Marine archaeologists have found a stone anchor in the Gulf of Khambhat with a design similar to the ones used by Chinese and Japanese ships in the 12th-14th century AD, giving the first offshore evidence indicating India's trade relations with the two Asian countries.
This stone anchor was found during an exploration headed by two marine archaeologists -- A S Gaur and B K Bhatt -- from the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, in the later half of 2008.
"Though there are a lot of references and Chinese pottery (found from coastal sites) indicating trade relations between the two Asian nations (China and Japan) in the past, but this anchor from the offshore region is the first evidence from Indian waters.
Similar type of anchors have been found from Chinese and Japanese waters," Mr.Gaur told PTI.
Both Gaur and Mr. Bhatt have described the findings of their exploration in a paper 'Marine Archaeological Exploration on the Western Coast, Gulf of Khambhat' posted on NIO's website.
The exploration was conducted on the east coast of Saurashtra along the coastal areas of Bhavnagar district namely Gogha, Hatab, Gopnath and Vallabhipur.
"One of the anchors found at Hathab (in Bhavnagar) made of laterite has been discovered for the first time from Indian waters.
It has a shallow and wide groove on all four faces of the block," the duo have stated in their paper.