Did the coastline of the Konkan, from Shrivardhan in Raigad to Vengurla in Sindhudurg, have human habitation around 8,000 years ago? Did that population have well-developed engineering skills? Was there a unique Konkan culture in existence in 6,000BC? The latest discovery in the field of archaeology, below the sea waters of Konkan coast, could answer these questions with a big resounding‘Yes!’
In what could turn out to be a major discovery,researchers have found a wall-like structure, which is 24km long, 2.7m in height, and around 2.5m in width. The structure shows uniformity in construction. “The structure is not continuous from Shrivardhan to Raigad, 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,” said Dr Ashok Marathe, department of archaeology, Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, Pune.
This joint expedition carried out by Deccan College, Pune and Department of Science and Technology, Central Government, has been in progress since 2005. “We were actually studying the impacts of tsunami and earthquake on western coast when we first found this structure in Valneshwar,” said Marathe.
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 BC,” Marathe informed.
The discovery has raised a number of questions, such as how these huge stones were brought to the shore? What was the purpose behind building this wall? If the date of the wall is accurate, then is it the same age as the Indus civilisation? Why have none of the researchers till date, found or made any mention of this civilisation? Marathe, who will be retiring in July 2011, has asked more people to try to find answers to these questions.