Rakhigarhi's treasures

Excavation in the trenches on mound number four (RGR-4) at the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi. Beyond it lies the mound RGR-2.

Archaeology students of Deccan College, Pune, who were part of the excavation team.

Professor Vasant Shinde, Vice-Chancellor/Director, Deccan College, with a student, Pranjali Waghmere, in a trench.

Students of Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak, and Deccan College sieving the soil for artefacts.

A drainage structure, a washing platform (top) and other structures of a residential complex unearthed in RGR-4. This mound could have housed the citadel where the ruling elite lived.

Mound number nine, discovered by the Deccan College team in January 2014. This is about 20 hectares in size, but half of it has been destroyed for farming. The presence of burnt clay clots and circular furnaces here indicates that this mound might have been the industrial area of the Harappan site at Rakhigarhi.

A three-centimetre seal with the Harappan script. It has no engraving of any animal motif.

The soak jar and bathing platform of a residence of the mature Harappan period (2600-1900 B.C.)

A granary built of mud bricks. It has seven small chambers, the walls of which are lined with lime and decomposed grass to absorb moisture and ward off insects.

Broken lids, miniature pottery, perforated jars and other artefacts excavated from RGR-4 between January and April 2014.

Ritual pottery excavated from a symbolic burial at Rakhigarhi.

Beautifully painted potsherds found in the trenches in RGR-4.

Terracotta artefacts such as animal figurines, bangles, cakes and lids, and beads made out of carnelian, lapis lazuli and agate unearthed from RGR-4.

A concrete shed for buffaloes built on top of RGR-4, which the ASI had fenced off as a protected area.

A mechanised ploughshare used by a wheat field owner to dig up mud to make bricks. In the process, many Harappan burials got destroyed. Adjacent to the ploughshare is the symbolic Harappan burial excavated by the Deccan College team, which yielded ritual pottery.

Sheep being herded by a shepherd after grazing on mound three (RGR-3). A dargah sits on top of this fenced-off mound.

A section of the wall that would have surrounded the residential complex in RGR-4. Exposed to the vagaries of nature, it is now eroded, and very few of the original mud bricks remain. Pigeons and parakeets nest in its niches. The wall belongs to the mature Harappan period, circa 2600-1900 B.C.

Life goes on as usual in Rakhigarhi. An old woman sweeps the lane in front of her house.

Ovens used today by the villagers are similar to the ones Harappans used more than 4,500 years ago.

Schoolchildren of Rakhigarhi.

A woman making cow dung cakes, which are used as cooking fuel. Heaps of them arranged in pyramidal shapes dot the protected mound of RGR-4

Mound number two (RGR-2), which was excavated by Amarendra Nath of the Archaeological Survey of India between 1997 and 2000.

At a pond situated at the edge of the village. Buffaloes and cows roam the lanes and alleys of Rakhigarhi.

Elderly residents of a village, on the way to Rakhigarhi.

A Rakhigarhi resident surveys RGR-2, which has a periphery dotted with houses. This makes it difficult to excavate the site completely.

Wheat fields in Rakhigarhi.

Beads made out of various semi-precious stones.

Wazir Chand Saroe with the terracotta figurine of a bull, whose head can be separated and manipulated by a string passing through the neck and the head.

Painted potsherds of the mature Harappan period.

Terracotta figurines of various animals from Wazir Chand Saroe's collection.

Khyali Ram Saroe showing a Harappan brick with the footprints of an animal on it.

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Excavation in the trenches on mound number four (RGR-4) at the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi. Beyond it lies the mound RGR-2.
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