Early Historic Shipwreck Archaeology of the Indian Subcontinent Region
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Shipwreck archaeology in South Asian region is rather recent when one compares with the rest of the world and shipwrecks of the Bronze Age are unknown so far. There is also limited information on the shipwrecks of the early historical period. There are however two examples from this region namely Bet Dwarka (in India) and Godawaya (in Sri Lanka). In Bet Dwarka region a large number of antiquities including Roman amphorae, a Roman hand mill, lead ingot and possibly lead anchors have been found close to present a passenger jetty at a water depth of 8 m. The site is located in high energy tidal current thus the chance of survival of any lighter material is low. The quantity of pottery and material indicate the possibility of a shipwreck of foreign origin. Recently a shipwreck of the early historic period has been discovered at Godawaya in Sri Lankan waters and that is lying in 33 m water depth. The important antiquities from this wreck include stone quern, glass ingots, copper nodules and a large number of pottery. The comparative study and a radiocarbon date of this wreck suggest a date to the 1<sup>st</sup> century CE. The origin of this ship might have been the Indian Subcontinent region.
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