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French team uncovers mysteries of Indus civilisation’s ‘industrial hub’

Updated Mar 10, 2017 09:20am

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KARACHI: Head of a French archaeologists’ team Dr Aurore Didier has said they have successfully completed the fresh season of excavation at Chanhon jo Daro in Benazirabad district and found it to be a busy industrial centre of the Indus Valley civilisation.

This was the second round of excavation of the ancient site since 2015 by the French mission that had begun work on it along with students of different universities in January and completed it on March 5.

Speaking at a programme organised by the culture ministry at Shamsherul Hyderi Hall of the National Museum on Thursday, Dr Didier from the French National Centre for Scientific Research said the team “refilled the site to save it from any erosion or destruction in wake of rains etc” after successful digging.

But before filling the land, they found old structures and a large number of artefacts including beads, bead-blanks, and bead-drills and toys, which indicated that Chanhon jo Daro had been a manufacturing site during the Harappan era.

The audience was told that all those discoveries showed that the site was an ancient industrial hub that supplied terracotta products to the then major cities of the Indus Valley Civilisation, especially the ones situated at Moenjodaro and Harappa.

Calling the ‘golden period’ (2,500BC-2,300BC) as the first period of the Indus Valley civilisation, the French archaeologist said the site was either a contemporary of Moenjodaro or predated it. She said pottery factories had been found in one part of the site, while ‘apartments’, houses and a large ‘monumental’ building had been discovered in another part of it.

Dr Didier was impressed with its drainage system and said many antiquities found at the site bore resemblance to those spotted at Harappa and Moenjodaro.

The audience was informed that Chanhon jo Daro was first excavated by Nani Gopal Majumdar in March 1930, followed by a British expedition in 1935 and 1936. French archaeologists began excavation missions in Sindh and Balochistan in 1958.

While such sites required extensive excavation, several such sites had already been destroyed in Sindh due to agricultural activity, she observed.

She said they explored an area with 1,000-metre radius where they recovered mud bricks, apartments, housing rooms, pottery etc. They found ovens and figurines in its eastern part depicting domestic activities, and cutting stones and tools in the central part that seemed to be a manufacturing area. Besides, human and animal figurines had also been found. They found a massive building, compartments and bricks in the south-western part.

Culture Minister Sardar Shah said three mounds at Chanhon jo Daro had been surveyed and excavated. He announced that a museum and a guest house would be built at the ancient site.

Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2017

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Comments (21) Closed



SATT Mar 10, 2017 09:32am

These sites should be reburied and preserved.

brr Mar 10, 2017 09:42am

Good job by the French.

Vasan Mar 10, 2017 09:52am

Indus Valley civilization, was one of the greatest of that time, to understand our culture and history like any other regions in the history. Congratulations to Dr Aurore Didier. French archaeologists have done lot of great job discovering the history around the world.

Pakistan should promote tourism and invite Indians and everyone in the world to visit. And visa process should be easy, and promote group tours to improve local economy. If there is safe accommodations with great local food, tour guides, easy travel, many would come from India to appreciate the history we connect.

Padmakar Mar 10, 2017 10:25am

Indians in Indus Valley Civilization were developed people.

Ashfaq Mar 10, 2017 11:19am

It is a good thing that these sites are in Sindh and not Punjab. Sindh people know how to respect their legacy. Fantastic work by the French team. Kudos

YOURSTRULY Mar 10, 2017 11:27am

Good job done. To appreciate it further, it is necessary for the country to educate the masses on what their roots are. This will help them understand their culture better and work towards appreciating and preserving it.

Kumar Mar 10, 2017 11:34am

Pakistanis are taught that they do not belong to the culture that flourished during the times of the Indus Valley civilization. As an Indian I am immensely proud of how advanced we were compared to the rest of the world at that time.

Shafin Verani Mar 10, 2017 11:40am

@Padmakar Can you please shed some light as to which point in history Bhaarat adopted the name India or Hindustan? By the way, name Bharat had nothing to do with the word India or Indian.

R.Kannan Mar 10, 2017 12:07pm

@Shafin Verani The word Bharat comes from ancient verses and apparently refers to a tribe rather than a country. The word India was coined by the British and Hindustan by the Muslim League.

V C BHUTANI Mar 10, 2017 12:43pm

@Shafin Verani Sir, There is phonetic connection between Hindu, Hind/Sind (Arabic), l'Inde (French), and India (English). The people of Indus Valley civilization period were not Hindu: no one yet knows what religion they followed. These are descriptive terms which others used to refer to those people. See, for instance, a Persian book of geography, Hudud al-'Alam (Indus Publications, Karachi, 1980).

Sampath Mar 10, 2017 12:58pm

@Shafin Verani The present Sindh was called Sindhu in Sanskrit. Indus river was named as such by Greeks and country beyond Indus was called India. See Wikipedia for more details.

Oliver SCHIENDLER Mar 10, 2017 01:11pm

2500-3500 BCE golden period for Indus valley, dark period started after 6-8 CE

Bupi Mar 10, 2017 01:22pm

Pakistan doesn't have long history but the land has great past & it's duty of present inhabitants to preserve the past as the future is linked with each other as man come & go but the land & it's manuments remains.

Bupi Mar 10, 2017 01:26pm

@Ashfaq Bit true

Bupi Mar 10, 2017 01:28pm

@Kumar But it's in all religion''s to respect the land where one is born

Bupi Mar 10, 2017 01:32pm

@Shafin Verani India is not indigenous name &name India was given by invaders due to Indusome civilization.

M. Emad Mar 10, 2017 01:43pm

Bronze-age 'Indus Valley civilisation' people moved towards South and Eastern India after long changes in local climate.

deepak Mar 10, 2017 02:03pm

@Shafin Verani Dear it is hadappa and Mohenjodaro and takshila. Indus is name given by English . you can try to run away from truth it is your right but truth will remain truth that is we all are same and our ancestors were same.

Dr Mohsin Kazmi Mar 10, 2017 02:05pm

@Shafin Verani you are confused among three languages, India in English is derived from Indus river or valley, Hind is an Arabic word and Hindustan is its Persian version and finally Bharat is a Sinsikrat word for that old land.

jawad Mar 10, 2017 02:34pm

Indians say Pakistanis and indians are same people than why people in india have this NORTH AND SOUTH hatred toward each other? Due to Pak's location and being in settlement of many empires and ethnical groups the people in Pakistan are more of a mexture than compare to people in india.

Raja farhat Abbas Mar 10, 2017 06:11pm

@M. Emad ..The descendants of the Indus valley are still here in the Indus valley,some moved migrated south and west due to drought and other problems but i do not think any reached Bangladesh if that is what you are implying!!.