mohenjo daro

Mohenjo Daro

Mohenjo daro meaning “Mound of the Dead” or “Mound of Mohan”; is an archaeological site in the province of SindhPakistan. Built about 2500 BCE, it was one of the largest settlements in the ancient Indus civilization or Harappan culture, with features such as ordinary bricks, road grids, and sewage systems. 

It was one of the first major cities in the world, associated with ancient Egyptian civilization, Mesopotamia, Minoan Crete, and Caral-Supe.

Mohenjo daro was abandoned in the 19th century BCE as the Indus Valley Civilization declined, and the site was not rediscovered until the 1920s. Since then a major excavation of the city area, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. This area is currently under threat of improper erosion and reconstruction.

Mohenjo Daro Location

Mohenjo daro is located on the right bank (west) of the lower Indus River in the Larkana region, SindhPakistan. It lies on the Pleistocene plain in the Indus floodplain, about 28 miles (17 mi) from the town of Larkana.

A well-planned road grid and a detailed drainage system suggest that the inhabitants of the ancient Indus civilization city of Mohenjo Daro were skilled city planners with respect to water management. But just who lived in the ancient city of present-day Pakistan during the third millennium B.C. it is always confusing.

Historical context Mohenjo Daro

Mohenjo daro was built in the 26th century BCE It was one of the largest cities in the ancient Indus Valley civilization, also known as the Harappan Civilization, founded about 3,000 BCE from the ancient Indus tradition. 

At its peak, the Indus Civilization covered most of what is now Pakistan and Northern India, extending west along the Iranian border, south to Gujarat in India and north to the outskirts of Bactria, with major urban centers in Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Lothal. , Kalibangan, Dholavira and Rakhigarhi. 

Mohenjo daro was a highly developed city in its time, with surprisingly complex social engineering and urban planning. When the Indus civilization suddenly collapsed in about 1900 BCE, Mohenjo daro was abandoned.

The archaeological significance of this site was first recognized in 1922, one year after the discovery of Harappa. Subsequent excavations revealed that the mounds contained the remains of a city once the largest Indus civilization city. 

Because of the size of the city — about three miles [5 km] in circumference — and the richness of the monuments and its contents, it has often been considered the capital of a large region. However, its relationship with Harappa is uncertain — that is, if the two cities were simultaneous centers or if one city followed another. 

Mohenjo-daro was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.

The wealth and splendor of the city are reflected in such masterpieces as ivory, lapis, carnelian, and gold beads, as well as in city-baked brick buildings.

The waterproof lake called the Great Bath, which is perched on a mound of dust and housed in an area with baked brick walls, is the closest structure Mohenjo Daro has in the temple. Possehl, a National Geographic grant recipient, says he proposes a clean-up approach.

Wells were found throughout the city, and almost every house had a bath and a drainage system.

Archaeologists began their visit to Mohenjo Daro in 1911. Several excavations took place in the 1920’s to 1931. Little research was done in the 1930’s, and subsequent excavations took place in 1950 and 1964.

The city of Mohenjo daro, now located 2 miles (3 km) from the Indus, which seems to have been a safe haven, in ancient times as today, with artificial barriers, was laid out in a remarkable way into something like twelve blocks, or “islands,” each 1,260 feet (384 meters) from north to south and 750 meters (228 meters) from east to west, separated by straight or dog lanes. 

The central block on the west side was constructed of a 20- to 40-foot (6 to 12-foot) dominant brick with mud and mud and reinforced at an unconfirmed level with square brick towers. The high-rise buildings included a magnificent bath or terrace surrounded by a balcony, a large residential building, a large fence, and at least two adjoining hall halls. 

It is evident that the fortress (apparently the one) was in charge of the religious and religious headquarters of the area. In the lower city there were large courtyards that featured the middle class. Most of the houses had small bathrooms and, like the streets, were well provided with plumbing and toilets. Brick floors indicate at least one upper floor or flat roof, on which the occupants sit. 

The walls were originally plastered with mud, no doubt to minimize the harmful effects of salt contained in bricks and to react with adverse effects to various temperatures and humidity.

There is no evidence of specifications of structures, although that may have been limited to a collapsed facility. Stone carving, too, is scarce; some pieces, however, include the head and shoulders of a man with a low forehead, eyes narrowed and raised somewhat, a muscle around the forehead, and across the left shoulder a loose-fitting dress with trefoils previously filled with red glue. 

Beautifully the most remarkable work of symbolic art from the city is the famous bronze of a young girl dancing, naked saving many arms. Among the countless terra-cottas most prominent is the small but powerful representation of bulls and buffalo. Images of women may be worn in elaborate costumes, and occasionally portraits of small, fat, masculine or feminine images reveal what may have been a joke.

Evidence suggests that the Mohenjo daro suffered more than once as a result of catastrophic floods of unusual depth and length, not only because of the Indus invasion but also perhaps because of the Indus drainage position at the tectonic elevation between Mohenjo daro and the sea. That evidence has led to speculation that Harappa may have succeeded — or at least passed the Mohenjo daro.

The ancient city sits on a high point in the present-day Larkana region of Pakistan’s Sindh province.

During its heyday from 2500 to 1900 BC, the city was one of the most important in Indus civilization, says Possehl. It spread over an area of ​​250 hectares (100 acres) in a series of dunes, and the Great Bath and its large associated structure occupied the longest dune.

According to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, archaeologist Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, who also received a National Geographic grant, the mounds grew ecologically over the centuries as people continued to build platforms and walls for their homes.

Without the testimony of kings or queens, Mohenjo Daro would likely have been governed by the province, perhaps by elected officials or nominees from each of the dunes.



Important Artifacts

A small bronze statue of a naked woman, known as a dancing girl, was celebrated by archaeologists when it was discovered in 1926, notes Kenoyer.

What impresses him most, though, is the few stone carvings of statues of men sitting on it, such as the intricately carved and priestly portrait of the Priest, even though there is no evidence that he was a priest or a king.

Kenoyer suggests that the Indus River change direction, which could affect the local agricultural economy and the city’s importance as a commercial center.

But there is no evidence that the floods destroyed the city, and the city was not completely abandoned, Kenoyer said. Also, According to Possehl, the evolution of the river does not mean the collapse of the entire Indus civilization.

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