December 25, 2006

Harappa was like any other metro: US prof

'U.S. Prof'' Kenoyer & Co have been saying the same thing for over 50 years. There is nothing new. Even the importance of the Sarasvati River, they have jumped on the bandwagon only after it has been discussed thoroughly by outsiders from Wakankar to Kalyanaraman and others.

The only thing new that Kenoyer has to say is that the granaray at Harappa was not a granary but a textile weaving center. Even that was explored in great depth by K.D. Sethna in his book KARPASA.

Jha wrote with great insight on the unicorn symbol and its westward diffusion. These people have done nothing that can compare with what Wakankar and Jha have done.

N.S. Rajaram

Author: Anjali Joseph | TNN

Publication: TOI

Dated: December 21, 2006

A great trading city teeming with different communities that existed
together and enjoyed civic infrastructure like a water supply and
drains; a manufacturing centre where textiles that were exported around
the world were made. It's not a description of 19th century Mumbai, but
of cities like Harappa and Mohenjo Daro in the Indus valley as early as
4th millennium BC, said Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, associate professor in
anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, at a lecture in
the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vaastu Sangrahalaya on Tuesday.

Kenoyer has been working on excavations in the Indus Valley,
particularly in Harappa, since 1974. Drawing on recent discoveries at
Harappa, Kenoyer explained the inferences made by archaeologists and
anthropologists about life in the Indus valley, which is now believed to
have extended in the area surrounding not only the Indus, but also the
now-dried up Saraswati river. Kenoyer said modern archaeological
findings do not support the idea of an Aryan 'invasion,' but show that
Vedic people were among those who lived in cities such as Mohenjo Daro
in Sindh and Harappa in Punjab towards the end of the Indus
civilisation, which stretched between 7,000 BC and 1,900 BC. "These were
sophisticated cities with wide roads, gates designed to keep intruders
out and where those coming in or going out of the city with goods could
be taxed. There was a water supply and proper drains. It was only when
the Saraswati dried up and Mohenjo Daro and Harappa became overpopulated
because other cities lost their water supply that the cities declined,''
said Kenoyer, comparing that period with the fate of cities such as
Amritsar and Lahore at the time of Partition. As many as 50,000 people
may have lived in Harappa at certain periods and the people of the Indus
civilisation formed ethnic groups, said Kenoyer, citing figurines
showing seals with symbols such as the buffalo or unicorn to represent
different ethnic groups. The unicorn symbol was invented by the Indus
people, and spread to Europe centuries later via Mesopotamia and Near
East, he said.

"There was no single ruler in these cities. We've found no palace.
Instead, there seems to have been a republic in which a group of elders
ruled," said Kenoyer.

What was earlier believed by archaeologists to be a grain store in
Harappa now seems likely to have been a textile weaving centre, and fine
cloth from the area was exported far away, he said.