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Mohenjo Daro: The Lost City of the Indus Valley Civilization

Mohenjo Daro, meaning “Mound of the Dead,” is an ancient city located in the Sindh province of Pakistan. The city was built during the Indus Valley Civilization, which is also known as the Harappan Civilization. This civilization is considered one of the earliest and most advanced civilizations in the world, and Mohenjo Daro is one of the most well-preserved and well-known sites from that period. In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the history, significance, and mysteries surrounding Mohenjo Daro.

History and Discovery

The Indus Valley Civilization thrived from approximately 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE, and Mohenjo Daro was one of its major urban centers. The city was built around 2600 BCE and was abandoned around 1900 BCE, with its decline attributed to climate change and natural disasters such as flooding. However, the exact reason for the city’s decline remains a subject of debate among archaeologists and historians.

The site of Mohenjo Daro was discovered in the 1920s by British archaeologist Sir John Marshall, who was director general of the Archaeological Survey of India at the time. The site was initially excavated by Marshall and his team, and subsequent excavations were carried out by various archaeologists from around the world, including Pakistan, the United States, and France. The excavations revealed a sophisticated urban center that was well-planned and well-organized.

City Planning and Architecture

The city of Mohenjo Daro was planned with a grid system, with streets running at right angles to each other. The city was divided into two parts: the citadel, which was the higher part of the city and contained public buildings and religious structures, and the lower town, which contained residential areas and workshops.

The architecture of Mohenjo Daro was characterized by the use of baked bricks, which were used to construct buildings, walls, and drainage systems. The buildings were made of mud and brick, and some of them had multiple stories. The city also had a sophisticated drainage system, which consisted of covered drains that ran underneath the streets and emptied into large communal wells. The city’s advanced water supply system included a large reservoir that was connected to a network of wells and covered drains.

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The Indus Valley Civilization is significant because it represents one of the earliest and most advanced civilizations in the world. The civilization was characterized by its urban planning, architecture, writing system, and advanced technologies. The writing system used by the Indus Valley Civilization, known as the Indus script, has yet to be deciphered, which has contributed to the mystery surrounding the civilization.

Mohenjo Daro is significant because it provides a glimpse into the daily lives of the people who lived during the Indus Valley Civilization. The city’s well-preserved ruins have yielded valuable information about the civilization’s social structure, economy, and religious practices. The city’s layout and architecture have also provided insights into the civilization’s urban planning and engineering capabilities.

Mysteries and Controversies

Despite the wealth of information that has been gleaned from Mohenjo Daro, the city remains shrouded in mystery and controversy. One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the city is the reason for its decline. While some historians attribute the city’s decline to climate change and natural disasters, others believe that it was the result of invasion or internal conflict.

Another mystery surrounding Mohenjo Daro is the meaning of the Indus script. The script consists of approximately 400 symbols, but it has yet to be deciphered. While some scholars believe that the script represents a language, others argue that it is a form of proto-writing or a symbolic system.


In addition to mysteries, there have also been controversies surrounding Mohenjo Daro. One controversy relates to the preservation of the site. While the site is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has faced threats from erosion, looting, and neglect. In recent years, efforts have been made to protect the site, including the construction of a protective wall around the site and the establishment of a museum.

Another controversy surrounding Mohenjo Daro is the reconstruction of the site. While some scholars believe that the site should be reconstructed in order to provide visitors with a better understanding of the city, others argue that reconstruction would be misleading and would destroy the authenticity of the site. Additionally, reconstruction efforts would require significant resources and would be difficult given the complexity of the site.

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Mohenjo Daro is an important archaeological site that provides valuable insights into the Indus Valley Civilization. The city’s well-preserved ruins and sophisticated urban planning have contributed to our understanding of the civilization’s social structure, economy, and religious practices. However, the city remains shrouded in mystery and controversy, and many questions about the civilization and the city remain unanswered. Nevertheless, Mohenjo Daro remains an important site for scholars and visitors alike, offering a glimpse into the rich history of one of the world’s earliest civilizations.


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