UNDER THE GULF OF
9000 YEARS OLD CITY
Using sidescan sonar - which sends a beam of sound waves down to the bottom
of the ocean they identified huge geometrical structures at a depth of 120ft.
Debris recovered from the site - including construction material, pottery,
sections of walls, beads, sculpture and human bones and teeth has been carbon
dated and found to be nearly 9,500 years old.
The city is believed to be even older than the ancient Harappan civilization,
which dates back around 4,000 years.
Marine archaeologists have used a technique known as sub-bottom profiling to
show that the buildings remains stand on enormous foundations.
The whole model of the origins of civilization will have to be remade from
Author and film-maker Graham Hancock - who has written extensively on the
uncovering of ancient civilizations - told BBC News Online that the evidence was
"The [oceanographers] found that they were dealing with two large blocks of
apparently man made structures.
"Cities on this scale are not known in the archaeological record until roughly
4,500 years ago when the first big cities begin to appear in Mesopotamia.
"Nothing else on the scale of the underwater cities of Cambay is known. The
first cities of the historical period are as far away from these cities as we
are today from the pyramids of Egypt," he said.
This, Mr Hancock told BBC News Online, could have massive repercussions for our
view of the ancient world.
"There's a huge chronological problem in this discovery. It means that the whole
model of the origins of civilization with which archaeologists have been working
will have to be remade from scratch," he said.
However, archaeologist Justin Morris from the British Museum said more work
would need to be undertaken before the site could be categorically said to
belong to a 9,000 year old civilization.
"Culturally speaking, in that part of the world there were no civilizations
prior to about 2,500 BC. What's happening before then mainly consisted of small,
village settlements," he told BBC News Online.
Dr Morris added that artifacts from the site would need to be very carefully
analyzed, and pointed out that the C14 carbon dating process is not without its
It is believed that the area was submerged as ice caps melted at the end of the
last ice age 9-10,000 years ago
Although the first signs of a significant find came eight months ago, exploring
the area has been extremely difficult because the remains lie in highly
treacherous waters, with strong currents and rip tides.
The Indian Minister for Human Resources and ocean development said a group had
been formed to oversee further studies in the area.
"We have to find out what happened then ... where and how this civilization
vanished," he said.