Dairy Production in Indus Valley Civilisation | UPSC
Evidence of dairy production in the Indus Valley Civilisation
WHY IN NEWS:
A new study has shown that dairy products were being produced by the Harappans as far back as 2500 BCE.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : Ancient History : Indus Valley Civilisation
For PRELIMS since 2020 is the 100th anniversary of IVC . You need to pay a lot of attention on rural economy, society , commerce and livestocks in IVC.
For MAINS can you guess the initial cuisines which were made out of diary products ?
DAIRY PRODUCTION IN INDUS VALLEY CIVILISATION
- The year 2020 marks 100 years of discovery of Indus Valley Civilisation.
- When we talk about Harappans, we always refer to the metropolitan cities and the big towns.
- We know they had great urban planning, trading systems, jewellery making.
- But we don’t have any idea how the common masters were living during the Harappan times.
- Their lifestyle and how they were contributing in the larger network is still unknown.
- Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and
- Archaeology at the Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, Pune.
- The studies were carried out on 59 shards of pottery from Kotada Bhadli, a small archeological site in present-day Gujarat.
- The excavation exposed a residential complex consisting of nine rooms , a fortification wall and a bastion.
- This site belongs exclusively to the late mature phase.
- The site falls on the trade route that starts from Dholavira in Gujarat to lower Sindh of Pakistan.
CARBON ISOTOPE STUDIES
- The team used molecular analysis techniques to study the residues from ancient pottery.
- Pots are porous.So as soon as we put any liquid form of food, it will absorb it.
- The pot preserves the molecules of food such as fats and proteins.
- Using techniques like C16 and C18 analysis researchers identify the source of lipids.
- Harappans made curd or cheese is very difficult to pinpoint.
- Traces were seen in cooking vessels indicating that milk may have been boiled and consumed.
- There are also remains of a perforated vessel, and similar vessels were used in Europe to make cheese.
- So it is possible that they were further processing milk into different forms.
- The Research team was also able to show which type of animals were being used for dairy production.
- They studied the tooth enamel from fossils of cattle, water buffalo, goat and sheep found in the area.
- Cows and water buffalo were found to consume millets, while sheep and goats ate nearby grass and leaves.
- This suggests that they could have been raised for milk.
- The majority of goat/sheep died when they were young, indicating they could have been used for meat.
- The large herd indicates that milk was produced in surplus so that it could be exchanged .
- There could have been some kind of trade between settlements.
- This could have given rise to an industrial level of dairy exploitation.
- There are these very close regional interactions between settlements, a symbiotic relationship of give and take that helped the civilisation survive for so long.
SOURCES:THE HINDU | Dairy Production in Indus Valley Civilisation | UPSC