the mound of the dead


The last day of December has always traditionally been the day one takes time off to look over the shoulders; we chose to look back some 4000 years: at the Mound of the Dead – which was as high as this Lamp post before they dug our past up half a century ago.


When we reach the site, the children get the WS that would help them remember and find sites and stuff that are important. Here is Danny helping with the distribution at the site gate as soon as we unloaded from our bus that you see in the background in the second picture that shows us reading the Plaque designed by Archeological Survey of India describing what is there at this site.


The Indus Valley Civilization site was discovered by Rao in India in 1952. This site is where the controversial Lockgated Dock is. It used to be connected with the Sabarmati which had changed course since. This site is where the civilization thrived for nearly 500 years from 2400 to 1900 BCE before being wiped out by the third deluge the Indus Valley Civilization had faced.

Since they were exporting stuff like beads made of Agate etc and importing too, from Persia and Mesopotamia, may have been trading with Rome too as there was a Roman Amphora among the exhibits at the Lothal Museum – they were increasingly moving closer towards the Arabian Sea, spreading out from Balochisthan and the places in the upper Indus Basin. Thats how come the existence of this Dock here, this picture shows the inlet which was used to let in water and out.


We were not allowed to take pictures of the containers, tools, seals, beads, weights, jewellery housed in the Museum, but one look at them showed these people were a prosperous lot. They must have known the use of perfumes, used oil probably for lamps – but how did they extract it? Crushing seeds of seasame I guess, or tamarind seeds – a lot of the pots seem to have tamarind leaves in the pictures painted on them, we did see crushing tools.The beads though were amazing – there were ones that looked like dust filled in a glass vial – but when you looked through a powerful magnifying glass – you saw they were minute beads!!! They used fish bones to make them – files made of semi precious stones to polish, and a kiln here to melt stuff used to make beads.

bead-making-kiln-1 bead-making-kiln-showing-the-four-holes

Everything about the town seemed to be in neat squares – just like any modern town! Our children were excited about this 🙂




boundary-wall-at-the-lower-town-was-this-thick audarya-snaps-a-room-that-was-at-the-acropolis

they-take-notes o-my at-the-dock-with-rishithe-well-near-the-dockhexagonal-fire-bricks-at-the-well

The children came away with the big idea that “we preserve what we value, and what is of value to us and the community” and what we value depends on who we are – our identity… it gave me goosebumps to hear the little ones talk that way and enact how they must have been wiped off ….


One last look back at the Wharf and the Acropolis and the Dock and our past before the year ends, here is wishing all of you have a meaningful year ahead.



5 thoughts on “Lothal

  1. That was a very interesting description. And probably it is the history textbooks, Harappa fascinates me to no end.

    Been exploring ancient caves here in Mumbai myself. Will write about it soon.

    Wish I had a digicam 😦

    A Happy New Year to you!

  2. That was fascinating to read. I find archaeology quite interesting and so this post was a real treat to read. You really are determined to get me to India now arent you? Would love to visit these places. *sigh*


  3. Alok, Vee there are 52 sites of the IVC in Gujarat alone, and 1000 others spread over Balochistan, Pakistan. Some websites say this was the only civilization to have had an engineered lock-gated dockyard at Lothal!

    Yup, you had better come at least once. The Chessmen, the weights that measured 0.1 mg onwards, tools that could pierce a hole the diameter of 0.75 mm – fascinated me 🙂

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