IN recent years it has been realised that concept of global sea-level curve cannot be applied even to tectonically and isostatically stable coasts. Formerly it was thought that the sea level reached its present level around 6000 BP on the coast of Maharashtra and it then fluctuated within the amplitude of 1 or 2 m in the last 6000 years. In the last decade detailed archaeological investigations of some famous port sites like Sopara, Chaul, Kelshi, Guhagar, Palshet have been carried out by scholars from the Deccan College, Pune.
These ports seem to have been in operation since the beginning of the early historic period (2nd-3rd century BC) and got defunct only recently (i.e. in 18th century). Our geomorphological and archaeological studies show that these ports were either on open sea or slightly inland on the creeks affected by tidal fluctuations.
In most of the cases the virgin layer over which any human activity has taken place is beach-dune complex rock-locally known as karal. Sites mentioned above are within 3-4 km from the present shore. Archaeological data received from these sites indicate that these sites are affected more by configurational changes than by global factor like glacio-eustasy.
(*Dr. Ambedkar College, Pune 411 006) (http://www.nio.org 7th National Conference on Marine Archaeology of Indian Ocean Countries.)