At least seven ‘laddoos’ have been found in 2017 through the excavation of a Harappan archaeological web site at 4MSR (earlier generally known as Binjor) in western half of Rajasthan (close to Pakistan border) between 2014 and 2017.
The research, collectively carried out by the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences (BSIP), Lucknow, and Archeological Survey of India (ASI), New Delhi, was lately printed within the ‘Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports’ by Elsevier.
“Seven similar big-size brown ‘laddoos’, two figurines of bulls and a hand-held copper adze (a tool similar to an axe, used for cutting or shaping wood) were excavated by ASI at the Harrapan site in Anupgarh district of Rajasthan. These food balls, dating back to around 2600 BCE, were found well preserved as a hard structure had fallen in such a manner that it acted as a roof over them and saved them from getting crushed,” senior BSIP scientist Rajesh Agnihotri mentioned.
He mentioned probably the most peculiar factor about these ‘laddoos’ was that when it got here involved with water, the slurry turned purple. ASI handed over aliquots (samples) of these meals balls to BSIP for scientific evaluation.
“At first, we thought that these food balls, excavated near the banks of Ghaggar (erstwhile Saraswati), had some connection with occult activities since figurines and adze were also found in close proximity,” Agnihotri mentioned.
“We were intrigued by their shape and size as they were clearly manmade. This curiosity led us to explore their composition. We initially presumed it could be a non-vegetarian food. However, primary microscopic investigations carried out by BSIP senior scientist Anjum Farooqui hinted that these were composed of barley, wheat, chickpea and a few other oilseeds. As the early Indus Valley people were mainly agriculturists, the composition of these food balls with mainly vegetarian items with high protein content made sense,” he added.
The presence of pulses, starch and protein was additional confirmed by discovery of important excesses of magnesium, calcium and potassium. “These laddoos had cereal and pulses, and moong dal dominated the ingredients,” mentioned senior scientist Anjum Farooqui.
Full natural geochemistry of the meals balls was later carried out at BSIP and National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow.
A crew of 9 scientists and archaeologists from the 2 institutes concluded that the presence of seven meals balls together with typical Harappan instruments/objects hinted that Harappan people made choices, carried out rituals and consumed multi-nutritive compact ‘laddoos’ as a meals complement for fast diet .
The presence of bull collectible figurines, adze and a Harappan seal within the neighborhood of these seven meals balls signifies that people revered all these things attributable to their utility and significance to them.
“The study provides important insights into types of food grain used in making food balls, which reveal contemporary farming practices by Harappan people. This scientific finding appears to be unique and opens up avenues for more intrusive scientific research in archaeology to reconstruct the unwritten history of India and its glorious past,” Agnihotri mentioned.
Food balls have been used to carry out rituals: ASI
The discovery of meals balls, together with collectible figurines of bulls and copper adze, means that Harappan people used these things to carry out some type of rituals.
Director (excavations), Institute of Archaeology on the Archaeological Survery of India (ASI), New Delhi, Sanjay Manjul mentioned, “After the scientific research, we will say that that is the primary proof to indicate that Harappan people carried out some rituals on the banks of river Saraswati (now extinct). Though the character of the ritual is just not clear, it may very well be akin to ‘pind daan’ (providing of homage and meals to ancestors).”
“When we found the food balls at 4MSR Binjor, it appeared to be a site where rituals were performed. We found terracotta bulls, painted pots, bones and adze from there,” Manjul mentioned, including that excavations have been carried out in three phases in 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17.
“The food balls appeared like a lump of soil but its colour was a bit different so we picked it up and sent it to BSIP for chemical analysis. The study confirmed it was a food ball,” he added.