Marine Archaeology in India

Marine Archaeology in India

Product ID: 18392

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Author: S R Rao
Publisher: Publications Division
Year: 2001
Language: English
Pages: 255
ISBN/UPC (if available): 812300785X


The Indian subcontinent with its 6500 km long coastline, 200 ports and a rich hinterland connected by major rivers has played a vital role in the Indian Ocean trade by connecting the East and the West throughout its 5000 year long history of shipping and maritime trade.

It was a pioneer in ship and dockyard building even during the days of the Indus Valley (Harappa) civilization is proved by the discovery of a massive brick-build tidal dock with a warehouse at the Harappan port of Lothal in the Gulf of Cambay in 2300 BC. By 1600 B C it could provide docking facilities in the seaport of Dwarka by modifying a ride suitably to anchor large ships in the harbour. Simultaneously with this advancement in nautical engineering the mariners of Dwarka could improve on the earlier stone anchors.

During the long history of shipping various nations of the world have lost thousands of ships and the sea has swallowed scores of ports as a result of cyclones, coastal erosion and sea level rise. Each ship lost and port submerged is an epitome of the society that built it, and is a treasure house of knowledge and therefore deserves to be discovered and preserve this heritage of man through systematic excavation.

In 1981 India established the Marine Archaeology Centre for exploring shipwrecks and submerged ports such as Dwarka, Poompuhar, Somnath. The present publication Marine Archaeology in India gives a detailed account of the exploration of India’s Underwater Cultural Heritage during he last decade and a half, highlighting he problems faced by the pioneers in the field, the excavation techniques followed and the results achieved.

DR SHIKARIPUR RANGANATHA RAO (S R RAO) born 1922 was educated in Mysore and Nagpur Universities. He was awarded D Litt for his book Lothal and the Indus Civilization. He discovered 50 sites of Indus civilization and excavated Rangpur and Lothal, the latter a Harappan port. Among other excavations undertaken by him, Amrali, and early historic site, Paiyampalli, A Neolithic-Megalithic settlement and Hampi, Capital of Vijayanagar are important. He is also the Editor of the proceeding of four National and International Conferences on Marine Archaeology.


Five Thousand Years of Adventure on Sea
Sources, Methods and Technology
Discovery of Submerged Dvaraka
Antiquities from Dwarka and Bet Dwaraka
Contribution of Dvaraka to the Progress of Civilization
Discovery of Poompuhar Submerged in the Bay of Bengal
Archaeology of Ships
Ancient Ports of India