In news- Dholavira, the archaeological site of Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) received the UNESCO world heritage site and hence became the fourth site from Gujarat and 40th from India to make to the list. It is the first site of the IVC in India to get the tag. Other than India, Italy, Spain, Germany, China and France have 40 or more World Heritage Sites.
- The IVC acropolis is located on a hillock near present-day Dholavira village in Kutch district.
- It has two seasonal streams, Mansar and Manhar.
- It was discovered in 1968 by archaeologist Jagat Pati Joshi.
- The site’s excavation was carried out between 1990 and 2005 under the supervision of archaeologist Ravindra Singh Bisht.
- The ancient city was a commercial and manufacturing hub for about 1,500 years before its decline and eventual ruin in 1500 BC.
- After Mohen-jo-Daro, Ganweriwala and Harappa in Pakistan and Rakhigarhi in Haryana of India, Dholavira is the fifth largest metropolis of IVC.
- 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.
- It has 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 and hemispherical structures like the Buddhist Stupas.
- Unlike graves at other IVC sites, no mortal remains of humans have been discovered at Dholavira.
- The memorials contain no bones or ashes but offerings of precious stones, etc.
- Remains of a copper smelter indicate 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.
- From 2000 BC, Dholavira entered a phase of severe aridity due to climate change and rivers like Saraswati dried up and people migrated toward the Ganges valley or towards south Gujarat and further beyond in Maharashtra.