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Current Affairs

Dholavira as UNESCO heritage site

Date: 29 July 2021 Tags: Historical Places

Issue

The Dholavira archeological site in Gujarat has received the UNESCO world heritage site tag, making it the 40th site with that distinction in India.

 

Background

Dholavira has been in the UNESCO tentative list since long time. It will be the fourth site from Gujarat to get the honour.

 

Details

  • It is located near the Dholavira hillock on an island in the Rann of Kutch. It is the fifth largest Indus Valley Civilization site after Mohenjo-Daro, Ganweriwala and Harappa in Pakistan and Rakhigarhi in Haryana.

  • JP Joshi has discovered the site in 1968. The further excavations revealed a major ancient city that remained a commercial and trade hub for more than 1500 years.

  • The city has all the features of an IVC town with a citadel, a lower town and middle town. The buildings are made up of sandstones and limestone instead of bricks like all other IVC towns.

 

Discoveries

  • Series of water conservation reservoirs, open air ground, market place, designed gates and funerary architecture has been discovered.

  • No human remains have been discovered in graves or memorials. This gives a new facet to the culture and traditions of ancient Harappans.

 

Rise of Dholavira

  • Residents were experts in metallurgy, especially copper. They made finished copper products and exported them to all over the world.

  • Jewellery made of semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli and agate was also exported. Sea shell jewellery was also common.

  • There were trading relations with Mesopotamia. After the fall of Mesopotamia, the effects were felt on many sectors of Harappan civilization.

 

The migration and decline

Residents started moving towards south Gujarat or Ganges valley once the area started to turn arid. Major snow-fed river such as Saraswati started drying up.

 

Other sites in India

  • Lothal in Ahmedabad district on the banks of Sabarmati river was a famous port town. Ship dockyards, ploughed fields and artifacts have been discovered.

  • Rangpur in Surendranagar district, Deshalpar in Kutch, Rojdi in Rajkot, and Prabhas near Gir Somanath are some of the IVC sites of Gujarat.