Aligarh: The Centre of Advanced Study, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University organized the first Prof. R.C. Gaur Memorial Lecture in the Faculty of Arts Lounge. The lecture was delivered by Prof. Vasant Shinde of Deccan College, Pune on â€œHarrppan Culture: New Discoveries and Perspectivesâ€.
Prof. Shinde narrated the significance of excavated sites like Mehargarh, Gunweriwala, Rakhigarhi, Lothal and Dholavira and highlighted the innovative spirits of the Harappans which was far ahead than any other civilization in India. Because of the interconnections with the Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations, the Harappans introduced certain new methods and techniques in the field of architecture, art and commerce. The Great bath of Mohenjodaro is the first ever known evidence of swimming pool. The first evidence of dockyard has been traced out at Lothal and the first ever known furrowed field for the cultivation of crops has been found at Kalibangan.
He said that Dholavira in Cutch is a site of distinct nature as being divided in three parts named as castle, middle town and lower town, unlike the other Harappan cities, divided only in two parts i.e. citadel complex and lower town. As the site was located in the dry zone of Cutch the Harappans applied new techniques by making underground tanks and wells for depositing the water of rain. The site has also exhibited the building structures made of blocks of stones unlike the other Harappan sites, where the structures are found of mud and burnt bricks. The commode system of latrines, which is usually considered a western innovative style was originally a contribution of Harappans as noticed at Dholavira.
Prof. Shinde also highlighted the reasons for the decline of Harappan culture. The drying up of Ghaggar-Hakra valleys leading to the environmental degradation and the decline of foreign trade are dealt with as the more reasonable factors of decline than the older views of sudden Aryan encroachment and floods.
Earlier, Prof. B.L. Bhadani, Chairman of CAS, Department of History while welcoming Prof. Shinde, said that Prof. R.C. Gaurâ€™s contribution in the field of Archaeology is unforgettable. Besides being the founder of Archaeological section of the Department of History, he is specifically credited for the excavations of Atranjikhera and Lal Qila. The significance of Archaeological findings in context with Ancient History and Culture was marked out by Prof. C.P.S. Chauhan, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences and the vote of thanks was proposed by Prof. Tariq Ahmed of the Department of History.