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  • Context (TH): An excavation led by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) found evidence of a cultural continuity in Vadnagar (Gujarat).
  • Recent unpublished radiocarbon dates indicate its potential age around 1400 BCE. This timeframe aligns with the late phase of the post-urban Harappan period.
  • Evidence from the archaeological excavation makes it as the oldest living city within a single fortification uncovered in India.
  • The findings also suggest that the existence of the “Dark Age” is probably a myth.

Dark Age

  • The earliest archaeological record is the rock inscription of Emperor Ashoka at Sudarsana Lake, Girnar Hill, Gujarat.
  • After the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization (1800 BCE), there is a gap in Ancient Indian history due to the limited archaeological and written evidence.
  • Dark Age: The period between the Indus Valley Civilisation’s collapse and the emergence of Iron Age. (Gandhar, Koshal, and Avanti).

Findings from new archaeological excavation at Vadnagar

  • Multireligious: Vadnagar housed a diverse population practicing Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Islam.
  • Multicultural: Archaeological excavations revealed seven cultural stages Mauryan, Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian, Hindu-Solankis, Sultanate-Mughal, and Gaekwad-British colonial rule.
  • Evidence of cultural continuity: Evidence points to a settlement dating back to 800 BCE, contemporary with late-Vedic or pre-Buddhist Mahajanapadas.
  • Archaeological Discoveries: Excavated artifacts include pottery, copper, gold, silver, iron objects, and intricately designed bangles.
  • Indo-Greek Influence includes coin moulds from the Indo-Greek rule, featuring the Greek king Appollodatus.
  • Climate Influences such as rainfall or droughts, influenced the rise and fall of kingdoms and recurrent invasions by Central Asian warriors over 3,000 years.
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