Geography and Anthropology
In this article, we investigate the chronology of a large parallel-walled mudbrick structure at the site of Pachamta in Rajasthan, India. Pachamta is larger than the contemporaneous Harappan site of Kalibangan and part of a society collectively known as the Ahar Culture. Recent excavations at Pachamta provided an opportunity to elaborate on the available dates for this society and to investigate the chronology of an enigmatic parallel-walled structure. The chronology and function of such prominent structures remains murky, although scholars have suggested that these buildings served as public storage because they resemble the granary at Harappa. Through excavation, our team collected data for assessing the Pachamta parallel-walled structure including construction methods, process of abandonment, and associated dates. The thirteen 14C assays from the site and an associated phase and sequence model performed in OxCal 4.3 demonstrate that the building was constructed, used, and abandoned in a relatively brief period. If parallel-walled structures are storage buildings, then expansion of the building may indicate prosperity or surplus, while abandonment may indicate an end to abundance or a shift in resource management. Carefully dating the structure allows us to investigate the timing of social processes including political and economic shifts within the settlement.
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