Guj: લોથલ lōthala

‘Mound of the Dead’  -Archaeological site, Gujarat

From Hin/Guj: loth, ‘dead’; and Skt: sthala, ‘mound’.

Lothal was a southern port city of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization dating back to the fourth millenium BCE. It shares the same name as Mohenjo-daro (in Sindhi translation) in modern Pakistan.

Lothal had the world’s earliest known docks which connected the city to the Sabarmati river and the Arabian Sea. The port traded beads, gems and ornaments to other Indus cities and to cities in Persia, Egypt and the Arabian Gulf. 

The beadmaking, in particular, has a long history: 

‘The craft seems to have started here as early as the third millennium B.C. with a large scale bead manufacturing operation taking a variety of raw materials -chalcedony and other agates, jasper, rock crystal- and turning them into beads that were used by the Harappans themselves and shipped to places as distant as Mesopotamia’ [Possehl (1981)].

For related place names see Indian Place names and Gujarat place names.