• Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Dholavira- The zenith of Harappan town planning!

Discussion in 'Seniors Cafe' started by Levina, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. Levina

    Levina ELITE MEMBER

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    Dholavira- The zenith of Harappan town planning!


    Dholavira is a sleepy village in the Great runn of kutch. Being one among the five largest Harappan cities in the subcontinent, Dholavira has yielded many firsts in respect of IVC*.
    Dholavira site was excavated recently (in 1990s) compared to Harappa and Mohenjodaro. It is largely an undisturbed plan and clearly delineated multiple enclosures covering about 48 hectares.

    What makes Dholavira special??

    1) Triple acropolis: Unlike the Harappan city which was based on duality acropolis, Dholavira's plan is based on triple.
    The city was configured like a large parallelogram. On the basis of their relative location, planning, defences and architecture, the city can be divided into :

    • A Citadel (fort) at the highest platform. (16m high)
    • A "bailey" or the middle town. (8-9m high)
    • A lower part of the city. This also includes reservoirs. It is due to the presence of reservoirs that Dholavira is also called the "Lake city" of Indus Civilisation. (7.5m high)
    • It also had a ceremonial ground which had a dimension of 300m X 50m, and a seating capacity of 10000.
    2.jpg

    Builders of Dholavira had used fired bricks for the foundations and the one fired ones for the walls. The wall of citadel is about I'm not getting into details of arthshastra, the Dholavira system of units (Dhanus and angulas), and importance of proportion to ppl of *IVC. The point to be noted is that at many places the margin of error was as less as 0.2%. The perfect rectangular layouts, lavish wide open spaces, careful aesthetic and practical planning of divisions does tell us a lot about the builders of this civilisation.

    2) Holy ratios: Another point that stands out in case of Dholavira is, while most of the other cities of *IVC had largely been constructed on a 2:1 ratio (like Mohenjodaro,Kalibangan and Surkotada), the prime ratio of Dholavira is surprisingly 5:4.

    3) Water management systems: Dholavirian impressed me with their knowledge of hydraulic engineering. The sophisticated water conservation system of channels and reservoirs, were the earliest found anywhere in the world. There were about 16 or more reservoirs, which were created on the south, west and north of the built-up divisions, rectangular in shape. These pits were dug upto the rockbed, which puzzled the archeologists initially. These were the rock cut wells, which date as one of the oldest examples, are evident in different parts of the city and the most impressive one being located in the citadel. In the citadel there were also large storm drains with apertures found, which the archaeologists first thought was used for carrying wastewater. But since they were not connected to housing or bathing platforms, these were for rainwater. The air-apertures ensured easy passage of rainwater.
    Dholavira also had huge reservoirs.The reservoirs took advantage of the slope of the ground to fill up. A drop of 13 m from north-east to north-west meant that the reservoirs on NW filled up first during a flood, slowly filling up other reservoirs towards the NE. It is exactly how you fill the ice-cube containers in your fridge. :)


    Dholavira1.gif
    Dholavira was flanked by two storm water channels; the Mansar in the north, and the Manhar in the south.

    upload_2015-4-29_9-14-44.png





    4) Stepwell: A stepwell which measured 73.4m long, 29.3m wide, and 10m deep was found in Dholavira. Going by its dimensions, it is three times bigger than the Great bath of Mohenjedaro. The excavation on the rectangular stepwell began in October 2014.


    Different stages of Dholavira

    The Dholavira settlement underwent seven major cultural stages; it is serially numbered from Stage I to Stage VII which take us through the inception, maturing and finally the fall of the Urban System of the Harappan civilization.

    Stage-I : The foundation of the city was laid, which formed the nucleus on which the subsequent settlements of the later stages expanded gradually.

    Stage-II: This stages stands out for the use of white and pink clays (which were used as many as thirteen times) and improvement in the pottry forms both qualitatively and quantitatively.
    The use of white and pink clay on the walls continued till stage-IV and then it came to an abrupt end with the end of as if ppl were asked to stop using it by a royal decree.

    Stage-III: This is one of the most important stage of Dholavira city building, this is when the reservoirs were created.

