Mohenjo-daro

Published: 06.05.2010
Updated: 09.12.2011
Alias(es)
Mohan Jo Daro, Mohenjo Daro

Mohenjo Daro, Sindh, Pakistan


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Mohenjo-daro (lit. Mound of the Dead, Sindhi: موئن جو دڙو/मूअनि जो दड़ो [muˑənⁱ ʥoˑ d̪əɽoˑ]) was one of the largest city-settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization of south Asia situated in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. Built around 2600 BCE, the city 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".

Mohenjo-daro was built around 2600 BCE and abandoned around 1500 BCE. It was rediscovered in 1922 by Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyay [1], 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.  

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 excavation of Mohenjo-daro was conducted in 1964-65 by Dr. G. 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.

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  1. Archaeological Survey of India
  2. Indus Valley Civilization
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