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Department of Archaeology


Excavations at Bahola, Haryana, India

In March and April 2012, the Land, Water and Settlement project conducted excavations at the small village site of Bahola in District Karnal, Haryana, India. The 2012 season was the final excavation season of the first stage of the project and we had deliberately selected Bahola in 2008 as the site appeared to have been occupied during the Late Harappan and Painted Grey Ware phases on the basis of pottery found on the surface. These phases have the potential to provide us with critical insights into the socio-economic develops that took place in the transition from the complete decline of the urbanised Indus Civilisation to the adoption of a completely ruralised lifestyle on the plains of northwest India.

Our main excavations were limited to one trench, and although initially alarmed by the presence of Medieval and Early Historic deposits in the uppermost levels of our sounding, it quickly became clear that Bahola was occupied in both key periods of interest. In the basal levels, we found that a Late Harappan settlement had been established on at least partly on sloping ground, and the earliest deposits we found were the remains of a large un-fired clay storage bin. Occupation deposits built up against and over this bin, before a mud-brick structure was erected, which was also abutted by Late Harappan occupation deposits on one side – presumably the inside of a building. The interesting discovery was that deposits containing Painted Grey Ware material were found on the other side of the same wall. This implies that the use of Late Harappan cultural material ceased, but the associated wall was still standing when the deposition associated with Painted Grey Ware began. While our excavations revealed evidence for a clear spatial association between the Late Harappan and Painted Grey Ware, it will only be when we obtain radiocarbon dates from the abundant botanical material recovered from out flotation programme that it will be possible to determine the nature of the chronological relationship.

Project publications

[1] Singh, R.N., Petrie, C.A., et al. (in press). Survey and excavations at Bahola, Karnal District, Haryana, March 27 - April 17, 2012, BHU and University of Cambridge Archaeological Project, Indian Archaeology: A Review 2011-2012.

[2] Singh, R.N., Petrie, C.A., Bates, J., Pandey, A.K., Parikh, D., and Singh, D.P. 2012. Survey and excavations at Bahola, Karnal District, Haryana: March 27 – April 17, 2012, Manaviki 3.2-4.1: 5-11.

[3] Singh, R.N., Petrie, C.A., Bates, J., Joglekar, P.P., Pandey, A.K., Parikh, D., Singh, V.K. and Singh, D.P. 2013. Survey and excavations at Bahola, District Karnal, Haryana: A Preliminary Report, Bhāratī 37: 27-37.



Updated:2017-03-24. First published:2017-03-24

Copyright © 2017--2017 Cameron Petrie

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