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30 May 2011
A civilisation as old as Indus valley?

In what could be a major discovery, researchers have found a wall-like structure, 24km long, 2.7m in height, and around 2.5m in width, below the sea waters of the Konkan coast (middle-western India).
     "The structure is not continuous from Shrivardhan (south of Mumbai) to Raigad (north of Goa), but it is uniform. It has been found 3m below the present sea level. Considering the uniformity of the structure, it is obvious that the structure is man-made," says Dr Ashok Marathe, department of archaeology, Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, Pune.
     "We were actually studying the impacts of tsunami and earthquake on western coast when we first found this structure in Valneshwar," Marathe reveals. A joint expedition carried out by Deccan College, Pune and Department of Science and Technology, Central Government, has been in progress since 2005.
     However, the age of the structure was decided on the basis of sea level mapping. "There have been exhaustive studies about the sea water coming inside the land. Based on the calculations, experts from the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) pegged the age of the wall at around 6,000 BCE," says Marathe.
     The discovery has raised a number of questions, such as how and why these huge stones were brought to the shore. If the date of the wall is accurate, then is it the same age as the Indus civilisation? Why have no researchers to date found or made any mention of this civilisation?
     In the wake of power projects coming up on Konkan's coastline, this discovery could prove vital. Marathe, though, displays little faith in the government.

Edited from DNA (27 May 2011)

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