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Information on Lothal :

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 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.

Dry Dock :

The dry dock runs along the east wall of the city and has average dimensions of a 214 m by 36 m. A 1 m wide gap in the north side is believed to have been the entrance by which boats came into the dock. While a spillway over the south well allowed excess water to overflow. The city well, which is wider at this point than elsewhere, may have been a wharf for unloading. Excavations of the warehouse have revealed wide evidence of the trade which was clearly the basis for the Lothals existence. The building, at the south-west corner of the wharf, had a 4 m high platform made of cubical mud brick blocks, the gap between them allowing ventilation. Over 65 Indus Valley Seals have been discovered which shows pictures of packing material, bamboo or rope, suggestive of the importance of trade to the community. There have also been finds of pottery, semi-precious stones, beads and even necklaces made of tiny beads of gold. Rice and millet were clearly in use, and there is some evidence that horses had been domesticated.

The city :

The excavations show a planned city in a grid pattern, with underground drainage system, wells, brick houses with baths and fireplaces. The raised brick platform to the southeast may have been a kiln where seals and plaques were baked. Objects found include painted pottery, ivory, shells, semi-precious stone items, beads, bangles and terracotta toys. The long rectangular tank to the east may have been used as a dock. The discovery of a seal from Bahrain suggests that there was overseas trade. The cemetery to the northwest had large funerary vessels indicating pit burials. The archaeological museum at the site displays fragments of this well-ordered civilization, such as intricate seals, weights and measures, games, jewellery and various artefacts including copper and bronze implements from the site.

Dholka :

Dholka was built as the residence of the Muslim Governor of Delhi. The Masjid of Hilal Khan Qazi has a simple facade with two turrets flanking the central arch. The Tanka Masjid has over 100 Hindu pillars suggesting that a purely Islamic style had not yet developed. The other mosque of Alif Khan is unlike other Gujarati mosques of the period in that it is of brick. Davies suggests that it is South Persian in design and execution, the workers migrating as a result of the coastal shipping trade.

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