Mohenjo Daro: The lost pride of the Indus valley



We all are aware of this ancient civilization of Mohenjo Daro that once used to thrive in the Indus valley. Literally meaning Mound of the Dead, Mohenjo Daro is also called the Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis. The ruins of this popular ancient city is even today in the Indus valley, which is now an important archaeological as well as a World Heritage site. The Mohenjo Daro civilization is regarded as among the largest city-settlements and today is nestled in the Sindh Province of Pakistan.

As per the archaeologists, the Mohenjo Daro civilization came into existence in 2600 BCE during which it was regarded as one of the early urban settlements on Earth. Originally, the city was erected on a Pleistocene ridge that was in the flood plain, which has submerged today because of the frequent flooding by the Indus River. Abandoned nearly in 1500 BCE, this ancient city was only first seen by an Indian officer of Archaeological Survey of India in 1922, who was leaded by a Buddhist monk who mistakenly understood it to be a big stupa.

As per the facts found, the city of Mohenjo Daro was ruined and reinstated for at least seven times because of floods by the Indus River. Exhibiting a common feature of the Mesoamerican ruins, each set up of the city was over the remains of the former ruins.

From the Larkana town, I traveled for 25 km to reach this archaeological site. It is remarkable that the building of the entire city occurred on a planned layout of street network established systematically. While roaming here if you explore its antiquity, the relics here appear to be highly developed and composed up of regularly-sized bricks of flamed wood dried in sun as well as baked mud. As per the archaeologists, the city of Mohenjo Daro was divided into two zones: the Citadel and the Lower City. The Citadel is the venue of the public bath, two huge assembly walls, and a giant residential structure holding 5,000 people. While on the other hand, the Lower City is that area of the site that is yet to be excavated.

Interestingly, even in those early days, the Mohenjo Daro civilization knew how to build a well fortified city with towers that were in the west with the defending ramparts in the south. This is even more surprising fact when one notices that there are no actual city walls here.

On my visit, I first explored the Great Granary that gets this name from an expert because of its design. This structure actually has an inlet that is thought to be the facilitator of obtaining the incoming crop carts. Further, there is also a channel that might have permitted air to circulate in the stocked grain zone for drying. However, no evidence of any grain was found and so this name was replaced by a suitable title called the Great Hall. Just besides this, an edifice that appears to be local in looks is actually the great public bath or the Great Bath. This is a rich and enlarged bath area that once used to bear a pool in its middle. The whole edifice was made with a layer of natural tar so that no leakage would occur ever. Many experts are of the opinion that the pool must have been the venue of religious rituals.

Coming to the relics of the houses, some of the residences had rooms reserved for bathing. This is evident from the observation of how the waste water must have been channelized until the enclosed drains connected to the streets. Each of these residences resides only at the internal courtyards as well as on the small streets. A few of these dwellings were as big as two storeys. Then, there were some evidences of the city to be agriculturally fit in the sense that there was a large well, smaller wells for supplying water to the homes, and market at the center. Also, check out for an edifice that bears a subterranean furnace known as the hypocaust. It is believed that this might have served the purpose of warm bathing.

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