ASI conducting oxygen isotopes study at Vadnagar

Officials said that the findings are expected to shed light on the prevalent climatic conditions during second and first century BCE when Vadnagar had come into existence.

Published: 22nd February 2022 01:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd February 2022 01:44 PM   |  A+A-


During the excavation, the ASI has discovered antiquities such as terracotta or glass beads, coins, seals, figurines, and metal objects. (File photo| EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is conducting a study of the oxygen isotopes at an ancient fortified city in Vadnagar (Gujarat), where excavation has been going on for about seven years.

The officials, in the know of the matter, said that the findings are expected to shed light on the prevalent climatic conditions during Period II (second century BCE – first century CE) when the historic city had come into existence.

"After 4-5th century BCE, there has been arid monsoon. The occurrence ultimately led to the destruction of several big cities with the passage of time. The study will help to understand how Vadnagar, which is in continuous habitation for 2,500 years, managed to sustain against the vagaries of nature. The study will soon reach a logical conclusion. Two experts including an IIT professor are working to check water retention," said an official.

Meanwhile, ongoing digging has further revealed more ancient structures and led to the discovery of antiquities from the historic sites.

“Two chamber-like structures running parallel to the fortification wall have been exposed. An iron saw (locally known as karat) with two columella notices associated with two square brick-built chambers. It might have been used for cutting shells. A large amount of shell debitage has been found during excavation from this area (Ambaghat),” said an official.

Archaeological excavation was initiated at three different locations including Ambaji Kothe and Vihar Village. The major thrust is on the north-eastern corner of the town known as Ambaghat.

Once the excavation is complete, the Centre government will convert the site into India’s first experiential museum showcasing the continuous habitation of 2,500 years of Vadnagar, which is also the hometown of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

For the development of the museum, a special provision of Rs 100 crore has already been made under the development of the museum scheme in the current budget announced early this month.

“Apart from the exposition of remaining portions of fortification wall (exterior), the works of removal of dump soil, consolidation of excavated structures and fortification wall, 13 new trenches were opened at this site, located on the north-eastern corner of the fortified town,” said the official briefing about the progress that took place in December and January.

A probable circular structure has also been exposed from the site which is made of two segments--the lower segment having a projection on all sides while the upper segment has a screen wall with probable brick encasing to the core. The fortification wall, exposed previously, has further been exposed up to a broader lower level.

Excavation in some areas revealed structures belonging to different time periods and changes in layout patterns possibly due to the tectonic event, added the official.


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