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6 December 2010
The lake city of the Indus Valley civilisation

The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization (3300-1300 BCE) which was centred mostly in the western part of the Indian Subcontinent and which flourished around the Indus River basin. Dholavira, located near Khadir Bet in the Great Rann of Kachchh of Gujarat, is an incredible example of the Indus Valley civilisation's towns.
     Archaeologists believe that this ancient town must have been a lovely city of lakes in its heyday. In fact, the residents of Dholavira, who had settled in the town between two water streams, collected their waters in the monsoon and used that for the rest of the year with clever water-storing and collecting techniques. The New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Technology believes that ancient Dholavira has a lot to teach about water collection, usage and storage.
     The curator of the Pennsylvania University Museum, Gregory Posehal, says, "Dholavira is a planned city. Exactly like the planned modern cities, Dholavira was made based on a design. Mohenjo Daro too was built like this." Like other towns of the Indus Valley civilization, Dholavira too is a parallelogram. The wall of the "citadel" is 18m thick.
     Buildings in Dholavira were made of sun-dried mud bricks and stone and some of them stand in good condition even today. The refinement of buildings and materials used reveals a high knowledge of civil engineering that must have been prevalent among the Dholavirans. Ornaments made in lapislazuli, agate, carnelian, shells, silver and gold, as well as utensils and toys made from clay, also reveal a high artistic and technological sense.
     The water wells and street remains of the town speak of the technological sophistication of the Indus Valley people. Unfortunately, the script of the Indus Valley civilisation remains yet to be deciphered.

Edited from Daily News & Analysis (1 December 2010)

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