Surkotada is an archeological site located in India
and it is a site belonging to Indus Valley Civilisation(IVC).It is a smaller fortified IVC site with 1.4 hectares in area.
Location and Environment
The site at Surkotada is located 160 km (99 mi) north-east of Bhuj
, in the district of Kutch
. The ancient mound stands surrounded by an undulating rising ground clustered by small sandstone hills. These hills are covered with red laterite soil giving the entire region a reddish brown colour. The vegetation is scarce and consists of cactus, small babul and pilu trees and thorny shrubs. These give green patches to the red environment.
The mound was discovered in 1964 by Shri Jagat Pati Joshi of the Archaeological Survey of India. The mound is higher on the western side and lower on the eastern side and has an average height of 5 to 8 m (16–26 ft). In the ancient days, a river 750 m (½ mi) wide flowed past the north-eastern side of the site. This river, which emptied into the Little Rann, might have been an important reason for siting the town here. Now this river is only a small nalla (stream).
Surkotada site contains horse remains dated to ca. 2000 BCE, which is considered a significant observation with respect to Indus Valley Civilisation. Sander BÕkÕnyi (1997), on examining the bone samples found at Surkotada, opined that at least six samples probably belonged to true horse.
Layout of the City and Architectural Remains
The total built up area of Surkotada of the period IC is in the form of a rectangle aligned along the cardinal directions. It measures 120 m (400 ft) east-west and about 60 m (200 ft) north-south. Despite its small size, archaeologists consider Surkotada very important. It had been treated by its builders at par with Kalibangan and Lothal
in terms of planning.
The gates of Surkotada have also been treated with care and in some respects are different from general Harappan trends. Moreover, many scholars feel that the location of Surkotada was strategic to control the eastward migration of the Harappans from Sind. Surkotada also supports the concept of the feudal system of administration in the civilization . In other words, Surkotada could have functioned as a regional capital or garrison town .
The plan of Surkotada is composed of two squares - the one to the east is called the residential complex and measures 60 m by 55 m (200 ft by 180 ft) while the one on the west is the Citadel
and it measures 60 m by 60 m (200 ft by 200 ft). The citadel is the higher of the two. The fortification wall of the citadel has an average base width of 3.5–4 m (11–14 ft) and has two 10 m by 10 m (30 ft by 30 ft) bastions on the southern wall. Similar bastions are expected on the northern wall but have not been excavated yet.
Other Significant Finds:
Presence of Mongooses were found in Surkotada as well as in Mohenjadaro, Harappa, Rangpur
, India indicating that these animals were kept as a protection against snakes.Elephant bones and wolf bones (tamed?) were also found at Surkotada.