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Excavation At Surkotada 1971-72 and Exploration in Kutch

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Item Code: NAX419
Author: Jagat Pati Joshi
Language: English
Edition: 1990
Pages: 556 (Throughout B/w and Color Illustrations)
Other Details 11.00 X 9.00 inch
Weight 1.96 kg
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The reconstruction of the story of Man in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent from the primitive beginnings up to the present day, on the basis of his material remains, has necessitated considerable archaeological investigations. The patterns of cultural development emerging out from various regions in the past few decades are of immense value in understanding the march of Man in a broad way covering vertical development of his economy and material culture. The vastness of the sub-continent and its varied ecological conditions have played an important role in the shaping of its history and succession of cultures with their migratory and perhaps diffusion trends.

The potentialities of Kutch as a region for systematic archaeological investigation which could contribute in a substantial way to Indian archaeology in general and to Kutch in particular were evident from the survey of work done by other archaeologists earlier covering, setting of the area and the geographical references in ancient literature. Broadly speaking, the region of Kutch posed the following problems:

1. The sphere of activity of the Stone Age Man in Kutch during successive stages of Stone Age.

2. Excavations and explorations carried out in the past in the north and north-western part of the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent have brought to light a large number of sites of the Harappa Culture, more widely known as the 'Indus Civilization'. The present day extent of this culture ranges in the north from Gumla and Rehman Dheri on the eastern foot of the Sulaiman hills' through Manda in J&K and Ropar in the Punjab to Alamgirpur and Hulas in Uttar Pradesh to Sutkagendor in Makran (Pakistan). The lower limits covered by this culture include Meligaon and Bhagatrav in south Gujarat and Daimabad in Maharashtra. The total area occupied by Indus Valley settlement in the sub-continent would come to around 1.3 million square kilometres. Banawali and Rakhigarhi in Haryana, Kalimantan and other sites in Rajasthan, Bahawalpur area in Pakistan and Lothal and other sites in Gujarat on the west mark different zonal cultures of Indus origin (Fig.1).2 Though considerable data have been collected to determine the broad extent of this culture, the details of its expansion, diffusion and decay are still elusive. Although many Harappan sites were located in Sind, only five Harappan and Late Harappan sites were, till 1963, known in the vast tract of Saurashtra about 2,000 sq. km in extent. This aspect of the erratic distribution needed attention. Little was in early sixties about the position of Kutch vis-a-vis Harappan during their broad march towards the south-east as Kutch lies in between Sind and Saurashtra. Did they just touch Kutch and moved forward or settled down in that area and gradually ex-pended their activities towards Saurashtra?

3. Mere location of sites was not enough as another important problem in the study of Harappan expansion was the movement of the Harappa’s through particular land routes therefore the problem has to be studied in depth.

4. The position of the painted tradition of the Rangmahal type from Kutch also warranted attention, particularly keeping in view the early historical period of that region already known by the finds of Kshatrapa inscriptions.

A study of the aforesaid problems, while on the one hand was to give a broad picture of the march of Man in Kutch through successive periods and on the other hand, it was to throw much light on the movement of Harappa’s and their routes in this part of the country.

As piecemeal discoveries were likely to render little help in the reconstruction of complete history of Kutch, a systematic and planned exploration was necessitated; accordingly detailed and extensive exploration was undertaken by the author thrice, i.e., from December 1964 to January 1965; December 1965; and January 1968, with the result that as many as one hundred and twenty new sites were discovered dating from Prehistoric time to the historical period. The opportunity was also utilized to visit the already discovered and reported sites to understand their archaeological potentialities in a broader horizon. Finally, during 1971 and 1972, excavations were carried out at Surkotada, a Harappan fortified settlement in the Ropar Taluk of District Kutch, yielding very interesting results which have been assigned a prominent place in the present report. All the materials belonging to different periods from the Stone Age to Historical times, available during explorations in the region of Kutch, have been also reported here to give a comprehensive picture of the area.

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