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India: Lothal, 4,400-year-old `City of Dead', being killed slowly
The vestiges of Lothal -a city dating back to the 4,400-year-old Harappan civilization -are being obliterated. The city, which lies only 74 km from here, has no guards to protect it. So it is common to see people stealing bits of history . Tourists trample on the structure with little concern for its fragility. The site is overrun with weeds, adding to the picture of neglect and chaos.

Lothal, 4,400-year-old `City of Dead', being killed slowly
Ruins of the lower town in the site of Lothal 
[Credit: Bernard Gagnon/WikiCommons]

Lothal's cemetery is no longer accessible due to wild growth on the approach. The cemetery houses two skeletons found during excavations at the site, carried out between 1955 and 1962.

Lothal, which means `The City of Dead' in Gujarati, attracts legions of visitors, particularly students. A museum containing articles belonging to the Harappan era is another major draw. The excavation sites and museum are under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India ( ASI).

Lothal, 4,400-year-old `City of Dead', being killed slowly
The bathroom-toilet structure of houses in Lothal 
[Credit: Bernard Gagnon/WikiCommons]

Officials said shortage of funds has lead to a staff crunch, affecting even routine maintenance. The museum gateman has to run to the historical Lothal dock to caution visitors against moving on the precarious structure. Boundary walls of wells are broken. The funds crunch prevents officials from carrying out further excavations.

Tushar Patel, a visitor on Sunday, said he asked the staff for information on the artefacts, but they hardly showed any interest in responding to his queries.

Author: Himanshu Kaushik | Source: The Times of India [June 22, 2015]