Rajasthan literally translates to ‘the land of kings’. Historically, kings acted upon self-fulfilling practices that resulted in over-the-top palaces and royal buildings. Rajasthan is home to several war-ravaged forts and beautiful palaces. Riddled with legacies that stand for human endeavour and tenacity, Rajasthan is a mystical land! The archaeological Sites in Rajasthan are a visual representation of how far we have gone and how far we can go collectively as a society.
Here is a list of some of the most appealing sites in Rajasthan. This includes the most alluring architecture and archaeological sites. All of which have stood the test of time and are as extravagant as always!
Firstly, Gilund is an old archaeological site, excavated in the Rajsamand district in 1960. It has two mounds: ‘eastern’ and ‘western’. Archaeologists believe settlement here dates as back as 3000 BCE. The materials of the houses of this site were bricks and mud.
Pottery was an important part of Gilund culture and, ceramics made up a large part of this. In the early occupation years, red and black ceramics were particularly prominent. They painted and created designs using a cream white colour.
Articles made of copper, terracotta figurines representing animals, beads of semi-precious stones, and microliths were other finds on this site. Later excavations of this area included grey ware.
Secondly, the archaeological findings of the Sahibi river are often invaluable and date back pre-Mahabharata. Several wheel and handmade earthenware are also part of the discoveries made on the Jodhpura banks.
Among all the archaeological sites in Rajasthan, the Sahibi river provides some of the most interesting artefacts. One of these intriguing artefacts includes a red stone statue of the esteemed VamanaDev.
The Sahibi river had a wide range of other things found near it as well! This includes arrowheads, awls, chisels, and fishhooks. This is how archaeologists are sure that there was a lot of human activity here and are sure that there was a prosperous civilization in this area!
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The excavation of this archaeological site was in the Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan. Most sites of the Indus Valley civilization are located on the banks of rivers. The plains of Ghaggar and Chautang rivers also house this site.
Sothi is an ancient site that predates most of the Indus Valley civilization. It has roots as early as 4600 BCE. The Sothi-Siswal culture, spread over present-day Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, has some of its roots here.
Sothi culture was well versed with pottery. Several pottery pieces even have pipal leaves and fish scale designs adorning them. The name of this style is Kalibangan-I.
The Sothi is not just one among the many archaeological sites in Rajasthan! It is, in fact, one of the largest as it houses over 165 sites of this culture in the nearby areas!
The archaeological excavations of Ganeshwar were found in the Sikar district of Rajasthan. These remains date back to 4,000 years. The pre-Harappan period is the time attributed to this culture.
Ganeshwar, considered among the greatest archaeological sites in Rajasthan, divides into 3 cultural phases:
Phase 1(3800 BCE):
This period consisted of hunters and gatherers who used chert tools.
Phase 2(2800 BCE):
This period included metalwork using copper and fired clay pottery.
Phase 3(2000 BCE):
The archaeologists found more intricate metalwork using copper.
Red pottery was another feature of this period. They started providing copper works to the Harappan civilization. They relied largely on hunting and a little bit of agriculture too. Despite this, they failed to urbanize, and their culture remained as a pre-Harappan culture.
Binjor, located in the Ganganagar district of Rajasthan is another Harappan site. The difference between Binjor and the Harappan sites is the fact that there are no straight roads that cut each other off or has a king’s palace in the centre. This site, however, looked more like an industrial production facility in a small, rural area.
The site is about 5000 years old. However, this site is believed to be abandoned by the Harappans when the Mature Harappan phase peaked. The presence of ash-filled furnaces was proof that these industrial structures had workshops that served multiple purposes.
Here, pipes were pointing to the furnaces into which smelters would blow air. The people back then used metals like gold to make earrings, beads, etc. There were also ceramic materials and semi-precious stones on the site. A wide variety of artifacts were being manufactured here for trading with other Harappan cities.
This predates Harappan culture and is a part of the chalcolithic era. Balathal is an ancient civilization in modern-day Udaipur. They used stone walls to make copper and used copper axes for hunting.
Interestingly, a skeleton from 2000BCE excavated from this site shows evidence of leprosy. The older settlers in this area depended on a Barley and wheat agricultural diet. They also relied on hunting and, their pottery resembled the average Harappan site of the time.
When you look at these archaeological sites in Rajasthan, you’ll brim with excitement to be standing atop a land so rich in heritage. Known for its royal lifestyle, it offers us a glimpse into the various sites where we can experience the past in its full glory.
Even today, Rajasthan is known for its culture and traditions, but back in those days, these practices had flourished to an astounding extent. As you read through these amazing archaeological sites in Rajasthan you would be feeling the urge to take a trip over and breathe in this very spirit!
Also follow Rajasthan Studio on Instagram for more amazing art and travel content. Reach out to us on email at contact[at]rajasthanstudio[dot]com. This blog is curated by Rajasthan Studio and written by Deepti Parmar.