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Dholavira's geometry: a bridge between Harappan and  classical times and concepts 

Michel Danino




Dholavira, a unique Harappan site in the Rann of Kachchh, displays elaborate town-planning. Its massive fortifications delineate nested enclosures that follow highly precise proportions. Those ratios combined with the city’s dimensions allow us to calculate precisely the unit of length used for the fortifications, and to relate it to the ivory scale found at the nearby site of Lothal. Dholavira's ratios and units are both visible at other Harappan sites, and are shown to be related to historical unit systems -- a significant finding, since the conventional view was that there was no connection between Harappan and historical town planning. Finally, the paper shows that some of the abstract concepts underlying Dholavira’s geometry appear identical to concepts of classical Hindu architecture and philosophy.


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