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Mohenjo-daro (; sd, موئن جو دڙو'', ''meaning 'Mound of the Dead Men';Mohenjo-Daro (archaeological site, Pakistan) on Encyclopædia Britannica website
Retrieved 25 November 2019
ur, ) is an archaeological site in the province of
Sindh Sindh (; sd, سنڌ; ur, , ; historically romanized as Sind) is one of the four provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, ad ...

Sindh
,
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
. Built around 2500 BCE, it was one of the largest settlements of the ancient
Indus Valley Civilisation , c. 2500 BCE. Terracotta Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta (; Italian language, Italian: "baked earth", from the Latin ''terra cocta''), a type of earthenware, is a clay-based ceramic glaze, unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the ...
, and one of the world's earliest major
cities A city is a large human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number of dwellings grouped to ...

cities
, contemporaneous with the civilizations of
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
,
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the ...

Mesopotamia
,
Minoan Crete The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the ...
, and Norte Chico. Mohenjo-daro was abandoned in the 19th century BCE as the Indus Valley Civilization declined, and the site was not rediscovered until the 1920s. Significant excavation has since been conducted at the site of the city, which was designated a
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for h ...
in 1980. The site is currently threatened by erosion and improper restoration.


Etymology

The city's original name is unknown. Based on his analysis of a Mohenjo-daro seal,
Iravatham Mahadevan Iravatham Mahadevan (2 October 1930 – 26 November 2018) was an Indian epigraphist and civil servant, known for his decipherment of Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions and for his expertise on the epigraphy of the Indus Valley Civilisation oxen ...
speculates that the city's ancient name could have been ''Kukkutarma'' ("the city '-rma''of the
cockerel The chicken (''Gallus gallus domesticus''), a subspecies of the red junglefowl, is a type of domestication, domesticated fowl, originally from Asia. Rooster or cock is a term for an adult male bird. A younger male may be called a cockerel; a ...

cockerel
'kukkuta''). According to Mahadevan, an Indus seal has "recorded in the Indus script the original Dravidian name of the city, corresponding to
Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also

*Aryan invasion theory (disambiguation) *Indo-Aryan tribes (disambigua ...
''Kukkutarma''."
Cock-fighting A cockfight is a blood sport upright=1.25, A hare caught by two greyhounds A blood sport or bloodsport is a category of sport or entertainment that involves wikt:bloodshed, bloodshed. Common examples of the former include combat sports such a ...

Cock-fighting
may have had ritual and religious significance for the city. Mohenjo-daro may also have been a point of diffusion for the
clade A clade (), also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyly, monophyletic – that is, composed of a common ancestor and all its lineage (evolution), lineal descendants - on a phylogenetic tree. R ...

clade
of the domesticated chicken found in Africa, Western Asia, Europe and the Americas. Mohenjo-daro, the modern name for the site, has been interpreted as "Mound of the Dead Men" in
Sindhi Sindhi may refer to: *something from, or related to Sindh Sindh (; sd, سنڌ; ur, , ;historically romanised as Sind) is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. Located in the southeast of the country, it is the home of the Sindhi and M ...

Sindhi
.


Location

Mohenjo-daro is located off the right (west) bank of the lower
Indus river The Indus ( ) is a transboundary river A transboundary river is a river that crosses at least one political border, either a border within a nation or an international boundary. Bangladesh has the highest number of these rivers, including t ...

Indus river
in
Larkana District Larkana District (Sindhi Sindhi may refer to: *something from, or related to Sindh Sindh (; sd, سنڌ; ur, , ;historically romanised as Sind) is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. Located in the southeast of the country, it is the ...

Larkana District
, Sindh, Pakistan. It lies on a
Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the ''Ice Age'') is the geological Epoch (geology), epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the earth’s most recent period of repeated glaciations. Before a change finally ...
ridge in the flood plain of the Indus, around from the town of
Larkana Larkana ( ur, , translit=lāṛkāna; sd, لاڙڪاڻو, translit=lāṛkāṇo) is a city located in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It is called the city of Holy Alams (Shia Islam, Shia Muslims' religious flag) due to the greatest number of ...
.


