4,500-year-old Harappan settlement excavated in Kutch

The team which has been excavating the site in Bhachau taluka of Kutch since last three years, is headed by Kuldeep Bhan and P Ajithprasad of the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History of the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara.

"A huge fortified structure made out of unbaked mud bricks has been excavated by our team. The ratio of height, width and length of the bricks is 1:2:4 which is what we call Harappan ratio," Ajithprasad told PTI.

"The fortification is spread over nearly one hectare area, with 10 m thick walls," he said.

"Though the exact period when this structure could have been constructed is yet to be ascertained, primarily it appears to be roughly 4500-years-old, built between 2500 BC and 2200 BC and is part of the Harappan civilisation," Ajithprasad said.

"The purpose of building such thick walls could be protection from natural calamities, external enemy or to impress upon other settlements," he added.
According to the professor, the fortification has an open space in the centre with small structures surrounding it.

"The site is one quarter the size of the biggest Harappan site in the state located in Dholavira, Kutch and four times the size of another site of the same era in Bagasra," Ajithprasad said. Situated on a mound locally known as Valmio Timbo (mound) measuring about 3.4 hectares, it is located 4.5 km south of Shikarpur village at the edge of the narrow creek extending eastward from the Gulf of Kutch. It is close to National Highway-15 connecting Kutch district with other parts of the state.

"The site was earlier excavated from 1987 to 1989 by the Gujarat State Archaeology Department but details about it were not published and whatever little was published was inconclusive," Ajithprasad said.

Therefore, the site was taken up for re-excavation due to its strategic location and establish the cultural sequence as well as the settlement features in terms of economic activities, he added.

During the three years of excavation, the site has revealed Harappan artifacts, especially ceramics and triangular terracotta cakes, spread rather evenly on the surface. In addition to the classical Harappan pottery, the surface assemblage included small amounts of regional pottery. Other sites of Harappan civilisation excavated in Gujarat include Kanmer in Kutch, Gola Dhoro (Bagasara), Nageshwar, Nagwada, Kuntasi in northern Saurashtra and Juni Kuran in northern Kutch.

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