Dholavira is an archaeological site in Bhachau Taluka of Kachchh district of Gujarat
state in western India
, which has taken its name from a modern village 1 km south of it. The site of Dholavira, locally known as Kotada timba contains ruins of an ancient Harappan city. It is one of the five largest Harappan sites and most prominent archaeological sites in India belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization.
It is also considered as grandest of cities of its time. It is located on the Khadir bet island in the Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary
in Great Rann Of Kutch
and the area of the full site is more than 100 acres. The site was occupied from c.2650 BCE, declining slowly after about 2100 BCE. It was briefly abandoned and reoccupied until c.1450 BCE.
The site was discovered in 1967-8 by J. P. Joshi and is the fifth largest Harappan site in the Indian subcontinent, and has been under excavation almost continuously since 1990 by the Archaeological Survey of India, which opines that "Dholavira has indeed added new dimensions to personality of Indus Valley Civilisation." Eight large urban centers have been discovered so far: Harappa, Mohenjo Daro, Ganeriwala, Rakhigarhi, Kalibangan, Rupar, Dholavira, and Lothal
The ancient site at Dholavira, is flanked by two storm water channels; the Mansar in the north, and the Manhar in the south. Excavation was initiated in 1989 by the Archaeological Survey of India under the direction of R. S. Bisht and there were 13 field excavations between 1990 and 2005.
The excavation brought to light the urban planning and architecture, and unearthed large numbers of antiquities such as seals, beads, animal bones, gold, silver, terracotta ornaments, pottery and bronze vessels. Archaeologists believe that Dholavira was an important centre of trade between settlements in south Gujarat, Sindh and Punjab and Western Asia
Painted Indus black-on-red-ware pottery, square stamp seals, seals without Indus script, huge sign board measuring about 3 m in length, containing ten letters of Indus script etc. One poorly preserved seated male figure made of stone has also been found, comparable to high quality two stone sculptures found at Harappa. Large black-slipped jars with ponted base were also found at this site.
A gaint bronze hammer, a big chissel, a bronze hand-held mirror,a gold wire, gold ear stud, gold globules with hole, copper celts and bangles, shell bangles, phallus like symbols of stone, square seals with indus inscription and signs,a circular seal, carleian humped animals, pottery with painted motiffs, goblets, dish-on-stand,perforated jars, Terracotta tumblers in good shape, architectural members made of ballast stones, grinding stones, mortars etc.were also found at this site. Stone weights of different measures were also found.