Sites & cities that bear the name of Surkotada


Today in : India
First trace of activity : ca. 21st century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 17th century B.C.E

Description : Surkotada is an archaeological site located in Rapar Taluka of Kutch district, Gujarat, India which belongs to the Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC). It is a smaller fortified IVC site with 1.4 hectares (3.5 acres) in area. The chronology of the occupation of the site at Surkotada is not the same as other Harappan / Indus Valley Civilization sites. The dates from Surkotada are later than most Harappan sites but conform well with the occupational dates from Lothal and Kalibangan. In other words, the Harappans did not establish a settlement in Surkotada in the earliest phase of Harappan maturity but did so almost towards the end. The site of Surkotada was occupied for a period of 400 years with no breaks or desertions. Archaeologists have divided the history of settlement in Surkotada into three cultural phases. The following is a description of the three phases in terms of the building activity: Period IA (2100 BC โ€“ 1950 BC) The earliest occupants of Surkotada had affiliations with an antecedent culture. They built a citadel with mud-brick and mud-lump fortification with a rubble veneer of five to eight courses over a raised platform of hard rammed yellow earth. The platform had an average height of 1.5 m (4.9 ft) and the average base width of the fortification wall was 7 m (23 ft). The bricks used were in the ratio 1:2:4 which conforms with mature Harappan standards. The height of this wall was 4.5 m (15 ft). The residential area was also built with a fortification wall having a thickness of 3.5 m (11 ft). The citadel had two entrances one on the southern side and one on the eastern side for accessing the residential area. In the residential area a drain, a bathroom with a small platform and a soakage jar in every house prove the well known sanitary arrangement and drainage system of the Harappans. Period IB (1950 BC โ€“ 1800 BC) There is no break in the continuity of settlement from phase IA to phase IB, but this period has been defined separately due to the arrival of a new wave of people who used a new form of pottery and instruments. They retained the structure of the citadel but added a mud brick reinforcement to the inside of the fortification wall. As this would have only reduced the area within the citadel, it is not clear why they did this. The end of period IB is marked by a thick layer of ash which represents a widespread conflagration. Period IC (1800 BC โ€“ 1700 BC) After the fire of period IB, a new group of people came to Surkotada though the site does not show any break in the continuity of settlement. The new people followed their predecessors in the layout of the settlement and made a citadel and a residential complex on the same lines made of rubble and dressed stones. These measured respectively 60 and 60 by 55 m (197 and 197 by 180 ft) and are described in the next section.

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