Mohenjo Daro is considered to be one of the cities of South Asia and the Indus Civilization. Mohenjo Daro History is one of the most interesting ones in India. Some publications state that Mohenjo Daro is located in India, but since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the site has been under the protection of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Pakistan. Discovered in 1922 by R. D. Banerji, Mohenjo Daro is reputed to signify “the mound of the dead.” It was discovered by R. D. Banerji who was an officer of the Archaeological Survey of India. Mohenjo-daro was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980. Being one of the world’s first cities, it has been sometimes referred to as ‘An Ancient Indus Valey Metropolis’
Built in 2600, Mohenjo Daro had been abandoned around 1700 BCE. Thanks to Sir John Marshall’s archaeologists, this city was rediscovered in the 1920s. If you visit Mohenjo Daro museum, you will see his car that shows his presence, struggle, efforts and true dedication for Mohenjo Daro. Further excavations were carried out in 1945 by Ahmad Hasan Dani and Mortimer Wheeler. It is also worth mentioning that Mohenjo Daro was considered to be the most developed and advanced city in South Asia and the administrative center of the ancient Indus Valey Civilization which was also called “Harappan Civilization”.
The archaeologist Jonathan Mark Kenoyer who was also National Geographic grantee stated that the mounds grew organically over the centuries as people kept building platforms and walls for their houses. There is no evidence that there had been kings or queens, and according to researches, Mohenjo Daro was likely governed as a city-state, most likely by elected officials or elites from each of the mounds. Mohenjo Daro didn’t have any temples, palaces, monuments and other luxurious places like many of the other ancient civilizations. However, the city was wealthy enough and it is evident in artifacts such as ivory, lapis, carnelian, and gold beads, as well as the baked-brick city structures themselves. Throughout the city, the archaeologists also found wells and according to the Mohenjo Daro History, it can be said that every house contained a bathing area and drainage system. On the other hand, waste water diverted to covered drains, which lined the major streets.
Mohenjo Daro is divided into two parts, one of them is Citadel and another one is Lower City. The Citadel which is a mud-brick mound around 12 metres (39 ft) high, is known to have supported public baths. This large residential structure was designed to house about 5,000 citizens as well as two large assembly halls.
All the houses in Mohenjo Daro had been designed in an excellent way so that inhabitants will be protected from noise, odors, and thieves. The city also had such large platforms which were built to defend inhabitants against flooding. According to a theory provided by Wheeler, the city could have been flooded for six times and the final flood helped engulf the city in a sea of mud brought about the abandonment of the site. However, Gregory Possehl stated that these floods were caused by overuse upon the land and the reason why the site was abandoned is not the mud flood. According to Possehl, the city was abandoned not only because of constant mini-floods throughout the year. He paired this possibility with the land being worn out by crops and pastures.
The archaeologists have found the “Dancing girl” in Mohenjo Daro which is an artifact that is some 4500 years old. This is one of the most famous artifacts found in this area. It is a 10.8 cm long bronze statue of the dancing girl which was found in 1926 from one of the houses found in Mohenjo Daro Civilization. British archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler stated that she was one of his favorite statues. He describes the statue in this way: “A girl perfectly, for the moment, perfectly confident of herself and the world. There’s nothing like her, I think, in the world”. Another person called John Marshall, one of the excavators at Mohenjo Daro Location, considered this sculpture as a great embodiment of a young girl who is very confident.
“Priest King” is another male sculpture archaeologists discovered in Lower town at Mohenjo Daro Location in 1927. They found it in a strange house with ornamental brickwork and a wall niche. This bearded sculpture wears a fillet around the head, an armband, and a cloak that has some patterns that were originally filled with red pigment.
The Last Major Excavation Project
In 1964-65, the last major excavation project to know more fact about Mohenjo Daro History was carried out. However, after this project, excavations were banned due to the problems of conserving the exposed structures from weathering. Only salvage excavation, surface surveys and conservation projects have been allowed in this area. All of these projects were handled under the control of Pakistani archaeologists and conservators. It is also worth noting that details of the recent salvage excavations are found in obscure journals or reports that are not however available to the public. They are listed in Bibliography and those people who are interested in finding them can be sure to get them.
The UNESCO Status
UNESCO designated Mohenjo Daro as a World Heritage Site. The recent work at Mohenjo Daro aimed to preserve the standing structures. This was undertaken by UNESCO in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology and Museums, as well as various foreign consultants. However, in December 1996, after funding from the government and international organisations ran out, the preservation work suspended at the 500-acre site. It was in 1997, April, when the UN Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization meaning UNESCO funded $10 million to a project which would be conducted over two decades. It was done to protect the Mohenjo Daro ruins from flooding. So far, that project has been a real success. UNESCO did a great job and these efforts were really important. Thanks to UNESCO, Mohenjo Daro Civilization, ruins have been saved and this has been one of the key reasons that led the organization to establish WORLD Heritage Sites.