By Momina Aftab
We all grew up reading about Mohenjo Daro in history classes; wondering how life must have been like in then urban hub of that old civilisation; seeing it on a 20 rupee note but never inspired enough to go see for ourselves that how a thriving, state-of-the-art city of its time came to be known as the “City of the Dead”?
One of the earliest cities of the world
The most striking feature of Mohenjo Daro, which is the most important remnant of Indus Valley Civilisation or Harappan Civilisation, is the fact that it is one of the earliest cities of the world, therefore in league with contemporaries like ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Minoan, and Norte Chico civilisations.
Experts now believe that Indus Valley Civilisation is 8000 years old, thereby predating Egyptian and Mesopotamian Civilisations. The civilisation thrived between 2500 and 1900 BC with Mohenjo Daro being the most advanced city of its time attributed to its extraordinarily refined civil engineering and urban planning. When the Indus Civilisation suddenly started to decline around 1900 BC, Mohenjo Daro was abandoned.
Some experts attribute this decline to invasion by Aryans. But the modern, current view-point is that change in course of Indus River and climate change in the area led it its abandonment. Since then it has been said to be buried underneath centuries worth years of dust, sand and stone until archaeologists rediscovered it in 1920.
Only 10 percent of its remains have been excavated to date
Located West to Indus River in Larkana, Sindh, the ruins of Mohenjo Daro were once a blooming settlement of traders, business owners, fishermen and farmers, covering an area of almost 300 hectares. It had a language of its own that is indecipherable to date and many religious cults. It is said that only 10 percent of Mohenjo Daro has been excavated so far. Now imagine the possibility of tales and secrets buried under the ruins of this ancient structure, waiting to be heard and discovered. How does that NOT excite you?!
One of the most prominent economic hub of its time
After its excavation began in 1922, evidence was gathered and it was suggested that the Mohenjo Daro was mostly governed through trade and religion, as no proof of a war was found. A bunch of pottery, seals and other artifacts were discovered that further proved that the city operated on trading, craft and economic development.
Striking, one-of-its-kind architecture
Mohenjo Daro is said to be the first, modern ‘grid-like’ city of rectilinear buildings to have ever existed. The sophisticated, finely detailed architecture of the city that has not been observed anywhere else in the world still blows the minds of various archaeologists.
The ruins gave evidence of a flourishing city that had brick houses, wells, drains, granaries and baths, demonstrating that people from all walks of life and classes had lived and worked together in this grid structure. The magnanimous size of the city and its assortment of buildings and facilities indicates a high level of social organization.
So, what are you waiting for? I insist that you ditch the Northern vacay destinations for a while, take an ardent trip to South and visit the most famous archaeological site of ancient Indus Valley Civilisation where the history of our land truly began.