One of the five largest Harappan sites in the Indian sub-continent, Dholavira is located in the Khadir Bet Island in Kutch district of Gujarat. Also known as ‘Kotada timba’, the site was discovered in 1967 by J P Joshi. Since 1990, Archaeological Survey of India is excavating the site. The site contains remains of the Indus valley civilization. The site is considered to be the second largest Harappan site in India and fifth largest in the Indian sub-continent. The other Harappan sites are Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Ganeriwala, Rakhigarhi, Kalibangan, Rupanagar and Lothal. Along with Lothal, Dholavira is the only site which marks its presence in all the stages of Harappan culture from 2900 BC to 1500 BC.
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Through the excavation carried out by the ASI, it has been learnt that Dholavira was once an important commercial center and trade occurred with south Gujarat, Sindh, Punjab and the Middle East. Archaeologists have also discovered urban architecture and unearthed antiquities like seals, beads, gold, silver, terracotta ornaments, pottery and bronze vessels. Dholavira also consists one of the world’s earliest water conservation systems. It had reservoirs, which were used for storing rain water. Heavily dependent on rainfall, Dholavira invested on rainwater harvesting to overcome the drought situation.
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The remains in the site also shows citadel with a middle and lower town. These structures were built with sun-dried brick and stone masonry. The inhabitants also built an underground drainage system for sanitation. Tourists can spot a large stadium with seating arrangement built as per the complex structure. Archaeologists have also found ten large-scale inscriptions carved in Indus Valley script, which are yet to be deciphered. Another attraction of the site is the archaeological museum, where one gets to see relics of the Indus valley civilization. Dholavira went into decline in the 5th and 7th stages of the Harappan culture.
Image: Rama’s Arrow/Wikimedia Commons
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