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The Archaeology of Coastal Bengal$
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Rupendra Kumar Chattopadhyay

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199481682

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199481682.001.0001

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Geophysical Features of Coastal West Bengal

Geophysical Features of Coastal West Bengal

(p.19) Chapter Three Geophysical Features of Coastal West Bengal
The Archaeology of Coastal Bengal

Rupendra Kumar Chattopadhyay

Oxford University Press

The geo-physical features of the vast stretch of land constituting the study area have been delineated in this chapter. The present study area mainly comprises the mature and active delta regions, that is, the modern districts of North and South 24-Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, parts of Nadia and East and West Midnapur. In addition to the mature and active delta regions, the adjoining upland areas lying to the south and west of the present district of West Midnapur have also being taken into consideration. The geo-physical considerations have led the author to classify the study area into three arbitrary zones. However, these zones should not be viewed as watertight compartments. A sub-section deals with the physiographic features of the three zones. The chapter also discusses coast-line fluctuations and river course change since the seasonal movements of sea water, stagnation of water and subsequent lagoon formation, changes in the courses of the main rivers, and excessive flow from the upper reaches often leading to floods have all influenced the surviving strategies and even the development of settlements in the coastal tract. Changes in river courses in many instances have been instrumental in the survival and spread of sites.

Keywords:   moribund delta, mature delta, active delta, the Sundarban region, sub-recent alluvium, ox-bow lakes, lagoons, Chhotanagpur Plateau, fluvial landforms, coast-line fluctuations, river course changes

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