A Harappan Feast

(via Wikipedia)
(via Wikipedia)

If you are having a proper Indian lunch or dinner, there is good chance that your food will contain ginger or turmeric or lentils. You have rice or millet and maybe even a banana to top it off. If so, the food that we eat today is no different from the ones eaten by our ancestors who lived in the Indus-Saraswati region, 4500 years back. An article in Science explains that due to new tools, researchers can now identify food, based on microscopic left overs. Ginger and turmeric were identified for the first time using these new tools and techniques at Farmana and it is the first time they have been spotted in the Harappan region. Thus, in Western lingo, Harappans ate “curry.”

The interesting find though is the banana, which was first cultivated in Papua New Guinea. It is not clear if banana was cultivated in the Harappan region or if it was obtained via trade with people in the East via the trading hubs of the ancient world. In fact there is a bit of controversy over the banana find and I had written about it here.