Monday, January 10, 2011

Lothal

Lothal

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Lothal is situated about 85 kms. southwest of Ahmedabad. This important archaeological site was discovered in 1954. The city that stood here 4500 years ago is clearly related to the Indus Valley cities of Mohenjodaro and Harappa, both in Pakistan. It has the same neat street pattern, carefully assembled, neat brickwork and scientific drainage system. Lothal means mound of the dead in Gujarati. Lothal is located between the Sabarmati river and the Bhogavo river and is now 10 kms. up from the Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay). It has some of the most substantial remains of the Harappan culture in India, dating from 250 to 1700 BC. Its site and function as a port have led most authorities to argue that it was

Lothal

settled by Harappan trading communities who came by sea from the mouth of the river but some believe that it may have been settled by traders moving across the overland route. The site is surrounded by a mud brick embankment 300 m North to South and 400 m East to West. Unlike the defensive walls at Harappa and Mohenjodaro, the wall at Lothal enclosed the workers area as well as the citadel. The presence of a dry dock and a warehouse further distinguish it from other major Harappan sites. Excavations here have revealed a tidal dockyard (with a complex lock-gate system) at its peak, this was probably one of the most important ports on the Indian subcontinent. The Sabarmati river, which no longer runs past here, connected the dock to the Gulf of Cambay. Seals discovered at the site suggest that trade may have been conducted with the civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Persia.

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