Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Mohenjo-daro Pakistan

Mohenjo-daro

Mohenjo-daro (lit. Mound of the Dead, Sindhi: موئن جو دڙو, pronounced [muˑənⁱ dʑoˑ d̪əɽoˑ] ), situated in the province of Sindh, Pakistan, was one of the largest city-settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization. Built around 2600 BCE, it was one of the early urban settlements in the world, existing at the same time as the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Crete. The archaeological ruins of the city are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is sometimes referred to as "an ancient Indus valley metropolis"

Rediscovery and excavation

Mohenjo-daro was built around 2600 BCE and abandoned around 1500 BCE. It was rediscovered in 1922 by Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyay,[2] an officer of the Archaeological Survey of India. He was led to the mound by a Buddhist monk, who believed it to be a stupa. In the 1930s, massive excavations were conducted under the leadership of John Marshall, K. N. Dikshit, Ernest Mackay, and others.[3] John Marshall's car, which was used by the site directors, is still in the Mohenjo-daro museum, showing their struggle and dedication to Mohenjo-daro. Further excavations were carried out in 1945 by Ahmad Hasan Dani and Mortimer Wheeler.
The last major excavations were conducted in 1964-65 by Dr. George F. Dales. After this date, excavations were banned due to damage done to the exposed structures by weathering. Since 1965, the only projects allowed at the site have been salvage excavation, surface surveys and conservation projects. Despite the ban on major archaeological projects, in the 1980s, teams of German and Italian survey groups, led by Dr. Michael Jansen and Dr. Maurizio Tosi, combined techniques such as architectural documentation, surface surveys, surface scraping and probing, to determine further clues about the ancient civilization.





Location

Mohenjo-daro is located in Sindh, Pakistan on a Pleistocene ridge in the middle of the flood plain of the Indus River Valley. The ridge is now buried by the flooding of the plains, but was prominent during the time of the Indus Valley Civilization. The ridge allowed the city to stand above the surrounding plain. The site occupies a central position between the Indus River valley on the west and the Ghaggar-Hakra river on the east. The Indus still flows to the east of the site, but the Ghaggar-Hakra riverbed is now dry.[4]
Anthropogenic construction over the years was precipitated by the need for more room. The ridge was expanded via giant mud brick platforms. Ultimately, the settlement grew to such proportions that some buildings reached 12 meters above the level of the modern plain, and therefore much higher than this above the ancient plain.











Historical significance

Mohenjo-daro in ancient times was most likely one of the largest cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. [5] It was the most developed and advanced city in South Asia, during its peak. The planning and engineering showed the importance of the city to the people of the Indus valley.[6]
The Indus Valley Civilization (c. 3300–1700 BCE, flowered 2600–1900 BCE), abbreviated IVC, was an ancient riverine civilization that flourished in the Indus river valley (now Pakistan and northwest India). Another name for this civilization is the "Harappan Civilization" (Harappa is another important IVC site to the north of Mohenjo-daro in Punjab).
The Indus culture blossomed over the centuries and gave rise to the Indus Valley Civilization around 3000 BCE. The civilization spanned much of what is now Pakistan and North India, but suddenly went into decline around 1900 BCE. Indus Civilization settlements spread as far west as the Iranian border, with an outpost in Bactria, as far south as the Arabian Sea coast of western India in Gujarat. Among the settlements were the major urban centers of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, as well as Lothal.

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