Student Travel & Tours : Indus Valley Tour
Indus Valley Tour
Indus Valley Tour
Rangpur in Ahmedabad district was the first site to be excavated after independence in Gujarat. Discoveries dated the settlement to belong to the mature Harappan era. Progress on the excavation further opened up new areas that belonged to the Harappan civilization to Bhagatrav, on the edge of the Narmada-Tapti valley. The Indus Valley Civilization is believed to have spread to Kutch by 2500 BC. Sixty sites have been dug up in Kutch, of which 40 are assumed to belong to the early Harappan age. Five of the early Harappan settlements survived into the late Harappan phase.
Located at the head of the Gulf of Cambay, near the river Sabarmati, it is one of the major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization in India. The high capacity dockyard in Lothal stretches 37 metres from east to west and 22 metres from north to south. Some archaeologists opine that this could possibly have been used as a reservoir.
The site lies along the old course of the Sabarmati, and the design shows a remarkable understanding of tidal movement, hydraulics and the impact of the sea water on the bricks. The warehouse is connected to the dockyard through a wharf, to protect it against possible high tides and floods. The acropolis or town area falls beyond the warehouse for 128 x 61 metres, displaying an elaborate drainage system. Look out for the model kitchen with a pot furnace and the cooking blocks.
The Lothal ruins showcase remnants of the row of private baths, an ivory workshop, wells, neat rectangular commercial and residential blocks, streets, shops, bead factories and deep sewers.
Excavations as late as 2004 in Gola Dhoro in Gujarat threw up a unique ancient seal, and enough evidence to show that it was a manufacturing town. Located on the north eastern fringes of the village of Bagasra on the Gulf of Kutch, excavations indicate Gola Dhoros progress from a farming village to a manufacturing centre. A massive wall erected in three stages at the site has led to conjecture that 2500 sq. km was dedicated to residences and craft workshops. Evidence suggests that shells, semi-precious stones, faience and copper craft flourished here. Shell bangles made from Turbinella pyrum have been recovered from Gola Dhoro. Unused heaps of shells piled against a rectangular mud brick structure have been discovered, along with a grinding stone and half-completed shell circlets.
Excavations by the Archaeological Society of India have been in progress at Dholavira, or Kotada, in the Khadir island of Kutch since 1989. Stone architecture dominates the ancient city landscape, with clear demarcations of the Acropolis - Citadel, Middle Town and Lower Town areas surrounded by giant water reservoirs dug deep into the bedrock. Dholaviras dimensions of 600m x 775 m are fortified, enclosing built up areas, streets, wells and open spaces. Studies show settlements even outside the fortified city. Five Great Baths have also been excavated, but whether they are linked to the Indus Valley Civilisation is yet to be ascertained. A signboard in the Indus script found on the floor of a house is assumed to have been put up on the gateway and carries either the name of the city or a deity or perhaps the ruler.
Inscriptions on clay and intricately carved stone utensils recovered from Dholavira reflect an exchange of goods with the Mesopotamian civilization
Another striking display of urban architecture during the Harappan era can be found at Surkotda where a fortified citadel protects the residential area made largely of mud. Painted Harappan pottery, chert blades and copper objects, a piece of burnt rope and bones of the Equus, a wild horse have been some of the interesting finds. Burial pits with jars and dishes, supposedly as a symbol of food for the dead have been found. The findings at Surkotda have led archeologists to believe that the settlement stretched from the early Harappan to the late Harappan era.
Located near Jind and Narnaul in Haryanas Hissar district, Rakhigarhi is a site where excavation is still in progress, showing promise of adding a new dimension to Harappan civilization. Its significance lies in its sheer size and strategic location on the banks of the now dry river Drishdwati, a tributary of the legendary Saraswati, believed to be as large as Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. Civilizations in Rakhigarhi are understood to have flourished right through the early, mature and late stages of the Harappan culture. The discovery of Hakra Ware artifacts belonging to the pre-Indus Valley period has raised questions on the period of the civilization, pushing it back to perhaps 3500 BC. The layout of the urban settlements, the drainage system and the artifacts that have so far been discovered are similar to the discoveries at other Indus Valley sites. Copper fishing hooks and fishing nets at the site indicate a river in the vicinity, and are leading historians to believe that the Indus Valley Civilization was closely linked to the Vedic civilization. The Rakhigarhi site showcases a well planned settlement with wide roads, large sacrificial pits, brick lined drains, terracotta figurines, combs, needles and bronze vessels. A burial site is another interesting find, with 11 skeletons facing north. The female skeletons are distinct by their shell bangles, with a gold armlet and semi precious stones lying near the head.