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Dholavira: a Harappan City

Dholavira: a Harappan City

The ancient city of Dholavira, the southern centre of the Harappan Civilization, is sited on the arid island of Khadir in the State of Gujarat. Occupied between ca. 3000-1500 BCE, the archaeological site, one of the best preserved urban settlements from the period in Southeast Asia, comprises a fortified city and a cemetery. Two seasonal streams provided water, a scarce resource in the region, to the walled city which comprises a heavily fortified castle and ceremonial ground as well as streets and houses of different proportion quality which testify to a stratified social order. A sophisticated water management system demonstrates the ingenuity of the Dholavira people in their struggle to survive and thrive in a harsh environment. The site includes a large cemetery with cenotaphs of six types testifying to the Harappan’s unique view of death. Bead processing workshops and artifacts of various kinds such as copper, shell, stone, jewellery of semi-precious stones, terracotta, gold, ivory and other materials have been found during archaeological excavations of the site, exhibiting the culture’s artistic and technological achievements. Evidence for inter-regional trade with other Harappan cities, as well as with cities in the Mesopotamia region and the Oman peninsula have also been discovered. 

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Dholavira : une cité harappéenne

L’ancienne cité de Dholavira, le centre méridional de la civilisation harappéenne, est située sur l’île aride de Khadir dans l’État du Gujarat. Occupé entre 3000 et 1500 AEC environ, ce site archéologique, l’un des établissements urbains de cette période les mieux conservés en Asie du Sud-Est, comprend une cité fortifiée et un cimetière. Stratégiquement située entre deux ruisseaux saisonniers pour en capter l’eau rare, la cité fortifiée comprend un château entouré de puissantes fortifications, le centre cérémoniel, ainsi que des rues et des maisons de tailles différentes qui dépeignent un ordre social hiérarchisé. Un système élaboré de gestion de l’eau témoigne de l’ingéniosité et de la lutte des habitants de Dholavira pour survivre et prospérer dans des conditions difficiles. Le site comprend un grand cimetière avec des cénotaphes de six types qui témoignent de la vision unique qu’avaient les Harappéens de la mort. Des ateliers travaillant la perle et des artefacts en divers matériaux tels que le cuivre, les coquillages, les pierres, les bijoux en pierres semi-précieuses, la terre cuite, l’or et l’ivoire, entre autres, ont été mis au jour lors de fouilles archéologiques du site, témoignant des réalisations artistiques et technologiques propres à cette culture. Des traces d’échanges commerciaux avec d’autres villes harappéennes ainsi que des villes de la région mésopotamienne et de la péninsule d’Oman ont également été découvertes.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

دولافيرا: مدينة من حضارة وادي السند

تمثل مدينة دولافيرا القديمة المركز الجنوبي لحضارة وادي السند، وتقع في جزيرة "خادير" القاحلة الكائنة في ولاية "غوجارات". وقد كان هذا الموقع الأثري مأهولاً خلال الفترة التي امتدت من عام 3000 قبل الميلاد حتى عام 1500 قبل الميلاد، وهو واحد من أكثر المستوطنات الحضرية التي بقيت محفوظة خلال هذه الحقبة في جنوب شرق آسيا، وهو يتضمن مدينة مسوَّرة ومقبرة. وكانت المدينة المسوَّرة تحصل على المياه من جدولَين موسميَين، فمياه المنطقة شحيحة، وهي تضمُّ قلعة شديدة التحصين وأرضاً لإقامة المراسم، وتحوي بين جنباتها شوارع ومنازل متباينة في جودتها، لتشهد على وجود المجتمع الطبقي. ويدل النظام المعقد لإدارة المياه على براعة سكان دولافيرا في كفاحهم للبقاء على قيد الحياة والازدهار في وسط بيئة قاسية. ويوجد في الموقع مقبرة كبيرة فيها أنصاب تذكارية من ستة أنماط تشهد على النظرة الفريدة لحضارة وادي السند إلى الموت. وقد وجدت التنقيبات الأثرية التي أجريت في الموقع ورشات لشغل الخرز والمشغولات الحرفية المتنوعة مثل النحاس والصدف والحجر والحلي والأحجار شبه الكريمة وطين الآجر والذهب والعاج وغيرها من المواد، وتشهد هذه الاكتشافات على الإنجازات الفنية والتقنية لهذه الثقافة. وكذلك اكتشفت أدلة على وجود تبادل تجاري في المنطقة مع مدن أخرى تنتمي إلى حضارة وادي السند، ومع مدن في بلاد الرافدين وفي شبه جزيرة عُمان.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

