) for grazing
interviewed and he provided following information.                      sheep and camel.
                                                                        6) They also used to carry salt for two specific
   1) He was with his grandson, aged 10 yr. Only male                   reasons. Firstly, to be given to camels so that they
   child at the age of two, start moving along with                     drink enough water before start of the journey and
   elders, while grazing khinta/ghinta or sheep (200                    secondly, to be sold to Maldhari (Herdsmen or
   in number) in nearby agriculture field.                              grazers) and Khatik (Butcher men) for cash.
   2) Every day they graze their sheep from 7 AM                        7) When asked about Bhils, he sighted their
   to 8 PM. Sometime he also stays out for one to                       traditional enmity with them, and doesn’t like
   three days with sheep, generally in open, when the                   any association with them. Bhil according to him
   pasture is not enough.                                               use bow and arrow for hunting and stealing their
   3) Has good knowledge of their surrounding                           sheep, whereas they use galon for protection.
   ecosystem mainly due to their movement per day is
   four to six kilometres. The area of movement varies
   during rainy season.                                                     SALT MAKING TECHNIQUE
   4) While moving he carries a bag having many
   items like : food (rotala- jowar roti, cooked                      Being on the seacoast, Kachchh abounds in salt,
   vegetable, chilli paste), aluminium utensils (plate,               which is recovered at present from sea brine either
   bowls), wool, two blanket, kerosene lamp wick                      in artificial pans or in open natural pans. There are
   bottle, matchbox, torch, utensil for making tea, tea               thirteen salt works in Kachchh, of which twelve are
   leaves, sugar, rope, medicines for sheep, syringes,                major, six located at Kandla, two at Chirai, one each
   colour, galon, stick and two water bottles. He had                 at Jakhau, Mundra, Padana and Shikarpur. At Adesar
   collected discarded iron wire (Figure 12f ). They                  the salt is manufactured from the wells near the
   whistle to call their animals.                                     border of the Rann (Patel 1971: 234, 581).
   5) Since last ten years he has stopped travelling too                  The author got an opportunity to visit the salt
   far of places due to new government policies. In                   manufacturing site just a kilometre away from the


                                                            - 167 -
                                                     Shahida Ansari




                                                         a                                                                   b




                                                        c                                       d                            e




                                                         f                                                                   g




                                                         h                                                                   i
Figure 12 (a) Storage pits of Period IV (Historic) at Kanmer (b) Stone Fortification wall, Kanmer (c) Hero stones (pariya)
at Kanmer (d) Uri mata (e) Koli women at salt manufacturing site, Shikarpur (f ) Items carried by Rabari man (g) Temporary
               settlement of Koli at salt manufacturing site, Shikarpur (h,i) Salt manufacturing at Shikarpur



                                                             - 168 -
            Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat




Figure 13 Tattoo symbols made by Rabari and Bharwad women in Kanmer, Kachchh district, Gujarat




