New excavations show an older Lucknow
THE TIMES OF INDIA NEWS SERVICE
LUCKNOW: Lucknow's antiquity has officially been established at 1500 BC (pre-Buddhist) following radio carbon determination of the findings excavated at Dadupur near Banthra, 22 km from here.
The earlier date of Lucknow's archaeologically historicity had been pegged at 600-1000 BC (coinciding with the Buddhist-Jain periods) on the basis of excavations carried out at Hulas Khera in Mohanlalganj. The fresh light on the city's antiquity was the outcome of extensive excavations carried out by UP's archaelogical department at the Dadupur site on the basis of circumstantial evidence that some kind of activity had been prevalent in the region.
The core area of habitation, however, could not be located in the earlier excavations. The fresh excavations showed the presence of iron along with ill fired distinct red ware, fine red ware, black slipped ware and black and red ware in shapes mainly of bowls, dishes and storage jars etc. Charred bones were also found in large quantities.
The burnt terracota nodules with reed marks recovered from the deposit indicated that the huts were made of wattle and duab. Also discovered was a big oven full of ash with its outer limit strengthened with kankar nodules. The recovery of a number of antlers with sharp cut marks along with finished and unfinished artifacts indicates that the area could have been a factory producing bone artifacts. What merited particular attention, however, was the presence of iron in this region. In Chandauli and Sonebhadra, the iron date had gone back to 1600 BC but that could also be explained by the presence of iron ore deposits there. Getting iron in the alluvial area of the mid-Ganga valley in 1500 BC shows that it was being supplied from some core area to this region. This itself calls for a review of the earlier theory of migration which showed that the Aryans had migrated in the later Vedic period from west to east and brought iron with them. A new site 25 km from Dadupur may show evidence of human existence even before that of 1500 BC.