One of the most enlightening and problematic expressions of identity is burial practice. Burials link several lines of inquiry into a single research object. They represent a single or small series of closely linked events. Biology, art, religion, communication, society, and personal psychology can all ideally be preserved in or represented by burials. A burial can be a snapshot of a people and their culture. Research into the burial practices of the Harappan Civilization has thus far been limited. The most limiting factor has been the distribution of burials between a relatively small number of sites at which burials have been identified. An additional complication is that at no site have a sufficient number of burials been examined. Three types of burials can be identified. Types include extended, fractional, and cremation burials. The extended burial is the most numerous and the most widespread. Four variations of this type of extended burial were identified. These variations include: empty, brick lined, wooden, and plain. Fractional burials are apparently secondary burials of various types.
There are over fifty-five burial sites in the Indus valley were found Harappa. The principal sites are Harappa Kalibangan, Rakhigarhi, Lothal, Rojdi, and Ropar. The burials are interpreted primarily as reflections of social structure and hierarchy. This interpretation tends to be in sync with the Tainter school of thought. The strongest evidence for this interpretation would be burial sites in Harappa, cemetery R-37 and Cemetery H.
R-37 is the smaller site compared to cemetery H, and has about 200 burials. Archaeologists believe it was a restricted cemetery that was used by a particular group or family that lived in Harappa. The “strong genetic affinities among female population in the R-37 cemetery prove that the cemetery was only used by the members of a closely related family or group. These genetic affinities that are exhibited in the female...
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