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23 September 2007
4,000-year-old copper hoard discovered in India

Archaeologists have discovered a copper hoard believed to be nearly 4,000-years-old near a village in Uttar Pradesh's Auraiya district (India), raising hopes of its radiocarbon dating and understanding the culture and chronology of that period. "The hoard, weighing about 25 kilograms and consisting of various types of artifacts, including a barbed spearhead, an anthropomorphic figure, flat shouldered axes, chisels and rings, was discovered quite accidentally," director, UP Directorate of Archeology, Rakesh Tiwari, told the media.
     Tiwari said the hoard, which was accidentally discovered by a villager in the fields on August 31 last, was hidden in a house in Udaipurwa village for melting. The local police, however, came to know of the discovery and raided the house and recovered the hoard, Tiwari said. It was later examined by the archaeologists of the Directorate, he said, adding that the exploration of the area showed that it was part of an ancient site which comprised a thick cultural deposit.
     The cultural material scattered on the surface is mainly represented by red ware dominated by well-baked thick-sectioned potsherd. The only item that could be identified was a vase. It appears to be representing a single cultural site. Detailed investigation might reveal other aspects of the cultural assemblage of the site.
     The site was located to the south of Udaipurwa village near the Rind river, which was a tributary of Yamuna and extended roughly in an area of 1.5 to 2 acres, he said. Presently, this piece of land is under cultivation, Tewari added. "The exposed sections indicate that the site may be containing about 1.5 to 2 metre thick cultural deposit," the director said.
     Tiwari said that since 1822, copper artefacts were found in Bithur, about one hundred copper hoards have been found from different places - mainly from western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan. "However, we do not know much about their associated culture and chronology. The discovery of Udaipurwa copper hoard from an ancient site containing thick cultural deposit is of immense significance," he said. Directorate of Archaeology had dispatched a proposal to the Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) for carrying out excavation at the spot. "We are hopeful of getting enough charcoal and other organic material during the excavation for radiocarbon dating," Tiwari said.

Source: Hindustan Times, The Economic Times (20 September 2007)

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