    Stage-IV: The famous ten-signed inscription which is about 3m long was used during this stage. It is assumed that this probably was the first traffic sign ever used.
    [​IMG]

    Ten Indus glyphs discovered near the northern gate of Dholavira.
    [​IMG]


    dholavira sign board.gif

    Stage-V : This stage is associated with the decline of the city. Around this time the global warming had started to wreak havoc on many civilisations as far as Syria and Euroasia.

    Stage-VI: This stage is associated with cultural transformation. New ceramic traditions had begun to appear. The one time city was by now reduced to a town.

    Stage-VII: The newcomers had started to settle in Dholavira who used to live in circular houses and had no concept of planning(which is strange because till then they preferred rectangular shapes of certain proportions). Dholavirians had forgotten the classical Harappan fabrics, shapes and designs.



    IVC*- Indus Valley civilisation. Ideally it should be called Indus-Saraswsati civilisation, but the work to trace the path of saraswati is still in progress.

    References: The lost river: On trail of the Saraswati - Michel Danino
    A new model Harappan town planning in Dholavira- RS. Bhist


    *************************************************************************************************************************

    @SpArK @nair @kurup @Rain Man @jhungary @thesolar65 @Roybot @anant_s
    @kaku1 @HariPrasad (sorry guys for tagging you again, but the previous thread went missing after the DDOS attack on saturday. I've tried to add a few more extra details this time).

    @FaujHistorian @Atanz The DDOS attack pretty much watered down my efforts, so i thought I 'll start from the scratch. :)
     

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  2. anant_s

    anant_s SENIOR MEMBER

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    The scale and detailing gives an idea how advanced the civilization was.
    Pl do post information and resources available on saraswati, i've searching good quality work on it for sometime now. It is as mythical as atlantis and older perhaps.
     
  3. Levina

    Levina ELITE MEMBER

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    Oh yes!!!
    That was the subject me and Fauji Bhai were debating on Friday.
    I have videos to prove Saraswati's existence (evidences shown by archeologists, both Indian and Pakistani). Right now I'm using my mobile, and the videos 're stored in my laptop. I will post 'em later. :)

    @SarthakGanguly @JanjaWeed forgot to tag you guys.
    @Abingdonboy
    I'm not sure if guys were already aware of its existence.
     
  4. FaujHistorian

    FaujHistorian ELITE MEMBER

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    My dear @levina Ji, I am really hesitant to participate in any such discussions. Here are the reasons.

    1. For some odd reasons all of my posts related to GVC (Ganga Valley Civilization) have been deleted.

    2. Such threads smell of religion chauvinism (use of religious stories mixed with archeology makes the whole thing pseudo)
    3. I love and respect you too much to get involved in such discussions.

    Sorry.
     
  5. Levina

    Levina ELITE MEMBER

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    1) Your posts and mine got deleted because of DDOS attacks.Every body lost their threads and posts (of sat and sun).
    2) I have not posted anything religious this time. I avoided it purposely.
    3) The feeling is mutual. And come on! We are all adults here. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  6. FaujHistorian

    FaujHistorian ELITE MEMBER

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    Not sure if DDOS attack by itself can "delete" data from a website.
    This sound more like hacking.

    Anyways:
    Checkout this google map.
    Google Maps

    This ancient place is about 20 miles from Pakistan. And perhaps around 40 miles from a major city aka Badin.
     
  7. SarthakGanguly

    SarthakGanguly BANNED

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    What is Ganga Valley Civilization? Never came across the term...even in Google Scholar! Some Pakistani discovery?

    DDOS - site down
    Webby puts up a backup.
    Whatever was done in between is gone.
    Loss of data is not due to hacker. Banned members have come back, negatives and positives removed etc.
     
  8. Levina

    Levina ELITE MEMBER

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    This is the video that I was talking about.

    IndiaOlogy - Proof that Saraswati River Existed | Facebook

    In this video a Pakistani archeologist shows us proof that Saraswati existed. Another proof is the satellite images taken by ISRO. Many times ppl give a religious reason to tracing the path of Saraswati. Afaik, somewhere in 2010, ISRO and the Indian govt (UPA govt back then) decided to go ahead with this project because they knew Saraswati still exists in its dried up path as ground water. Once the news had spread, some villages in Pakistan were quick to drill wells along the Saraswati's dried up path. This is another video which tells us the story of a village in Pakistan...

