Sunday November 17, 2019

Human skeletons dating back to Harappan era found in Haryana

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Indus Valley Civilization

Indus Valley Civilization

By Newsgram Staff Writer

The Indus Valley Civilization renowned for its urban planning, baked brick houses and elaborate drainage system is yet again in news as a group of archaeologists have dug up four human skeletons dating back to the subcontinent’s oldest civilization.

The remains that have been recently discovered from a cemetery in Haryana are of two adult males, a female and a child, a news report said.  Scholars say that the skeletons will help them to shed more light on the life of the Harappan people.

Since 2013, the archaeologist and scientists from India and South Korea were carrying out the excavation at the cemetery at Rakhigarhi village in Haryana’s Hissar district, BBC reported.

The excavation has also unearthed items like pottery with food grains and shell bangles found near the skeletons, which enabled the archaeologists to consider that the settlers had faith in reincarnation.

Scientists from South Korea at the site who are equipped with advanced technology would now attempt to reconstruct the DNA of the skeletons, said archaeologist Ranvir Singh.

The civilization is also known as Harappan civilization due to first of its excavations carried out in the 1920s at a place named Harappa, which is now in Pakistan. It is said that the civilization flourished with a population of over 5 million settlers during its peak. Also, the inhabitants of the civilization are noted for their development of new techniques in handicraft.

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‘Safarnama’ App to “Capture the Way History in Delhi Actually Held within and under Stones” in Short Bursts

There are so many stories to be told and so many sounds to hear - and the app provides the medium to do this

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Safarnama, App, History
I wanted others to feel the energy of the city's fabric and heritage as I do. Pixabay

There’ve been guidebooks, bus tours, videos, pamphlets, walkabouts et al, but this ‘Safarnama’ app will “capture the way history in Delhi is actually held within and under the stones” in short bursts as you travel across the city.

“We wanted to capture the way history in Delhi is actually held within and under the stones – so much extraordinary heritage is embedded within small places and barely seen fragments,” said Dr Debs Sutton, a Senior Lecturer in Modern South Asian History at the Lancaster University, who developed the app with the aid of a grant from its Arts and Humanities Research Council and in association with Centre for the Study of Developing Studies (CSDS) in the national capital.

“I wanted others to feel the energy of the city’s fabric and heritage as I do. With that in mind we really thought about how technology could reanimate the city. There are so many stories to be told and so many sounds to hear – and the app provides the medium to do this. It’s a new way of seeing the past – a fantastic philosophy,” Sutton told IANS in an email interview from Lancaster.

Sutton lived in Delhi for five years and was captivated by the “energy and excitement” of the city when she studied for a PhD at the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Safarnama, App, History
There’ve been guidebooks, bus tours, videos, pamphlets, walkabouts et al, but this ‘Safarnama’ app will “capture the way history in Delhi is actually held within and under the stones” in short bursts. Pixabay

The app contains images, texts, newspaper cuttings and audio recordings that tell the stories of Delhi in the years after the partition of the subcontinent that displaced millions of people and caused unparalleled violence. Delhi was transformed by this displacement.

Refugees were accommodated in monuments, mosques, temples and thousands of people opened their doors to offer shelter to those forced to leave their homes.

Refugee centres were opened to provide training and jobs to refugees and hundreds of new businesses were established across the city.

The app will enable users to hear these stories at the places they took place. As they near particular points of interest, travellers will receive a push notification. If they pass close enough – within a ‘trigger zone’ – their phone will automatically open the media associated with the place of interest.

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How did this project come about?

“The work evolved from my historical research on the ways in which Delhi heritage has been animated by and integrated into the city of Delhi in the twentieth century. Despite the best efforts of the Imperial government to set monuments apart from the everyday life of the city, monuments were always animated by all sorts of social (and often economic) occupation. This led me to think about the proliferation of physical heritage across the city. Notified monuments are only a small fraction of the extraordinarily rich and complex history of the city.

“Safarnama is an attempt to capture that variety and to allow new publics to engage with heritage. The app promotes that engagement as part of everyday mobility, rather than as occasional visits to monuments,” Sutton explained.

What did the development process involve?

Safarnama, App, History
We wanted to capture the way history in Delhi is actually held within and under the stones – so much extraordinary heritage is embedded within small places and barely seen fragments. Pixabay

“It was a long one! I was awarded funding by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK to get together with others to think about the potential of digital heritage in complex and fast changing urban environments. We started out using a different software and about six months ago the software developer and I decided to start again and create a purpose-built authoring tool. This authoring tool and platform allows the creation and dissemination of different experiences.

“Other partners include INTACH Delhi, Hilal Ahmed at CSDS, the Centre for Community Knowledge at AUD (Ambedkar University Delhi) and the New Delhi-Berkley-based 1947 Partition Archive.

How were the monuments chosen?

“In all sorts of ways. I had been working on the occupation of mosques, mandirs and monuments by Partition refugees when I started thinking about the project. That is why I proposed the Partition City Delhi as the first, proof of concept digital heritage experience. Thereafter, we drew on a huge range of archives and scholarly publications,” Sutton said.

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What’s next?

An Industrial Heritage Experience for Mumbai and an app for Karachi, Sutton concluded. (IANS)