4 kms east on the road to Hodal from Badkali in Nagina tehsil of Mewat, one encounters a non-descript village that goes by the name of Mohammad Nagar (aka Havananagar). The village boasts of the ruins of a spectacular Haveli made in Lakhori bricks (will cover that some other time). The village really caught the attention of archaeologists, when a team led by BR Mani carried out excavations here, and deciphered that the cultural sequence of the site was similar to Harnol. The site is damaged now, but some traces of the excavations still remain. I found Shunga-period sherds here, and some bones.

Trenches in the form of squares measuring 10 x 10 meters were laid and five quadrants of four squares were taken up for excavations that were continued up to natural soil. 34 Habitational Layers were encountered in both trenches, and natural soil was encountered under the 34th layer. The soil had kankar deposits through which water began to ooze out.

A 35 cm thick deposit over the kankar mixed natural soil with water yielded sturdy red ware sherds that were not found in the upper layers. This layer represented Period 1 (700 – 500 BCE). Period 2 was represented by layers 29-33 having red ware, grey ware and some sherds of Painted Grey Ware (PGW). Iron objects too were found from these deposits, and this suggests Ghaggar-Hakra River Valley civilizational period (1300 – 500/300 BCE). Layers 22-28 represent deposits associated with Northern Black Polished ware (NBPW) which existed between 700 – 200 BCE. Here remains of a brick wall having four courses and a drain with vertically placed bricks in EW direction were noticed. Evidence of post-holes also suggested the existence of thatched huts. Red, grey and NBPW were the main ceramic products excavated. Layers 12 to 21 represented the Shunga Period (185 – 73 BCE). Lowest course of a circular structure with wedge shaped burnt bricks were found suggesting that this might be a Stupa.

From its sealing deposit three similar terracotta dealings with the figure of yupa (a Vedic-era sacrificial altar) were discovered. Terracotta bangles, beads, plaques with human and animal figures, and incurved bowls in red ware comprised the main ceramic industry of this period. A 4 meter deposit belonging to the Kushan Period in the form of house complexes, a narrow lane running east to west and paved with bricks was noticed. A sunken wall of 26 courses of bricks with an opening in its upper courses suggesting evidence of a window was noticed. From the exposed southern section of the damaged part of the mound several huge structures were noticed, some of which rose to almost 40 courses of bricks. Terracotta human and animal figurines, beads, stone beads and four Kushan copper coins were found. Red ware ceramic included bowls, basins, vases, lids and lamps. Layer 1 to 3 were associated with the late mediaeval period. Part of the structure was exposed in the southern part of the trench which was constructed by using bricks and stones. A large hearth full of ash too was discovered. Some dishes of fine red ware besides other ceramics in associated red ware were found. Seven courses of a structure with reused bricks were also noticed in sectional scrapping, which are seemingly contemporaneous with the mosque towards the north-east of the trench on the mound, which has now been rebuilt. A most interesting find was a loose mutilated sculpture of a seated deity in red sandstone.


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