20March2019

8,000 Year Old Civilization on Konkan Coast, India?

Are these man-made structures — walls? Did the coastline of the Konkan, from Shrivardhan in Raigad to Vengurla in Sindhudurg, have human habitation around 8,000 years ago? Did that population have well-developed engineering skills? Was there a unique Konkan culture in existence in 6,000BC? The latest discovery in the field of archaeology, below the sea waters of Konkan coast, could answer these questions with a big resounding‘Yes!’

In what could turn out to be a major discovery,researchers have found a wall-like structure, which is 24km long, 2.7m in height, and around 2.5m in width. The structure shows uniformity in construction. “The structure is not continuous from Shrivardhan to Raigad, but it is uniform. It has been found 3m below the present sea level. Considering the uniformity of the structure, it is obvious that the structure is man-made,” said Dr Ashok Marathe, department of archaeology, Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, Pune.

This joint expedition carried out by Deccan College, Pune and Department of Science and Technology, Central Government, has been in progress since 2005. “We were actually studying the impacts of tsunami and earthquake on western coast when we first found this structure in Valneshwar,” said Marathe. “Then we started talking with the locals and fisherfolks and we got news about more such structures below water.” Marathe added that, the uniformity also shows that the people who built it belong to the same culture from Shrivardhan to Vengurla.

However, the age of the structure was decided on the basis of sea level mapping.

“There have been extensive studies about the sea water coming inside the land,” said Marathe. “The wall’s 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 (NIO) found the age of the wall as around 6000 BC.”

The discovery has raised a number of questions, such as:

  • How were these huge stones of Laterite and Deccan Trap variety transported to the coast?
  • What was the purpose behind building this wall?
  • If the date of the wall is accurate, then is it the same age as the Indus civilisation? Why have none of the researchers till date, found or made any mention of this civilisation?

Marathe, who will be retiring in July 2011, has asked more people to try to find answers to these questions. In the wake of a number of power projects coming on the Konkan coast and the growing discontent about the projects, this discovery could prove vital.

Marathe, though does not have much hope from the government mentioned that this, if studied properly could be a major chapter of human being’s history. “It is now up to the government how they treat my finding,” he said.

Wall near Shrivardhan, Wall length: 1.18 Km.

Wall near Velneshwar, Wall length: 4 Km.

Wall near Kelshi Beach, Wall length: 2 Km.

Dabhol Wall, 4.74 Km

Bottom of the wall

Middle of the wall

Top of the wall

What Next?

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