Friday, May 04, 2007


Wooden piece at Dwarka site to tell all... date, time


May 04, 2007

Rajkot - Archaeologists are excited about a circular wooden structure found underwater at a near-shore excavation site off the coast of Jamnagar. Thought to be the remains of the lost city of ancient Dwarka, the wooden structure is well preserved and surrounded by another structure made of stone blocks.

“It is significant as scientific dating of wood, which is carbon, is possible. This was not the case with evidences like stone, beads, glass and terracota found earlier,” said Alok Tripathi, Superintending Archeologist, Underwater Archeology Wing of Archaeological Survey of India.

The dating of submerged ruins off the coast of Dwarka has been matter of debate for since long. Archaeologists and historians have been at loggerhead about the period when these structures were built and have claimed various dates about the origin and decay of one of the most scared places in India. Answers to questions like when did Lord Krishna set up his kingdom in Dwarka? When did the “Golden City” submerge in the sea? — were based on the interpretations of these scholars and no material evidence had so far been found so that these structures could be scientifically dated.

“Though excavation at Dwarka has been carried out a number of times, this is for the first time a wooden block has been found, and this is going to help us almost pin-point a time frame and give some credible answers,” said Tripathi.

This piece was found during a near-shore excavation carried out in the southwest region of Samudranarayan Temple. The structure is made of stone and wood. The underwater archaeologist carried out diving in shallow water and studied the technique of joining these blocks in detail. The blocks were joined so well with the help of wooden dowels and nails that they remained in situ (in position) despite heavy surfs and strong current for a long period.

“The collected samples will be sent to different laboratories. We expect the results to come as soon as possible,” said Tripathi.

According to ancient literature the ancient Dwarka city had submerged in the sea. The Underwater Archaeology Wing (UAW) of the Archaeological Survey of India undertook systematic study of Dwarka about two years back. After a thorough analysis of earlier research and extensive fieldwork, UAW started archaeological excavation at Dwarka from January 1, 2007 to know the antiquity of the site based on scientific study of the material evidence.


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