Saturday, September 15, 2012

Marine Archaeology

Marine Archaeology is one of the latest and most specialized and scientific branch of archaeology, which tries to unearth the cities, ships and other antiquities, submerged or sunk in the bed of oceans. India has made great strides in the field of marine archaeology which is a Department of Marine Archaeological Research in the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa.

[caption id="attachment_1598" align="alignright" width="400"]Marine Archaeology Marine Archaeology[/caption]

The submergence of whole continents and of ports of great renown in ancient times has provoked marine archaeological exercises to test unproven but fascinating popular speculation about the habitats, culture and traditions of the hoary past. Marine archaeological research of this kind is of a very recent origin in this county. The immediate provocation for it is the urge to discover ancient legacies and the need to put some order in the haphazard quest for buried cities, treasure-laden ship-wrecks and the courses of mountain chains and rivers (now under the sea) which are mentioned in ancient literature but are currently nothing more than flattering myths or memories.

Though marine archaeological research was started only about ten years ago in the country, the results achieved especially at Arikamedu and Dwarka with limited equipment and budget, have raised great hopes. The onshore excavations at Dwarka on the Gujarat coast have provided a clue to the destruction of a port town by the sea more than three times during the last 2000 years.

Must Read - Archaeology in the service of Indian Culture

The limited excavations in the ancient harbor of Rajbandar on the Elephanta Island have also shown that the increases in the sea-level in the first six or seven centuries after Charist were perhaps responsible for the submergence of the wharf-cum-jetty. India is a very rich in shipwrecks and could provide valuable data for historians and scientists.

The NIO (National Institute of Oceanography) has submitted project report to the Department of Science and Technology listing various priorities in the field of Marine Archaeology including training in diving and recommending in Japan and Western Australia has shown interest in collaborating with their counterparts in India.

The marine archaeologists of NIC have made very important discoveries at Dwarka and Arikamedu. At Dwarka ancient submerged city with its walls and numerous antiquities has been discovered.


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