Historical context

Mohenjo-daro was built in the 26th century BCE.Ancientindia.co.uk.
Retrieved 2 May 2012.
It was one of the largest cities of the ancient
Indus Valley Civilization , c. 2500 BCE. Terracotta Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta (; Italian language, Italian: "baked earth", from the Latin ''terra cocta''), a type of earthenware, is a clay-based ceramic glaze, unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the ...

Indus Valley Civilization
, also known as the
Harappa Harappa (; Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC: ) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The regi ...

Harappa
n Civilization, which developed around 3,000 BCE from the prehistoric Indus culture. At its height, the Indus Civilization spanned much of what is now Pakistan and North India, extending westwards to the
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
ian border, south to
Gujarat Gujarat (, ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

Gujarat
in India and northwards to an outpost in
Bactria Bactria (BactrianBactrian may refer to *Bactria Bactria ( Bactrian: , ), or Bactriana, was an ancient region in Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the ...
, with major urban centers at Harappa, Mohenjo-daro,
Lothal Lothal () was one of the southernmost cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization , c. 2500 BCE. Terracotta Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta (; Italian language, Italian: "baked earth", from the Latin ''terra cocta''), ...

Lothal
,
Kalibangan Kalibangān is a town located at on the left or southern banks of the Ghaggar (Ghaggar-Hakra River The Ghaggar-Hakra River is an intermittent river in India and Pakistan that flows only during the monsoon season. The river is known as Ghaggar ...

Kalibangan
,
Dholavira Dholavira ( gu, ધોળાવીરા) is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric or recorded history, historic or contempora ...

Dholavira
and
Rakhigarhi Rakhigarhi, Rakhi Garhi (''Rakhi Shahpur'' + ''Rakhi Khas''), is a village in Hisar District Hisar district is one of the 22 districts of Haryana, India. Hisar, India, Hisar city serves as the district headquarters. Hisar district has four s ...
. Mohenjo-daro was the most advanced city of its time, with remarkably sophisticated civil engineering and urban planning. When the Indus civilization went into sudden decline around 1900 BCE, Mohenjo-daro was abandoned.


Rediscovery and excavation

The ruins of the city remained undocumented for around 3,700 years until R. D. Banerji, an officer of the Archaeological Survey of India, visited the site in 1919–20 identifying what he thought to be a
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitu ...

Buddhist
stupa A stupa ( sa, स्तूप, lit=heap, ) is a -like or hemispherical structure containing relics.(such as ' – typically the remains of or ) that is used as a place of meditation. A related architectural term is a ' , which is a prayer hal ...

stupa
(150–500 CE) known to be there and finding a flint scraper which convinced him of the site's antiquity. This led to large-scale excavations of Mohenjo-daro led by K. N. Dikshit in 1924–25, and
John Marshall John Marshall (September 24, 1755July 6, 1835) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the fourth chief justice of the United States The chief justice of the United States is the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United Stat ...
in 1925–26. In the 1930s major excavations were conducted at the site under the leadership of Marshall, D. K. Dikshitar and
Ernest Mackay Ernest is a given name derived from Germanic languages, Germanic word ''ernst'', meaning "serious". Notable people and fictional characters with the name include: People *Ernest, Margrave of Austria (1027–1075) *Ernest, Duke of Bavaria (1373– ...
. Further excavations were carried out in 1945 by
Mortimer Wheeler Sir Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler (10 September 1890 – 22 July 1976) was a British archaeologist and officer in the British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British ...
and his trainee,
Ahmad Hasan Dani Ahmad Hassan Dani (Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC: ) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. T ...
. The last major series of excavations were conducted in 1964 and 1965 by George F. Dales. After 1965 excavations were banned due to
weathering Weathering is the deterioration of Rock (geology), rocks, soils and minerals as well as wood and artificial materials through contact with water, atmospheric gases, and biological organisms. Weathering occurs ''in situ'' (on site, with little o ...
damage to the exposed structures, and the only projects allowed at the site since have been salvage excavations, surface surveys, and conservation projects. In the 1980s, German and Italian survey groups led by Michael Jansen and Maurizio Tosi used less invasive archeological techniques, such as architectural documentation, surface surveys, and localized probing, to gather further information about Mohenjo-daro. A dry core drilling conducted in 2015 by Pakistan's National Fund for Mohenjo-daro revealed that the site is larger than the unearthed area.


