Important Facts For Prelims (1st May 2019) | 01 May 2019

ASI Unearths Late Harappan site at Sanauli (UP)

  • The Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) ongoing excavation of 4,000-year-old burial sites in Uttar Pradesh’s Sanauli has unearthed underground sacred chamber, decorated legged coffins as well as rice and dal in pots and animal bones buried with the bodies.
  • The findings are important to understand the culture pattern of the Upper Ganga-Yamuna doab.
  • The discovery implies that it is different from the harappan culture and is contemporary to the last phase of the mature Harappan culture.
  • The excavations at Sanauli has brought to light the largest necropolis of the late Harappan period datable to around early part of the second millennium BCE.

NOTE: The term usually implies a separate burial site at a distance from a city, as opposed to tombs within cities, which were common in various places and periods of history. They are different from grave fields, which did not have remains above the ground.

  • The discovery points towards the existence of a 'warrior class in the area around 2,000 BCE' and this would challenge some of the basic premises of the Aryan invasion theory that claim that horses were brought in by the invading Aryan army around 1500 to 1000 BC.
  • Chariots pulled by horses had given the Aryans the edge over the Dravidians and the power to conquer the North Indian plains by pushing them to the south of the peninsula.

Japan Monarchy

  • Japan's new emperor, Naruhito, has formally ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne (world’s oldest surviving hereditary monarchy), replacing his father, Akihito, who had abdicated in 2019.
  • Naruhito became the 126th Emperor of Japan. The abdication by Akihito, is the first in more than 200 years.
  • In 2017, Japan’s Parliament passed a law to allow the Emperor to abdicate.
  • With the end of the reign of Akihito, the 'Heisei' era has ended, and with the ascension the new 'Reiwa' era has begun in Japan.

Red Sea Reefs

  • Scientists consider the Red Sea reefs the most climate change-resilient corals.
  • Red Sea corals have developed an unusually high tolerance to the extreme temperatures, salinity and occasional turbidity (caused by huge seasonal dust storms) that occur in the region.
  • The Red Sea is an extension of the Indian Ocean, lying between the Arabian Peninsula and Africa.