Rehman Dheri

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Rehman Dheri
رحمان ڈھیری
Rehman Dheri is located in Pakistan
Rehman Dheri
Shown within Pakistan
RegionKhyber Pakhtunkhwa
Coordinates31°57′58″N 70°47′39″E / 31.966111°N 70.794167°E / 31.966111; 70.794167

Rehman Dheri or sometime Rahman Dheri (Urdu: رحمان ڈھیری‎) is a Pre-Harappan Archaeological Site situated near Dera Ismail Khan in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. This is one of the oldest urbanised centres found to date in South Asia. Dated about 3300 BC, the site is situated 22 kilometres (14 mi) north of Dera Ismail Khan.


The site is located on the Gomal River Plain near the Indus river. Since the earliest occupation, except for the extension outside the city in the south, the entire habitation area was enclosed by a massive wall, built from dressed blocks made from clay slabs. [1] The low rectangular mound is covering about 22 hectares and standing 4.5 m above the surrounding field.

The fortified town of about ten to fifteen thousand inhabitants shows sign of town planning. Pottery, and stone and metal tools were found.

No seals were found and no writing was discovered, though some type of notations on the pottery were observed. These 'potter’s marks', engraved or painted, are "strikingly similar to those appearing in the Mature Indus symbol system".[2]

At Kunal, Haryana, a button seal was discovered during 1998-99 excavations by Archaeological Survey of India. The seal is similar to the Rehman Dheri examples.[3] It contained a picture of two deer on one side, and geometrical pattern on other side. The similar specimen from Rehman-Dheri is datable to c. 4000 BCE.[3]

The mound is rectangular is shape with a grid-like street network. The walls demarcating individual buildings and avenue frontages are still clearly visible, and it’s easy to recognize some small-scale industrial areas; within the site, eroded kilns and scatters of slag have been found.

Archeological sequence[edit]

In Rehman Dehri the archeological sequence is over 4.5 meters deep and it covers a series of over 1,400 years that was begun at c. 3,300 BC. Reham Dehri characterizes different periods which includes the period from c. 3300-2850 BC, c. 2850-2500 BC, and the last is from c. 2500-1900 BC.

In its earliest phases it is accepted that the settlement receives its formal planning and that consequent stages extended the plan over time. Even though the excavators have cut a number of deep trenches into the lower levels, the uncovered area was too limited to study the spatial sharing of craft activities.

In the middle of the third millennium BC, at the beginning of the mature Indus phase, the site was abandoned. There was limited reoccupation.

Some more records are found at the neighbouring archaeological mound Hisam Dheri.

Due to the recent developments, the plans of the Early Harappan settlement were disturbed.

This site represents the earliest urban settlement on the sub-continent, with a very rich bead industry. It was earlier than the Kot Diji-Sothi complex.[4]

Ram Dheri theory[edit]

All India Muslim Personal Law Board's member Abdul Rahim Qureshi quoted former Archaeological Survey of India official Jassu Ram to argue that Ram was actually born in Dera Ismail Khan district of Pakistan, in a town called Rahman Dheri, which was earlier called Ram Dheri complex.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hasan, Shaikh Khurshid (2005) Historical Forts in Pakistan, National Institute of Historical & Cultural Research, Centre of Excellence, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. ISBN 969-415-069-8
  2. ^ Charles Keith Maisels, Early Civilizations of the Old World: The Formative Histories of Egypt, The Levant, Mesopotamia, India and China. Routledge, 2003 ISBN 1134837305
  3. ^ a b Archaeological Survey of, India (2004). "Excavations at Kunal,Haryana" (PDF). Indian Archaeology 1998-99 A Review: 11–12. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  4. ^ Charles Keith Maisels, Early Civilizations of the Old World: The Formative Histories of Egypt, The Levant, Mesopotamia, India and China. Routledge, 2003 ISBN 1134837305
  5. ^

Coordinates: 31°57′58″N 70°47′39″E / 31.96611°N 70.79417°E / 31.96611; 70.79417