Another Submerged City
Feb 04, 2002 11:32 AM
See also BBC News link:
"The whole model of the origins of civilization with which
been working will have to be remade from scratch..."
Another Submerged City
The remains of a huge underwater city off the western coast of India
historians and archaeologists to radically reconsider their view of
human history. It's believed that the area was submerged when ice
at the end
of the last ice age, 9-10,000 years ago.
Marine scientists say archaeological remains disco
vered 120 feet underwater in the Gulf of Cambay off the western coast
could be over 9,000 years old. The vast city - which is five miles
two miles wide - is believed to predate the oldest known remains in
subcontinent by more than 5,000 years.
The site was discovered by chance last year by oceanographers from
National Institute of Ocean Technology who were conducting a survey
pollution. Using sidescan sonar - which sends a beam of sound waves
the bottom of the oce
an - they identified huge geometrical structures at a depth of 120
Debris recovered from the site - including construction material,
sections of walls, beads, sculpture and human bones and teeth - has
carbon dated and found to be nearly 9,500 years old.
However, archaeologist Justin Morris from the British Museum says
will need to be done before the site can be said to belong to a 9,000
civilization, since there can be errors in carbon dating. "Culturally
in that part of the world there were no civilizations prior to about
BC. What's happening before then mainly consisted of small, village
settlements," he says.
Strong tides make investigations in the Cambay difficult. Marine
led by the Madras-based National Institute of Ocean Technology are
this problem by taking acoustic images off the sea-bed and using
equipment to extract artifacts.
The Indian Minister for Ocean Technology, Murli Manohar Joshi, says
ndicate symmetrical man-made structures and also a paleo-river, with
containing artifacts, such as pottery. Carbon dating on a block of
brought up from the depths suggests it dates back to 7,595 BC. "We
find out what happened then ... where and how this civilisation
The city is believed to be even older than the ancient Harappan
which dates back around 4,000 years and is the oldest on the
Although Palaeolithic sites dating back around 20
,000 years have been found on the coast of India's western state of
before, this is the first time that man-made structures as old as
have been found deep beneath the ocean surface.
Marine archaeologists have used a technique known as sub- bottom
show that the buildings were built on enormous foundations. Graham
author of "Fingerprints of the Gods," says, "The [oceanographers]
they were dealing with two large blocks of apparently man made
Cities on this scale are not known in the archaeological record until
4,500 years ago when the first big cities begin to appear in
Nothing else on the scale of the underwater cities of Cambay is
first cities of the historical period are as far away from these
cities as we
are today from the pyramids of Egypt."
Hancock feels this discovery could have a major influence on our view
ancient world. "There's a huge chronological problem in this
means that t
he whole model of the origins of civilization with which
been working will have to be remade from scratch," he says.
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