Civilopedia Entry Edit
Built sometime around 2500 BC, Mohenjo-daro was one of the largest of the Harappan civilization’s settlements, center of a thriving culture that spanned northern India and Pakistan. While the Egyptians were building pyramids for their pharaohs and the Minoans were leaping over bulls for sport, the 40,000 (or so) citizens of Mohenjo-daro were building striking structures of fired and mortared brick: public baths, a central market with a public well, spacious homes, a great granary (with air ducts to dry the grain), the “Pillared Hall” for assemblies, and the “College Hall” (78 rooms thought to have been a residence for priests).
Archaeologists, as well as thieves, have found all sorts of marvellous art and artifacts in their excavating of Mohenjo-daro: sculptures of seated and standing figures, copper tools, official seals, gold and jasper jewelry, balance-scales, children’s toys, weights for commerce, carved furnishings. Among the most notable pieces are the bronze “Dancing Girl,” the Pashupati seal, and a seven-strand necklace estimated to be 4500 years old. The city must have been a comfortable place to live.
And relatively peaceful. The city had no outer walls, although there were guard towers to the east and some defensive works to the south. Although it appears that no human threats upset the tranquility, angry gods in the form of nature certainly did. Mohenjo-daro was destroyed at least seven times, and rebuilt – the new directly on top of the old. Seems flooding of the Indus river periodically drowned all that culture. But each time it arose to again become the most sophisticated city of the world.
But all good things come to an end eventually. When the Harappan civilization went into a sudden – and as yet unexplained, although historians have lots of theories – decline around 1900 BC, Mohenjo-daro was gradually abandoned. It was lost until 1920 AD, when a visiting Indian historian, Rakhaldas Banerji, found an old flint scrapper there.
- Mohenjo Daro's city-state symbol is derived from a character in the undeciphered Indus Script.