Mohenjo-Daro is an archaeological site in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. The words ‘Mohenjo Daro’ literally translate to ‘the mound of the dead’. The city of Harappa and other important Indus Valley sites were found on a series of the rounded pile, hence known as Mohenjo-Daro. Built around 2500 BCE, it was one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley civilization, and one of the world’s earliest major cities, contemporary with the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Minoan Crete, and Norte Chico. As of now, it is about 5000 years old civilization. Mohenjo-Daro was abandoned in the 19th century BCE as the Indus Valley Civilization declined, and it was discovered in 1920. Significant excavation has since been conducted at the site of the city. It also has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Let’s look at some unknown facts about Mohenjo Daro civilization.
1. It is the best-preserved city of Indus Valley civilization. It was built around 2500 BC. It is approximately the same time when pyramids of Egypt seem to be built.
2. The Indus Valley civilization existed in most of what makes up North India and Pakistan today. It extended to the Iranian border, Gujarat, and Bactria.
3. The whole city of Mohenjo-Daro was spanned across 500 acres which is very large as per that time. The 5,000-year-old city could host a population of 40,000.
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4. The city of Mohenjo-Daro was divided into two districts, The Citadel, and Lower Town. The City’s exception monuments were present in The Citadel district.
5. Buildings in Mohenjo-Daro were made of fired and mortared bricks, as well as some sun-dried mud bricks and some wooden structures.
6. 900 Square feet Great bath (water tank) built with walls of bricks was built in Citadel district which worked as a public pool. it was 8 feet deep, 23 feet wide and 39 feet long. many small changing rooms were found around the bathing pool. even changing rooms had attached bathrooms. Seems like they were conscious about hygiene too. They knew it’s necessary to take a bath before and after using a public bath.
7. It is also fascinating that multistoried buildings were found at the site of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro.
8. There are around 1,500 sites of the Indus Valley Civilization and no sign of warfare or weapons have been found. This implies that the Indus natives were peaceful in nature, which might have made it vulnerable to foreign invaders.
9. The mode of transport during the Indus Valley Civilization may be bullock carts and white horses. Archaeologists found a clay bullock cart in the city of Mohenjo Daro, which indicated that bullock carts were used as a mode of transport.
10. Mohenjo-Daro had a marketplace in its central region.
11. The city also had a sophisticated water system. Houses had toilets and baths with proper water sewage system. This suggests that residents had an impeccable sense of urban planning. The city also had very advance waste disposal management system and all drains were covered.
12. Around 700 wells were present in the city to provide Freshwater.
13. The city did not have any place of worship or governance. It appears that there was no real central controlling government or royalty, but there may have been elected officials from each region in the city representing them in a larger government.
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14. The civilization belonged to the Bronze Age. The inhabitants of the ancient city did not know the usage of iron.
15. The city’s lower town could host around 20000-40000 people. The city was designed as per modern day’s street grid system.
16. With the archaeological evidence like ‘the dancing girl’ statue, a guess has been formed that the ladies during the Indus Valley Civilization wore bangles from their upper arm. They also wore earrings, finger rings, necklaces, and bracelets. According to the archaeologists, not only women but men also loved to decorate their body parts with jewelry.
17. The city hosted enormous granary with multiples divisions made by woods. It even had air ducts to keep the grains fresh.
18. It seems like City residents were the first to use chicken breeding for business proposes.
19. The city of Mohenjo-Daro collapsed approximately after 600 after it was built.
20. The reason for the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization is still unknown. Many cite the Aryan invasion, drought, and deluge as probable reasons but none of those have been proved. Some source indicates that due to climate change, the path of the Indus river may have been changed and City could not survive without a crucial source of water.
21. Archaeologists first visited the Mohenjo Daro site in 1911. Several excavations occurred in the 1920s through 1931. Small probes took place in the 1930s, and subsequent digs occurred in 1950 and 1964. Source – National Geographic
22. The discovery of the site was very dramatic. Rakhaldas Bandopadhyay, an officer at the Archaeological Survey of India, went to Mohenjo Daro in 1919 to spot a Buddhist stupa. There, he found a flint scraper that was much older than the stupa itself. This discovery led to a large-scale excavation led by Kashinath Narayan Dikshit in 1924-25 and John Marshall in 1925-26, and the rest is history.
Do you know any other interesting Mohenjo Daro facts? Do let us know in the comment section.