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20 January 2004
Excavations reveal 7,000 year-old Harappan sites

Gandi Umar Khan, around 55 km west of Dera Ismail Khan (Pakistan), is one the most important archaeological site of the Indus Valley civilization. The site is spread over an area of 220 by 200 meters and it was discovered in 1997 by the University of Peshawar. The Directorate of Archaeology and Museum NWFP conducted an extensive survey of the Gomal Plain in March 2003 and discovered 95 sites of different periods dating back to 7,000 years.
     During the excavations, two main periods were identified; the Harappan and Kot Dijian. The researchers were particularly excited about their discovery of the relationship between the two periods. The archaeologists believe that the Harappan Civilization derived from the Kot Dijian and prefer to call the latter the 'Early Harappan Culture'. Some researchers have identified transitional phases between them at certain cites. But no transitional phase was witnessed there. Rather a complete break between them was observed. A fifty-five centimetre-thick ashy layer devoid of any cultural material separates them.
     The Harappans and the Kot Dijians lived in mud-brick structures on the site of Gandi Umar Khan in the Gomal Plain while in Harappa and Moenjodaro, they lived in kiln-baked brick structures. The orientation of the rooms remained unchanged. The Kot Dijians at Gomal used the same style of architectural with only slight variations from the Harappans.
     The Harappans of Gandi Umar Khan worshipped the mother-goddess and cult objects in the shape of female figurines were collected from the site. Other antiquities excavated from the site include stone blades, tools and beads, metal objects like antimony rods and nails, baked clay ceramics and cakes. Painted ceramics were also collected: these were painted black on red in floral and geometrical pattern. On the other hand, the Kot Dijian ceramics are thin and include short-necked grooved ware, flanged-rimmed and painted and plain ware, Quetta wet-ware and rimless bows.

Source: Daily Times (20 January 2004)

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