Monday, March 21, 2011



Moen-jo-daro’s archaeological Ruins are located in the District Larkana, province of Sindh (Pakistan). Moen-Jo- Daro is located in on the right bank of the Indus River at a distance of about 27 km from Larkana, 107 km from Sukkur and 400 Km from Karachi. It lies on 27o 19' 30.36" North latitude and 68o 08' 08.77" East longitude at an elevation of about 164 ft from sea level.

This archeological site is 5000 years old. It was a city of the Indus Valley Civilization built around 2600 BC. It flourished for about 800 years during the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. The Indus Valley Civilization was one of the world's first great urban civilizations. It flourished in the vast river plains and adjacent regions in what are now Pakistan and western India. This ancient city is widely recognized as one of the most important early cities of South Asia and the Indus Valley Civilization. The Indus Valley was home to the largest of the four ancient urban civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China. Moenjo Daro was one of the world’s first cities and contemporaneous with ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. It is sometimes referred to as "An Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis".

The meaning of Moenjo-daro is the Mound of the dead. Moenjo-daro was discovered in 1922 by R. D. Banerji, an officer of the Archaeological Survey of India. Of this vast urban ruin of Moenjodaro, it is estimated that the ancient city of Mohenjodaro once occupied an enormous area of four square kilometers only about one-third has been reveal by excavation since 1922. Most of its ruins, including major cities, remain to be excavated. Moenjo-daro is highly complex culture. The site is under the protection of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Pakistan.

The ancient city was surrounded by a fertile flood plain suitable for seasonal agricultural and grazing land, abundant wild game and fish as well as considerable wild plant resources. In the absence of extensive irrigation systems this diverse resource base and economic networks linking the cities to regional production centers is thought to have been an important factor in the rise and survival of such large cities.

Various factors contributed to the decline of Mohenjo-Daro On the one hand, changes in the river flow patterns and correspondent widespread flooding would have disrupted the agricultural base, but did not destroy the city directly.

Although there appears to have been a significant break between the end of the Indus occupation and the Early Historic occupation, it is unlikely that the site was ever totally abandoned due to its high position on the plain and the protection it afforded against floods.  

Moen-jo-daro comprises two sectors: a stupa mound that rises in the western sector and, to the east, the lower city ruins spread out along the banks of the Indus. The acropolis, set on high embankments, the ramparts, and the lower town, which is laid out according to strict rules, provide evidence of an early system of town planning.

The stupa mound, built on a massive platform of mud brick, is composed of the ruins of several major structures - Great Bath, Great Granary, College Squareand Pillared Hall - as well as a number of private homes. The extensive lower city is a complex of private and public houses, wells, shops and commercial buildings. These buildings are laid out along streets intersecting each other at right angle; in a highly orderly form of city planning that also incorporated important systems of sanitation and drainage.

Moen-jo-daro was built on a rectangular grid with broad roads several meters wide running north to south From these main roads, side streets and smaller service lanes created a systematic web providing access to every house in the city block, and each was connected to an underground drainage system windowless outer walls, a style till practiced in these desert areas to prevent hot dusty air from entering the homes. Many of the houses are two or more storey high, in typical brick and timber construction still in use today. The baked bricks used for construction are of a regular standard size.  The plans of the houses are different but have areas for bathing with drainage and living spaces, often with a central courtyard within for domestic privacy and housework. Stairways lead up to the roof (which no longer exists) but must have provided, as indeed it does in many homes today, a place in which to sleep and rest during the cool nights of summer.
The narrow lanes kept the sun out and keeping them relatively cool in extreme hot weather.

Important crafts were carried out in different sectors of all the major mounds and include copper working, shell and ivory carving, lapidary and stone tool production as well as many different types of furnaces for the manufacture of terracotta pottery, stoneware bangles, glazed faience ornaments and fired steatite beads. The shapes and sizes of the pottery give some indication of their use: enormous storage pots a meter or so high, tiny little vessels that look like a child's make-believe kitchen set, pots for cooking, serving, and small-mouthed containers for oils and precious liquids .There are hundreds of clay toys for children of animals, bullock carts, and of people at work which provide an animated account of life in the ancient metropolis. Large collections of wheel-thrown pottery finely worked with a red and black slip, with designs and motifs of birds and flowers are a lively heritage of the past. Few rare discoveries were made of gold and silver ornaments and silver vessels that provide evidence for a class of wealthy merchants or landowners. Different styles of ornaments and headdresses on the human figures suggest that many different classes and diverse ethnic communities inhabited the city.

Most intriguing are the seals some steatite (a kind of soft stone) ones bear inscriptions and beautiful carved figures of animals, of humped bulls, unicorns, tigers, and strange men wearing bull horn masks and seated cross-legged on a throne and writing. Seal manufacturing workshops have been discovered in very restricted locations indicating strong control of production. The recovery of seals has confirmed that the people of the Indus Valley had trade contacts with their contemporaries in Mesopotamia. The seal were used by traders to mark their goods before sale and export, some probably used as family insignia or a religious talisman

While the script on seals are still an enigma and has not so far been deciphered. Not much is yet known about the religious of the people of Moen-jo-daro and basic questions about the people who created this are unanswered. It may perhaps have been a wonderful culture which had no formal religion; a truly liberal people who, unlike us, spent little time and resources on warfare, on arms and weapons, and the destruction of others; who instead crafted their valuable supply of metals to make tools, jewelry, and exquisite masterpieces of sculpture and on building well-planned cities that attracted thousands of people to come and live and partake of their sophisticated culture for centuries.

The important point is that still the same bricks are use for constructing houses with similar pattern. Despite this culture was 5000 years old but planning of town is much better than today’s construction. Our society having being advance and modernization life style we have adopted. still we are not better than this 5000 years old civilization.

No comments:

Post a Comment