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Harappan Mound of Dead Suffers Neglect

on 2001/8/22 9:45:02 ( 1348 reads )


LOTHAL, INDIA, August 19, 2001: The Harappan site of Lothal in Gujarat whose name means "mound of the dead" has conservationists worried. The ancient site is suffering the vagaries of weather and neglect by the institution that's meant to preserve it: the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The Harappan site was discovered by the ASI in 1954, 84 kms out of Ahmedabad. It boasts a warehouse, a wharf and a 37-meter long dockyard built of bricks. Now, salt water and prolonged exposure to the rain and sun are gradually eating away the remains of the site. The dockyard is living proof that the Lothal civilization that flourished here between 2400 bce and 1900 bce was an early exponent of maritime trade. Heavy rain in the region over the past few seasons has damaged the remains of the sun-dried mud brick constructions. And stagnant rain water has layered the brick and mud work with moss. Past conservation attempts by ASI have not been too successful due to lack of funds and weather conditions. "The site hadn't been cared for over the past four or five years. But this year, we are taking up some important conservation projects at Lothal," reports ASI Regional Director, R.N. Gehlot.

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