Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh: Archaeologists have stumbled upon chariots and artifacts belonging to the Bronze Age, in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district. "We are now certain that when in 2000 BC, the Mesopotamians were using chariots, swords, and helmets during wars, we also had similar things," researchers at the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said.
For the first time they believe, chariots which are around 4000 years old have been found.
After a three-month long trial excavation, which started in March, the chariots and other items including three coffins, swords, daggers, combs and ornaments have been unearthed said the ASI officials.
"It is shocking to find such antique from ancient civilization in this area. Many royal tombs have also been found during the excavation. Whatever has been found so far seems to be 4,000 years old, which is approximately 2000-1800 BC," ASI official Dr Manjul said. The chariots found in the burial pits remind one of the familiar images of horse-drawn carriages from mythological television shows said the excavators.
The relics suggest the existence of a two-wheeled open vehicle that may have been driven by one person. "The wheels rotated on a fixed axle linked by a draft pole to the yoke of a pair of animals. The axle was attached with a superstructure consisting of a platform protected by side-screens and a high dashboard," Dr Manjul told news agency PTI. The wheels and the pole were decorated with copper triangles, symbolic of the rays of the sun.
Dr Manjul described the excavation drive a "path-breaking" one not only because of whole the chariot that was found but also for the copper plated anthropomorphic figures, having horns and peepal-leafed crowns, which indicate a possibility of "royal burials".
While coffins have been discovered during past excavations in Harappa, Mohenjo-daro and Dholavira but never with copper decorations, said Dr Manjul adding that "for the first time in the entire sub-continent we have found this kind of coffin. The cover is highly decorated with eight anthropomorphic figures and the sides with floral motifs."
The discovery of swords, daggers, shields and a helmet confirms the existence of a warrior population, and the earthen and copper pots, semi-precious and steatite beads, combs, and a copper mirror from the burial pits point towards sophisticated craftsmanship and lifestyle.
Archeologists believe even though the Harappans are known to have migrated to the Yamuna region, the recent findings were "completely different" from the ancient civilisation.
(With inputs from ANI & PTI)