    IndiaOlogy - Saraswati the lost river- Part 2 | Facebook

    I know you're aware how that term came into being, my post is for those who missed out our debate few days back. :)
    Well, I was of the opinion that IVC or the Indus valley civilisation was named after the type-site where the culture was first identified. Albeit with the passage of time, and the discovery of more and more sites were discovered covering a vast geographical locale, and the the nomenclature for the culture underwent constant change. I believe it should be called INDUS-SARASWATI civilisation, for saraswati's contribution to IVC can not be ignored. But due to tectonic upheavals river dried up (its main tributary Dhrishdavati changed its course), gradually the ppl of IVC moved to greener pastures. Their next best option was Ganga. So the civilisation that settled around Ganga was an extension of IVC. So I do not see any need to call the civilisation that was born around Ganga as GVC or the GANGA VALLEY CIVILISATION.

    Right!
    This is what the google map had shown me

    Google Maps

    1.jpg
     
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  9. anant_s

    anant_s SENIOR MEMBER

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    If i'm not mistaken Romila thapar has written quite a bit on subject.
    It is said that civilization had advanced a lot in fields of metallurgy and ship building. Also the town planning had a vast sewage system telling they had some kind of administrative system as well. I hope to find more and will share here.
    Sir, let us look at the matter keeping religion aside. The civilization is a joint heritage of both nations and i'm sure at that time the people followed no particular religion. This is one of the oldest organised human settlement, and i'm really interested to know what led to its end from such a gloriour height.
    Also are you aware of any work being done by Pakistani historians on the subject?
     
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  10. Levina

    Levina ELITE MEMBER

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    Oh!
    They had such complicated water management system, its their knowledge in hydraulic engineering which took me by surprise. They even had rain water harvesting system.
    Let me quote from my article
    Isnt that amazing??

    I am posting pics of ducts through the walls, and storm drains found in the citadel of this city.


    1.jpg

    2.jpg


    You've quoted my post!!
    Hehehe
    For a moment I was flummoxed as to why you would call me sir. :P
     
  11. anant_s

    anant_s SENIOR MEMBER

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    I was trying to quote Fauzi historian
    Sorry the mobile formatting went kuckoo:bad:
     
  12. FaujHistorian

    FaujHistorian ELITE MEMBER

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    off course, meray bhai. Off course.

    This is the point I consistently made in my posts on Ganga Valley Civilization (GVC) as well that bharatis should not use religious texts to justify any claims on Sindh Valley Civilization (SVC).


    Religion back then? Could be anything. Agreed.

    They followed some customs and some traditions even back then, but clearly not Hinduism as we know today.

    Civilizations form based on a specific economic engine.

    Economic engine in pre-Industrial age (40,000 BC to perhaps 1400 AD) for most of the civilizations was:
    1. gold/silver/precious stone mines in their control
    2. Taxes collected in case the area was on a major trade route.

    Knowing Sindh Valley, I say there was access to gold copper silver in the region touching Balochistan-Sindh, and Sindh-Punjab. However this is my theory, and I could be wrong.


    Yes. There is ongoing work. funds are limited, but the work is ongoing towards preservation, cataloging, and excavations mostly by government/private funded agencies. Check out posts by @Atanz.


    peace
     
  13. anant_s

    anant_s SENIOR MEMBER

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    Thats another facet of technological advancements made, that fact that gold and silver coins were in circulation, tells that they perfected metallurgy and smithy.
    Also if I remember correctly Lothal had some kind of boat or ship building work, which might indicate some kind of flourishing trade with some peer civilization.
    I'll try to find out class 6 NCERT history textbook which mentions quite a lot about this fascinating time of human civilization.
    Pl do keep posted on the works. I'm sure shortage of funds won't affect the research.
     
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  14. FaujHistorian

    FaujHistorian ELITE MEMBER

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    Gold, Silver, copper/bronze are the "easiest" metals to melt and change to specific shape. So obviously they would have gone after gold and silver artifacts (including coinage). This was awesome!
    But we should not forget that large river valleys in China produced similar artifacts before Sindh River valley.
     
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  15. Levina

    Levina ELITE MEMBER

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    I think we are forgetting Gobekili Tepe here, the 12000yr old site which left all the archeologists flummoxed.

    So no IVC and other such civilisations were not the greatest.