Pandu Rajar Dhibi and Proto-History in Eastern India

  Feb 20, 2024

Pandu Rajar Dhibi and Proto-History in Eastern India

What is Pandu Rajar Dhibi?

Pandu Rajar Dhibi is an archaeological site located on the banks of the Ajay River in West Bengal’s Burdwan district. Excavations have revealed it as a significant site dating back to the 2nd millennium BCE, showcasing a Chalcolithic/Copper Age civilization in eastern India.

Why is Pandu Rajar Dhibi significant?

The site provides crucial insights into the proto-historic period of eastern India, which is often overshadowed by the focus on the Harappan Civilization. It highlights the existence of advanced agricultural communities with urban traits, linking eastern India to broader cultural and trade networks of the time.

What were the main findings at Pandu Rajar Dhibi?

Key findings include black and red ware, black burnished ware, lustrous red ware, semi-precious beads, copper objects, and evidence of rice cultivation. These artifacts suggest a sophisticated settlement with both local and external influences, possibly including maritime trade connections.

How does Pandu Rajar Dhibi challenge our understanding of proto-historic India?

The site challenges the assumption that the rest of the subcontinent, apart from the Indus Valley Civilization, consisted only of small, insignificant settlements. It shows that eastern India had its own complex societies during the Chalcolithic/Copper Age.

What does the evidence of rice at Pandu Rajar Dhibi indicate?

The presence of rice (Oryza Sativa L Gramineae) in the proto-historic period at Pandu Rajar Dhibi indicates a transition in agricultural practices from millet to rice cultivation. This finding is crucial for understanding the evolution of agriculture in the region.

What were the living conditions like at Pandu Rajar Dhibi?

Inhabitants lived in mud houses and had access to sophisticated amenities such as lime or gypsum-plastered floors, spacious rooms, and halls with curved pavements. The settlement displayed urban traits, including a complex ceramic industry and the use of copper and iron objects.

What does the burial practice at Pandu Rajar Dhibi tell us?

The discovery of extended, flexed, and secondary burials suggests that burial practices in Pandu Rajar Dhibi were similar to those in Central India and the Deccan. This indicates a shared cultural or religious practice across different regions.

Why is further research needed at Pandu Rajar Dhibi and surrounding areas?

Further research is needed to fully understand the indigenous/regional imprints in the material culture of Pandu Rajar Dhibi and to explore the extent of its connections with other regions, including possible maritime trade routes. Recent surveys in surrounding areas have already added new sites to the existing data, indicating the rich archaeological potential of eastern India.

How does Pandu Rajar Dhibi contribute to our understanding of maritime history in ancient India?

The evidence from Pandu Rajar Dhibi suggests the possibility of an early maritime history in eastern India, potentially influenced by Harappan traders, as early as the 2nd millennium BCE. This underscores the need for more comprehensive research to uncover the full extent of maritime interactions in ancient India.


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