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Recent Excavations at Rakhigarhi in Haryana discovers how Harappans looked like

The results of the DNA test from the skeletons would give a clear insight into the lives, character, diseases and race of the people who lived here 5,000 years ago

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Image Source: Ancient-origins.net
  • The team found 39 skeletal remains this year at Mound 7, which seems to be a burial site
  • Mound 4 which has been encroached by people over the years is the site of an at least 5,500-year-old human settlement
  • For the first time, we will be able to see what Harappans looked like, the colour of their skin, and their eyes with the help of a software

It has been over 150 years since the ruins of Harappa were first discovered. Thousands of sites have been discovered since then and more than a hundred excavated but the recent excavations at Rakhigarhi could answer some of the trivial questions that have troubled archaeologists and historians for decades. With over 350 acres of ruins, Rakhigarhi has been described as the largest Harappan site yet, bigger than Harappa in Sahiwal and Mohenjo-Daro in Sindh, the two Pakistani Harappan centres that have been the face of the Indus Valley Civilisation.

“The significance of Rakhigarhi is that this is the biggest now in terms of the size of the settlement. It was thought that Mohenjo-Daro in Pakistan was the biggest site so far. It is spread over 300 hectares but this is spread over 500 hectares,” says Vasant Shinde, professor of South Asian Archaeology at the Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute in Pune to the Indian Express.

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For the past few months, Shinde and his team of archaeologists from the Deccan College  working with over 150 villagers, carried out excavations at Rakhigarhi. The team found 39 skeletal remains this year at Mound 7, which seems to be a burial site.

The excavations at Rakhigarhi have features that of a typical Harappan settlement like a well-planned city with nearly two-metre-wide roads, brick-lined drains, pottery, terracotta statues, weights, bronze artefacts, combs, needles and terracotta seals; beads, tools, and, of course, the human remains. But what makes the sight so important is that it can tell us whether the modern population are descendants of Harappan people, thus bringing an end to the ongoing controversies of the Aryan Invasion and the Saraswati river.

Image Source: Indiatimes

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A DNA test is the only way to do that and for the first time ever, scientists have succeeded in extracting DNA from the skeletons of the Indus Valley Civilisation. The results of the DNA test would give a clear insight into the lives, character, diseases and race of the people who lived here 5,000 years ago. To give no room for any contradiction and to provide a foolproof study, three different institutes of world repute are conducting the DNA analysis.

“The important aspect that we are working, on which has never been done before, is the facial reconstruction of the Harappan people. The South Koreans have developed a software in which if we feed the DNA data along with the morphological features, like measurements of bones, it can help us reconstruct the face. For the first time, we will be able to see what Harappans looked like, the colour of their skin, their eyes and so on,” says Shinde to the Indian Express.

Mound 4 which has been encroached by people over the years is the site of an at least 5,500-year-old human settlement and is an important centre of the Harappan Civilisation in the Indus Valley.

Rakhigarhi, comprises of the twin villages of Rakhi Khas and Rakhi Shahpur, in Hansi tehsil of Haryana’s Hisar district, 160 km from Delhi, and is regarded as one of the two big Harappan settlements located in India and the best and most unexplored site related to the Indus Valley Civilisation so far.

-This article is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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August 7 is Rakshabandhan: Hindu Festival that Celebrates Brother-Sister Bond can be traced back to Indus Valley Civilization

If we browse through the pages of history, we will understand that the festival is 6,000 years old and there are lots of evidence which proves that  

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Rakshabandhan , Rakhi
Rakshabandhan means celebrating brother sister bond. Wikimedia

August 7, 2017: Raksha Bandhan is celebrated every year in India and across the globe. Brothers and sisters treat each other with unconventional surprises to show how important and special that bond is. This year the Hindu festival is celebrated on August 7 and if you have brothers or sisters at home, delicious treats and lovely gifts are inevitable.

Though the enthusiasm to celebrate the festival is at its peak, but only a handful of people are aware of the history behind celebrating this custom. This festival is quite old and can be connected to the ancient Indus Valley civilization. In fact, the tradition of Rakshabandhan was cast by those sisters who were not real.

THE MANTRA

Yen Baddho Bali Raja Danavendro Mahabalah|
Ten Tvaamabhibadhnaami Rakshe Maachal Maachal||

The meaning of Raksha Mantra is as following –
“I tie you with the same Raksha thread which tied the most powerful, the king of courage, the king of demons, Bali. O Raksha (Raksha Sutra), please don’t move and keep fixed throughout the year.”

THE HISTORY

If we browse through the pages of history, we will understand that the festival is 6,000 years old and there are lots of evidence which proves that.
The earliest evidence of the introduction of Raksha Bandhan is of the Queen Karnavati and Emperor Humayun. There was a struggle between Rajputs and Muslims in the medieval era, when the widowed Queen of the King of Chittor, Karnavati did not see any way to protect herself and her kingdom from Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, then she had sent Rakhi to Humayun and he protected her and gave her the status of a sister. There are lots of other stories of Lord krishṇa and Draupadi, Bali and Lord vishṇu in reference to this festival.
 THE RITUAL
The sister ties a beautiful thread on the wrist of her brother’s with the hope that he will protect her in every twist and turn of her life. But nowadays, our relationships, festivals, and rituals have also changed. Rather, that feeling of celebrating the festival is not the same anymore. Now many new threads have been added in the thread that is tied to the desire of ‘Sister’s protection’.
– Happy Rakshabandhan to All! –
-by Nidhi Singh of NewsGram. Twitter @NidhiSuryavansi

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A sight to Behold for Life: 10 Most Beautiful Streets in the World

From San Francisco to Buenos Aires, these spectacular roads are worth traveling to see

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A snowy Street, Pixabay

April 10, 2017: Streets are an integral part of a civilization but they are not viewed as a way of showing the art and culture of a place.

