Lothal : is one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization. Located in the modern state of Gujarat and dating from 2400 BCE, it is one of India’s most important archaeological site that dates from that era. Discovered in 1954, Lothal was excavated from February 13, 1955 to May 19, 1960 by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Lothal’s dock—the world’s earliest known—connected the city to an ancient course of the Sabarmati river on the trade route between Harappan cities in Sindh and the peninsula of Saurashtra when the surrounding Kutch desert of today was a part of the Arabian Sea. It was a vital and thriving trade centre in ancient times, with its trade of beads, gems and valuable ornaments reaching the far corners of West Asia and Africa.
Lothal’s people were responsible for the earliest-known portrayals of realism in art and sculpture, telling some of the most well-known fables of today. Its scientists used a shell compass and divided the horizon and sky into 8–12 whole parts, possibly pioneering the study of stars and advanced navigation—2000 years before the Greeks. The techniques and tools they pioneered for bead-making and in metallurgy have stood the test of time for over 4000 years.
Lothal is situated near the village of Saragwala in the Dholka taluka of Ahmedabad district. It is at a distance of six kilometres (south-east) from the Lothal-Bhurkhi railway station on the Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar railway line. It is also connected by all-weather roads to the cities of Ahmedabad (85 km/53 mi), Bhavnagar, Rajkot and Dholka.