UNESCO declaring Dholavira, Harappan city in India a World Heritage site
- Dholavira is an archaeological site at Kutch District, in the state of Gujarat (Check Here)
- The site was discovered in 1967-68 by J. P. Joshi, of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and is the fifth largest of eight major Harappan sites.
- It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name Dholavira: a Harappan City on 27 July 2021
- The site contains ruins of an ancient Indus Valley Civilization/Harappan city.
- The 47 ha (120 acres) quadrangular city lay between two seasonal streams, the Mansar in the north and Manhar in the south.[
- The site was thought to be occupied from c.2650 BCE, declining slowly after about 2100 BCE, and to have been briefly abandoned then reoccupied until c.1450 BCE; however, recent research suggests the beginning of occupation around 3500 BCE (pre-Harappan) and continuity until around 1800 BCE (early part of Late Harappan period).
- Dholavira’s location is on the Tropic of Cancer.
- It is one of the five largest Harappan sites and most prominent archaeological sites in India belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization.
- It is also considered as having been the grandest of cities of its time.
- It is located on Khadir bet island in the Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary in the Great Rann of Kutch.
- It has been under excavation since 1990 by the ASI, which opined that “Dholavira has indeed added new dimensions to personality of Indus Valley Civilisation.”
- The other major Harappan sites discovered so far are Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Ganeriwala, Rakhigarhi, Kalibangan, Rupnagar and Lothal.
- The site has a fortified citadel, a middle town and a lower town with walls made of sandstone or limestone instead of mud bricks in many other Harappan sites.
- Archaeologist Bisht cites a cascading series of water reservoirs, outer fortification, two multi-purpose grounds — one of which was used for festivities and as a marketplace — nine gates with unique designs, and funerary architecture featuring tumulus — hemispherical structures like the Buddhist Stupas
- Exclusive water management
- Only site to be divided into three parts
- Giant water reservoir
- Unique water harnessing system
- Rock – Cut architecture – as some of the unique features of the Dholavira site.
Rise and fall of Dholavira
- Remains of a copper smelter indicate of Harappans, who lived in Dholavira, knew metallurgy.
- It is believed that traders of Dholavira used to source copper ore from present-day Rajasthan and Oman and UAE and export finished products. It was also a hub of manufacturing jewellery made of shells and semi-precious stones, like agate and used to export timber.
- The beads peculiar to the Harappan workmanship have been found in the royal graves of Mesopotamia, indicating Dholavira used to trade with the Mesopotamians.
- Its decline also coincided with the collapse of Mesopotamia, indicating the integration of economies.
- Harappans, who were maritime people, lost a huge market, affecting the local mining, manufacturing, marketing and export businesses once Mesopotamia fell.
- From 2000 BC, Dholavira entered a phase of severe aridity due to climate change and rivers like Saraswati drying up. Because of a drought-like situation, people started migrating toward the Ganges valley or towards south Gujarat and further beyond in Maharashtra.
- In those the Great Rann of Kutch, which surrounds the Khadir island on which Dholavira is located, used to be navigable, but the sea receded gradually and the Rann became a mudflat.
- Painted Indus black-on-red-ware pottery, square stamp seals, seals without Indus script, a huge signboard measuring about 3 m (9.8 ft) in length, containing ten letters of Indus script.
- One poorly preserved seated male figure made of stone has also been found, comparable to high quality two stone sculptures found at Harappa.
- Large black-slipped jars with pointed base were also found at this site.
- A giant bronze hammer, a big chisel, a bronze hand-held mirror, a gold wire, gold ear stud, gold globules with holes, copper celts and bangles, shell bangles, phallus-like symbols of stone, square seals with Indus inscription and signs, a circular seal, humped animals, pottery with painted motifs, goblets, dish-on-stand, perforated jars, Terracotta tumblers in good shape, architectural members made of ballast stones, grinding stones, mortars, etc., were also found at this site. Stone weights of different measures were also found.
- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris.
- Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms etc.
- UNESCO implements its activities through the five programme areas: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information.
- It designates projects and places of cultural and scientific significance, such as:
- Global Geoparks Network
- Biosphere reserves (Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB), since 1971)
- City of Literature
- Endangered languages and linguistic diversity projects
- Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity
- Memory of the World International Register, since 1997
- Water resources management (International Hydrological Programme (IHP), since 1965)
- World Heritage sites
- World Digital Library
UNESCO World Heritage Committee
- The World Heritage Committee selects the sites to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger.
- It monitors the state of conservation of the World Heritage properties, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties.
- It is composed of 21 states parties that are elected by the General Assembly of States Parties for a four-year term.
- India is NOT a member of this Committee
Source: Indian Express
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