The village of sadiqpur Sianuli popularly known as Sanauli, is located on the Barot – Chhaprauli road in tehsil Barot, district Baghpat, western Uttar Pradesh, in the Yamuna – Hindon Doab. The site revealing the evidence of burials, lies along the southeastern periphery of the Sanuali village, on the Khadir tract of the Yamuna on its left bank.
The Yamuna flows nearly 6 km west of the site as the crow flies. The present contours of the site clearly indicate that the Yamuna was flowing in the close vicinity of the site during the 2nd millennium BC. At present, there is a big depression close to9 the excavated site towards the northwest, which originally might have been a big natural jobad (a large talao, a water reservoir), as also referred to by the villagers. The prosimity of such a regular water body close to the cemetery site is a well – known feature of the ancient settlement pattern as well as a modern village layout.
The cemetery site under reference, evidencing pottery assemblages and associated skeletons and other relics, were recovered from an agricultural field while the villagers were attempting leveling operations here. This field is located at a distance of approximately 300 m southeast of the modern village amid the agricultural fields. The total extent of the burial site could not, in fact, be assessed because of the standing crops. Associated with the burial site, there must have been a habitational settlement site, which also could not be located for the same reason. All these problems, along with others, are required to be tackled whenever the work is taken up here in the future.
Typology of the Burials
The salvage operations carried out so far have succeeded in recovering a total number of 116 burials from different depths, revealing different modes of the disposal of the dead. All the 116 excavated burials (mostly primary and extended, only a few secondary and symbolic) were found laid in the northwest – southeast orientation, with heads placed in the north, and legs towards the south.
These burials were exhumed from three successive levels. So, far, any evidence of animal sacrifice along with the human skeletons has not been observed from the lowest levels. However, these have been noted from both the middle and the upper levels.
Evidences of symbokic burials of the Sanaulians, suggesting antyesbti of the dead at their birth places (janma – bhumi) have also been documented. Personal belongings, jewellery, copper weapons, etc. besides pottery have been found placed in the graves, without any skeletal remains. It suggests that the persons concerned died far away from their birthplaces. And their bodies could not be recovered.
Sheri Khan Tarakai
The archaeological site of Sheri Khan Tarakai was discovered by the members of the Bannu Archaeological Project in 1985. It lies in the jani Khel / wali Noor area of the Bannu basin, which is a distinct geographical and administrative area in Khybur Pakhtukhwa Pakistan. Five seasons of excavations were conducted at the site between 1986 and 1994. A final report volume outlining the results of the excavations and the subsequent analysis was published in 2010.