Daya Ram Sahni and the Indus Civilization

Lakshmi M Bhat
Lakshmi M Bhat / Blog / 5 yrs ago /
  1

The first world war led to great economic stringency in the British Empire. Many officers of the Survey joined the army. Hargreaves opted for military duty.
This brought Daya Ram Sahni to the Northern Front and Harappa.

 

Harappa History

The first extensive excavations at Harappa were started by Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni in 1920. His work and contemporaneous excavations at Mohenjo-daro ...
www.harappa.com/walk/walk04back.html - Cached - Similar -


Marshall sent him to Harappa and he was there from 20th to 22nd Feb 1917.
He submitted a proposal for the excavation of one mound , but this was delayed for three years. He returned to Harappa in 1920 and the landowners  were paid compensation for the Harappan mounds.
The other mounds were not acquired but were brought under the operation of the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act.

 

THE ANCIENT MONUMENTS PRESERVATION ACT, 1904 - Indian Bareacts ...

2 Jan 2008 ... Act : An Act to provide for preservation of Ancient Monument and objects of archaeological, historical, or artistic interest. ...
www.helplinelaw.com/.../THE%20ANCIENT%20MONUMENTS%20PRESERVATION%20... - Cached -
 


On 5th January 1921, Sahini began his first season of work at Harappa.

 

 


Well preserved seals, fragmentary structural ruins and artifacts of various kinds were brought to the surface.  

 

 

 

 

Specially noteworthy were the near absence of metals.
Sahni was not very impressed by Harappa and felt the funds could be used excavate other sites.
But, Harappa was very much in Marshall's mind , he asked Sahni to bring the excavated antiquities to Lahore.

 

                                                       Indian Museum,  Calcutta

 

He saw them and wanted to exhibit them in the Indian Museum at Calcutta.

 

 


Sahni and Mashall thought the seals as preAryan. And at that time, only the top level had been excavated. Fifty feet of depth still remained to be excavated.

 

 

 


The financial years of 1920-21 brought the Archaeological  Survey completely under the Imperial Government. Expenditure was to be curtailed.  There was a reduction in the archaeological budget but not as much as feared.
But Marshall's commitment to his department and the monuments that were in his charge was total.

 

 

                        

                         photos from the internet


annaakka / / 5 yrs ago
annaakka

Lakshmi

You have given us here a rare treat into our civilization and the history behind the excavations of Harappa.

The work initially done by Sahni is so impressive.. why wasn't he satisfied?

Looks like we owe Marshall a lot for his single minded devotion to archaeological excavations and Harappa in particular

Without such people at the helm most often these projects fall through.

Thanks for sharing.