INDIA – The vestiges of what many believe to be a lost, ancient civilisation have been discovered off the coast of western India. What has been described as a vast city, stretching more than five miles (8km) long and two miles (3km) wide, was discovered 36 metres (120 feet) underwater in the Gulf of Khambhat (previously known as the Gulf of Cambay

The most exciting part of the discovery, which was made by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) back in December 2000, is that it could rewrite human history as we know it.

However, more than two decades since the landmark find, experts are still at loggerheads over the age and significance of the archaeological site, which has come to be known as the Gulf of Khambhat Cultural Complex (GKCC).

The city-like structures were uncovered by NIOT by chance as they performed routine pollution surveys in the region.

Using sonar technology, the team identified huge geometrical structures deep down on the seafloor.

Debris recovered from the site included pottery, beads, sculptures, sections of walls and human bones and teeth, with carbon dating finding these to be nearly 9,500 years old, BBC News reported at the time.

Announcing the discovery on 19 May 2001, India’s then science and technology minister, Murli Manohar Joshi, said that the ruins belonged to an ancient civilisation.

He said this would have been even older than the Bronze Age Indus Valley civilisation (also known as the Harappan) – the hitherto earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent and one of the world’s three earliest civilisations, along with Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt.

In other words, this discovery looked set to have massive repercussions on our view of the ancient world.