                                              - 169 -
                                                      Shahida Ansari



Harappan site of Shikarpur (Figures 12h, 12i). The salt                 continue to make salt.
workers belong to the Koli communities, who come                            Salt plays important role in the life of the people
with their families from surrounding villages. The                      of Kachchh. On the first day of Chaitra (April)
reason for hardship is that with no rain, sustenance                    and on the Shravan (August) full moon all traders
through agricultural activities is hindered, which                      worship the sea by throwing flowers and a coconut
leads them to undertake this occupation. Salt making                    into it. Salt, called mithu, i.e. sweetener, and sabras,
has always played important role in this region. For                    i.e. the essence of taste, is the luckiest of all purchase
the convenience the manufacturer/owner provides                         on the New Year day in Kartik (November). To be
the Koli’s with basic amenities like house, electricity                 freed from the throes of death a dying person makes
and water facility. But a few Koli also make temporary                  a gift of salt to Brahmans. For this reason most high
shelter, where they keep buffaloes and sell milk and its                caste Hindus are careful not to pass salt from hand to
product to the villagers at Shikarpur. In the temporary                 hand in everyday use. And salt is also used in all spirit-
settlement a small hut erected with tree branches,                      scaring rites, and on the Great Spirit day-Kalichaudas
which is used for keeping their belongings (bedding                     (dark fourteenth in October-November), high caste
and clothes), however utensils, cooking pots are                        Hindu women make salt marks of various shapes at
placed outside in open, where they carryout cooking                     crossroads (Kirparam 1901: 349).
and make buttermilk (Figure 12g). A cattle pen is also
seen in thorny courtyard with stacking of cow dung
cakes and fuel sticks/branches. Thorny branches of                                   RELIGIOUS BELIEF
bavar enclose the hut and the open area. The Koli
women wear beautiful silver ornaments (Figure 12e).                     The villagers of Kanmer worship mother goddess
However, the children and women were seen with                          (mata) R ajbai, whose temple is located at the
skin disease as well as deform eye ailment. A small                     hillock at Kanmer. As reported by B. Kirparam
shrine of devi ma was seen near this settlement. The                    (1901: 288) and also by M.K. Mehta in 1909 to
Koli don’t do fishing, it is the Muslim communities of                  the Superintendent of the Ethnographic Survey
this area (Surajbari village) who are engaged into sea                  (1909: 5), the Rabaris are generally ‘worshippers
fishing. They employ boats (navdi) made by the local                    of mothers or matas, though a few among them
carpenters (suttar) for fishing.                                        belong to the Bijmargi, Ramanandi, and Shaiva sect.
    Most of the artificial brines8) are obtained by                     In Kachchh many of them serve as priest in mata
pumping seawater to flow through a series of channels                   temples, commonest forms under which the mata is
constructed of sand into a series of rectangular                        worshipped are a peacock’s feather and a conch-shell’.
shallow ponds/pan separated by sand mounds (Figure                      At Kanmer the Rabaris continue the same tradition
                         9)
12h and 12i). The salt in each crystallising pan is                     till date. They also continue to worship cobra on the
raked into rows, where it is allowed to drain for                       Kalichaudas (dark fourteenth in October-November)
several days (at least 20 days). After that it is collected             and offer the cobra milk and cocoa kernel.
into heaps, drained again, lifted from the pans, and                        The Bharvads are also followers of matas, image
finally dried. Wooden and steel furrows are used                        of her is often figured on silver and copper plates, a
during this process. Both men and women work in                         few also worship Ramamnandis. The most sacred is
night, as it is comparatively cooler. The salt making                   the Navratri or nine nights in September-October,
is done throughout the year except in two months                        Kalichaudas and Akatrij in April-May is their sheep-
( July and August) of rain. But if it is a dry spell they               shearing day (Kirparam 1901: 268).


                                                              - 170 -
                        Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat



    The aboriginal tribes of Gujarat as reported by                      The fortification at Kanmer and the residential
B. Kirparam (1901: 292, 305), worship two classes of                 structures are mainly fashioned in stone, reflecting the
beings, local or tribal deities and the spirits of their             skills of its builder and his technology. The technical
ancestors. Of the local or tribal divinities, Khatri                 knowledge is also reflected in the range of materials
Dev, a pillar of wood, is worshipped by most of the                  that were available and used for construction during
aboriginal tribes except by the Bhils and Gamtas;                    the ancient times. It is the skill on stone that permits
Khetrapal, the god of boundaries, a stone carved with                the erection of larger and more elaborate structures
the figure of a horse; Baba Dev, a clay image of a horse             suggesting building is more than an adaptation
and rider, worshipped chiefly by Bhils; Magaria and                  to climate. This being an earthquake zone, stone
Vagh Dev, or the alligator and tiger deities chiefly                 structure is not advisable for construction. Despite
worshiped by Gamtas. The animal held in most                         this knowledge the villagers continue to construct
veneration by the Bhils is the horse. If a prayer has                their house, courtyard, and boundary wall in stone
been granted, they often make small clay horses and                  blocks quarried from nearby hill. The Harappan
arrange them around an idol, or in the spirit-yard.                  workman who were adept to the local environment
    At Ghanithal image of urimata were seen in                       and possible tectonic disturbances at the region,
those houses where the children were suffering from                  continued to build such impressive structure with
chicken pox (Figure 12d). The mother goddess is                      care. A section at Kanmer during Harappan time was
worshiped for curing properties; once the child is                   probably involved in masonry, as the fortification
cured the image of mata is immersed in water. At                     wall appears to have been plastered with white shale
Kanmer and Thoriali the local and those of distant                   (dhauli matti) brought from nearby area, suggesting
relatives’ worship Hero stones, i.e. pariya and sati                 the upkeep of the structure at regular interval.
stones. The hero stones have beautiful representation                    According to B.G. Trigger (1968: 63) ‘in more
of attire, ornaments, weapons, animas, cart, and sun/                complex societies, subsistence factors, in narrow
moon symbol (Figure 12c). The date and details of the                sense, are less important as determinants of the size
issuers/hero is inscribed in devnagari script on the                 and location of communities. Trade may provide a
stone pillars.                                                       source of wealth and stimulate the growth of large
                                                                     cities in remote regions, and the wealth amassed
                                                                     from trade may in turn serve either to finance the
                  COMMENTS                                           developments of novel agricultural systems in areas
                                                                     where they would otherwise be impractical, or to
The ethnographic obser vations in and around                         effect the importation of food from distant regions.
Kanmer brought to light many aspects of settlement                   Settlements may also spring up in wastelands where
and subsistence pattern. The villages at a radius of 15-             rare and valuable minerals are discovered but lacking
20 km are known for their traditional craft and people               to agricultural potentials’. Kanmer is located very near
who supply raw material in the region, i.e. Gagodhar                 to Mardak Beyt, a source for agate, raw material used
and Palanswa for potters, Ghanithal for textile, Adesar              for making beads, a popular and in demand during
for textile and jewellery, Kanmer for agro-pastoral                  the Harappan times. A number of artefacts (tools)
communities like Rabaris and Bharwads (highest                       and agate beads are found at the site, which suggests
in the region). The villagers are interdependent and                 that it was a local craft at the site. To acquire this
interwoven for the craft in the modern times as a                    raw material a section of the community within or
source of subsistence and survival.                                  outside were involved in extracting the raw material


