After two months of excavation, archaeologists have stumbled upon what they believe is a massive burial site dating back to the Harappan civilization, around 360km from Dholavira in Gujarat’s Kutch district.

Estimated to be around 4,600-5,200 years old, the burial site is 300m x 300m-big with more than 250 graves, out of which 26 have been excavated. Archaeologists found one full human skeleton that is around six feet in length, estimated to be around 5,000 years old. “The skeleton has been taken to Kerala University for determining its age, possible reason for death and gender,” said Suresh Bhandari, head of Department of Archaeology, Kutch University.

This is the first time that a rectangular burial site has been found in Gujarat.

“All the burial sites found in Gujarat till date, are either circular or semi-circular. We are trying to establish the significance of this rectangular shape,” added Bhandari. According to faculty members, the graves are more or less rectangular in shape with sound wall rocks in the east-west direction. The biggest grave is around 6.9m while the smallest is around 1.2m.

Besides the human skeleton, graves of children and animal remains have also been documented from the site. Artifacts like shell bangles, grinding stones, rock blades were also recovered from the site.

The graves also contained pottery vessels — with a maximum of 19 to a minimum of three items — placed near the foot. Archaeologists said these kinds of vessels have also been found in Amri, Naal and Kot in Pakistan, Nagwada, Chatrad Saheli, Moti Pipali of North Gujarat and Surkotda and Dhaneti in Kutch.