Ahmedabad: The preliminary study of 2nd- 3rd century CE structures excavated in Gujarat's Vadnagar has revealed that people there might have known about earthquake resistant techniques, experts said on 10 January.
Experts said no cracks or stress were found in these structures despite the area, some 100 kilometres from here, being prone to earthquakes, though they added the observations need further corroboration.
"These are heavy brick structures with heavy walls. The area is prone to earthquakes, so it is quite likely people living way back in the 2nd and 3rd centuries devised this construction method of putting some gap and maybe wood in between to act as a squeeze," said Professor Vasant Shinde, archaeologist and director general of National Maritime Museum.
"These are mostly houses and other structures that date back to the 2nd-3rd centuries and continue till modern times, as modern settlements on top of the mound show the same structure. They range from different cultural periods, till modern times," he added.
All the structures, comprising religious, residential and storage, are heavy, and it shows the affluence of the settlement, he added.
Shinde said the method is particularly observed in structures which have thick bricks walls, adding that Harappan structures must also be observed in the same light as they too were heavy structures and most of the techniques were passed down from the Harappan times.
Former ASI director Nizamuddin Taher, who visited the site in December, said evidence gathered from the structures in Vadnagar needs to be studied further and corroborated.
"The observation is very relevant. There is a gap between brick structures, and monuments existing at that time do not bear any evidence of cracks or stress. If the region is earthquake prone, there should have been some evidence of quakes on these structures," he said.
He said wooden residue in the gaps will have to be found for analysis to know if these structures had the technique to withstand the impact of earthquakes.
Excavation in Mehsana's Vadnagar, incidentally, the hometown of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was undertaken by the state archaeological department and the Archaeological Survey of India. Since 2015, the ASI has found structures like Buddhist prayer halls.