                                                           - 171 -
                                                    Shahida Ansari



and supplying at the site. The site of Kanmer seems                  dependence on other food sources available in the
to be one of the centres, which supplied raw agate or                region, suggested in the faunal assemblage and
finished artefacts to other Harappan towns. According                other archaeological evidences like structures on
Trigger (1968: 64) a specialized local centre can                    fortification wall.
develop when a number of villages are linked together                    Further, research on the movement pattern
in a trade network. They are better able to transcend                of Rabari/Bharwad in Little Rann of Kachchh
local limitations in natural resources; and a trading                will be carried out. The ethnoarchaeological study
network also fosters greater specialization and better               will gather information concerning production
products than does an autonomous village economy.                    relationship through study of the layout of workshops
Thus, a careful investigation of trade and of the nature             (for example-bead manufacturing agate/steatite or
of production is prerequisite to estimates of the size               pottery making), will note whether places of work
and the social cultural complexity of communities.                   and residence are together or separated, whether
Thus, it is important for us to determine what goods                 the workshops of one trade are in the same part
were present and produced at the site of Kanmer.                     of the community or at scattered points. Data of
    Within any region, people tend to establish                      this sort will permit us for reconstruction of social
their settlements in places that are close to drinking               organization at the site of Kanmer.
water, sources of food and places, which is safe.
Agricultural groups generally seek locations where                   Acknowledgements
the soil and weather are favourable to their crops                   I am grateful to the directors of Kanmer excavation
and their method of cultivation. Presently, at                       Dr. Jeewan Sing h Kharakwal, Dr. Y.S. Rawat
Kanmer agricultural activities are possible only due                 and Prof. T. Osada for allowing me to carry out
to underground sources like wells, seasonal nallah                   ethnoarchaeological studies at the site of Kanmer. I
and recent introduction of Narmada river water                       thank Katariyaji and Sameer for accompanying me
supply. The villagers mainly rely on kharif crops. The               during ethnographic survey in Kanmer and nearby
grassland provides pastoral communities like Rabaris                 villages; to Gababhai, Udubaa and Shiva, enthusiastic
and Bharwads to have grazing land for domesticated                   villagers at Kanmer who readily parted with their
animals like sheep, goat, buffaloes, cow and camel.                  immense knowledge about culture and tradition of
From the Archaeological evidences from Kanmer                        Kanmer; and to Shri D.D. Phule of Deccan College,
it seems to be a craft specialized centre, but some                  Pune for helping me with the line drawings.
section of the society was also carrying out partial
agricultural, hunting and gathering activities for
sustenance.                                                          Notes

    The dependence on the wild animal (large                         1) The name Koli meaning clansman, clubman, or boatman,

bovid, wild pig, antelopes, deer, carnivores and small               applied to the middle classes of the military or predatory
                                                                     Hindus of Gujarat, includes tribes that differ widely from each
mammals like hare and rodents) in the Late Harappan
                                                                     others (B. Kirparam in Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency:
phase was more than any cultural phase (Goyal and
                                                                     237).
Joglekar 2008: 39). This also suggests that possibly
                                                                     2) At Kanmer Dudio Kenga Jaga, the oldest Rujput man
the Late Harappans at Kanmer had some pressure
                                                                     (aged- 110 years) and Vinod Bhai (aged-55 years) a Jain and
from other regional craft specialised villages who were              at Palanswa village Lakshman Bhai (aged-65 year) a Rujput,
also engaged in supplying of raw/finished material.                  provided with the information regarding the traditional
The gradual pressure on the economy resulted in                      underground storage technique of khann.


