Marine archaeological explorations off Bet Dwarka (Gujarat), 2002-2003. Reort of the activity under in-house project: "Application of geological and geophysical methods in marine archaeology and underwater explorations."
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Marine archaeological explorations of Bet Dwarka Island, Okhamandal, Gujarat, India have been carried out since 1981 by National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India. The explorations in and around the island have brought to light a long cultural sequence commencing from Proto-historical period to till today. The evidence of maritime activities have been recorded. Previous onshore and offshore explorations have revealed a large number of potsherds related to Indo-Mediterranean contact. Keeping these marine archaeological results in view the underwater explorations in Bet Dwarka with an objective of understanding the nature of the archaeological activities is planned. Explorations during this season was carried out at Bet Dwarka from 25.12.2002 to 3.1.2003. During the explorations an extensive underwater airlifting operations were carried out north west of present Bet Dwarka jetty from where number of pottery were collected earlier. A trench measuring 5 x 5 m was laid on the seabed. The airlift operations and a controlled excavation was undertaken to understand the stratigraphy and antiquities. The airlifting operations revealed rolled pottery of different shapes of jars, bowls and the Potsherds of Roman period. Seven stone anchors were relocated for reference purposes. The present Bet Dwarka jetty must have been a very old anchoring point as noticed by presence of large number of stone anchors of different types in the vicinity. The antiquity of Bet Dwarka has suggested that the maritime activity was flourished in the area since at least around the beginning of 2nd millennium BC and has continued till modern times.
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