Recently discovered stone anchors of Odisha, east coast of India
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Anchors are considered as the potsherds of maritime archaeology. Studies of stone anchors provide insight into trade routes, harbours and ports, maritime contacts, transfer of technology. In ancient times, vessels carried sails, masts, oars, tools and caulking materials, along with stone anchors, which were used to anchor the vessels at any required time. Stone anchors of various types and sizes have been discovered from all along the east and west coast of India and were used in Indian waters from the 3rd millennium BCE to the mid-20th century CE. During maritime archaeological studies, Killick, single hole, one-armed anchors with stone stock, IndoArabian, and composite type of stone anchors have been recorded from riverbanks, Chilika Lake and the coastal region of Odisha, on the east coast of India. Even today, Killick, weight stone anchors, and one-armed anchors with stone stock are used in small fishing craft in rivers and nearshore zones off Odisha. In this paper, the stone anchors found during the recent explorations along the Odisha coast are detailed and compared with other stone anchors of the Indian subcontinent.
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