                                                           - 172 -
                              Ethnoarchaeological study at the Harappan site of Kanmer, Kachchh, Gujarat


3) When Rebarris come upon a herd of camel grazing, the                             (eds.) Occasional Paper 5: Linguistics, Archaeology and
boldest and most experienced strikes his lance into the first                       the Human Past. Indus Project Research Institute for
animal he reaches, then dips a cloth in the blood, which at the                     Humanity and Nature, Kyoto. pp.25-43.
end of his lance he thrusts close to the nose of the next, and                   Kharakwal, J.S., Y.S.Rawat and Toshiki Osada (2008)
wheeling about, sets off at speed, followed by the whole herd,                      “Preliminary Observations on the Excavation at Kanmer,
lured by the scent of the blood, and is followed by the rest.                       Kachchh, India 2006-2007”, in T. Osada and A. Uesugi
4) Identified as herdsmen by B. Kirparam in Gazetteer of the                        (eds.) Occasional Paper 5: Linguistics, Archaeology and
Bombay Presidency: 285-86, chiefly found in Kathiawar. They                         the Human Past. Indus Project Research Institute for
call themselves Rajputs, claiming descent from one Ranhirji,                        Humanity and Nature, Kyoto. pp.5-23.
a Jethva. The census of 1891 includes them under Ahirs or                        Jain, J and M. Sarabhai (1985) “Ornaments”, in J. Dhamija
Jethvas.                                                                            (ed.) Living Traditions of India-Crafts of Gujarat. Mapin
5) Duhando or the lamp soot is collected from the i.e. kerosene                     International, New York. pp.41-64.
oil kept overnight, partially covered by inverted vessel.                        Lieutanant- Colonel James Todd (1873) Annals and
6) After four days the beeoo wood is soaked in water turns                          Antiquities of Rajasthan or the Central and Western Rajpoot
Neelu (green colour).                                                               States of India. Higginbotham and Company, Madras.
7) The juice of golibari is sieved in thin cloth. Golibari grows                 Mankad, B.L. (1939) Rabaris of Kathiawar (A Social Study).
in rainy season on pilu or Zare tree.                                               Journal of the University of Bombay 7(4): 31-79.
8) Brine is water containing a high concentration of salt.                       National Commission on Agriculture (NCA) (1976) Rainfall
9) Salt is produced by solar evaporation i.e. when an aqueous                       and Cropping Patterns, vol.IV. Government of India,
solution of several salts (seawater, for example) is evaporated;                    Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, New Delhi.
each of the salts precipitates as it reaches its point of saturation             Patel, G.D. (1971) Gujarat State Gazetteers: Kutch District.
in the solution. Thus, the different salts in seawater will                         Government Printing , Stationary and Publications,
precipitate at different times, forming layers on the bottom of                     Ahmedabad.
the evaporating pond.                                                            Singh, K.S. (1997) The Scheduled Tribes. People of India,
                                                                                    National Series, volume III. Oxford University Press
References                                                                          (Oxford India Paperbacks), New Delhi.
Dutt, S.C. (1884) The Wild Tribes of India. Gilbert and                          Superintendent of the Ethnographic Survey of Bombay
   Rivington Limited, London.                                                       (1909) The Ethnographic Survey of Bombay Monograph no.
Enthoven, R.E. (1920) The Tribes and Castes of Bombay, vol. I:                      137- Rabari. The Government Central Press, Bombay.
   118-123. Government Central Press, Bombay.                                    Trigger, B.G. (1968) “The Determinants of Settlement
Enthoven, R.E. (1922) The Tribes and Castes of Bombay, vol.                         Patterns”, in K.C. Chang (ed.) Settlement Archaeology.
   III: 252-258. Government Central Press, Bombay.                                  National Press Books, California. pp.53-78
Kirparam, B. (compiled) (1901) Gazetteer of the Bombay                           Trivedi, R.K. (1964) “Agate Industry of Cambay”, in Census
   Presidency, Gujarat Population: Hindus, volume IX, part 1.                       of India 1961, volume V, part VII-A (1), Selected Crafts of
   The Government Central Press, Bombay.                                            Gujarat. Manager of Publication, Delhi.
Goyal, P. and P.P. Joglekar (2008) “Report on the faunal                         Trivedi, R.K. (1967) Census of India 1961- Selected Crafts of
   remains recovered from Kanmer, Gujarat, during the                               Gujarat. volume V, part VII-A. Manager of Publication,
   second field season (2006-07)”, in T. Osada and A. Uesugi                        Delhi.




