In the past there has been evidence of horse in the Chalcolithic period. This discovery is an added thrust to inquire further into ancient India

Baghpat: For the first time in the Indian sub-continent, burial pits have been found with chariots that date back to the Pre-Iron Age (Bronze). This new finding is set to create space for further investigation on dating of the Mahabharata period and further inquiry into the origins of the horse in the Harappa age, as per the experts involved in the three-month trial dig Uttar Pradesh's Sanauli. 

Director SK Manjul from ASI showing the chariot from the excavation site at Sanauli in Uttar Pradesh.
Director SK Manjul from ASI showing the chariot from the excavation site at Sanauli in Uttar Pradesh.

The excavations that the team of archaeologists conducted was unveiled on Monday showing burial pits with chariots in the Pre-Iron Age (Bronze). 

The burial pits have been found in the past excavations at Rakhigarhi, Kalibangan, and at Lothal, but the chariot has figured for the first time. 

The excavation started in March 2018 at Sanauli and was conducted by a 10-member team with SK Manjul, of Institute of Archaeology, established in 1985, heading it. The co-director was Arvin Manjul. 

Speaking on the development, Manjul said, “We have the place in the ancient global history. To name a few of our contemporary cultures, chariot appears in Mesopotamia, Georgia, Greek civilisations, and with this finding we can say that among our contemporary cultures in the Pre-Iron Age we too had chariots.” 

He added, “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.”

If there was a chariot in the Bronze Age, would it not need a beast to run it? Was it a bull or a horse? Manjul said, “This is debatable, 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.”