Harappan sites get a budget increase

Two of the most prominent in India, and Lothal, featured prominently in the speech of the Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman Budget, on Saturday.

Dholavira in the Kutch district will be developed as one of the five iconic sites identified by the Ministry of Culture of the Union. The ongoing project of the national maritime museum in Lothal in the Ahmedabad district was also mentioned. The total budget allocation for the Union Ministry of Culture for 2020-21 is Rs.3,150 million.

Sitharaman said the five archeological sites, including Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh), Shivsagar (), Dholavira (Gujarat) and Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu) will be developed as iconic sites with museums on the site.

Dr. & S Rawat, former director of the state's archeology department and archaeologist who worked on the Dholavira excavation, called the movement a great boost for development of the historical site.

“The site is witnessing great footfalls of international tourists today, especially in the winter months. The proposed museum will add value to that experience. Hopefully, the state will not only be motivated by tourism, but also to encourage further investigation and interpretation of the site, ”he said.

The site, which has the oldest excavated artifacts dating from 5,491 years before the present (BP) or 3,471 years before the common era (ECB), consists of a fully developed metropolis of the Harappan era complete with castle, courtyard, cities Medium and low and deposits. . A recent article by multidisciplinary researchers said that Dholavira was an example of how climate change affected human habitation in the past.

Lothal, on the other hand, is important for the discovery of the shipyard, considered one of the oldest in the world. It dates back to 5,720 years before the present (BP) or 3,700 years before the common era (ECB). Prime Minister Narendra Modi had performed the inauguration ceremony of the National Maritime Museum, jointly established by the Ministry of Culture of the Union and the Ministry of Navigation and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), in March 2019.

Sources close to the development said that the thematic museum aims at highlighting India’s links with other parts of the known world in ancient times, the country’s trade links and how it shaped today’s India, the maritime milestones and regional achievements.

“While deliberations are still going on under leadership of the Sagarmala project of the central government, Prof Vasant Shinde, vice-chancellor of the Deccan College, Post Graduate and Research Institute has been roped in to oversee the development ,” said an official close to the development . “A space has been procured at GIFT City to give final shape to the drafts, artefacts and designs.”