多拉维拉:哈拉帕文明古城

多拉维拉古城是哈拉帕文明的南部中心,位于古吉拉特邦干旱的卡迪尔岛上。该考古遗址在大约公元前3000-1500年间为人类定居点,由一座设防的城市和一片墓地组成,是这一时期保存最完好的东南亚城镇定居点之一。两条季节性溪流为这座带有城墙保护的古城提供了该地区稀缺的水资源。古城包括戒备森严的城堡、仪式场地,以及不同级别的街道和房屋,呈现出等级分明的社会秩序。复杂的用水管理系统展示了多拉维拉人在恶劣环境中生存和发展的聪明才智。该遗址还包括一个大型墓地,6种类型的墓碑诠释了哈拉帕文明对死亡的独特见解。考古工作者发掘出珠子加工作坊及由铜、贝壳、石头、半宝石首饰、陶土、黄金、象牙等材料制成的各种文物,展示了该文明的艺术和技艺成就。他们还发现了此地与其他哈拉帕文明城市以及美索不达米亚地区、阿曼半岛的城市进行区域间贸易的证据。

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Дхолавира: хараппский город

Древний город Дхолавира, южный центр Хараппской цивилизации, расположен на засушливом острове Хадир в штате Гуджарат. Археологический объект, населенный ок. 3000-1500 гг. до н.э., является одним из наиболее сохранившихся городских поселений того времени в Юго-Восточной Азии и включает в себя укрепленный город и кладбище. Два сезонных потока обеспечивали водой, дефицитным ресурсом в регионе, обнесенный стеной город, на территории которого находятся сильно укрепленный замок и церемониальная площадка, а также улицы и дома различных размеров и качества, что свидетельствует о стратифицированном социальном порядке. Сложная система управления водными ресурсами демонстрирует изобретательность народа г. Дхолавира в своей борьбе за выживание и процветание в суровых условиях. На территории объекта находится большое кладбище с кенотафами шести типов, свидетельствующими об уникальном представлении хараппцев о смерти. Во время археологических раскопок на объекте были обнаружены мастерские по обработке бусин и различные артефакты, такие как медь, ракушки, камень, ювелирные изделия из полудрагоценных камней, терракота, золото, слоновая кость и другие материалы, что свидетельствует о художественных и технологических достижениях этой культуры. Также были обнаружены свидетельства межрегиональной торговли с другими городами Хараппы, а также с городами в регионе Месопотамия и на полуострове Оман.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Dholavira: una ciudad harapea

La antigua ciudad de Dholavira, centro meridional de la civilización harapea, está situada en la árida isla de Khadir, en el estado de Gujarat. El yacimiento arqueológico, ocupado entre los años 3000 y 1500 a.C., es uno de los asentamientos urbanos mejor conservados de la época en el sudeste asiático y comprende una ciudad fortificada y un cementerio. Dos ríos estacionales suministraban agua, un recurso escaso en la región, a la ciudad amurallada, que comprende un castillo altamente fortificado y un recinto ceremonial, así como calles y casas de diferentes proporciones que atestiguan un orden social estratificado. Un sofisticado sistema de administración del agua demuestra el ingenio de los habitantes de Dholavira en su lucha por sobrevivir y prosperar en un medio ambiente duro. El yacimiento incluye un gran cementerio con cenotafios de seis tipos que atestiguan la visión única de los harapeos sobre la muerte. En las excavaciones arqueológicas del yacimiento se han encontrado talleres de procesamiento de cuentas y artefactos de diversos tipos –como cobre, concha, piedra, joyas de piedras semipreciosas, terracota, oro, marfil y otros materiales– que muestran los logros artísticos y tecnológicos de la cultura local. También se han descubierto pruebas de comercio interregional con otras ciudades harapeas, así como con ciudades de la región de Mesopotamia y de la península de Omán.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

