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  • Context (TP): At Binjor (4MSR), very close to Tarkhanwala Dera and Baror, a craftsperson’s village was discovered, unlocking the unknown aspects of the mighty Harappans’ production line.
  • Bijnor is located about 4 km away from the India-Pakistan border that divides the Ghaggar-Hakkra river, in the Anupgarh tehsil of Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan.

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  • The excavations suggest that the industrial activities at the site started during Mature Harappan period.
  • It also suggests that the site was abandoned towards the end of the Mature Harappan phase around c.2000 BCE, which coincided with the onset of the de-urbanisation phase of the civilisation.

Findings from the excavations

  • Seven structural phases spanned across three periods, Early, Transition, and Mature Harappan (from c.4500 BCE to 2000/1900 BCE), were excavated.
  • Most structures are made of mud bricks, including multiple rooms, workshop areas, courtyards, and a massive enclosure wall that surrounds the settlement.
  • Plethora of pottery with decorative motifs, including animal motifs like tigers and fish; numerous seals; exquisite beads – carnelian, agate, jade, lapis lazuli, quarts; animal and human figurines were excavated.

A village of Craftperson

  • The industrial centre was represented by the evidence of over 250 hearths (fireplaces/kilns) in different shapes and sizes found in seven structural phases right from the settlement’s inception.
  • Though initially, the concentration of hearths was limited to domestic use, the level of industrial and mass production activity could be seen only during the Mature Harappan period (2600-2000 BCE).
  • The increase in the number of hearths and the concentration of fire activity in clusters present for a long time (defined by layers and layers) in one area showed that the scale of production increased.
  • The entire array of hearths is divided into three broad categories:
    1. For smelting (particularly furnaces/kilns).
    2. Smaller hearths, mostly (rounded or oval) for secondary melting.
    3. Hearths shaped like basins used for heating and forging artefacts; and round hearths filled with powdery ash or gypsum, which might be used for final polishing.
  • Objects such as terracotta crucibles and moulds, stone anvils, hammers, polishers, copper chisels, and other tools; evidence of wood as fuel, bones in the hearths; weights and measures in various denominations; are indicators of a craft-cum-industrial setup.
  • Moreover, a thick deposit of industrial waste and a large number of finished products are found at the site, suggesting mass production of copper implements.
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