Diet of Indus Civilization: Reinterpretations from Multi–Site Stable Isotopic Mortuary Analysis


  • Prasanna K Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, 53, University Road, Lucknow 226007, India



Indus Civilization, Harappa, Sanauli, Farmana, Diet, Water


Several insights on the identification and mobility of the Indus Civilization were provided by previous researchers based on the results limited towards archaeological context. In this study, several such published data of Mortuary samples from the major urban centre of Harappa, the eastern frontier town of Farmana, and the post–urban necropolis at Sanauli are re–evaluated in context with the modern dental samples. The results are compared to the compositional signatures found within teeth from modern humans from the USA, East Asia, Mexico and Bulgaria, which is expected to show variance in their isotopic signature depending upon regional level precipitation and diet. The results from δ18O signatures from the Indus Valley point towards dependence on riverine water for drinking.


पूर्व में शोधकर्ताओं द्वारा सिंधु सभ्यता की पहचान एवं गतिशीलता पर अनेक अंतर्दृष्टियां प्रदान की गई जो पुरातात्विक संदर्भ तक सीमित परिणामों पर आधारित थीं। इस अध्ययन में, हड़प्पा के प्रमुख शहरी केंद्र, फरमाणा के पूर्वी सीमांत शहर तथा सनौली जैसे बड़े शहरों में स्थित शवगृह से एकत्रित नमूनों के प्रकाशित आंकड़ों का आधुनिक दंत नमूनों के संदर्भ में पुनर्मूल्यांकन किया गया है। परिणामों की तुलना संयुक्त राज्य अमेरिका, पूर्वी एशिया, मैक्सिको एवं बुल्गारिया में आधुनिक मानव के दांतों के भीतर पाए जाने वाले संरचनात्मक चिन्ह्कों से की गई है, जिससे उनके समस्थानिक चिन्ह्कों में भिन्नता दिखाई देने की उम्मीद की गई है, जो क्षेत्रीय अवक्षेपण तथा आहार पर निर्भर करता है। सिंधु घाटी से प्राप्त δ18O चिन्ह्कों के परिणामों से पेयजल हेतु नदी के पानी पर निर्भरता की तरफ संकेत होता है।


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How to Cite

K, P. (2023). Diet of Indus Civilization: Reinterpretations from Multi–Site Stable Isotopic Mortuary Analysis. Journal of Palaeosciences, 72(1), 55–58.



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