Directorate of Archaeology ( Uttar Pradesh ) INDIA Directorate of Archaeology ( Uttar Pradesh ) INDIA Directorate of Archaeology ( Uttar Pradesh ) INDIA
Important Findings
Exploration & Excavation
Suggested Topics For Research
 
 

 

Current Research
Archaeological Excavation
Archaeological Excavation - Lahuradewa, district Sant Kabir Nagar..
Project Director
Rakesh Tewari and R.K. Srivastava, Directorate of Archaeology Uttar Pradesh, Roshan-ud-daula Kothi, Lucknow.
Collaboration
K.S. Saraswat, M.S. Chauhan and A.K. Pokharia, Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow.
I. B. Singh, Department of Geology, Lucknow University, Lucknow .
Excavation Team
Ram Vinay, G.C. Singh, Rajiv Trivedi, Ram Gopal Mishra, Balram Krishna, M.M. Dimri Directorate of Archaeology Uttar Pradesh, Roshan-ud-daula Kothi, Lucknow.
Project Phase
Third
Resaerch Aim and Current Research
Quite a large number of archaeological sites of the central Ganga Plain subjected to excavations in the last four decades, have revealed cultural deposits related to the rice cultivating early farming communities. On the basis of several radiocarbon dates and other considerations earliest occupation at these sites was placed between the later half of the third millennium BC and about 1500 BC. It may be pointed out here that as far as Sarayupar area is concerned no scientific dates for the antiquity of the earliest phase of settlement were available and it was surmised mainly on other considerations. Apart from that, due to limited area available at the lower levels because of thick habitation deposits, details of this period could not be ascertained. Keeping these facts in view we were in search of a suitable site preferably comprising pre-NBPW deposits, comparable to those of Periods I to III of Sohgaura and Imlidih, etc. Our main objectives were to locate and excavate a site which may reveal evidences to ascertain the perspectives of the commencement of early farming in the Sarayupar region, the antiquity of rice cultivating cultures of the region, interactions between these early farming cultures with the contemporary cultures of other areas, time of introduction of wheat and barley, two well known crops of western part of Indian Subcontinent, in Sarayupar area, and to understand the habitat of early settlers of the region.
After a thorough examination of the ancient sites of the region, Lahuradewa (26' 46' N; 82' 57' E) mound appeared most ideal in this regard. Its archaeological significance was well assessed regarding the further investigations from time to time. It is in the form of a mound elevated to a height of about 4.00 m from the surrounding levels. A lake surrounds it from the north, the west and the south. The ground level of the lake is rising day by day due to siltation mainly caused by the agricultural activity in its dried up northern and southern portions. The western portion of the lake still comprises sufficient water in all the seasons. During the rainy season the lake is filled with water completely. The excess water of the lake spills over through a nala into the Katnahia River, which flows about 1.00 to 0.5 km to the west of the lake. The Katanahia River emerges from a lake upstream and is a tributary of the Kuwano, which meets the Ghaghara River. Originally the mound of Lahuradewa would have extended over an area of about 500 m in east - west and about 200 m in north-south directions. A large portion in the east and small portions of the peripheral parts of the mound have been levelled in order to make agriculture fields. Antiquarian remains are often found in the fields during the boring of the wells and other activities. Presently the mound measures about 220 m east west and 140 m in north-south directions. The mound, to the west of the village, is well known because of a temple 'Samai mai-ka-than' located on it. The Lahuradewa village is located about 5 km south to the Bhujaini Crossing, which is situated between Basti and Gorakhpur on National Highway No. 28, and comes under Khalilabad tahsil of the newly formed Sant Kabir Nagar district.
The excavations have been carried out in two seasons, i.e. 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. A five-fold tentative culture sequence may be suggested for the habitation deposits revealed in the excavation:
Period V
Early Historic (Early centuries BC/AD)
Period IV
NBPW Phase
Period III
Advanced Farming Early Iron Phase
Period II
Developed Farming Phase
Period I
Early Farming Phase
The outcome of two seasons excavations has marked Lahuradewa as the most significant archaeological site of the Central Ganga Plain. The site is ideally located, surrounded by water bodies. Therefore it seems reasonable to infer that the availability of water and well-suited soil conditions would have been determining factors for the location. The available evidences at this site have shaped our interpretations about early innovations associated with the ceramic types and other artefacts, and also for cereal domestication and some sort of cultivation at quite an early date. Appearance of morphologically distinct form of rice, comparable to cultivated Oryza sativa, from the deposits dated to around sixth-fifth millennium BC on the basis of radiocarbon dates, is noteworthy for deciphering an early beginning of agriculture. The cultivated type of rice is a culmination due to manipulations by hunter-gatherers living in this area for thousands of years prior to the early farming communities. There is a strong possibility that people have been living in Gana Plain since late Palaeolithic and interacted with the communities living in Vindhyas, Himalayas and other areas.
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