Architecture and urban infrastructure

Mohenjo-daro has a planned layout with
rectilinear Rectilinear means related to a straight line; it may refer to: * Rectilinear grid, a tessellation of the Euclidean plane * Rectilinear lens, a photographic lens * Rectilinear locomotion, a form of animal locomotion * Rectilinear polygon, a polygon ...
buildings arranged on a
grid plan In urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, ...
. Most were built of fired and mortared
brick A brick is a type of block used to build walls, pavements and other elements in masonry construction. Properly, the term ''brick'' denotes a block composed of dried clay, but is now also used informally to denote other chemically cured cons ...

brick
; some incorporated sun-dried
mud-brick A mudbrick or mud-brick is an air-dried brick A brick is a type of block used to build walls, pavements and other elements in masonry construction. Properly, the term ''brick'' denotes a block composed of dried clay, but is now also use ...
and wooden superstructures. The covered area of Mohenjo-daro is estimated at 300
hectare The hectare (; SI symbol: ha) is a non-SI metric unit of area Area is the quantity Quantity is a property that can exist as a multitude or magnitude, which illustrate discontinuity and continuity. Quantities can be compared in terms o ...

hectare
s. The ''Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History'' offers a "weak" estimate of a peak population of around 40,000. The sheer size of the city, and its provision of public buildings and facilities, suggests a high level of social organization. The city is divided into two parts, the so-called Citadel and the Lower City. The Citadel – a mud-brick mound around high – is known to have supported public baths, a large residential structure designed to house about 5,000 citizens, and two large assembly halls. The city had a central marketplace, with a large central well. Individual households or groups of households obtained their water from smaller wells. Waste water was channeled to covered drains that lined the major streets. Some houses, presumably those of more prestigious inhabitants, include rooms that appear to have been set aside for bathing, and one building had an underground furnace (known as a
hypocaust A hypocaust ( la, hypocaustum) is a system of central heating in a building that produces and circulates hot air below the floor of a room, and may also warm the walls with a series of pipes through which the hot air passes. This air can warm the ...

hypocaust
), possibly for heated bathing. Most houses had inner courtyards, with doors that opened onto side-lanes. Some buildings had two stories.


Major buildings

In 1950, Sir Mortimer Wheeler identified one large building in Mohenjo-daro as a "Great Granary". Certain wall-divisions in its massive wooden superstructure appeared to be grain storage-bays, complete with air-ducts to dry the grain. According to Wheeler, carts would have brought grain from the countryside and unloaded them directly into the bays. However,
Jonathan Mark Kenoyer Jonathan Mark Kenoyer (born 28 May 1952, in Shillong, India) is an United States, American archaeologist and George F. Dales Jr. and Barbara A. Dales Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He earned his Bachelor of Art ...
noted the complete lack of evidence for grain at the "granary", which, he argued, might therefore be better termed a "Great Hall" of uncertain function.Kenoyer, Jonathan Mark (1998). “Indus Cities, Towns and Villages”, ''Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization''.
Islamabad Islamabad (; ur, , translit=Islām Ābād) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or othe ...

Islamabad
: American Institute of Pakistan Studies. p. 65.
Close to the "Great Granary" is a large and elaborate public bath, sometimes called the Great Bath. From a colonnaded courtyard, steps lead down to the brick-built pool, which was waterproofed by a lining of
bitumen Asphalt, also known as bitumen (, ), is a sticky, black, highly viscous The viscosity of a fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress, or externa ...

bitumen
. The pool measures long, wide and deep. It may have been used for religious purification. Other large buildings include a "Pillared Hall", thought to be an assembly hall of some kind, and the so-called "College Hall", a complex of buildings comprising 78 rooms, thought to have been a priestly residence.


Fortifications

Mohenjo-daro had no series of city walls, but was fortified with guard towers to the west of the main settlement, and defensive fortifications to the south. Considering these fortifications and the structure of other major
Indus valley The Indus ( ) is a transboundary river A transboundary river is a river that crosses at least one political border, either a border within a nation or an international boundary. Bangladesh has the highest number of these rivers, including tw ...

Indus valley
cities like
Harappa Harappa (; Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC: ) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The regi ...

Harappa
, it is postulated that Mohenjo-daro was an administrative center. Both Harappa and Mohenjo-daro share relatively the same architectural layout, and were generally not heavily fortified like other Indus Valley sites. It is obvious from the identical city layouts of all Indus sites that there was some kind of political or administrative centrality, but the extent and functioning of an administrative center remains unclear.