                                                                       - 173 -
Shahida Ansari




    - 174 -
                                            Memorial stones at Kanmer, Gujarat, India



                               Memorial stones at Kanmer, Gujarat, India


                                                       Tilok Thakuria
                                   Department of Archaeology, Deccan College, Pune-6
                                                       J.S. Kharakwal
                                         Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur, Rajasthan
                                                       Toshiki Osada
                                        Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
                                                          Y.S. Rawat
                                         State Department of Archaeology, Gujarat




Abstract
Memorial stones, like other parts of India, are commonly found in parts of the state of Gujarat. The present paper is an attempt to
document and understand various aspects like location, iconography, ritualistic and socio-economic factors of the memorial stones
at Kanmer. Kanmer is a small village in Kachchh district of Gujarat.



Kanmer is a small village at Rapar taluka of Kachchh                         Memorial stones are considered as Anthropologi-
district, Gujarat. The village is known in archaeologi-                  cal data for a society or community to know about the
cal literature for a Harappan settlement reported by                     socio-economic, socio-religious and socio-political
Bisht (IAR 1985-86: 15-19, Kharakwal et al. 2007).                       events. The inscription engraved on the memorial
The present village of Kanmer is at the foot of a hill-                  stone is also used as historical data. The present paper
ock. Pāliyas are found in the surrounding areas of                       deals with the documentation of Pāliyas found in the
the village in a well defined distance from the village                  village of Kanmer. This documentation is fashioned
boundary. There are seven clusters of Pāliyas and four                   to create a dataset on the location, construction, ico-
isolated Pāliyas are seen in different locations.                        nography and folk stories related with the Pāliyas of
     The practice of erecting memorials to commemo-                      Kanmer. All these aspects have been put together in
rate heroic death is widespread in many parts of India,                  this paper to avail them for further comparative re-
and Gujarat is no exception .Memorial stones known                       search on Pāliyas of Gujarat in general and Saurashtra
by various local names are commonly found in dif-                        and Kachchh in particular. They are located either on
ferent parts of Gujarat and it is still a practice seen in               asmall hillock or near water bodies which are a little
many villages of Gujarat (Doshi 1982, Jain 1982, Shah                    far from the village (Figure 1). Cluster 1 and Cluster
1982). In Saurashtra and Kachchh memorial stones                         4 are situated on a small hillock while Cluster 2 is
are locally known as Pāliya. They are immense in                         located near a nala. On the other hand, Clusters 5, 6
number in villages of Saurashtra and Kachchh. They                       and 7 all are outside the village boundary. Conversely,
are found in great numbers in the villages of Saurash-                   Cluster 3 falls inside the village. But it seems that it
tra and Kachch. Fascinated by the Pāliyas found in                       was originally at the margin of the village. After the
the villages of Saurashtra, James Todd remarked “we                      recent earthquake the village was reestablished with
find them planted thick as grave stone in an English                     new construction. The boundary of the village might
church” (Todd 1971: 301).                                                have been altered by the new constructions and as


                                                               - 175 -
                                                          T. Thakuria et al.



                                           Table 1 Distribution of Pāliyas found in Kanmer

Cluster no.                                Location                                 Total number of Pāliyas     GPS coordinates
              In the cremation ground belonging to Darbari community,                                                23°25'12"
     1                                                                                         30
              towards the Northwest corner of Harappan settlement                                                    70°51'34"
                                                                                                                    23°24'54.9"
     2        In the Harijans’ graveyard                                                       13
                                                                                                                    70°51'33.3"
                                                                                                                    23°24'46"
     3        Near the Kanmer village panchayat office                                         20
                                                                                                                     70°51'42"
                                                                                                                    23°24'48.2"
     4        Towards the east of Harappan mound at Kanmer                                     32
                                                                                                                     70°51'58"
                                                                                                                    23°24'53.1"
     5        Near the camp of the Kanmer Project, 2007                                        6
                                                                                                                    70°51'42.2"
              Housed in the Jivnisati temple located on the entrance of Village                                     23°24'55.3"
     6                                                                                         4
              Kanmer                                                                                                70°51'47.3"
              On the entrance of the village, around 50 m east from Jivni Sati                                      23°24'52.7"
     7                                                                                         3
              temple                                                                                                70°51'49.4"
              Located around 1km towards east of Kanmer village. Housed in                                          23°24'54.2"
     8                                                                                         1
              temple known as Surdhar Dada                                                                          70°52'31.7"
                                                                                                                     23°15'02"
     9        Near the Harappan mound                                                          1
                                                                                                                    70°51'52.7"


