Panaji: Scientists in the country have found remnants of a historically important port on Goa's Zuari River which is expected to be amongst the oldest signs of human trade on the central west coast and may be contemporary to Dwarka in Gujarat.
The researchers say they may discover a dockyard similar in structure to Lothal dockyard (4500 years old), discovered by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in Gujarat in 1954.
Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) is working on 1.2 kms long wall along the Zuari River few kms away from here and it is expected to be a part of an old port, existed anywhere between 1,000 to 3,500 AD, that is currently buried.
"This area was earlier known as Gopakapattinam. The exploration work on the site is done and scientists have found the steps going in the water. It is imminent that existence of such a big wall parallel to river indicates that it is remnant of a port," said Rajiv Nigam, head of Marine Archaeology unit of CSIR-NIO.
The experimental surveys conducted by the researchers of Marine Archaeology Unit of the National Institute of Oceanography have revealed the existence of cross walls which stands inundated in the water.
"We will now be submitting proposal to the Ministry of Earth Sciences and/or Goa government to conduct further detailed exploration of this site," Mr Nigam added.
He said radio carbon and thermo-luminance [TL] dating of the sediment is required to find out correct age of this ancient port.
"Also to unearth other buried structures, we want to do ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey in sandy beach area and seismic surveys in offshore area," he said.
The researcher said that the port might be older than Murmugao Port existing in the State.
"If we get the proposal sanctioned, we will be able to conduct entire study within two years. This can be a major tourist attraction in Goa," Mr Nigam said, adding till date only Gujarat is known for its ancient cities.
The initial observations have concluded that this port might be connected to Old Goa, ancient capital of Goa, through 'Rajvidhi' (Road built and used for the King).
"If the project comes through it will be big discovery for central west coast of India. This was a very flourishing harbour of ancient time," he added.
The scientist feels that there are many such ports submerged on the western coast and discovery of this is just a beginning.