A farmer in Manipuri’s Ganeshpur village, discovered a huge collection of copper weapons beneath soil. He found a large number of copper swords and harpoons while ploughing his field earlier this month. The farmer reportedly took all of them home, thinking that all these objects were precious objects made of gold or silver. However, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) rushed to the scene and recovered the unearthed artifacts after some locals contacted the police. The number of weapons is said to be around 39.
According to the reports, among what was found were ‘various swords, some that archaeologists are calling antenna swords and harpoons with a hook at the bottom’. The archaeological experts say these are 4,000-year-old copper weapons and can be traced to the copper age.
“These copper hoards belong to the Chalcolithic period (copper age) and the presence of Ochre Coloured Pottery (OCP) is directly associated with this time,” The Times of India quoted the director of archaeology at ASI, Bhuvan Vikram, as saying.
“Bronze was a specialty of the Harappan – basically an urban civilisation during the copper age – but studies have revealed that such hoard implements were primarily made from copper and not bronze,” he added.
Director of conservation and spokesperson of ASI, Vasant Swarnkar, said there have been several discoveries that can prove the material found at Mainpuri was nearly 3,800-4,000 years old. “A carbon dating test was also carried out on samples taken from nearby Sanauli (Baghpat), Madarpur (Moradabad), and Sakatpur (Saharanpur) sites. They have proven to be from 2,000 BC (4,000 years ago),” he said.
“The presence of weapons indicates the people of this age were involved in fighting and that could be between two large groups for land or rights. These weapons couldn’t have been held by the common man,” he added.
4000-year-old chariots found in Sanauli VIllage
In 2018, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) found several artefacts as old as 2000BC-1800 BC from Sanauli in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district. The archaeologists had vouched that the burials belong to the Mahabharata period.
The ASI had unearthed several chariots from the sites that date back to the Mahabharata period. As per a TOI report, carbon dating has now confirmed that the burials date back to 1900 BC, making the chariots 3,800 years old. According to the ASI officials, in all likelihood, a horse was used to drive those chariots. In another pit, the ASI team had also discovered a protective crown or helmet generally worn by the chariot rider.
Other major findings from this site include several wooden coffin burials, copper swords, and wooden carts, with solid disk wheels protected by copper sheets.
User guide for Mahabharata weapons
In 2013, a manuscript was found from the collections of Ashtavaidyan Vaidyamadham Cheriya Narayanan Namboodiri, in Kerala, that clearly mentions the mantras to use Mahabharata weapons. According to the reports, the 63-folio manuscript in palm leaves tells how to use all the deadly weapons mentioned in the Mahabharata in about 48 well-described mantras. The Mahabharata weapons like Agneyastra, Varunastra, Brahmastra, Nagpash etc found mention in the ancient ‘user guide’. The rare manuscript came to light during digitising process of the Vaidyamadham’s collections.