Archaeologists of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the leadership of Dr Sanjay Manjul excavated Sinauli in 2018. He discovered 116 burials there.
It is Asia’s largest burial site excavated as of now. It provided the first ever ancient chariot discovered in Bharatavarṣa. This chariot is now dated to between 2100 BCE and 1900 BCE.
It is a solid wheel chariot but contains triangular shaped radial reinforcements made of copper (a different kind of spoke), making it better than the spoked wheel fast chariots unearthed in other parts of the world, avoiding quick breakage of wheels, while moving fast.
The 3,000 BCE and 2,500 BCE solid wheel chariots unearthed from other cultures of the world like Mesopotamia pales in comparison with this advanced chariot unearthed from Sinauli.
Placing this newly discovered Sinauli chariot in the same category as a solid wheel chariot in comparison to these 1,000 to 500 years older chariots, is an injustice to the Sinauli chariot.
The Sinauli Chariot has copper triangular reinforcements on the wheels, which can be vaguely called as spokes (ara), though not the kind of spokes understood in the spoked wheel chariots.
A POSSIBLE ṚIGVEDIC CONNECTION
The Ṛigvedic hymn 15 in the 10th Mandala speaks about both burying the dead (anagni-dagdha ) and cremating them (agni-dagdha). The hymn 18 of the 10th Mandala talks about a burial house (grha) often compared to a womb (yoni) where ghee (clarified butter) is kept in pots.
This matches with the 116 burial houses unearthed at Sinauli. They contain many earthen pots which could have been used to fill offerings like ghee, butter and medicines. The Ṛgvedic hymn 18 of the 10th Maṇḍala mentions about taking the bow from the hand of the dead.
The bow of the warrior taken from his hand is placed beside the dead-body of the warriors in Sinauli. Along with the bow, other weapons of the warrior like the shields and swords are kept. Their chariots, too, are kept in the burial house.
A pair of chariots is seen in one of the Sinauli burial houses, possibly belonging to a king or a chief. This is close to the descriptions of the pair of Soma carts mentioned in the Rgveda (hymn 13 of the 10th Mandala).
One of them represents mortality (Yamayana) and another immortality (Devayana). The pair, Yama and Yami, are the overseers of death since Yama, the son of Vivasvat, chose mortality instead of immortality and hence is the first mortal.
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