धोलावीरा: एक हड़प्पा शहर

प्राचीन धौलावीरा शहर, हड़प्पा सभ्यता का दक्षिणी केंद्र, गुजरात राज्य में खादिर के शुष्क द्वीप पर स्थित है। यह सीए 3000-1500 ईसा पूर्व के बीच बसा, एक पुरातात्विक स्थल है जो दक्षिण पूर्व एशिया के समय से सुसंरक्षित शहरी बस्तियों में से एक, इसमें एक किलानुमा शहर और एक कब्रिस्तान शामिल है। इसे दो मौसमी जलधाराओं ने जलप्रदान किया, यह इस क्षेत्र में एक दुर्लभ संसाधन है, इस दीवार से घिरे शहर में एक भारी किलानुमा महल और औपचारिक मैदान के साथ-साथ रास्तों और विभिन्न अनुपात में गुणवत्तायुक्त घर शामिल हैं जो एक स्तरीय सामाजिक व्यवस्था की गवाही देते हैं। एक परिष्कृत जल प्रबंधन प्रणाली धोलावीरा लोगों के कठिन वातावरण में जीवित रहने और पनपने के संघर्ष में उनकी चतुरता को प्रदर्शित करती है। इस स्थान में एक बड़ा कब्रिस्तान है जिसमें छह प्रकार के स्मारक हैं जो हड़प्पाकालीन मृत्यु के अनूठे दृष्टिकोण को दर्शातें हैं। इस स्थल की पुरातात्विक खुदाई के दौरान मोती बनाने के वर्कशॉप और विभिन्न प्रकार की कलाकृतियाँ जैसे तांबा, खोल, रत्न, कम-कीमती रत्नों के आभूषण, टेराकोटा, सोना, हाथी दांत और अन्य सामग्री संस्कृति की कलात्मक और तकनीकी उपलब्धियों को प्रदर्शित करती हैं। अन्य हड़प्पा शहरों के साथ-साथ मेसोपोटामिया क्षेत्र और ओमान प्रायद्वीपीय शहरों के साथ अंतर-क्षेत्रीय व्यापार के साक्ष्य भी खोजे गए हैं।

Source: India

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Middle town drain, Opening of the drain in the northern arm of the broad way © ASI
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Dholavira: a Harappan city, is one of the very few well preserved urban settlements in South Asia dating from the 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BCE. Being the 6th largest of more than 1,000 Harappan sites discovered so far, and occupied for over 1,500 years, Dholavira not only witnesses the entire trajectory of the rise and fall of this early civilization of humankind, but also demonstrates its multifaceted achievements in terms of urban planning, construction techniques, water management, social governance and development, art, manufacturing, trading, and belief system. With extremely rich artefacts, the well-preserved urban settlement of Dholavira depicts a vivid picture of a regional centre with its distinct characteristics, that also contributes significantly to the existing knowledge of Harappan Civilization as a whole.  

The property comprises two parts: a walled city and a cemetery to the west of the city. The walled city consists of a fortified Castle with attached fortified Bailey and Ceremonial Ground, and a fortified Middle Town and a Lower Town. A series of reservoirs are found to the east and south of the Citadel. The great majority of the burials in the Cemetery are memorial in nature.

The configuration of the city of Dholavira, during its heyday, is an outstanding example of planned city with planned and segregated urban residential areas based on possibly differential occupational activities, and a stratified society. Technological advancements in water harnessing systems, water drainage systems as well architecturally and technologically developed features are reflected in the design, execution, and effective harnessing of local materials. Unlike other Harappan antecedent towns normally located near to rivers and perennial sources of water, the location of Dholavira in the island of Khadir was strategic to harness different mineral and raw material sources (copper, shell, agate-carnelian, steatite, lead, banded limestone, among others) and to facilitate internal as well as external trade to the Magan (modern Oman peninsula) and Mesopotamian regions.

