The archaeologist’s daughter, Nalini, said she was heartbroken to see “monumental apathy and neglect” of her father’s find when she visited Lothal this week ahead of the SR Rao Memorial Lecture at IIM-Ahmedabad on Sunday.
“I was pained to see crumbling bricks and no attempts to preserve the site,” said Nalini, a world art professor at Soka University in the US.
“In countries like Egypt and China that are home to ancient civilizations one witnesses extreme regard for conservation, including restricted entry, hands-off directives and weather proofing.”
Nalini said Lothal has none of this. “There are no guides or leaflets to educate visitors about Lothal’s importance in India’s history,” she said.
“The site maybe on every tourist map, but one cannot find a bottle of water for several kilometers.”
Nalini, who would release a booklet on Lothal remains at IIM-A, said she is planning a documentary on the ancient port town to highlight her father’s legacy.
S R Rao, an Archaeological Survey of India archeologist, had ordered the excavation when he found a mound near Saragwala village in Ahmedabad district in 1954.
The excavation lasted till 1962 and led to the unearthing of an acropolis that had earliest artifacts dating back to 2450 BC.
The site was named Lothal, the first Harappan site with a dock that remained operational till 1600 BC.