ASI Current Affairs - 2020

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ASI: Gottiporlu-a historic trade centre

The Archaeological Survey of India has discovered the remains of huge settlement during its first phase of excavation at Gottiprolu near Naidupeta, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh. It has uncovered a mass settlement that was surrounded by a massive brick enclosure

Highlights

  • The experts unearthed the Hindu god, Lord Vishnu sculptures and wide variety of pottery of early centuries of current era
  • The site lies on the bank of Swarnamukhi river
  • Drone images and topographical studies helped in identifying the settlement that is surrounded by a fortification. The fortification was evident in the southern and eastern sides while its other arm seems to have been leveled due to modern settlements

The Brick Enclosure

  • The massive brick enclosure is the outstanding discovery of the excavation. The bricks are baked and exposed to a length of more than 75 metres with average width of 3.4 metres. They rise to a height of 2 metres and run in a curvi linear pattern
  • The Archaeologists also discovered a rectangular brick tank exposed near the inner lining of the curved brick structure

Period of the excavations

  • The brick sizes are comparable with the Satavahan period structures in the River Krishna valley
  • Based on the brick sizes, the period of excavations are placed between 2nd and 1st century BC. They are around 2000 years old

Antiquities

  • A female terracotta figurine with two hands lifted upwards was also retrieved.
  • Interesting pottery were also found. There were conical jars that are widely distributed in Tamil Nadu and are considered to be imitated variety of Roman Amphorae jars.
  • A series of broken terracotta pipes fitted into one another were also revealed. It proves that the period had a good drainage system.

Trade Centre

The presence of these jars prove that it was an important trade centre of the period. Also it implies that liquid commodities were transported as amphorae wares are often used to carry liquid items. Also, the site’s proximity with the sea coast suggests that it could have serves as a strategic settlement involved in maritime trade.

Tools

  • The tools found were made of stones

 

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Elephanta Festival of Art and Culture begins

The Elephanta Festival of art and culture commenced at the iconic Gateway of India in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The festival was inaugurated by state Tourism Minister Jaykumar Rawal who highlighted government’s commitment towards boosting Elephanta island tourism in all possible ways.

Key Features

Background: The Elephanta Festival of art and culture was started in 2012 and since then is held every year to promote tourism and culture of Mumbai. It is held on Gharapuri island (also known as Elephanta Island) where Elephanta Caves are located.

The annual gala event is organised on Elephanta Island by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). It is promoted by Maharashtra government.

About Elephanta Caves

  • They are the rock-cut Caves and were constructed around the mid-5th to 6th centuries AD. They are a collection of cave temples primarily dedicated to Lord Shiv but also have Buddhist caves.
  • The island was renamed as Elephanta from Gharapuri (which means the city of caves) by Portuguese after they found a statue of an elephant on island.
  • Elephanta Caves is currently maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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