Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 24:
Experts from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Bhubaneswar, have claimed that the clay artefacts recovered from Suabarei village, around 20 KM from the Odisha capital, belonged to the neo-Chalcolithic era and are around 4000 to 4500 years old.
“We have decided to send the articles to Birbal Sahani Institute of Paleobotany, Lucknow, for radio-carbon dating to ascertain their exact age,” an official of ASI said.
During excavation at the site, archaeologists have found circular huts, pottery samples, stone axes, polishers, bone points, bone needles, charred animal bones with cut marks, fish bones, copper objects, beads and hand-made bone arrow heads, which are said to be from the copper age. This discovery signifies that a human civilisation existed at Suabarei during the transition period from the Stone Age to the Copper Age.
Besides, copper fishing hook, shark teeth and antlers were unearthed from the site which proves that the inhabitants of the area during that age were hunters.
The habitation was surrounded by rivers from its two sides and the forest and hilly regions on the other side could well have provided them their food, the archaeologists say.
The excavation work started in February this year and would continue for another two to three weeks, sources said. The excavations are now being carried out in eight trenches that are dug up to three metres deep.
The civilisation started near Suabarei between the valleys of river Daya and a rivulet Gangua.
While river Daya is a branch of the Mahanadi river system, Gangua originates from a stream in the Chandaka forests. Notably, Gangua meets Daya a few kilometres beyond the excavation site.
“The various shapes of earthen pottery and the designs and colour signify that it belongs to the Chalcolithic age,” Director of the excavation work and deputy superintending archaeologist of the ASI Jeevan Patnaik said.
Archaeologists and researchers say, an agrarian community existed at the site almost 4,000 to 4,500 years ago. They were doing farming, fishing and hunting for sustaining themselves. The discovery of shark teeth from Suabarei indicates that they were skilled in navigation in the nearby Daya river and deep sea. Besides, the charred animal bones with cut marks found from the site also proves that they were eating meat products by grilling and roasting them.
There existed an agrarian community much before the civilisation at Suabarei, Golabai Sasan, Baanga near Harirajpur and Sisupalgarh came into being.
The archaeologists have already unearthed many artefacts of neo-Chalcolithic era from villages Narahuda and Annlajodi near Tirimal in Khurda district.
The archaeologists believe that the discovery of artefacts from Suabarei and adjoining areas suggest that the neo-Chalcolithic sites might have been spread over an area of 50 to 100 kms.