Water supply and wells

The location of Mohenjo-daro was built in a relatively short period of time, with the water supply system and wells being some of the first planned constructions. With the excavations done so far, over 700 wells are present at Mohenjo-daro, alongside drainage and bathing systems. This number is unheard of when compared to other civilizations at the time, such as Egypt or Mesopotamia, and the quantity of wells transcribes as one well for every three houses. Because the large number of wells, it is believed that the inhabitants relied solely on annual rainfall, as well as the Indus River's course remaining close to the site, alongside the wells providing water for long periods of time in the case of the city coming under siege. Due to the period in which these wells were built and used, it is likely that the circular brick well design used at this and many other Harappan sites are an invention that should be credited to the Indus civilization, as there is no existing evidence of this design from Mesopotamia or Egypt at this time, and even later. Sewage and waste water for buildings at the site were disposed of via a centralized drainage system that ran alongside the site's streets. These drains that ran alongside the road were effective at allowing most human waste and sewage to be disposed of as the drains most likely took the waste toward the Indus River.


Flooding and rebuilding

The city also had large platforms perhaps intended as defense against flooding.McIntosh (2008), p. 389. "The enormous amount of labor involved in the creation of Mohenjo-daro's flood defense platforms (calculated at around 4 million man-days) indicates the existence of an authority able to plan the construction and to mobilize and feed the requisite labor force." According to a theory first advanced by Wheeler, the city could have been flooded and silted over, perhaps six times, and later rebuilt in the same location. George F. Dales,
Civilization and Floods in the Indus Valley
, ''Expedition Magazine'', July 1965.
For some archaeologists, it was believed that a final flood that helped engulf the city in a sea of mud brought about the abandonment of the site.
Gregory Possehl Gregory Louis Possehl (July 21, 1941 – October 8, 2011) was a professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and curator of the Asian Collections at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. H ...
was the first to theorize that the floods were caused by overuse and expansion upon the land, and that the mud flood was not the reason the site was abandoned. Instead of a mud flood wiping part of the city out in one fell swoop, Possehl coined the possibility of constant mini-floods throughout the year, paired with the land being worn out by crops, pastures, and resources for bricks and pottery spelled the downfall of the site.


Notable artefacts

Numerous objects found in excavation include seated and standing figures, copper and stone tools, carved
seals Seals may refer to: * Pinniped Pinnipeds (pronounced ), commonly known as seals, are a widely and diverse of , -footed, , mostly s. They comprise the (whose only living member is the ), (the eared seals: s and s), and (the earless sea ...
, , gold and
jasper Jasper, an aggregate of microgranular quartz Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms. The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen Tetrahedral molecular geometry, tetrahedra, with ...

jasper
jewellery, and children's toys. Many bronze and copper pieces, such as figurines and bowls, have been recovered from the site, showing that the inhabitants of Mohenjo-daro understood how to utilize the lost wax technique. The furnaces found at the site are believed to have been used for copperworks and melting the metals as opposed to smelting. There even seems to be an entire section of the city dedicated to shell-working, located in the northeastern part of the site. Some of the most prominent copperworks recovered from the site are the copper tablets which have examples of the untranslated
Indus script The Indus script (also known as the Harappan script) is a corpus of symbols produced by the . Most inscriptions containing these symbols are extremely short, making it difficult to judge whether or not these symbols constituted a used to recor ...

Indus script
and iconography. While the script has not been deciphered yet, many of the images on the tablets match another tablet and both hold the same caption in the Indus language, with the example given showing three tablets with the image of a mountain goat and the inscription on the back reading the same letters for the three tablets. Pottery and terracotta
sherd This page is a glossary of archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archaeologist ...
s have been recovered from the site, with many of the pots having deposits of ash in them, leading archeologists to believe they were either used to hold the ashes of a person or as a way to warm up a home located in the site. These heaters, or braziers, were ways to heat the house while also being able to be utilized in a manner of cooking or straining, while others solely believe they were used for heating. The finds from Mohenjo-daro were initially deposited in the
Lahore Museum The Lahore Museum ( pa, ; ur, ; ''"Lahore Wonder House"''), is a museum located in Lahore Lahore (; pnb, ; ; ur, ; ) is the capital of the Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English language, English as , , , and . ...

