5,000-year-old stepwell found
Would you like some time travel? Then walk towards the step well that is 5,000 years old, and has been discovered in one of the largest Harappan cities, Dholavira, in Kutch.
Found in the eastern reservoir of Dholavira by experts from the Archaeological Survey of India working with IIT-Gandhinagar, the site has revealed a new treasure trove of insights. It is among the biggest, most elaborate and among the best furnished ancient reservoirs that has been discovered so far.
Being a rectangular construct that is 73.4 m long, 29.3 m wide, and 10 m deep, the step-well throws up a lot of interesting ideas. It is almost three times bigger than the Great Bath of Mohenjo Daro, which is 12m by 7m by 2.4m, according to V N Prabhakar, visiting faculty at IIT and superintending archaeologist, of ASI.
Experts will go on to explore the advanced hydraulic engineering that was used by Harappans. How did water flow into the well? What was the idea behind water conservation? These are some of the questions that will be probed.
Various tanks, stoneware, finely furnished brick blocks, sanitation chambers and semi-precious stones such as carnelian, which were in great demand during the Harappan era, are expected to be investigated. Gujarat was the centre of bead and craft manufacturing, and agate carnelian beads were very popular.
A study of the internal structures of various forms of pottery will help them to identify the diet of various people here. The pottery typology will show what communities lived here, and what kind of precious copper and bronze artefacts were used.