Copper Hoard Culture describes find-complexes which mainly occur in the western Ganges-Yamuna doab in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. They occur mostly in hoards large and small, and are dated to the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE, although very few derive from controlled and dateable excavation contexts. The copper hoards are associated with the Ochre Coloured Pottery (OCP), which is closely associated with the Late Harappan (or Posturban) phase of the IVC. Associations with the Indo-Aryan migrants of the second millennium BCE have also been proposed, though association with the Vedic Aryans is problematic, since the hoards are found east of the territory of the Vedic Aryans.


Historical finds

The Copper Hoard finds occur mainly in Yamuna-Ganges doab of the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, and are dated to the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE, As early as the 19th century, stray hoard objects became known and established themselves as an important find group in the two-river land of northern India. The first Indian Copper Hoard harpoon was published in 1822. In 1951 B.B. Lal published 35 artefacts from the Gangetic basin, from the central peninsula and the eastern part of India. In 1985 Paul Alan Yule published 1083 examples from 'Copper Hoards' but also other peninsular prehistoric metal finds. These added a new group: those from southern Haryana and northern Rajasthan. By 1992 284 further examples followed specifically of the Copper Hoard types. Several hoard artifacts have turned up without an archaeological context, which raises doubts about their authenticity. Although on their discovery frequently questioned, today few voice doubts about the four Daimabad copper finds. The different assemblages are known mostly by only their metallic artifacts, and thus the term 'culture' is misleading. Many finds are deposited in the Kanya Gurukul museum in Narela/Haryana. File:Ind cu hoard groups.svg|Selected hoard artifacts from 1-2 South Haryana, 3-4 Uttar Pradesh, 5 Madhya Pradesh, 6-8 South Bihar-North Orissa-Bengalen. File:Rewari Cu hoard object, 1075.jpg|Indian Copper hoard artifact from Rewari, Haryana is probably not a use-object but more likely had a religious function. File:Recorded Indian Cu hoard finds.jpg|Recorded Indian Copper hoards objects, statistic.

Regional find-groups

Four regional find-groups are identifiable with their characteristic find-types: * Characteristic hoard-finds from South Haryana/North Rajasthan (recorded: 383) include flat axes, harpoons, double axes, swords with so-called antenna grips and others. * In the Ganges-Yamuna Doab (235) related types occur. * Those from Chota Nagpur differ (235) entirely from these. They include finely worked pieces, and mostly look at first like axe-heads but are probably ingots. * Fewer are those known from Madhya Pradesh (120), although originally there were some 424 from the Ghangaria hoard alone. Of the four find groups, the largest number derives from southern Haryana, especially from Hansi, 120 km west of Delhi These are purchases and are not excavated. R.A.E. Coningham believes that one of the largest hoards is that from Daimabad with 60 kg. It is an isolated contemporary phenomenon with little to do with the four main find-groups. Several writers do not distinguish between any early copper-based artefacts and the more narrowly defined Copper Hoards. Artifacts from Al-Aqir, Oman, Lothal, Gujarat and Kallur, Karnataka also comprise other finding spots of the copper hoard culture.

Characteristics of the artefacts

The copper ore used derives from different ore ranges in Rajasthan (Khetri), southern Haryana, Bihar/West Bengal/Orissa (especially Singhbhum) as well as Madhya Pradesh (Malanjkhand), to judge from the proximity to the find spots. Hoard objects contain from 78-99% copper. Six contain up to 32.9% iron. Artefacts from Haryana show the greatest chemical variation. Those from Ghangharia are chemically the most homogeneous. Variations in the amount of different constituent metals are considered to be unintentional. Harappan metallurgists seem better able to produce usable alloys. Certain copper artifacts from the late 3rd millennium contexts in Oman resemble the anthropomorphs of the Indian Copper Hoards.

Interpretations of the artefacts

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See also

*Kallur archaeological site *Pottery in the Indian subcontinent




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Further reading

*{{cite book|author=B.B. Lal|title=The Copper Hoard Culture of the Ganga Valley|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=3Ve0PgAACAAJ|year=1972|publisher=Heffer

External links

* Yule (1997)
The Copper Hiards of Northern India
Penn Museum Category:Archaeological cultures of South Asia Category:Chalcolithic cultures of Asia Category:Bronze Age cultures of Asia Category:Archaeological cultures in India