Lahore Museum
, but later moved to the ASI headquarters at New Delhi, where a new "Central Imperial Museum" was being planned for the new capital of the British Raj, in which at least a selection would be displayed. It became apparent that Indian independence was approaching, but the
Partition of India The partition of India was the division of British India The Provinces of India, earlier Presidencies of British India and still earlier, Presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governance in the Indian subcont ...

Partition of India
was not anticipated until late in the process. The new Pakistani authorities requested the return of the Harappan pieces excavated on their territory, but the Indian authorities refused. Eventually an agreement was reached, whereby the finds, totalling some 12,000 objects (most
sherd This page is a glossary of archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is often considered a branch of socio-cultural anthropology, but archaeologist ...
s of pottery), were split equally between the countries; in some cases this was taken very literally, with some necklaces and girdles having their beads separated into two piles. In the case of the "two most celebrated sculpted figures", Pakistan asked for and received the ''Priest-king'', while India retained the much smaller ''Dancing Girl'', and also the ''
Pashupati seal The Pashupati Seal is a steatite seal Seal may refer to any of the following: Common uses * Pinniped Pinnipeds (pronounced ), commonly known as seals, are a widely range (biology), distributed and diverse clade of carnivorous, fin-footed, ...
''. Most of the objects from Mohenjo-daro retained by India are in the National Museum of India in
New Delhi New Delhi (, ''Naī Dillī'') is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majusc ...

New Delhi
and those returned to Pakistan in the National Museum of Pakistan in
Karachi Karachi (; ur, ; ; ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association - Library of Congress) is a set of standards for romanization, the representation of text in other writing systems using the Latin script. Applications The system is used to re ...

Karachi
, with many also in the museum now established at Mohenjo-daro itself. In 1939, a small representative group of artefacts excavated at the site was transferred to the
British Museum The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of Lond ...

British Museum
by the Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India.


Mother Goddess Idol

Discovered by
John Marshall John Marshall (September 24, 1755July 6, 1835) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the fourth chief justice of the United States The chief justice of the United States is the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United Stat ...
in 1931, the idol appears to mimic certain characteristics that match the
Mother Goddess A mother goddess is a goddess A goddess is a female deity A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male deity), god or goddess (in a polyth ...

Mother Goddess
belief common in many early Near East civilizations. Sculptures and figurines depicting women have been observed as part of Harappan culture and religion, as multiple female pieces were recovered from Marshall's archaeological digs. These figures were not categorized correctly, according to Marshall, meaning that where they were recovered from the site is not actually clear. One of said figures, pictured below, is 18.7 cm tall and is currently on display at the National Museum of Pakistan, in Karachi. The fertility and motherhood aspects on display on the idols is represented by the female genitalia that is presented in an almost exaggerated style as stated by Marshall, with him inferring that such figurines are offerings to the goddess, as opposed to the typical understanding of them being idols representing the goddess's likeness. Because of the figurines being unique in terms of hairstyles, body proportions, as well as headdresses and jewelry, there are theories as to who these figurines actually represent. Shereen Ratnagar theorizes that because of their uniqueness and dispersed discovery throughout the site that they could be figurines of ordinary household women, who commissioned these pieces to be used in rituals or healing ceremonies to help aforementioned individual women.


Dancing Girl

A
bronze Bronze is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appear ...

bronze
statuette dubbed the "Dancing Girl", high and about 4,500 years old, was found in 'HR area' of Mohenjo-daro in 1926; it is now in the
National Museum, New Delhi The National Museum in New Delhi New Delhi (, ''Naī Dillī'') is the Capital city, capital of India and an administrative district of NCT Delhi. New Delhi is also the seat of all three branches of the government of India, hosting the ...
. In 1973, British archaeologist
Mortimer Wheeler Sir Robert Eric Mortimer Wheeler (10 September 1890 – 22 July 1976) was a British archaeologist and officer in the British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British ...
described the item as his favorite statuette:
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.
John Marshall John Marshall (September 24, 1755July 6, 1835) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the fourth chief justice of the United States The chief justice of the United States is the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United Stat ...
, another archeologist at Mohenjo-daro, described the figure as "a young girl, her hand on her hip in a half-impudent posture, and legs slightly forward as she beats time to the music with her legs and feet." The archaeologist
Gregory Possehl Gregory Louis Possehl (July 21, 1941 – October 8, 2011) was a professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and curator of the Asian Collections at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. H ...
said of the statuette, "We may not be certain that she was a dancer, but she was good at what she did and she knew it". The statue led to two important discoveries about the civilization: first, that they knew metal blending, casting and other sophisticated methods of working with ore, and secondly that entertainment, especially dance, was part of the culture.


