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Time Capsule: Ancient City in India’s Gujarat Gets UNESCO World Heritage Status

CC BY-SA 4.0 / Nizil Shah / East Gate of Dholavira, Indus Valley Civilization site in Gujarat, India
East Gate of Dholavira, Indus Valley Civilization site in Gujarat, India - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.07.2021
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Dholavira is among the most prominent sites of the ancient Harappan civilisation in India. It's situated on Khadirbet island in the Kachachh Desert Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat state.
Six years after submitting its UNESCO application, the ancient archeological site of Dholavira in India dating from the 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BCE was finally been given UNESCO World Heritage status on Tuesday. India now has 40 sites protected by the United Nations agency. 
Dholavira was discovered by archaeologists in 1967 and has been excavated since 1990 by the Archaeological Survey of India. 
The 120-acre quadrangular city was founded between two seasonal streams, the Mansar and Manhar, and was surrounded by salt marshes. 

​Ancient Dwellers' Hydraulic Engineering Skills Stun Scientists 

The city nurtured a water conservation secret, that was recently been pieced together, and has stunned scientists for its engineering marvel. Evidence has been found that the Harappans who lived here in the 3rd millennium BC developed an amazingly advanced hydraulic system. 
 In 2018, a team of scientists from Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar in Gujarat used Ground Penetrating Radars to scan the site. They discovered signals that indicate underground structures with an intricate system of interconnected water reservoirs, bunds, channels, drains and check dams. 
The dwellers of the city knew how to reduce the turbidity of flood flow in the nearby Manhar by diverting its silt laden water and letting it pass through a number of interconnected small reservoirs to allow sediment to settle. This allowed the clean water to reach the reservoir for consumption.

City's Planned Architecture Still Puzzles 

The ancient town of Dholavira had a separate area for common townsfolk along with the fortified Raj Mahal (Palace of the Ruler). There were separate dwellings for officers, with three to five rooms in each house.
​The city is largely planned, showcasing an architectural maturity, complete with water drains and a gradient that prevents flooding. It was a vibrant business hub and the remains of a large pearl factory were found there. 
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