Atranji Kheda is a prehistoric site located on the banks of the Kali River, a tributary of the Ganges, in the Etah district of Uttar Pradesh. Alexander Cunningham discovered this site in 1961-1962 AD. Cunningham equates the site named Pi-lo-sha-na with Atranji Kheda, mentioned by the Chinese traveler Yuwanchwang.
History of Atranji Khera
Abul Fazl in 'Ainne Akbari' mentions Atranji as a palace of the Government of Kannauj. The experimental excavation was done here in 1962 AD. A prehistoric cultural site was discovered here by excavating for seven years from 1964 AD. Professor Nurul Hasan directed the initial excavations and R. C. Gaur did it.
It is said that Raja Ben defeated Muhammad Ghori during his Kanauj-invasion, but in the end Ghori took revenge and defeated Raja Ben and destroyed his city. From inside a cave came out the tomb of Hazrat Hasan - who was killed in this battle.
Some people say that Antaranji Kheda is the same ancient place that has been described by the Chinese traveler Yuwanchwang as Piloshana or Vilasana, but this assumption has been proved wrong. This second place was the ancient city of Bilsad which is 30 miles away from Etah. But still, there is no doubt about Antaranji Khede being a city of the pre-Muslim period because the excavation of huge ruins here, which are in the form of a wide mound (the mound is 3960 feet long, 1500 feet wide and often 65 feet high). The Sunga, Kushan, and Gupta period clay sculptures, coins, stamps, pieces of bricks, etc. have been found in large numbers.
At one end of the ruins are the remains of a Shiva temple with five Shivalingas. One of them is nine feet high. From the outline of the mound, it appears that a huge city was earlier settled in its place.
Here two thousand years BC. Remains from the reign of Akbar have been found. On the basis of these remains, the cultures here can be divided into four levels.
Culture of Atranji Kheda
On the basis of the remains, the cultures of Atranji Kheda can be divided into four levels.
Garrick Ware Culture
Krishna-iron pottery culture
painted gray pot culture
Northern Black Bright Pot Tradition Culture.
On the basis of the ocher colored pots obtained from the first Garic Ware culture level, it is called Garic Ware tradition. These ocher colored pots are mostly made of chalk and some are also hand made. Among them, pots, urns, bowls, bowls, pots, tassels, etc. are of thick construction. The saucers, washbasins, knobbly bowl-shaped lids, lamps and small urns are of thin construction. Some characters are painted and some have irregular lines. The people of this period were mostly agricultural. They were familiar with the cultivation of paddy, barley and pulses. The cobwebs for grinding grain have also been obtained from this level. The time of the first culture is usually around 2000 BC. to 1500 BC is believed.
In the second Krishna-Lohit pottery culture, the inhabitants of the culture, whose remains are found, used black and red pottery. The inner and neck part of the characters of this tradition is black and the remaining part is red in colour. Apart from the pots, square and rectangular stoves have been found from this level. Remains of copper and bones have also been found. In the Krishna-Lohit pottery culture, a large number of panels of ruby have been found. The period of this level is 1450 BC. to 1200 BC. is believed.
Painted gray-ware has been obtained from the third painted gray pot culture. Most of these are made of chalk, but some are also made by hand. Among these vessels, bowls and plates are important. In this tradition, illustrations are also found on the characters. These drawings are usually in the form of linear, point, circle, semicircle etc. The depiction of the swastika symbol is also found in the painted gray pot culture. They are usually gray in colour. Along with this tradition, the characters of black-red and gray-bhand tradition without ornamentation have also been received. Iron tools have also been found from this level, which have increased in number from the lower level to the top. Mainly arrowheads, spear-blades, tongs, nails, axes, fishing forks, rings, chisels, augers, etc. have been found. Indications of iron smelting furnaces have also been found from Atranji Kheda. Remains of agricultural wheat are also found during this period. Cattle were also reared along with agriculture. Signs of cow, bull, sheep, goat and horse have also been found. From this level there are residential signs. The houses were made of bamboo and wood. Clay animal figures, wheels and beads have been found. Objects made of copper and bone have also been found. Along with hearths, fire pits have also been found in the houses. The time count of this culture dates back to 1200 BC. to 600 BC.
From the fourth northern black shiny pot tradition culture, the characters of the northern black opdar Bhand tradition are obtained. These vessels are made of heavily kneaded black clay, and have a special luster of black color. These vessels are lightweight, of thin build, with a fine finish and a metal vessel-like clatter. Among the characters, thali bowls, small urns, hands, etc. are prominent. This level is found in more extensive and thick deposits. The use of bricks is gradually seen in the houses of this level. Remnants of houses of thatch and bamboo timber as well as houses of baked bricks are found in the upper layers. Statues of humans, animals, and birds have been obtained from this level. Objects made of iron, copper and elephant teeth and bones have been found. The time of this level is 600 BC. to 50 BC. is considered.
Most of the animals whose bones have been found in the excavation done at Atranji Kheda are of cows and oxen. They have clear bite marks and most date back to 500 BC. is from before. This proves that these animals were sacrificed in the Yagyas. On the basis of such facts, Professor Ramsharan Sharma has expressed the view in 'Material Progress and Social Structures in Ancient India that the Vedic religious form was not conducive to the cultivation of iron fruit plows. Broadly speaking, Atranji Kheda gives extensive evidence of it being the center of Aryan culture. Animal husbandry, farming community, rice cultivation, presence of iron, painted gray bhand culture etc. are the characteristics of Atranji Kheda.