When archaeologists stumbled upon the burial pits at Sanauli in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district, no one would have thought of discovering a chariot from the Pre-Iron Age. It has been found after a three-month-long excavation, according to News18.
Led by SK Manjul, director of Institute of Archaeology, and co-director Arvin Manjul, the 10-member team unveiled the chariot from the Pre-Iron Age (Bronze) for the first time in one of the burial pits, which were found earlier in several places. The excavation first began in March at Sanauli.
He also told the publication, "This is giving our history and our past a new dimension – we have to rethink our past and approach it with a fresh perspective – with the elements found in the burial pits it shows we were a warrior clan in the Pre Iron Age."
Aside from the chariot, another significant finding during this excavation was a crown or helmet, which is normally worn by the rider of the chariot during the journey.
Asked whether the chariot was run by a bull or a horse, Manjul said that the answer still remains unknown as it is a very debatable topic.
"it could be a bull or a horse but having said that the preliminary understanding points at the horse. The chariot is a lookalike of the ones found in its contemporary cultures like Mesopotamia, it is a solid wheel with no spokes," the director added.
Speaking of the time when the first evidence of the wheeled vehicle was found in the world history, the archaeological experts shared their insights into the matter. Chariots figure were prominently mentioned in the Rigveda. During their presence in the 2nd millennium BCE, a few eminent Rigvedic deities including Ushas and Agni used to ride a chariot.
The Sanauli excavation is a further effort to find out more significant findings adding to 116 graves belonging to Indus Valley Civilisation, which were found in 2005. Among which, the archaeologists dug out eight burials and found out that each has a different story of life and style and shed light onto the lifestyle from the Pre-Iron Age.
"This throws light on the lifestyle and cultures of the people who lived in the Pre Iron Age – there are mirrors with copper, the elaborate burials, all this shows the society was technologically advanced, aesthetic and had the sense of art and craft. They were warrior clans, and had a sophisticated lifestyle," added Manjul.