The Indus Valley Civilization, which ended some five thousand years ago, still thrills historians. Recent research has revealed that the people of the Indus Valley Civilization loved meat. The meat was their staple diet and beef was also consumed heavily. Dr. Akshayeta Suryanarayana, a postdoctoral researcher at Cambridge University, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science has claimed this in his study. In his PhD thesis, Akshayeta researched lipid residues absorbed in an ancient ceramic vessel of the Indus Valley Civilization. Excess meat of pigs, cattle, buffaloes, sheep and goats was found in these. The remains of many milk products were also found in the ancient ceramic vessels found in urban and rural areas of ancient north-western India. Presently this area falls in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
How did the Indus Valley Civilization study take place?
Akshayeta has prepared his study titled ‘Lipid residues in ceramic vessels from Indus civilization in North-Western India’. Vasant Shinde, former Vice-Chancellor and renowned archaeologist Professor of Deccan College, Pune and Professor Ravindra N Singh of BHU have also contributed to the research. Many people from Cambridge University also participated in this research process. They focus on five villages.
- Alamgirpur (Meerut, Uttar Pradesh)
- Masudpur, Lahori Ragho (Hisar, Haryana)
- Khanak (Bhiwani, Haryana
- Decree Town (Rohtak)
- Rakhigarhi (Hisar)
The research was carried out on 172 utensils found in excavations from these areas. Akshayeta said that much of the research done so far has been the focus on what was grown in the Indus Valley Civilization. His study tells what was cooked in the kitchens of Indus Valley.
‘The people of the Indus Valley used to eat beef and mutton very keenly’
According to the study, the bones of cattle/buffaloes have been found in vessels between 50% and 60%. And sheep/goat remained around 10%. The prominence of the bones of cattle has led researchers to speculate that people ate beef with great fervour. People also ate Mutton. According to a study, 90% of the cattle were kept alive until they turned three to three-and-a-half years old.
Birds and Deer venison was consumed in very small amounts
According to research by Akshayeta, the flesh of wild animals was eaten less. Although parts of deer, reindeer, chital, birds and aquatic animals have also been found in the remains of both rural and urban areas, in small quantities. Researchers estimate that the diet of the people of the Indus Valley Civilization included all kinds of elements.