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in the Ranchi District.

By Sarat Chandra Roy, M.A.

OBJECTS of stone, copper and iron are not the only relics of earlier human culture found in the Chōtā Nagpur Division. Some ancient bronze articles have been recently unearthed in the Ranchi District. This remarkable find consists of one large copper handi, a number of bronze bells, besides a few bowls and plates made of bronze.

A client of mine of the name of Ramai Orãon and his son Etwa Oraon while levelling a plot of upland in village Bahea, about thirteen miles to the east of Ranchi, found these articles at a depth of a foot or so below the surface. The plates and bowls were found in an earthen jar (ghaṛa) and the other articles were found embedded in the ground about three feet away from the former. The illustration on the opposite page shows the big copper handi, one bronze bowl and two bronze bells.

The field on which they were found forms part of a large plot of upland, measuring about three acres, which slopes towards the south into a hill-stream locally called Chaṇḍi-gāṛha. The land was up till recently covered over with jungle mostly of sāl trees, and the solitary trunk of an old sal tree is still left to mark the spot, towards the south-west of the field, where the bronze articles were found. Sal jungles still form the northern and eastern boundaries of the land. I had excavations made in the field but nothing whatsoever could be found except some small bits of old potsherds and a few lumps of gultha or earth burnt red which might not improbably have been fragments of an oven or smelting-place for metal. To the north-west of the land a cultivator of the name of Tota Oraon, while clearing the jungle and digging the earth with a view to

convert the land into a cultivable field, dug out an earthenware ghara containing human bones and closed up with an earthen bowl in the manner in which cinerary urns attributed to the Asurs of Munda tradition are closed up. The man had thrown away the ghara as useless and it got smashed into pieces. But the site occupied by the ghaṛa could still be made out, when I visited the place, by the gap of the shape of a ghaṛā left in the soil by the urn. I had a portion of this plot of land dug up but no more cinerary urns could be found.

The only other thing I secured in this village that is of some interest from the point of view of prehistoric archæology, is a stone celt of a rather unusual type. This appears to be a flake chipped into shape and probably used either as a child's knife or for ceremonial purposes. It is an unusually thin triangular celt made of schistose rock, measuring only two inches in length, one inch wide at the edge and half an inch at the butt end. One of the faces is perfectly flat but bevelled slightly to form the blade, which is rounded. The other face is distinctly convex with a ridge at the middle running from butt to edge and from this ridge the chipped convex face slopes towards each side.

Mr. Coggin-Brown, to whom some of the bronze articles were sent for examination, writes:

"I have carefully examined the metal articles sent under cover of your letter dated the 22nd June 1916 and have come to the conclusion that they probably belong to the historical period. At any rate I have never seen any Indian Copper Age remains like them. The metal used in casting the bells and the large bowl seems to be an alloy-a bronze of some kind, but this can only be settled by the chemical analysis of a fragment from them. They are beautiful objects of their kind and are probably of considerable interest from the historical point of view. I would suggest their examination by some member of the Archeological Survey before they are stored in your Museum. If the large bowl is bronze it suggests a resemblance with some of the bronze remains of South Indian cemeteries, but the age of these

bronzes has not been determined and they are supposed to be importations from abroad."

The present residents of village Baheå are a few families of Mundās and Oraons who are all comparatively recent settlers, the oldest family having migrated into the village only three or four generations ago. Before them it is said the village was inhabited by some semi-aboriginal Bhogtās whose families have been since extinct. There is no tradition in the village as to who made and used these vessels and how they came to be there. It may be noted that I have heard of finds of similar articles in a few more villages in the Ranchi district, but unfortunately have not yet been able to get hold of any one of them. A few plates and anklets found by the Hon'ble and Rev. Dr. Campbell in the Manbhum district appear to be made of the same metal as those unearthed at Bahea.

HISTORY.-Professor Jadu Nath Sarkar, M.A., P.R.S.

P. Kennedy, Esq., M.A., B.L.

S. Khuda Baksh, Esq., M.A., B.C.L., Bar.-at-Law.

S. Sinha, Esq., Bar.-at-Law.

ARCHEOLOGY.-Hon'ble Mr. E. H. C. Walsh, C.S.I., I.C.S.
Professor V. H. Jackson, M.A.

K. P. Jayaswal, Esq., M.A., Bar.-at-Law.

ANTHROPOLOGY.-His Honour Sir Edward Albert Gait, K.C.S.I., C.I.E.,

Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit Hara Prasad Shastri, M.A.,

PHILOLOGY.-Hon'ble Mr. C. E. A. W. Oldham, I.C.S.

Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. Ganga Nath Jha, M.A., D.Litt.

Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit Hara Prasad Shastri, M.A.,


Other Members of Council besides the President, the General Secretary and the Treasurer.

The Hon'ble Mr. E. H. C. Walsh, C.S.I., I.C.S.

The Hon'ble Mr. C. E. A. W. Oldham, I.C.S.

Nawab Shams-ul-'Ulama Saiyid Imdad Imam.

Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit H. P. Shastri, M.A., C.I.E.
Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. Ganga Nath Jha, M.A., D. Litt.
V. H. Jackson, Esq., M.A.

D. B. Spooner, Esq., B.A., Ph.D.

S. Khuda Baksh, Esq., M.A., B.C.L.

K. P. Jayaswal, Esq., M.A., Bar.-at-Law.

P. Kennedy, Esq., M.A., B.L.

Professor Jadu Nath Sarkar, M.A., P.R.S.

Professor J. N. Samaddar, B.A.

S. A. Raja, Esq.

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