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4000-year-old copper weapons, some close to 4 feet, found in Mainpuri

Agra: They had big weapons, used large swords-some close to 4 feet-and often arms that had sharp, sophisticated shapes, like starfish. Our ancestors, nearly 4,000 years ago, fought brutally and hard, a chance discovery under the ground in UP's Mainpuri seems to suggest. Archaeologists have called the findings "exciting".
Earlier this month in Mainpuri's Ganeshpur village, a farmer was leveling his two-bigha field when he found a large number of copper swords and harpoons beneath the soil. He took all of them home as he thought they were precious objects made of gold or silver. However, some locals informed cops and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) swung into action. 
Among what was found were a variety of swords, some that archaeologists are calling "antenna swords and harpoons", with a hook at the bottom.

Besides copper weapons, OCP culture was also found at site

These copper hoards belong to the Chalcolithic period (copper age) and the presence of Ochre Coloured Pottery (OCP) is directly associated with this," said the director of archeology at ASI, Dr Bhuvan Vikram. "Bronze was a specialty of the Harappan- basically an urban civilization during the copper age- but studies have revealed that such hoard implements were primarily made from copper and not bronze," he added.
OCP culture is generally dated between 2,000 and 1500 BCE. Pottery of this period had red slip but gave off an ochre colur on the fingers of the archeologists who touched it, hence the name.
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 sampled 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 that 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.
Superintending archeologist Raj Kumar Patel told it was a "change discovery". He said besides the weapons, OCP culture was also found at the site.
Vikram, who was involved in the excavations in Sakatpur village of Saharanpur district, said, "The existence of old civilisations in the area has been proved by excavations in other parts of the region including Sanauli of Baghpat where graveyards, horse-drawn chariots, axes, four-legged wooden coffins, and war shields were found. This is exciting. However, what needs to be explored is why they were found in a cluster. Were they being made there?"
He added, "The widespread culture of Ganga valley, which is a contemporary of Harappan culture, has been discovered around a 300 km area, from Baghpat  to Mainpuri."
Historian and archeologist at AMU, professor Manvendra Pundhir, said it seemed that these weapons "either belonged to warriors for fights between large groups or were used for hunting". "However, earlier excavations in Sanauli found a 'war chariot', which supports the warrior theory. The findings reveal that war was common during the copper age (the period of OCP culture) but this needs to be researched even more," he said.
Copper anthropomorphs, each weighing 1,400-1,500 gm, around 26-28 cm in length, and 0.3 to 0.4 cm in diameter, were also found at the site. Some experts believe that they are objects used in rituals or represent the vedic deity Indra or Hindu deity Lord Vishnu. Some others believe they are weapons with sharpened upper edges, meant to be hurled at enemies.

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