|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)|
Lothal is situated near the village of Saragwala in the Dholka taluka of Ahmedabad district. It is six kms (south-east) of 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), Bhavnagar, Rajkot and Dholka. The nearest cities are Dholka and Bagodara.
The meaning of Lothal (a combination of Loth and (s) thal) in Gujarati to be "the mound of the dead" is not unusual, as the name of the city of Mohenjo-daro in Sindhi means the same. People in villages neighbouring to Lothal had known of the presence of an ancient town and human remains.
Before the arrival of Harappan people (c. 2400 BCE), Lothal was a small village next to the river providing access to the mainland from the Gulf of Khambhat. The indigenous peoples maintained a prosperous economy, attested by the discovery of copper objects, beads and semi-precious stones. Ceramic wares were of fine clay and smooth, micaceous red surface. A new technique of firing pottery under partly oxidising and reducing conditions was improved by them—designated black-and-red ware, to the micaceous Red Ware. Harappans were attracted to Lothal for its sheltered harbour, rich cotton and rice-growing environment and bead-making industry. The beads and gems of Lothal were in great demand in the west. The settlers lived peacefully with the Red Ware people, who adopted their lifestyle, evidenced from the flourishing trade and changing working techniques. Harappans began producing the indigenous ceramic goods, adopting the manner from the natives. 
- S. R. Rao (1985). Lothal. Archaeological Survey of India. p. 5.
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