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18 November 2012
3,000-year-old cemetery discovered in Pakistan

An Italian archaeological mission in Pakistan has discovered an ancient cemetery in Swat, which experts believe was built between 1500 BCE to 500 BCE. A total of 23 graves have been excavated at the site that seems to be an ancient cemetery.
     "In some graves, we found two skeletons amnd the structures of the graves are also unique. Some have small walls, some have been dug in clay while others are made up of clay benches," said Roberto Micheli, an expert of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage.
     According to the experts, the site was home to unique ancient graves, pottery, ornaments made of bronze and copper, spindles and hairpins. Personal ornaments including bronze earrings and spindles made out of ivory were also unearthed from the site.
     "What we can understand from the graves is that they were a very powerful civilisation. They were socially well organised and apparently very peaceful because no weapons were found from the site, unlike most civilisations," said Massimo Vidale, a professor of Archaeology at University of Padua.
     Archaeologists believe this civilisation had very complex rituals since the excavated graves revealed that one grave contained two bodies placed strategically such that they face each other. "They might be relatives: Father and son, mother and daughter, brother and sister or wife and husband. This signifies the emphasis they placed on the strong bonds of familial ties," Vidale said.

Edited from DNA India (15 November 2012)

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