5,000-year-old skeletons found in India

An photo taken by an excavation team shows skeletons discovered in an ancient cemetery in Rakhigarhi village of Hisar, India (Photo courtesy of Thenews.com.pk)

Four complete human skeletons thought to date back some 5,000 years have been discovered in an ancient village in northern India, archaeologists said Wednesday.

Archaeological teams from India and South Korea have been digging since 2012 in an area of Haryana state where an ancient Indus Valley civilization was thought to have been located.

The skeletons of two men, one woman and a child were found in the village cemetery in recent days along with items that suggest the settlement believed in reincarnation, project co-director Nilesh Jhadav told the Hindustan Times.

“We have found some material like pottery with grains of food, and shell bangles located near or around skeletons which enabled us to conclude that the settlers believed in reincarnation,” Jhadav said.

Malavika Chatterjee, one of the researchers, said they have also found toys -- mostly figurines of animals as well as of mythical characters.

“A figurine of a dog with a leash points towards their domestication aspect. Then we also found figurines of unicorns too, giving us impression about their mythical state of mind,” she said.

The Indus Valley civilization or Harappan civilization is the oldest known urban culture of the subcontinent and began as far back as 5,000 years ago.

Work at the excavation site, spread over 20 hectares (50 acres) in the Hisar district of Haryana, northwest of New Delhi, was continuing, the Press Trust of India news agency said.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47