Excavations on shore near the Dwarkadhish temple, and in the sea at Dwarka, have yielded a veritable treasure of ancient objects, say archaeologists.
“The excavated material would help us in learning about the antiquity of Dwarka,” Dr Alok Tripathi, superintending archaeologist, underwater archaeology wing of the Archaeological Survey of India, said.
Dwarka, situated in the Jamnagar district of Gujarat, is traditionally associated with Lord Krishna and is one of the most sacred places for the Hindus. The city was also a famous port in former times and an important archaeological site.
“We are planning to present the results of excavations in the forthcoming International Seminar on Marine Archaeology in New Delhi in August,” said Dr Tripathi who is directing the expedition.
He added that their finds included copper coins, terracotta animal figurines, sculptural and archaeological fragments, bangles made of shell, bone and glass, beads of stone and terracotta, rings, stone objects and a variety of plain and decorated pottery, both painted and incised.
The attempt had been to study the antiquity of the site holistically for the first time.
For this, Dr. Tripathi said, the excavations were done simultaneously on land and in the sea so that finds from all places could be collated. Underwater archaeologists and experienced Indian Navy divers searched the sunken treasures in the Arabian Sea.
Trained archaeologists also minutely excavated the forecourt of Dwarkadhish temple with small trowels and brushes. The soil was carefully sieved to collect even the tiniest fragment of the artifacts, he added.
Since the 1960s, there have periodic excavations expeditions to locate the sunken city of Dwarka in the Arabian Sea.