1857-9 Sepoy Mutiny in India: what happened here, and when?

Quote: Indian Mutiny, also called Sepoy Mutiny, widespread but unsuccessful rebellion against British rule in India in 1857. Begun in Meerut by Indian troops (sepoys) in the service of the British East India Company, it spread to Delhi, Agra, Kanpur, and Lucknow. The rebellion posed a considerable threat to Company power in that region, and was contained only with the fall of Gwalior on 20 June 1858. The rebellion is also known as India's First War of Independence, the Great Rebellion, the Revolt of 1857, the Uprising of 1857 and the Sepoy Rebellion.
  • By the time it was over, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people had been killed. The British home government had disbanded the British East India Company, taking direct colonial control of the British Raj in India. Also, the Mughal Empire ended, and Britain sent the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar into exile in Burma.
  • To regard the rebellion merely as a sepoy mutiny is to underestimate the increasing pace of Westernization after the establishment of British paramountcy in India in 1818. Hindu society was being affected by the introduction of Western ideas.
  • The immediate cause of the Indian Revolt of 1857 was a seemingly minor change in the weapons used by the British East India Company's troops. The East India Company upgraded to the new Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle, which used greased paper cartridges. In order to open the cartridges and load the rifles, sepoys had to bite into the paper and tear it with their teeth.
  • Rare Photos Of Indian Mutiny / Sepoy Mutiny / Indian Rebellion / Uprising Of 1857
  • Indian Rebellion of 1857 - Wikipedia
There are quite a few images at the above link, but my questions will pertain to the image below only.

indian-sepoy-mutiny-rebellion-uprising-1857-rare-photos-34.jpg

KD: I doubt these skeletal remains would have stayed in the streets for years. Officially there were people living in the areas of the revolt of 1857-59. There is no way to date the photograph, but we do have an official date of this so-called mutiny.

So, what do you think happened to the bodies? Did they get eaten by animals, or could some flesh stripping Mahabharata type weapon be the root cause of this? This is the timeframe of those abandoned cities we talked about so much.
 
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  • John Nada

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    I think you hit the nail on the head with the possible use of a Mahabharata type weapon. I can not tell exactly, but it appears that some of the bones have been burned, specifically the skull in the foreground just to the right of the image center. There is also a suspicious lack of clothing and equipment, but that could have been scavenged by survivors, especially if supplies were short. Aside from the obvious with the skeletons, one thing that sticks out to me regarding the photo in the OP is the lack of bullet holes vs. the amount of bodies shown. While there are some present, one would expect to see several more bullet holes if a gun battle had occurred(a good example is the second photo in Korben's reply). Another thing to note is the bones appear picked clean without significant damage, specifically on the rib cages. One would expect to see more broken bones if animals had decided to make a meal from the fresh spoils of war. The photo in the OP is one of the better examples of the use of a more advanced weapons technology than we are told existed at the time.
     

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