Experts say a hoard of 4,000-year-old copper weapons discovered by chance under a field in Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri can be traced to the copper age.
Earlier this month a farmer leveling his field in Mainpurti district’s Ganeshpur village found a large number of copper swords and harpoons beneath the soil. He took all of them home as he thought these were precious objects made of gold or silver. However, some locals informed cops and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) swung into action.
Among what was found were various swords, some that archaeologists are calling “antenna swords and harpoons” with a hook at the bottom.
“These copper hoards belong to the Chalcolithic period (copper age) and the presence of Ochre Colored Pottery (OCP) is directly associated with this time,” the director of archaeology at ASI, Bhuvan Vikram was quoted by The Times of India in a report. “Bronze was a specialty of the Harappan – basically an urban civilization during the copper age – but studies have revealed that such hoard implements were primarily made from copper and not bronze,” he added.
OCP culture is generally dated between 2,000 and 1,500 BCE. Pottery of this period had a red slip but gave off an ochre color on the fingers of the archaeologists who touched it, hence the name. Director of conservation and spokesperson of ASI, Vasant Swarnkar, said there have been several discoveries that can prove the material found at Mainpuri was nearly 3,800-4,000 years old. “A carbon dating test was also carried out on samples taken from nearby Sanauli (Baghpat), Madarpur (Moradabad), and Sakatpur (Saharanpur) sites. They have proven to be from 2,000 BC (4,000 years ago),” he said.
“The presence of weapons indicates the people of this age were involved in fighting and that could be between two large groups for land or rights. These weapons couldn’t have been held by the common man,” he added.
Historian and archaeologist at AMU, professor Manvendra Pundhir, was quoted saying in the same report that it seemed these arms “either belonged to warriors for fights between large groups or were used for hunting”. “However, earlier excavations in Sanauli found a ‘war chariot’, which supports the warrior theory. The findings reveal that war was common during the copper age but this needs to be researched even more.”