Mohenjo Daro – The City Of The Dead

Around 5000 years ago when mankind was still in its early days, there existed a civilization where people were way ahead of their time. Rectilinear buildings and elaborate drainage system tells us that people from Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) were skilled urban planners. But who occupied the city still remains a mystery.

Mohenjo Daro is the modern name given by people to the site, meaning ‘Mounds of the dead’. Its original name is still unknown.

This ancient city sits on the west of the Indus River in Larkana District, Sindh, Pakistan. It is believed to have provided home to 40,000 people and when the excavation completed, archaeologists were surprised of their findings – the site displayed a level of advancement that was unparalleled by any of the civilizations at that time. The carefully planned out residential zones, sewage systems and hydro engineering, as well as public bathes, specific areas for public supplies of drinking water and almost every home having bathrooms with flushing toilets shows that order, modesty and cleanliness was seemingly preferred by its locals.

This site lacks temples, churches, monuments and there’s no evidence of a king/queen or a central seat of government. It is suggested that Mohenjo Daro was likely governed as a city-state, perhaps by elected officials or the upper class.

Thousands of objects were found during excavation which consists of copper and stone tools, carved seals and many more. Among all these artifacts, ‘Dancing Girl’ was one of the most important discoveries. British archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler described it as his favorite :

“She’s about fifteen years old I should think, not more, but she stands there with bangles all the way up her arm and nothing else on. A girl perfectly, for the moment, perfectly confident of herself and the world. There’s nothing like her, I think, in the world.”

But what happened that ended the IVC? Some suggest that Indus river changed its course but there is no evidence that flooding destroyed the city. There is much more still unknown and is yet to be uncovered about this mysterious and extraordinary civilization.

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