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Kerala PSC Indian History Book Study Materials Page 79Book's First Page
common in all other centres of the Indus civilisation. Fourth Stage: Lothal Lothal was founded much later than the above three settlements. Construction began here around 2100 BC during the Mature Harappan period. It had all the features typical of the cities of the Indus civilisation. Its citadel was built on a high platform, about 150 × 120 feet, and its brick wall surrounded both the citadel and the lower town. The pattern of streets and alleys was the same as that of Mohenjodaro and Harappa. The most unique feature of Lothal was its dock— a large basin, measuring 770 × 120 × 15 feet in length, width and depth respectively. Situated east of the city, its walls were made of hard bricks and had two openings which are believed to have been sluice gates. Four large round stones with holes in their middle were found at the bottom of the basin. They might have served as anchors for ships which used this basin as a dock. A raised platform between the basin and the city also seems to indicate that this was the dock of a major port, an emporium of trade between the Indus civilisation and Mesopotamia. Many tools, stone beads and seals were found in Lothal, among them the famous ‘Persian Gulf seal’. Probably, Lothal not only served long-distance trade but also supplied the cities on the Indus with raw material such as cotton from Gujarat and copper from Rajasthan. This would explain why Lothal was founded at a rather late stage when the demand for these raw materials was at its height in Harappa and Mohenjodaro. Prospects and Problems The recent excavations at Mehrgarh show that in this area of Baluchistan there was a continuous cultural evolution from the sixth millennium BC throughout the subsequent four millennia. The discovery of several Neolithic settlements in Baluchistan, including the oldest mound at Mehrgarh, has led to the conclusion that the Indus civilisation was the outcome of an indigenous evolution which started in the north-west of the Indian subcontinent. The many settlements of the fourth millennium BC which have been excavated in recent years provide added evidence for this new hypothesis.