cluster 3 was in the margin of the village boundary                       the cluster 1. Similarly, 4 are housed under a Chatri
came under the newly expanded village area. Cluster 7                     in cluster 3 and others have a recently made platform.
and 6 are on the village entrance. There are 4 isolated                   Pāliyas are associated with the ancestor and it is cus-
Pāliyas located at the margin and outside the village                     tomary to offer worship. Hence, the platforms, stone
boundary. The one known as SurdharDada which is                           enclosures or Chatris are made by the family members
housed inside a temple, is around one and half km                         to facilitate worship or to show honor to their ances-
from the village towards east located on a small hill-                    tor. Such provisions are made to only those Pāliyas
ock. Pāliyas at Kanmer represent both Hero Pāliya                         whose family members can afford it or identify their
and Sati Pāliya.                                                          ancestors’ Pāliyas after a long period.
    All the Pāliyas located in the village are of sand-                       A Pāliya has two basic parts- the carving and the
stone which is available in Kachchh. A Pāliya is                          inscription below. The arch or angular top portion
actually an upright flat stone. The top portion of it                     depicts the sun and moon symbols accompanied with
is either arch shaped or angular. It is raised in a pit                   floral motif. The general iconography of the hero
dug into the earth surface. To give support at the base                   Pāliya shows the hero either riding a horse or camel
stone boulders and soil are put inside the pit. Some-                     or standing in warrior dress. Sati Pāliya is depicted as
times a stone platform or enclosure is seen surround-                     an upright female arm or with a dead body on her lap.
ing a single Pāliya or a row of Pāliyas at Kanmer. In                     However, there are many detailed differences in the
cluster 1 two Pāliyas have rectangular stone enclosure.                   iconographic appearance in both the Hero and Sati
In cluster 4 a stone platform is made in front of 3                       Pāliyas at Kanmer.
Pāliyas (Figure 2). On the other hand, Chatris are
constructed to house Pāliyas. 4 Pāliyas are housed                        a) Pāliya with a horse rider: This iconographic feature
inside two adjoined Chatris with a high raised plat-                      is most commonly seen among Pāliyas at Kanmer.
form and one single Pāliyas with a separate Chatri in                     In this the hero is shown in warrior attire riding a


                                                                - 176 -
                                      Memorial stones at Kanmer, Gujarat, India



horse. He holds a spear either in his right hand or in              bow and shield in the other hand (Figure 9). The
left hand. The spear is shown to be held either hori-               arrow container is shown hanging from the waist.
zontally over the head or behind the body. The other                Examples of two warrior figures holding sword and
hand holds bow and arrows. In most cases, a shield is               shield are also available.
shown to be held in the hand in a protective manner                 f ) Pāliya with a bullock cart: A man riding a bullock
(Figure 3). Sometimes, instead of spear and bow the                 cart and holding a sword in his right hand is shown.
figure is shown with sword and shield. There are also               Beside him, a milk-churn pitcher is also shown (Figure
examples of two horse rider figures in the same Pāliya              10). It is said that such Pāliyas are erected in memory
stone (Figure 4).                                                   of the brides who die in plunder during the bridal
b) Pāliya with a horse rider holding a gun: There are               procession.
two examples of such type at Kanmer. In one case the                g) Sati Pāliya with a dead husband on lap: The sati
figure is shown holding a spear in his left hand over               figure is shown standing with her right arm raised
the head and in the right hand a gun. He is shown rid-              with open fingers and the dead body placed vertically
ing a horse. In the other example the figure is shown               on her lap (Figure 11).
holding the gun in shooting posture (Figure 5). He is               h) Sati Pāliya with a raised arm: The complete figure
also shown riding a horse.                                          of the sati is not shown, but a raised arm with open
c) Pāliya with a horse rider and a standing figure: The             fingers is shown (Figure 12).
main figure is shown riding a horse holding spear in                i) Sati Pāliya and horse rider: The male figure is
left hand and bow in the right. Sword and dagger are                shown in warrior attire riding a horse and the raised
shown hanging from the waist. Behind the horse-                     arm of sati with open fingers is shown either in front
riding figure, a human figure has shown standing. It is             or behind the horse rider. (Figure 13).
difficult to make out the characteristics of the stand-             j) Standing Sati Pāliya: The sati figure is shown stand-
ing figure as it has worn out because of weathering. In             ing with her right arm raised with open fingers and
another example, the standing figure is shown in front              holding a rosary in her left hand (Figure 14).
of the main figure. The main figure is shown riding
a horse and holding a spear in his right hand and in                    There are some general iconographic character-
the left hand probably a rosary. The figure in front is             istics in the Hero Pāliyas. They all are shown having
shown standing on a pedestal or similar arrangement                 water container hanging from the waist. They also
(Figure 6).                                                         wear turban or headgear and shoes.
d) Pāliya with camel rider: Instead of a horse, the                     Each Pāliya is having an inscription engraved on
male figure is shown riding a camel, dressed in warrior             it just below the carving. In some cases the inscription
attire, and holding bow and arrow with sword and                    is not traceable because of erosion or damage of the
dagger hanging from the waist. The left hand holds                  stone. It is also because of construction of platform,
the reins of the camel (Figure 7). In another case, two             stone enclosure etc. The inscription either gets buried
male figures are shown on the camel. Both of them                   or mutilates because of such construction. Inscriptions
hold a spear over the head and bow and arrow in the                 are written in Gujarati script and Gujarati language.
right hand. One of the Pāliya housed in the Jivni Sati              They contain the name of the person, astrological de-
temple shows a child in between tow figures (Figure                 tails of the dead and period of erection of the memo-
8).                                                                 rial stone. Information about the cause of the death is
e) Pāliya with a standing posture: A warrior is shown               not available in the inscriptions in Pāliyas at Kanmer.
standing holding a sword in attacking posture and                       The stories about the Pāliyas are more or less