Criterion (iii): Dholavira is an exceptional example of a proto-historic Bronze Age urban settlement pertaining to the Harappan Civilization (early, mature and late Harappan phases) and bears evidence of a multi-cultural and stratified society during the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE. The earliest evidence can be traced back to 3000 BCE during the early Harappan phase of the Harappan Civilization. This city flourished for nearly 1,500 years, representing a long continuous habitation. The excavated remains clearly indicate the origin of the settlement, its growth, zenith and the subsequent decline in the form of continuous changes in the configuration of the city, architectural elements and various other attributes.

Criterion (iv): Dholavira is an outstanding example of Harappan urban planning, with its preconceived city planning, multi-layered fortifications, sophisticated water reservoirs and drainage system, and the extensive use of stone as a building material. These characteristics reflect the unique position Dholavira held in the entire gamut of Harappan Civilization.

Integrity

The ancient Harappan city of Dholavira was discovered in 1968 and excavated for 13 field seasons between 1989 and 2005. The unearthed excavations were simultaneously preserved and conserved, and display all physical attributes contributing to the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, that is to say the proto-historic systems of urban planning, water management systems, architectural elements and design, traditional knowledge of art and technology preserved in situ. All the attributes that convey the Outstanding Universal Value of the property are located in the property area. Physical evidence of the entire 1,500 years of inhabitation are spanning from pre-Harappan to post-Harappan stages. The excavated remains at Dholavira, to a large extent, illustrate attributes associated with industrial activities (e.g. bead manufacturing) and are indicative of the sophisticated life and exploitation of natural resources for nearly 1,500 years, trade, interregional relations and exchanges, the physical manifestations of these are largely found in situ. Conservation measures and consolidation of few areas have been carried out to prevent deterioration and have also been stabilized for ensuring preservation of its physical attributes. Guidelines for development and conservation need should be developed in the extended buffer zone.

Authenticity

The archaeological remains of the city of Dholavira include fortifications, gateways, water reservoirs, ceremonial ground, residential units, workshop areas, and cemetery complex, all clearly representing the Harappan culture and its various manifestations. The urban planning is evident from the in situ remains of the city that demonstrate systematic planning. The authenticity of the archaeological site is preserved through minimum interventions and scientific conservation principles and methods and in maintaining the exposed structures in their original configurations and in situ conditions and no additions or alterations have been made to the structural remains.

The excavated remains bear testimony to the style of construction, contextual evidence for architectural elements, and layout of a bead manufacturing workshop, that have been retained in situ to preserve their authenticity. The evidence of the configuration of the city, which has been well documented and preserved during excavation works, also bears testimony of the extensive planning, understanding of ratios and proportions and principles, alignment of the entire city in relation to cardinal directions, water harvesting, storm water drains, craftsmanship. These features are preserved extensively due to their construction in stone masonry with mud brick cores, and architectural features are in a good state of conservation.

Protection and management requirements

The archaeological site of Dholavira is protected and managed by the Archaeological Survey of India, an attached office and organization under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The property is protected by national level laws that is to say the Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958 (AMASR), amended therein in 2010; Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Rules of 1959; Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Rules of 2011 and The Antiquities and Art Treasures Act 1972 and Rules 1973. Decisions pertaining to its conservation, maintenance and management are governed by the National Conservation Policy for Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains 2014. Being designated as an “ancient monument” of national importance, the ancient site of Dholavira is protected by a Prohibited Area measuring 100 meters in all directions from the limits of the protected monument, and further beyond it, a Regulated Area of 200 meters in all directions, from the limits of the Prohibited Area. All activities in the areas adjacent to the ancient site of Dholavira remain subject to prohibition and regulation in the respect prohibited and regulated areas as per provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Rules 2011. The buffer zone covers the entire west strip of the Khadir Island, which ensures the protection of the wider setting of the property. The buffer zone, of which parts cover thee Prohibited and Regulated Areas, overlaps with Kachchh (Kutch) Desert Wildlife Sanctuary which is protected by Forest Act (Wildlife Protection Act 1972). The Government of India is in the process of listing the ancient quarry sites in the buffer zone as of national importance.

The property area and buffer zone are managed by the Regional Apex Committee and Local Level Committee, with major stakeholders as the member. This participatory mechanism ensures the dialogue among different interest groups. The Site Management Plan has been approved and implemented by the Archaeological Survey of India.