Priest-King

In 1927, a seated male
soapstone Soapstone (also known as steatite or soaprock) is a talc- schist, which is a type of metamorphic rock. It is composed largely of the magnesium Magnesium is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic ...
figure was found in a building with unusually ornamental brickwork and a wall-niche. Though there is no evidence that
priests A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particu ...
or
monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role tha ...

monarch
s ruled Mohenjo-daro, archaeologists dubbed this dignified figure a "Priest-King". The sculpture is tall, and shows a neatly bearded man with pierced earlobes and a fillet around his head, possibly all that is left of a once-elaborate hairstyle or head-dress; his hair is combed back. He wears an armband, and a cloak with drilled
trefoil Image:Trefoil-Architectural.svg, 150px, Architectural trefoil A trefoil (from the Latin , "three-leaved plant") is a graphic form composed of the outline of three overlapping rings, used in architecture and Christian symbolism, among other areas. ...

trefoil
, single circle and double circle motifs, which show traces of red. His eyes might have originally been inlaid.


Pashupati seal

A seal discovered at the site bears the image of a seated, cross-legged and possibly
ithyphallic Ithyphallic Shiva, 3rd century AD A phallus is a penis A penis (plural ''penises'' or ''penes'' ) is the primary sexual organ that male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can ...

ithyphallic
figure surrounded by animals. The figure has been interpreted by some scholars as a
yogi A yogi is a practitioner of Yoga Yoga (; sa, योग, lit=yoke' or 'union ) is a group of physical Physical may refer to: *Physical examination, a regular overall check-up with a doctor *Physical (album), ''Physical'' (album) ...
, and by others as a three-headed "proto-
Shiva Shiva (; sa, शिव, lit=The Auspicious One, Śiva ), also known as Mahadeva (; ɐɦaːd̪eːʋɐ, is one of the Hindu deities, principal deities of Hinduism. He is the God, Supreme Being in Shaivism, one of the major traditions wit ...

Shiva
" as "Lord of Animals".


Seven-stranded necklace

Sir Mortimer Wheeler was especially fascinated with this artifact, which he believed to be at least 4,500 years old. The necklace has an S-shaped clasp with seven strands, each over 4 ft long, of bronze-metal bead-like nuggets which connect each arm of the "S" in
filigree Filigree (also less commonly spelled ''filagree'', and formerly written ''filigrann'' or ''filigrene'') is a form of intricate metalwork used in jewellery Jewellery or jewelry consists of decorative items worn for personal , such as es, , ...
. Each strand has between 220 and 230 of the many-faceted nuggets, and there are about 1,600 nuggets in total. The necklace weighs about 250 grams in total, and is presently held in a private collection in India.


Conservation and current state

An initial agreement to fund restoration was agreed through the
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organiz ...
(UNESCO) in
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
on 27 May 1980. Contributions were made by a number of other countries to the project: Preservation work for Mohenjo-daro was suspended in December 1996 after funding from the Pakistani government and international organizations stopped. Site conservation work resumed in April 1997, using funds made available by the UNESCO. The 20-year funding plan provided $10 million to protect the site and standing structures from
flooding A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry. In the sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide Tides are the rise and fall of s caused by the combined effects of the fo ...

flooding
. In 2011, responsibility for the preservation of the site was transferred to the government of Sindh. Currently the site is threatened by groundwater
salinity Salinity () is the saltiness or amount of salt Salt is a mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific ...

salinity
and improper restoration. Many walls have already collapsed, while others are crumbling from the ground up. In 2012, Pakistani archaeologists warned that, without improved conservation measures, the site could disappear by 2030."Mohenjo Daro: Could this ancient city be lost forever?"
BBC. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012.


2014 Sindh Festival

The Mohenjo-daro site was further threatened in January 2014, when
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (, sd, بلاول ڀٽو زرداري; born 21 September 1988) is a Pakistani politician and the current chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party. A member of the politically prominent Bhutto and Zardari families, he i ...

