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Lothal, 'Oldest Dock in the World', to get Heritage Complex

Oct 23, 2022

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Today's edition of Current Affairs will comprise a discussion on Lothal, the oldest dock in the world that will get Heritage complex. Its relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus is mentioned below.

For Prelims: National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC), The city of Mohenjo-daro, National Institute of Oceanography in Goa, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For Mains: The Project National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC), Innovative features of the project, Mini-recreation of Lothal site, the World’s tallest lighthouse museum.

Context

Recently, the Indian Prime Minister reviewed the ongoing construction of the National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) site at Gujarat’s Lothal via video conferencing.

Probable Question

There are many tales of our history that have been forgotten, to retell these tales the government has been working on the world’s earliest known dock, namely Lothal. Comment.

In case you missed our yesterday's edition of Current Affairs, you can read it here on Green Crackers.

About Lothal

  • Name: 
    • Lothal which is a combination of Loth and (s) thal, in Gujarati it means “the mound of the dead”.
    • The city of Mohenjo-Daro (also part of the Indus Valley Civilisation, now in Pakistan) means the same in the Sindhi language.
  • Location: It is located in the Bhāl region of present-day Gujarat. 
  • Construction: The port city is believed to have been built in 2,200 BC. 
  • Discovery: 
    • Lothal along with other Harappan sites, was discovered in mid of 20th century by Indian archaeologists led by Archaeologist SR Rao.
    • The National Institute of Oceanography in Goa discovered marine microfossils and salt, gypsum crystals at the site, which give assurance that it was a dockyard.
    • Later ASI unearthed a mound, a township, a marketplace, and a dock.
  • Significance: 
    • As per the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Lothal had the world’s earliest known dock, connecting the city to an ancient course of the Sabarmati river.
    • Lothal was a thriving trade centre in ancient times, with its trade of beads, gems and ornaments reaching West Asia and Africa. 
    • Lothal was one of the southernmost sites of the Indus Valley civilization.
    • The Lothal was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.

The Project National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC)

  • The project National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) began in March 2022. 
  • Aimed: 
    • To display India’s diverse maritime heritage.
    • To help Lothal emerge as a world-class international tourist destination.
  • Innovative features of the project: 
    • Mini-recreation of Lothal site: To recreate Harappan architecture and lifestyle through immersive technology;
    • Four theme parks: Memorial theme park, Maritime and Navy theme park, Climate theme park, and Adventure and Amusement theme park.
    • World’s tallest lighthouse museum with 14 galleries, as well as a coastal states pavilion displaying the diverse maritime heritage of Indian states and UTs.
  • Significance: As per the Indian Prime Minister, “the National Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal will act as a center for learning and understanding India’s maritime history”. 
Additional Information: Archaeological Survey of India (ASI): 

It comes under the Ministry of Culture.
ASI is the premier organization for archaeological research and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation. 

Objective: Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance. 
Regulate all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, of 1958. It also regulates the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, of 1972.

Working: For the maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance the entire country is divided into 37 Circles. 

Workforce of ASI: Trained archaeologists, conservators, epigraphists, architects, and scientists for conducting archaeological research projects through its Circles, Museums, Excavation Branches, Prehistory Branch, Epigraphy Branches, Science Branch, Horticulture Branch, Building Survey Projects, Temple Survey Projects and Underwater Archaeology Wing.

UNESCO:UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It contributes to peace and security by promoting international cooperation in education, sciences, culture, communication, and information. 

UNESCO promotes knowledge sharing and the free flow of ideas to accelerate mutual understanding and more perfect knowledge of each other's lives. UNESCO's programs contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

News Source: The Indian Express

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-culture/heritage-complex-coming-up-at-lothal-why-this-indus-valley-civilisation-port-town-is-important-8218667/

Since you have reached to the end of this article, you may also like watching an insightful video on Ancient, Medieval Indian History & Culture by Hemanth Jha sir, in our 5 Saal 25 Sawaal series. This will help you expand your knowledge base.

https://youtu.be/B5uYDEHMfPE

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