100 years since the discovery of Mohenjo Daro


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    • Exactly a century ago, in 1922, humanity rediscovered Mohenjo Daro.

    About Mohenjo-daro 

    • Location:
      • Mohenjo-Daro or the “Mound of the dead” lies in Larkana district of Sindh (Pakistan), about 5 km away from the Indus.
    • Contribution of discovery:
      • It was discovered by archeologists Rakhaldas Banerji and Sir John Marshall.
    • Significance of the site:
      • It is one of the largest of the Indus Valley Civilization sites.
      • Construction marvel:
        • The site is famous for its elaborate town planning with street grids with brick pavements, developed water supply, drainage, and covered sewerage systems, homes with toilets, and monumental buildings.
        • Its excavations revealed findings like the Great Bath, Great Granary, a large assembly hall, temple-like structure, the seal of Pashupati and a bust of a bearded man.
        • It is the most glaring example of town planning in the Harappan civilization. 
        • The city is divided into citadel and lower city.
          • It is clear that the citadel (for such it evidently was) carried the religious and ceremonial headquarters of the site. 
          • In the lower town were substantial courtyard houses indicating a considerable middle class. 
      • Relationship with Harappa:
        • Its relationship with Harappa, however, is uncertain—i.e., if the two cities were contemporaneous centres or if one city succeeded the other.
    • Sculptures:
      • Aesthetically the most notable work of figurative art from the city is a famous bronze of a young dancing girl, naked save for a multitude of armlets. 
      • Among innumerable terra-cottas the most expressive are small but vigorous representations of bulls and buffalo.
    • Decline:
      • The evidence suggests that Mohenjo-daro suffered more than once from devastating floods of abnormal depth and duration.
      • The civilization went into decline in the middle of the second millennium BC for reasons that are believed to include catastrophic climate change.
    • Legacy:
      • Mohenjo-daro was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980.

    The Indus River Valley Civilization

    • About:
      • The Indus River Valley Civilization ( 3300-1300 BCE) also known as the Harappan Civilization, was extended from modern-day northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India.
      • It is the oldest recorded civilisation of the Indian subcontinent.
        • The civilisation was a contemporary of Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilisations with whom it had trade contacts.
      • It is often separated into three phases:
        • The Early Harappan Phase from 3300 to 2600 BCE, 
        • The Mature Harappan Phase from 2600 to 1900 BCE, and 
        • The Late Harappan Phase from 1900 to 1300 BCE.
    • Centres of civilization:
      • The Indus civilization is known to have consisted of two large cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, and more than 100 towns and villages, often of relatively small size.
      • The southern region of the civilization, on the Kathiawar Peninsula and beyond, appears to be of later origin than the major Indus sites.
    • Features:
      • Technology:
        • Important innovations of this civilization comprise standardized weights and measures, seal carving, and metallurgy with copper, bronze, lead, and tin.
      • City planning:
        • The Indus cities are noted for their urban planning, a technical and political process concerned with the use of land and design of the urban environment. 
        • They had baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, and clusters of large, nonresidential buildings.
      • Pottery:
        • The pottery of the Indus cities has all the marks of mass production. 
        • Larger pots were probably built up on a turntable.
      • Governance:
        • It is deduced that Civilisation was governed by the class of merchants.
    • Trade and external contacts:
      • Timber and precious woods, ivory, lapis lazuli, gold, and luxury goods such as carnelian beads, pearls, and shell and bone inlays, including the distinctly Indian kidney shape, were among the goods sent to Mesopotamia in exchange for silver, tin, woolen textiles, and grains and other foods. 
      • The wide range of crafts and special materials employed must also have caused the establishment of economic relations with peoples living outside the Harappan state.
    • Decline of Civilization:
      • The IVC declined around 1800 BCE however the certainty behind the collapse is debatable. 
      • Different theories are:
        • Aryans invasion of IVC led to the fall of the civilisation.
        • Several tectonic disturbances and changing course of the rivers are the two major factors cited by the historians for the disappearance of the civilisation.
        • Various scholars believe that natural factors like geological and climatic reasons are behind the decline of the IVC.

    Source: TH