Photo: 8000-year-old advanced civilization in Konkan Coast?
One stretch of underwater wall off the Konkan Coast, western India.
The total wall exceeds 24 kilometers (approx. 15 miles)
Published: Thursday, May 26, 2011
Are these man-made structures — walls?
Did the Konkan coast from Shrivardhan in Raigad to Vengurla in Sindhudurga host a human habitat around 8000 years ago? Did that population have well-developed engineering skills? Was there a unique Konkan culture in existence in 6000BC?
A new archaeological discovery, below sea level along the Konkan coast, could give answers to these questions. And explorers say the answer could well be a big âYes!â
Researchers have found a wall-like structure that is 24 kilometres long, 2.7 metres tall, and around 2.5 metres wide. The structure shows uniformity in its construction.
âThe structure is not continuous throughout the 225 kilometres from Shrivardhan to Raigad, but it is uniform,â said Dr Ashok Marathe, professor, department of archaeology, Postgraduate and Research Institute, Deccan College, Pune.
âIt has been found three metres below the present sea level. It has been constructed on the ancient sand beach, which was taken as the base for the construction. Considering the uniformity of the structure, it was obvious that the structure is man-made and not natural.â
The joint expedition carried by Deccan College and the central governmentâs department of science and technology, was in progress from 2005.
âWe were actually studying the impacts of tsunamis and earthquakes on the western coast when we first found this structure in Valneshwar,â said Marathe. âThen we started talking with the locals and fisherfolks and we got news about more such structures below water.â
Marathe added that, the uniformity also shows that the people who built it belong to the same culture from Shrivardhan to Vengurla.
However, deciding the age of the structure was done on the basis of sea level mapping.
âThere have been extensive studies about the sea water coming inside the land,â said Marathe. âThe wallâs base, that is ancient sand, is about six metres below the present sea level. Based on the calculations, experts from the National Institute of Oceanography found the age of the wall as around 6000 BC.â
According to him, the sea was away from its present coastline in 6000 BC and this wall could have been an effort to prevent the sea water from coming inside the human habitat.
The discovery has raised a number of questions.
How were these huge stones of Laterite and Deccan Trap variety transported to the coast?
What exactly was the purpose behind building the wall?
If the date of the walls is true then is it from around the same time as the Indus Valley Civilisation?
Why has there been no mention of this civilisation till now?
Marathe, who will retire in July 2011, has asked more people to come forward to take his work ahead and to try to find answer to these questions.