Onshore excavation at Bet Dwarka Island, in the Gulf of Kachchh, Gujarat
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Several ancient habitational sites were discovered in the coastal area of Bet Dwarka island during the last two decades of marine archaeological exploration. A large amount of protohistoric and historical pottery was collected from the sites. An excavation was undertaken at Bet Dwarka during 2001-2 to obtain a cultural sequence of the island. The following cultural sequence was observed from the excavation. The remains of the Late Harappan period were found near Balapur village on the island. This is a single culture site. A large number of potsherds including carinated dishes, bowls, and jars were recovered. A few sherds with black painting on red were also collected. Important antiquities from this trench include a copper fish-hook and an antimony rod. The remains of the historical period were noticed over a large area of the island. Three trenches were laid on the southern coast. The important activity during this period was the exploitation of marine resources like different types of shells and fish. The important factor which led to a continuous habitation at Bet Dwarka was the availability of marine shells which were exploited on a large scale. The island also served as a safe harbour.
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