Lothal is a small mature Harappan settlement near Gulf of Khambat in Dhalka taluk of Ahmadabad in Gujrat. It was first excavated in 1957 by S R Rao.
The notable structures at Lothal include a dockyard, warehouse, workshop for manufacturing of stone beads, evidence of shell working, rice husk and a cemetery.
The artificial dockyard at Lothal is its most important feature and makes it an important site for international archeology. This dockyard in 35×22 meters size is called one of the greatest maritime architecture of BC era. The dockyard was excavated by the side of Sabarmati and it appears that river has changed its course during all these years. The ships or boats would enter the dock through an inlet channel connected to estuary of the river.
Maritime Trade Links of Lothal
Apart from the dockyard, the seals found at Lothal make it an important maritime trade centre of ancient times. The seals found at Lothal are of a type from Persian Gulf and this indicates a maritime trade network of which Lothal was a part. Lothal has given evidences of direct trade contact with Mesopotamia.
Different Town Planning
The town planning at Lothal was different from that of other Harappan towns. The city was divided into six sections and each section was built on a wide platform of unripe bricks. entry to the houses have been found on the main street while in other sites of Harappa have shown lateral entry. There are also traces of a drainage system and fire altars.
Rice Husk and other findings
Rice husk has been found in Lothal and only other site Rangpur. A doubtful terracotta figure has given some doubtful evidence of a horse. A bead making factory has also been found in Lothal.