Stone anchors from the Okhamandal region, Gujarat Coast, India
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During marine archaeological explorations since 1983, off Dwarka, a large number of stone anchors were discovered and dated to 1400 BC, comparing with anchors found in Mediterranean waters. In recent archaeological explorations off Dwarka, Bet Dwarka and Armada yielded a number of stone anchors which suggest that Okhamandal area was major concentration of maritime activities in Saurashtra region in the past. Among these three sites, Bet Dwarka has clear evidence on the settlement of Harappan period particularly on south-western coast of the island while stone anchors were noticed on the eastern coast of the island where medieval period remains can be noticed in the form of pottery, cannons and a few stone structures. Similar type of stone anchors were also noticed at Vijaydurg and Malwan on Maharashtra coast which are not earlier than the Christian era. Therefore, the dates of stone anchors of Okhamandal area may not be earlier than the historical period. About 32 anchors have been discovered in Dwarka, 8 at Bet Dwarka and 3 at Armada waters and all of them have been mentioned in the present paper. The dating of these anchors have also been discussed in detail.
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