Lothal is situated at a distance of 80 km from Ahmedabad. It is one of the most important archaeological sites in India. In the dialect of the local people language, Lothal means 'the mound of the dead'. The site was discovered in the year 1957, followed by excavations done by the Archaeological Survey of India. It was concluded from the excavations that the ruins of the settlement belonged to the Harappan Era, dating back to the 2nd millennium BC. It is an exquisite example of Harrappan town planning.
One of the most interesting sites here is the dockyard. It reveals the
fact that Lothal was once one of the major ports in the region. Then,
there is the citadel that is divided into two parts, an acropolis and
the lower town. The acropolis contains paved baths, while lower town
stands laced with residential quarters, coppersmith workshops, sheds and
bead factories. Apart from this, the most fascinating feature is the
excellent sanitary drainage system of the town. Lothal was an important
trade destination till 1900 BC.
The town was destroyed by floods that struck three times. However, this
did not weaken the spirit of its residents. Even after being severely
struck by floods, they did not abandon the town; rather they
reconstructed and restructured it to meet the future calamities. Towards
west of the archaeological excavations, there is the site museum. Here,
one can see plans, plaster of Paris models and paintings by
archaeologists. All this is put together in an attempt to reconstruct
what Lothal must have looked like 4000 years ago.
Mirrors of Bronze and Copper, and objects made from stone, shell and
bone are enclosed in glass showcases. Other highlights of the museum are
perforated and painted potteries, toy bullock carts, beads and jewelry.
There are also a number of seals found here, which throw light on the
trade prevalent with ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt and
Persia. According to archaeologists, people believed in animal
sacrifice, as an altar has been found there. Thus, Lothal provides an
insight into the Indus Valley civilization.