Grapnel stone anchors from Saurashtra: Remnants of Indo-Arab trade on the Indian coast
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Stone anchors have been used as a primary source of information on ancient navigation by marine archaeologists since long. These anchors used by ancient mariners are often noticed underwater at various places across the world. Stone anchors are also used as indications of ancient trade routes and sizes of boats. Marine archaeological investigations have brought to light a large number of stone anchors occurring along the Indian coast. One of the important type is grapnel anchor which has been cut from a solid long prismatic block of basalt or limestone. This type of anchor is heavy and strong enough to hold a big boat in place. From the Gujarat coast several grapnel anchors have been discovered with Dwarka being the focal point. anchors. These anchors termed as Indo-Arab anchors represent the active trade contact of India with Arab countries and may be dated between 8th to 15th century AD.
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