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Harappan towns in Gujarat

19-MAR-2014 12:54

    There are two prominent sites which are found in Gujarat are Lothal (Ahmedabad) and Dholavira (kutch). Lothal Discovered in 1954, was excavated from 13 February 1955 to 19 May 1960 by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Dholavira was excavated by RS Bisht of ASI and his team in 1990. This city was located where there was fresh water and fertile soil in the Rann of Kutch. Indus Valley Civilization which is also known as Harappan civilization was one of the world’s first great civilizations.

    Location

    The first site which was re-excavated after independence was found in Gujarat in Rangpur at Limdi Taluka district of Ahmedabad as it was suspected to be a Harappan outpost.  From 1954-1958 further surveys of the peninsulas of Saurashtra and Kutch and the mainland of Gujarat brought to light different phases of the Harappan civilization. The Harappans most likely to started infiltrating into Kutch and settled down there with an amazing speed and strength around 2500 B.C.

    Lothal

    • Lothal situated in Gujarat was excavated by S.R.Rao in the year 1957.
    • This town of Indus Valley Civilisation is located on the bank of river Bhagava in Gujarat. The city located beside a tributary of the Sabarmati, in Gujarat which is close to the Gulf of Khambat. It was situated near areas where raw materials such as semi-precious stones were easily available.
    • Lothal is named on an ancient mound situated in the revenue jurisdiction of Sarajwala Village in Dholka Taluka of Ahmedabad.
    • This is the only Indus site where an artificial brick dockyard was found and the dockyard must have served as the main seaport for the people of Indus. It was surrounded by a massive brick wall, probably for the protection of flood. The world first tidal port was also excavated from Lothal.
    • Confirmation of double burials from Lothal.
    • Cultivation of rice evidence was found in Lothal around 1800BC. The only other Indus site where rice husk has been found is Rangpur near Ahmedabad.
    • Shop of Beadmakers was seen in Lothal and Chanhudrao.
    • Lothal is known as Manchester town of Harappan civilisation because of its expansion of cotton trade.
    • Furnaces of Copper have also been found from here.
    • Persian Gulf seal (a circular button shaped seal) was seen.
    • One or two terracotta models of Egyptian mummies wrapped with muslin cloth. A figurine of a horse related to terracotta model is found here.
    • A sacrificial fire alters found both in Lothal and Kalibangan suggesting medical and surgical skills.
    • There is an evidence of Chess seemed to have been played by residents of Lothal.
    • At Lothal the burial pit was lined with burnt bricks which are an evident of using coffins. Pot burials practice sometimes with pairs of skeleton is found at Lothal but there is no clear cut proof for the practice of Sati. 
    • Lothal is one of those sites which gave evidence of direct trade contact with Mesopotamia. It had also link with other overseas countries which can be indicated by a seal from Iran found from this site.
    • An elaborate sanitary and drainage system which was a hallmark of ancient Indus cities is in evidence everywhere at Lothal. Kitchens and wells were spread across the upper town.
    • Micro-beads which were made by grinding materials, rolling them on to a string and making it solid through baking, was a specialty of Lothal.

    Dholavira

    • Dholavira which was excavated by RS Bisht of ASI and his team in 1990. This city was located where there was fresh water and fertile soil in the Rann of Kutch on Khadir Beyt.
    • Dholavira is the largest of all the Harappan settlements and one of the two largest indus settlements in India, the other being Rakhigarhi in Haryana.
    • Dholavira was divided into three principal divisions, two of which were strongly protected by rectangular fortification but the other Harappan towns were divided into two parts-Citadel and the Lower Town. A Middle town could be seen only at the site of Dholavira.
    • Stone had been in use for constructions.
    • An evidence of signboard carrying10-alphabet was seen.
    • This is the site from where a megalith burial has been.
    • Evidence of agricultural activities, like irrigation, dams and embankments has been seen.
    • Dholavira gave the evidence of warehousing settlement of Indus Civilisation.
    • Well prepared gold rings have been seen in Dholavira, Mandi and Daimabad.
    • Dholavira being located on a fault line might have been destroyed by an earthquake.

    Surkotada

    • Surkotada which is located in Bhuj area of Gujarat was excavated by J P Joshi in 1972.
    • The Harappans came to Surkotada around 2300 BC, and built a fortified citadel and residential annex which was made of mud brick, mud lumps and rubble containing houses with bathrooms and drains.
    • A citadel and a lower town, both of which were fortified can be revealed form the evidences form excavations.
    • This is the only excavated site which was fortified through stone wall and also the only Indus city from where the actual remains of a horse have been found.
    • Evidence of Pot burial has been seen in Surkotada.

    Rangpur

    Rangpur which is situated around 51 kms. from Ahmadabad in Gujarat. Rice husk is the most important finding of this settlement.

    Important Events

    Lothal situated in Gujarat was excavated by S.R.Rao in the year 1957.

    Dholavira which was excavated by RS Bisht of ASI and his team in 1990.

    Surkotada which is located in Bhuj area of Gujarat was excavated by J P Joshi in 1972.

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