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari
of the
Pakistan People's Party The Pakistan Peoples Party ( ur, , PPP) is a centre-left Centre-left politics (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic langua ...
chose the site for Sindh Festival's inauguration ceremony. This would have exposed the site to mechanical operations, including excavation and drilling. Farzand Masih, head of the Department of Archaeology at warned that such activity was banned under the Antiquity Act, saying "You cannot even hammer a nail at an archaeological site." On 31 January 2014, a case was filed in the
Sindh High Court The High Court of Sindh ( ur, ) is the highest judicial institution of the Pakistani province of Sindh. Established in 1906, the Court situated in the provincial capital at Karachi. Apart from being the highest Court of Appeal for Sindh in civ ...
to bar the Sindh government from continuing with the event. The festival was held by PPP at the historic site, despite all the protest by both national and international historians and educators.


Climate

Mohenjo-daro has a
hot desert climate The desert climate or arid climate (in the Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used systems. It was first published by German-Russian (1846–1940) in 1884, with several later modific ...
(
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the world's s. A climate classification may correlate closely with a category, as climate is a major infl ...
''BWh'') with extremely hot summers and mild winters. The highest recorded temperature is , and the lowest recorded temperature is . Rainfall is low, and mainly occurs in the monsoon season (July–September). The average annual rainfall of Mohenjo-daro is 100.1 mm and mainly occurs in the monsoon season. The highest annual rainfall ever is 413.1 mm, recorded in 1994, and the lowest annual rainfall ever is 10 mm, recorded in 1987.


See also

*
List of forts in Pakistan The following is a partial list of forts and castles in Pakistan: See also * Tourism in Pakistan * List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Pakistan * List of museums in Pakistan * Lahore Fort * Rohtas Fort * Noor Mahal * Derawar Fort Refere ...
*
List of Indus Valley Civilization sites Over 1400 Indus Valley Civilization sites have been discovered, of which 925 sites are in India and 475 sites in Pakistan, while some sites in Afghanistan are believed to be trading colonies. Only 40 sites on the Indus valley were discovered in ...
*
List of museums in Pakistan This is a list of museums, galleries, and related building structures in Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English language, English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the ...
*
List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Pakistan The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a speciali ...
*
Mehrgarh Mehrgarh (; ur, ) is a Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human his ...

Mehrgarh


References


Bibliography

* Chaudhury, N. C.
Mohenjo-Daro and the Civilization of Ancient India with References to Agriculture
'. Calcutta: W. Newman & Co, 1937. * Mackay, E. J. H., ed. (1937). ''Further Excavations At Mohenjo-daro: Being an official account of Archaeological Excavations at Mohenjo-Daro carried out by the Government of India between the years 1927 and 1931''. *
Volume I
*
Volume II
* Marshall, John Hubert, ed. (1931). ''Mohenjo-Daro and the Indus Civilization: Being an official account of Archaeological Excavations at Mohenjo-Daro carried out by the Government of India between the years 1922 and 1927''. Arthur Probsthain *
Volume I
*
Volume II
*
Volume III
* McIntosh, Jane (2008). ''The Ancient Indus Valley: New Perspectives''. ABC-CLIO, 2008. *Singh, Kavita, "The Museum Is National", Chapter 4 in: Mathur, Saloni and Singh, Kavita (eds), ''No Touching, No Spitting, No Praying: The Museum in South Asia'', 2015, Routledge
PDF on academia.edu
(nb this is different to the article by the same author with the same title in ''India International Centre Quarterly'', vol. 29, no. 3/4, 2002, pp. 176–196
JSTOR
which does not mention this work)


External links


Official website of Mohenjodaro

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

103 Slide Tour and Essay on Mohenjo-daro by Dr. J.M. Kenoyer
{{Authority control History of Sindh Populated places established in the 3rd millennium BC Indus Valley Civilisation Indus Valley Civilisation sites Major Indus Valley Civilisation sites World Heritage Sites in Pakistan Archaeological sites in Pakistan Bronze Age Asia Ancient history of Pakistan Larkana District Ruins in Pakistan Former populated places in Pakistan 1922 archaeological discoveries Tourist attractions in Sindh World Heritage Sites in Sindh 26th-century BC establishments 2nd-millennium BC disestablishments