Ancient Settlement Discovered at Vadnagar Dating to 800 BCE
Researchers from various institutes have uncovered evidence of human settlement at Vadnagar, Gujarat spanning over 3,000 years, starting from as early as 800 BCE. Successive periods of occupation belonging to the Mauryas, Indo-Greeks, Hindu and Muslim rulers have been found.
Vadnagar’s Legacy as Enduring Settlement
The deep excavation makes Vadnagar the oldest continually inhabited city within a single fortification uncovered in India so far. Its enduring legacy stretches across changing kingdoms, invasions, religions – from Buddhist, Hindu and Jain to Islamic influences.
Climate Changes Spurred Invasions
Analysis suggests climate fluctuations causing severe droughts or rainfall changes in Central Asia triggered migrations and invasions into India over history. When the Indian subcontinent prospered under strong monsoons, the arid invaders targeted the prosperity.
Earliest Phase Pre-Dates Buddhism, Jainism
The initial Iron Age settlement beginning around 800 BCE pre-dates both Buddhism and Jainism – indicating cultural continuity in India spanning over 5500 years. This challenges notions of a mythical “Dark Age” in Indian history.
Distinct Artefacts Unearthed
The excavation unearthed varied archeological finds – pottery, bangles, copper, gold and silver objects, coin moulds from the Indo-Greek reign, and one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries found to date. This substantiates Vadnagar’s role as a prominent trading outpost.
Beyond heritage value, the Vadnagar site holds personal meaning as the native village of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is also set to house India’s first Experiential Digital Museum focused on bringing history alive.
Connecting Climate, Settlements and Migrations
The authors conclude that prevalent climate conditions played a key part in settling and depopulating Vadnagar over millennia. Periods of prosperity under stronger monsoons attracted migrants and invaders alike from drought-hit Central Asia.
Category: Art & Culture Current Affairs