5500 BCE couple’s skeleton found in Harappan cemetery for first time

ST CORRESPONDENT
Wednesday, 9 January 2019

"The evidence to this is that during the burial, all burial rituals were followed as per existing traditions like utensils filled with food, jewellery on female's body and other rituals,” Vasant Shinde added.

PUNE: Probably, the very basis of the institution of marriage started some 4,500 years ago with first ever evidence found of a couple's skeleton buried at the same time in the same grave in the Harappan Cemetery. The discoveries were made by a team of archaeologists from Deccan College Deemed University under the leadership of Vice-Chancellor Vasant Shinde at Rakhigarhi in Haryana. Apparently, Harappan culture existed in 5500 BCE.

Shinde told Sakal Times that the burial indicates the fact that whatever the relationship between the two would be, but surely, it was accepted by the society. "The evidence to this is that during the burial, all burial rituals were followed as per existing traditions like utensils filled with food, jewellery on female's body and other rituals,” he added. The man and woman who probably were aged between 35-40 and 22-25 respectively.

"Although, we have not got any scientific evidence of the reason of the death, our analysis which we did so far shows that it would have been heart attack in either of them and the second one died of trauma,” he said.

"We are saying this as we have found no injury marks on it. Their mouth and teeth are well in place. Similarly, if they have died of any injury, the long bones get affected and legions are developed. Different types of legions are associated with different types of diseases, but both the skeletons have no such formation of any type of legions,” he said.

"However, we could confirm the cause of the death only after a couple of months as we are analysing it. We have brought the skeletons to our lab here in Pune and through their DNA, we could know more details about the anatomy existed then,” he added.

Shinde said that SR Rao, a renowned archaeologist, had found similar types of skeletons in Lothal, an Indus Valley Civilisation, but the case was not pursued further.

A research paper has been published in ACB journal of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology. "The very fact that the paper got published denotes that the scientific community has accepted it,” he said.

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