Lothal India’s oldest port city


  • General Studies-I
  • History of ancient india

In our country, there will be hardly any children in school who do not know about the civilization of the Indus Valley. The Indus Valley Civilization is called the Harappan Civilization. It was given this name because in the 1920s the British archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler first started excavation in Harappa itself.

The Harappan civilization was immense and extended to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Although Harappa and Mohenjodaro came under the occupation of Pakistan after the partition of India, many places of Harappan civilization remained present in India as well.

How is Lothal?


  • Indian archaeologists started exploring Harappan civilization cities in Saurashtra, Gujarat after 1947 and they also got substantial success in this.
  • Archaeologist S.R. Between 1954 and 1963, several teams led by Rao discovered several Harappan sites, including the port city of Lothal .
  • The Harappan culture can be placed in two sub-periods: 1. 2400–1900 BCE and 2. 1900–1600 BCE.
  • Like Mohenjodaro, Lothal also means the mound of the dead. Lothal is situated between the Bhogavo and Sabarmati rivers near the Gulf of Khambhat.
  • After a long and dusty journey from Ahmedabad comes the village of Saragwala where the archaeological site of Lothal is located.
  • On reaching here, it seems that these bricks have been made in the recent past, under no circumstances seem to date back to 2400 BC.
  • The first visible is a rectangular basin, called the dockyard . 218 meters long and 37 meters wide, this basin is surrounded by paved bricks from all sides. In this , space has been left for the sluice gate and inlet .

First port city

Since we have not yet been able to decode the Indus script, it cannot be said with certainty whether Lothal was actually the first port city in the country. Historians also differ about this. But it is true that the Lothal currencies found in other ancient cities make it very clear that it had great importance in trade with other ancient civilizations. In such a situation, it can be said that this dockyard indicates the maritime activities of the Harappans.

  • The 4500-year-old city was built mathematically as planned. It had the system of crossing roads at proper angles, drainage systems and large bathrooms.
  • The finding of jars like toilets and lotus shows that there was enough emphasis on hygiene.

The Early Indians

Tony Joseph has also written in his book, The Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From, that there has been no significant change in the modus operandi of South Asians in this matter. This book also shows that a kalash was also found in the excavation at Lothal. There is a picture of a crow in front of a pitcher, behind which a deer is seen. Tony Joseph has also written in his book … “Some of the stories we tell our children today are probably what the Harappans used to tell their children.”

  • After this, remains of an ancient well and a storehouse are seen. It looks as if it is the upper part of the city or the citadel.
  • Lothal city was divided into two parts: 1. Upper Town and 2. Lower Town.
  • The remains of the brick walls found here point to wide roads, drains and snagnars.
  • After this, such a place appears, which looks like a bead-making factory. But its obvious signs are not seen.
  • Lothal was the major center of Harappan maritime trade. Beaded-beads made of semi-precious gems, terracotta, gold, etc. were also popular in areas such as Sumer (modern Iraq), Bahrain and Iran.

Museum of Archaeological Survey of India

Bead-pearl makers were very skilled in Lothal. Here the pearl-bead found in Lothal is kept in the Museum of Archaeological Survey of India. It is written on a signboard installed here … A bead-pearl maker’s house was also found in Khodai in the lower city. It had many rooms and a furnace. 800 Cornelian pearls lying at various stages of production were found there. Along with these, many types of equipment and raw materials were also recovered from there. A unicorn seal (mudra) is also housed in this museum, which is believed to be the only seal of its kind.

Source: The Hindu

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