Inside the belly of newly enlisted UNESCO’S world heritage site – Harappan city of Dholavira, Kutch

Recently enlisted in UNESCO’S world heritage, the Harappan city of Dholavira was once a flourishing settlement thrived on art and craft workshops and markets.  

The long impending decision of including Dholavira, the Harappan-era archaeological site located in Kutch district of Gujarat came a few days after the entry of Kakatiya Rudreshwara temple in Telangana, popularly called the Ramappa Temple in list of UNESCO’S world heritage  at the 44th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee on at Fuzhou, China.This makes it the first site of Indus Valley Civilisation in India to be included on the coveted list.

Apart from its unique architecture which provided a phem=nomenal water management system, multi-layered defensive mechanisms, extensive use of stone in construction and special burial structures, there is diverse range of arts such as copper, shell, stone, textiles, jewellery of semi-precious stones, terracotta, gold, ivory have been exhumed time and again from the belly of the city.

As per evidences, in various parts of many towns and cities, vocations like  workshops and factories were the means of earning and skilled craftsmen were engaged in manufacturing various products; some workers carefully arranged precious beads to make beautiful necklaces; some of them worked with ivory and shell to make aesthetically-pleasing bangles; some of them designed head-dresses, shawls and skirts and some of the craftsmen dedicatedly made toy-carts & well-shaped figurines out of clay and wood.

The region was believed to be all abuzz with the voices emerged from some shops as a crowd gazed at a beautiful collection of items; shawls, skirts, necklaces, bangles, combs, earrings, pins, decorative beads, anklets, pendants, toys, figurines, pots, head-dresses and much more.These wonderful products especially carnelian bead jewelleries and terracotta pieces were transported to market places, within the Indus realms and also to the other ancient civilizations of the world like that of Mesopotamia in present day Iraq.

The air was filled with a glamorized sense of aesthetics in that era. Government has notified 48 square kilometres as buffer zone around the Dholavira site in January this year which forbids the construction and other development activities are restricted in buffer zones of UNESCO listed sites.

Photo Credit: HARP/NHK Catalogue

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