India's maritime history is deep and long here

India’s maritime history is deep and long here

A LITTLE OVER 70 km from Ahmedabad is Lothal, one of many essential cities of the traditional Harappan civilization, courting from 2600 BCE to 2000 BCE, positioned close to the Gulf of Khambhat.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modiwhereas reviewing the upcoming Nationwide Maritime Heritage Complicated in Lothal, defined how Lothal and Dholavira had been a part of the wealthy maritime historical past of India.

Lothal and Guess Dwarka, additionally in Gujarat, had been excavated by the late Director of the Archaeological Survey of India, Dr Shikaripura Ranganatha Rao. Relationship again over 4600 years, Lothal Dockyard is the oldest man-made dockyard, constructed of baked bricks, roughly 240m lengthy, 37m huge and 4m deep, with a warehouse positioned subsequent to it.

The location of Lothal was on a commerce route between the Harappan cities of Sindh and the peninsula of Saurashtra, when Kutch was a part of the Arabian Sea. Lothal flourished with superior technological marvels that initiated India’s wealthy maritime historical past, however mysteriously declined. Proof from Lothal means that the Harappans had been extremely disciplined individuals who believed so as, seen within the planning of cities and cities, a uniform system of weights and measures, the enforcement of commerce rules, environment friendly administration and the standardization of products and companies to facilitate manufacturing.

Notable artifacts discovered at Lothal embody ship fashions, Persian Gulf seals, bracelets, a terracotta mummy mannequin, a terracotta pyramid, a Sumerian head, treasured and semi-precious stones like carnelian, lapis lazuli.

Being a port metropolis, Lothal hosted merchants from totally different components of the world and civilizations. Aside from industrial merchandise, their cultural beliefs and values, modern concepts and strategies have additionally been transferred to Lothal, making it the middle of tradition and economic system of the world.

Dholavira within the district of Kutch is on the island of Khadir Guess, surrounded by the salty wastes of the Nice Rann of Kutch. It’s also identified domestically as Kotada timba and is without doubt one of the largest websites the place remnants of the Harappan civilization have been found. Two monsoon channels – the Menhar and the Mansar – hug the settlement. The ruins, together with the cemetery, cowl over 70 hectares, half of which is appropriated by the fortified settlement of Harappan alone.

The mounds are positioned lower than a kilometer northwest of the village of Dholavira. The underground water reserve right here in its delicate sedimentary limestone deposits didn’t fail it even throughout essentially the most extreme droughts of Gujarat within the 80s.

This Harappan metropolis was found in 1968 by former ASI Director Basic Jagat Pati Joshi and excavated throughout 13 area campaigns between 1989 and 2005 below the path of Ravindra Singh Bisht.

Dholavira is exclusive because the stays of an entire water system have been discovered right here. The individuals who lived there for about 1,200 years are identified for his or her water conservation system utilizing rainwater harvesting strategies in an in any other case parched panorama.

Proof of inter-regional commerce with different Harappan cities, in addition to cities within the Mesopotamia area and the Oman Peninsula, has additionally been found. Ten giant inscriptions, engraved within the script of the Harappan Valley, had been discovered, offered as the primary signal on this planet.

The location consists of two components: a fortified city and a cemetery to the west of the city. In 2021, it was included within the checklist of UNESCO World Heritage Websites.

There may be proof that the Rann of Kutch was navigable in Harappan instances, which might have given Dholavira direct or oblique entry to the ocean. It flourished in the course of the mature Harappan section, between 2600 and 1900 BCE.

Dholavira adopted a strict, but distinctive plan with a number of enclosures. The general plan options an acropolis or higher city, consisting of a large ‘fort’ on the highest level of the city and an adjoining ‘baley’; a medium-sized city, separated from the acropolis by an immense state floor; and a decrease city, a part of which was occupied by a collection of reservoirs.

The principle constructing materials was stone, though sun-dried bricks had been additionally used. Homes, wells and drains had been usually fabricated from native sandstone.

Dholavira had an environment friendly water administration system. Each monsoon channels had been lined with weirs at sure factors, not solely to retain the water, but in addition to divert it to the collection of cascading reservoirs to the east, south and west.

The reservoir to the east of the fort was the biggest of all, with a depth of 10.6 meters and flights of 30 steps.

The writer is the founding govt director of the Nationwide Maritime Heritage Complicated, Gandhinagarand CSIR Bhatnagar Fellow on the Middle for Mobile and Molecular Biology

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