                                                          - 177 -
                    T. Thakuria et al.




Figure 1 Cluster of Pãliyas on a small hillock (Cluster 1)




    Figure 2 Pãliyas with a stone platform in front


                          - 178 -
Memorial stones at Kanmer, Gujarat, India




   Figure 3 Pāliya with a horse rider




 Figure 4 Pāliya with two horse riders


                  - 179 -
                   T. Thakuria et al.




   Figure 5 Pāliya with a horse rider holding a gun




Figure 6 Pāliya with a horse rider and a standing figure


                         - 180 -
         Memorial stones at Kanmer, Gujarat, India




            Figure 7 Pāliya with a camel rider




Figure 8 Pāliya with two camel riders and a child in between


                           - 181 -
            T. Thakuria et al.




 Figure 9 Pāliya with a standing figure




Figure 10 Pāliya with a bullock cart rider


                  - 182 -
  Memorial stones at Kanmer, Gujarat, India




Figure 11 Sati Pāliya with a dead husband on lap




    Figure 12 Sati Pāliya with a raised arm


                     - 183 -
          T. Thakuria et al.




Figure 13 Sati Pāliya and a horse rider




   Figure 14 Standing Sati Pāliya


                - 184 -
                 Memorial stones at Kanmer, Gujarat, India




          Figure 15 The ruin of the Darbar’s house in the village




Figure 16 Blouse as offering on the tree located in the Jivni Sati temple area


                                    - 185 -
                                                     T. Thakuria et al.



same as available in other villages in Saurashtra and                  the Kanmer village and nearby village worship Jivni
Kachchh. These stories narrate the courage and brave-                  as symbol of motherhood. Women folk worship her
ness. The most famous folk story among the people of                   to get enough breastfeeding to their child and offer
Kanmer is that of Jivni Sati. According to the story,                  blouse to get blessings. They hang the blouse as an
Jivni was the youngest daughter of a Bharvad. The                      offering on the tree located in the temple area (Figure
Bharvad had a herd of goats. Among the herd Jivni                      16). Local people of the village say that nobody even
used to like one kid. One day, when the herd returned                  dares to pass her temple on horse back. It is because
after grazing she did not find the kid she liked. She in-              the curse she gave to the Darbar that the father will
quired about the kid going missing Her father replied                  die when the son become able to ride horse.
that it must be nearby somewhere and will appear                           The other stories about the Pāliyas narrate the
soon. Jivni was not convinced by the reply and said                    courage and bravery of the individuals who died in
it can not be some where nearby because everyday it                    war against invaders, fight with robber and other
comes to her first at the time the herd arrived home.                  courageous activities. About the Pāliyas in Cluster 4
She realized that her father was lying to her. So she                  story says that a bridal procession was plundered and
enquired out the missing of the kid. Finally, she came                 killed after the loot. So, in memory of them Pāliyas
to know that a Darbar managed to have the kid for                      were erected. There is a Pāliyas in Cluster 1 showing
a feast with the help of few Koli. It gave her sorrow                  a horse rider with gun in hand. The story about this
and anguish. She rushed to the Darbar’s house to                       Pāliya is that there was a raid by robbers in the village
get justice. The Darbar did not show any interest in                   armed with guns. Villagers were afraid of them as they
Jivni’s grief. He did not even open the main door of                   possessed gun. So, nobody dared to fight with them.
his house. She became angry because of the Darbar’s                    When the robbers entered and tried to loot his house,
ignorance on the matter and got inside the Darbar’s                    he came out with his gun and fought a gun fire battle
house by breaking the door. The story says that she                    with them. Unfortunately, he died in the battle. These
broke the door by a kick. Getting inside the house                     stories are a product of oral tradition and it is difficult
she killed herself with a dagger hanging on the wall                   to get background story for each of the Pāliyas. There
and cursed the family. She cursed that Darbar will                     must be some truth in the stories in general, but the
die when his son will become able to ride a horse and                  possibility of exaggeration can not be denied.
they can never have more than one kitchen among                            Villagers offer ancestor-worship to the Pāliyas on
brothers. After the curse, as the story says, the social               auspicious occasions and festivals like Diwali. Newly
and economic condition of the Darbar declined. The                     married couple and new born pay visit to their ances-
ruin of the Darbar’s house is still present in the vil-                tor Pāliya for blessing and protection from the evil.
lage (Figure 15). Villagers presently worship the place                People believe that Pāliyas protect the village from all
where Jivni sacrificed her life. To commemorate Jivni’s                kind of evils and enemies.
sacrifice a Pāliya was erected outside the village which                   Altogether, the general characteristics of Pāliyas
is now housed in a temple. It is said that after the                   at village Kanmer considering the custom of Pāliya
tragic event of Jivni’s sacrifice, all the Bharvad people              erection particular to Kanmer or may be Gujarat in
left the village to protest and respect Jivni’s sacrifice.             general can be put as (i) They are located outside
They come yearly or occasionally to offer worship to                   the village boundary. (ii)They are placed either on a
her Pāliya. They bring each and every thing necessary                  small hillock or near water sources. (iii) Pāliyas are
for worship. They don’t even take fire and water from                  not necessarily erected at the very spot where the
the people at Kanmer village. At present people of                     death occurred. Jivni Sati story suggests the same.


