13th July 2013
Conclusive evidence of beef eating in the proximity of Ayodhya during the late Vedic period
The following is CONCLUSIVE evidence of beef eating near Ayodhya in the later Vedic period. Source: Indian Archaeology 1996-97 A Review. I think with this I can now personally confirm that Sankalia was right.
There is OVERWHELMING archaeological evidence of beef eating in Indus Valley Civilisation and the Vedic era. This continued till at least around the 5th century AD.
I'm sorry to disappoint the "Hindu" fanatics who claim that Muslims introduced beef eating into India. Even a CASUAL study of archaeological data over the course of two days has confirmed overwhelming evidence that beef was REGULARLY eaten in India well before Islam was even created. I can now PERSONALLY CHALLENGE anyone in India or the world to prove that the cow was always sacred in India.
This also closes the case for any political argument to prohibit cow slaughter in India.
51. EXCAVATION AT SISWANIA, DISTRICT BASTI
In continuation of the previous season's work (1995-96, pp. 83-86), Excavation Branch II, New Delhi, of the Survey, under the direction of B.R. Mani, assisted by Vishnu Kant, R.K. Verma, Ajay Kumar Srivastava, B.K. Chauhan, L.S. Mamani, V.P. Verma, Y.S. Nayal, Vinod Kumar, R.S. Rana, Ajai Kumar, Virendra Pandey, T.Z. Dani, Suresh Chaudhary, D.N. Yadav and Mohan Sharma, resumed excavation at the main mound SWN-1 with the objective to know more about the lay out and settlement pattern of the site and its material culture. In all twenty-two quadrants of thirteen squares with each square measuring 10 m x 10 m were fully or partly excavated (fig. 11; pl. XXXVI).
It was observed that the early settlements of the site were located closer to the River Kuwana (Kuwano) on its left bank and with the increase of population and building activities during the Kushan period the settlement spread towards east. Although no structural remains of pre-NBPW phase could be located, structures of NBPW phase and Sunga period were mostly mud structures with floors having post-holes suggesting thatched roofs (pl. XXXVII A). Brickbats, occasionally found in heaps of debris from these levels provide evidence of some rich constructions.
Building activity increased to a great extent during the Kushan period when burnt-brick structures were erected, but this being the last period of activities at the site, the structures have been badly damaged mainly due to levelling of the lands for agricultural purposes in recent years as evident from the spread of brick debris throughout the top layers.
Three ring-wells (pls. XXXVIIB and XXXVIII) and a brick-well were found during excavations which all belong to the Kushan period. Amongst the three ring-wells, one was exposed in Qd 1 of Sq D1 cut through earlier levels with fifty-two rings, each being 13 cm to 15 cm in height with the diameter of 80 cm (fig. 12). Lime was used to seal the gaps between them and they were sunk upto the water table. The brick-well (pl. XXXIX A) was exposed in Qd 2 of E1 and Qd 3 of ZE 1 with fifty-seven courses of wedge-shaped bricks measuring 26 cm x 24 cm to 30 cm x 8 cm. These structures of Kushan period found on the eastern slope of the mound suggest existence of the residential area there. Towards north-west of this, around the highest part of the mound and to the north of the RamJanaki Temple, remains of a workshop of metal smiths was located which existed from the late levels of NBPW phase to the Kushan period. Slags, complete and broken pieces of crucibles and metal pieces of iron and copper were found besides hearths of various shapes and size in Qd 4 of Sq ZA5 (pl. XXXIX B).
Pottery as noticed during the previous year's excavation was again found with some more shapes. The pre-NBPW levels contained red ware, black slipped ware and black-and-red ware including a few sherds with white or black strokes painted over them. These types without paintings continued along with NBPW in the next phase. Ceramics of Sunga and Kushan periods were mainly red ware, both plain as well as slipped. The typical dishes and bowls of NBPW and pre-NBPW phases disappeared during Sunga and Kushan periods when incurved bowls became diagnostic type. The Kushan period red ware also included basins, cooking pots, ink-pot lids, spouted pots, sprinklers, handled pots, pans and vases.
More than six hundred and fifty antiquities were found in the form of terracotta plaques, human and animal figurines, pestles, ear-studs, toy-carts, wheels, wheel-cum-pendants, balls, dabber, net sinker, rattle, whistle, discs, tablets, stopper, stamp, ghata-and arecanut-shaped beads, bangles and other miscellaneous objects, bone point, and arrowheads, bone and ivory wheels, crucibles, stone objects, iron objects, semi-precious stone beads, glass beads, bangles and copper objects. Amongst the important antiquities, mention may be made of Mauryan and Sunga female and Yakshi figures on terracotta plaques, Sunga gaja-Lakshmi plaques, Mauryan and Sunga elephant figurines, Kushan bull, horse, a horse-rider and bird-shaped toy-carts, a hoard of one hundred and thirty-five fragmentary bone points, gold plated earring, copper antimony rods, beads, bangles and a ring with a lion figure belonging to the Maurya-Sunga times. Fifty silver and copper coins were found from different levels including the punch-marked coins, uninscribed cast copper coins, coins of Ayodhya rulers including those of Dhanadeva and Kushan coins in copper.
More than four thousand animal remains from the site were studied by U.C. Chattopadhyaya of the University of Allahabad. The animal taxa identified include Zebu, i.e., humped Indian cattle (Bos indicus), buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), horse (Equus caballus), sheep/goat (Ovis/Capra), spotted deer (Axis axis), antelope (Antelope sp), wild boar (Sus scrofa), domestic pig (Sus scrofa cristatus), pigmy hog (Sus silvanius), dog (Canis familiaris), cat (Felis sp.), hare (Lepus sp.), common rat (Rattus rattus), bandicoot rat (Bandicota bengalensis), tortoise (at least two species-Chitra indicus and Trionyx gangeticus) and fish of large, medium and small size, and Aves including fowl (Gallus galliformes).
The overall picture from the lowest to the uppermost levels at the site suggests a predominantly domesticated economy in which cattle bones have the largest representations. Other domesticated animals include sheep/goat, pig, dog and cat. A large specimen (a molar) of horse from layer 7 of Trench ZA3 (Quadrant 3) suggests that domesticated horse was introduced in this area. At the same time aquatic animals, like tortoise and fish, constituted an important source of human diet. The remains of bandicoot rat and common rat suggest well settled life, associated with storing grains. A few wild animals were also hunted including wild boar, pigmy hog, deer and antelope.
The fact that most of these species (excluding perhaps dog and cat) constituted items of human diet as is shown by the characteristic cut and chopping marks observed in the bones. Another important feature of faunal assemblage is the occurrence of worked bones. A number of pieces from cattle metatarsus (compact tissue) were flaked to give shape of bone tools.