Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Current Affairs - 2019
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The Government of India is planning to establish a National Maritime Heritage Museum at Lothal in Gujarat. The museum will also act as an independent research center for archaeology of boat building, reconstruction of maritime history and materials traded. It will hold display of salvaged materials from shipwreck sites in Indian Ocean waters.
The underwater archaeology involves remains of submerged shipwrecks, ports and records of maritime activity from archaeological excavations. The shipwrecks studies in India were initiated in 1989 in the Sunchi Reef, Goa. According to UNESCO, there are around 3 million undiscovered shipwrecks on the world’s ocean floor.
India has vast potential with its rich maritime history. The archaeological evidence from South East Asia and Persian Gulf say that Indian maritime voyagers ventured into eastern and western seas even before 4000 years ago. Studying about sunken ships will help to fill in gaps in India’s maritime history and trade links with other countries.
Lothal is an ancient city of Indus Valley Civilization. It was discovered in 1954 by the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India). The site is important as the irrigation tank of the city was used as a dock in ancient times. Also the city was a part of a major river system (the five rivers flowing through Punjab) on the trade route. The GoI has requested UNESCO to add Lothal into the lists of UNESCO Heritage sites. The requisition is yet to receive approval.
Tags: Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) • ASI Museum • Indus Valley Civilization • Maritime Industry • National Maritime Heritage Museum
World Heritage Week is celebrated by UNESCO between November 19, 2019 and November 25, 2019. The Objective of celebrating World Heritage Week is to increase awareness among people about safety and preservation of cultural heritages and monuments.
UNESCO Heritage sites in India
There are 37 UNSECO World Heritage sites in India. It includes 29 cultural site, 7 natural sites and 1 mixed site.
Several schools and colleges are celebrating World Heritage Week in India by organizing quiz and painting competitions. The Archaeological Survey of India and several other museums are organizing heritage programs highlighting the significance of the ancient monuments and their preservation
The heritage sites celebrating the week includes Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Delhi Red Fort, Delhi Darwaza, Bhadra Gate, etc.
A great effort was made by the National Research Laboratory for Conservation, Lucknow to save the stone structure of Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. It was built by the Maharani Ahilya Bai Holkar in 1777.
It is important to respect and protect such heritages of the country. The week celebration instills sense of safety and preservation of the monuments across the country.