However, there are certain streets around the world which sing the chorus of their rich history and culture and have become center of attraction for many tourists. Take the colorful Caminito that anchors Buenos Aires’s La Boca neighborhood—not only does it provide visitors with a vibrant picture, but it also serves as a reminder of how the neighborhood was built in the 19th century.

Some of the streets are notable for their stunning natural features, such as the cherry blossom tunnel in Bonn, Germany, which makes an appearance for a few short weeks every spring. These streets will surely leave you hungry for more.

Here is a list of some of the wonderful streets around the world known for their spectacular beauty-

1. La Boca neighborhood of Buenos Aires- It retains a strong European flavour, with many of its early settlers being from the Italian city of Genoa. La Boca is a popular destination for tourists visiting Argentina, with its colourful houses and pedestrian street, the Caminito, where tango artists perform and tango-related memorabilia is sold. Other attractions include the La Ribera theatre, many tango clubs and Italian taverns.

La Boca neighbourhood; Source-Pixabay

2. Lombard Street, California – It is famous for a steep, one-block section with eight hairpin turns. The famous one-block section, claimed as “the most crooked street in the world”, is located along the eastern segment in the Russian Hill neighborhood.

Lombard Street; Source-Pixabay

3. The streets of Chefchaouen, a small city in northwest Morocco- Enclosed by the grim Rif mountains on all sides in northern Morocco lies the blue town of Chefchaouen. It’s a small fairy-tale place full of scent, colours and a thousand shades of blue. One of those villages that a traveller can explore in a day, but just as easily can end up spending half a week doing as little as possible. Not as popular as Marrakech or Fez but more relaxed, it draws mostly Spanish, French and Moroccan tourists. The main attractions: the blue houses and the cannabis.

Chefchaoun; Source-Pixabay

4. Jerez de la Frontera, Spain- Southwest of Seville, Jerez is a well-heeled place. It’s the home of the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art and its famous dancing horses; if you’re on a budget or can’t be there for a formal performance, it’s worth dropping in to catch a morning training session. The other major reason to visit Jerez is to sample its most famous product—sherry. You can do this at a number of bodegas associated with the world’s best-known brands, including Bodegas Tio Pepe, The House of Sandeman, Jerez, and Pedro Domecq. They’ll soon have you knowing your amontillado from your oloroso. There’s also an Alcázar, dating back to the time of the Almohads, which features a small mosque, now the chapel of Santa María Real.

Jerez De La Frontera; Source-Pixabay

5. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the 1,000-year-old Old Town in Lijiang, China, is famous for its orderly canals and walkways. Walk along Qiyi Street Chongron Alley or Wuyi Street Wenzhi Alley for some of the more spectacular street views.

Lijiang,China; Source-Pixabay

6. For two to three weeks each spring, the magical tunnel created by the trees lining Cherry Blossom Avenue in Bonn, Germany, brings in tourists and photographers alike.

Cherry Blossom Avenue; Source-Pixabay

7.Bregagh Road in Ballymoney,Northern Ireland, is a birch-lined street designed in the 18th century. Nicknamed Dark Hedges, the road will be instantly recognizable to fans of the HBO show Game of Thrones.

Bregagah Road; Source-Pixabay

8. Paris’s Champs-Élysées – It is known for its theatres, cafés, and luxury shops, for the annual Bastille Day military parade, and as the finish of the Tour de France cycle race. The name is French for the Elysian Fields, the paradise for dead heroes in Greek mythology. The French proudly call their world-famous boulevard “la plus belle avenue du monde” (“the world’s most beautiful avenue”).

Champs-Élysées; Source-Pixabay

9. Lined with boats and bicycles, Amsterdam’s many canals have drawn tourists through the ages. But the Brouwersgracht, located a little more than half a mile northwest of the central train station, just might be the most picturesque in the Dutch capital.

Amsterdam; Source-Pixabay

10. Águeda’s narrow streets-Umbrellas unfurled above Portuguese street shower colour onto people below-
Umbrellas suspended across street are now a popular attraction
As well as brightening the street, they offer shade from summer sun
Idea has attracted tourists from all over the world to Agueda

Agueda’s Umbrella Sky Project; Source-Pixabay

-prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram Twitter @NikitaTayal6

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DNA test on the skeletal remains of the parents of Bhopal Killer Udayan Das

Das was arrested on the charge of murdering his live-in partner and entombing her body in his house in Bhopal

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DNA
A Jail in India (Representational Image). Wikimedia

Raipur, Feb 8, 2017: The DNA test on the skeletal remains of the parents of Udayan Das, who killed and entombed his girlfriend in Bhopal, will be conducted in forensic science lab here, Raipur Superintendent of Police S.P. Sanjeev Shukla said on Wednesday.

“The forensic test will help determine the time of their death,” Shukla said.

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Das was arrested on February 2 by the West Bengal Police on charges of murdering Shweta Sharma (28) and entombing her body in a concrete block inside his house in Saketnagar in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

After Das was arrested on the charge of murdering his live-in partner and entombing her body in his house in Bhopal, he also confessed to his parents’ murder.

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He told the police that he murdered both his parents in 2010 and interred their bodies in their house in Raipur in Chhattisgarh in a way similar to what he did in the case of Shweta. (IANS)