                                                             - 186 -
                                       Memorial stones at Kanmer, Gujarat, India



Pāliya for Jivni was erected outside the village bound-              Acknowledgment
ary though she sacrificed her life inside the village in             I am indebted to members of Kanmer Archaeological
Darbar’s house. (iv) Sati Pāliya is not only for those               Research Project and villager of Kanmer team for help
who immolate themselves on one’s husband’s fu-                       and support.
neral pyre. It can be for both - unmarried or married
women who sacrificed their lives for a noble cause or
                                                                     References
against unethical deeds. Pāliya for Jivni was erected                Doshi, Saryu (1982) “Pāliyas of Saurashtra”, in S. Settar and
to commemorate her sacrifice against injustice. (v)                      Gunther D. Sontheimer (eds.) Memorial Stones. Institute
All hero Pāliyas face eastward and the figure of the                     of Indian Art, Dharwad. pp.157-173.
hero faces north (vi) The most common theme of the                   IAR: Indian Archaeology - A Review. Archaeological Survey of
folk stories regarding Pāliyas is courage, bravery and                   India, New Delhi.

fight against plunder. (vii) A Pāliyas can be erected                Jain, Jyotindra (1982) “Ethnic Background of some Hero-

after a year or more of one’s death. Inscription in One                  stones of Gujarat”, in S. Settar and Gunther D.
                                                                         Sontheimer (eds.) Memorial Stones. Institute of Indian
of the Pāliyas from Cluster 1 says that the hero died
                                                                         Art, Dharwad. pp.79-82.
somewhere in Kachchh and the Pāliyas was erected
                                                                     Kharakwal, J.S., Y.S. Rawat and Toshiki Osada (2007)
by his family after one year of his death. (Viii) It is
                                                                         “Kanmer: A Harappan site in Kachchh, Gujarat,
difficult to make out socio-economic position of
                                                                         India”, in T. Osada (ed.) Occasional Paper 2: Linguistics,
the dead from the iconographic feature. It is because                    Archaeology and the Human Past. Research Institute for
iconographic feature is not much different from each                     Humanity and Nature, Kyoto. pp.21-46.
other. (ix) It was customary to show Pāliya either on                Kharakwal, J.S., Y.S. Rawat and Toshiki Osada (2009)
horse or Camel. Local people say horse or camel sug-                     Excavations at Kanmer: A Harappan Site in Kachchh,
gest that the person was able to keep the same animal                    Gujarat. Purãtattva 39: 147-164.

as vehicle. Another view suggests that Pāliya with                   Shah, Haku (1982) “Tribal Memorials in Gujarat”, in S. Settar
                                                                         and Gunther D. Sontheimer (eds.) Memorial Stones.
Camel riding belongs to Bharvad community as only
                                                                         Institute of Indian Art, Dharwad. pp.101-116.
they keep camels. Otherwise, it is difficult to make
                                                                     Todd, James (1839) Travels in Western India. Reprinted by
out which communities they belong from only the
                                                                         Oriental Publishers, Delhi in 1971.
iconographic features. (x) Offer worship to their fam-
ily Pāliya on the day after Diwali. A new born infant
or a newlywed bride pays visit to the family Pāliya to
get blessings.




                                                           - 187 -
T. Thakuria et al.




      - 188 -

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:691
posted:8/27/2011
language:English
pages:196