Mohenjo Daro Essays

Paragraph 1: Attention grabber! Then, define 2 characteristics of civilization and why these are important to identifying a civilization. This paragraph includes your topic sentence and prepares the reader for what this essay will be about. Example topic sentence could be: The characteristics of religion and writing were essential to the development of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Mohenjodaro.

Attention Grabber 2
Topic Sentence prepares reader for what the essay is about 2
2 characteristics are clearly stated 2
2 characteristics are identified as being important to civilization 2
Conventions 2

And I changed this one.
Did you know that a civilization has to have 7 characteristics to be real? Two characteristics that all civilizations depended upon are a stable food supply and a form of government. These are very important because they were needed to live and influenced ideas and characteristics of each civilization. The first large organized civilizations were Egypt, Mesopotamia, and MohenjoDaro.

Attention Grabber 2
Topic Sentence prepares reader for what the essay is about 2
2 characteristics are clearly stated 2
2 characteristics are identified as being important to civilization 2
Conventions 2

Did you know that to be considered a civilization there must be 7 characteristics present! Two of these characteristics are technology and stable food supply. Technology is important to civilizations because they are able to make new things that will help make life easier. Stable food supply is important to civilizations because then everyone can be fed and the group can stay in one place. Egypt, Mesopotamia, and mohenjodaro all have technology and stable food supply that helped make there lives easier.

Attention Grabber 2
Topic Sentence prepares reader for what the essay is about 2
2 characteristics are clearly stated 2
2 characteristics are identified as being important to civilization 2
Conventions 2

Today I am going to tell you two characteristics about civilization which are most important. I think irrigation is very important because without irrigation they wouldn’t have water to grow their crops. The second most important characteristics are writing, because without writing these people wouldn’t be able to play taxes and learn.

Paragraph 2:
Examples of one characteristic (as described in your intro paragraph) found in all three civilizations with specific examples. Example sentence starter: An example of religion found in the artifacts in Egypt include _____ this was important because ________. An Example of religion found in Mesopotamia was __________, this is important because…
Example of one characteristic with examples. 2
Conventions 2

Technology was found in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Mohenjodaro. An example of technology was the wheel. This was important because it made farming a lot easier and faster. An example of technology found in Ancient Egypt was a stylus. A stylus was important because it made writing much easier and much faster. An example of technology found in Mohenjodaro was weights and scales. These were important because it helped trade goods fairly. In conclusion, technology was very useful in ancient civilizations.

Example of one characteristic with examples. 2
Conventions 2

I changed this one.
Food supply is very critical to a civilizations characteristics because it was the first way of creating a civilization and without food it is impossible to survive. Today, many of us go to grocery stores but for food supply back then individuals had to hunt for your own food. In Mesopotamia they had canals that delivered water to the farmers crops and so people could drink it. Without these the canals we wouldn’t have been able to grow as many crops today. In Egypt they used the river to irrigate the crops. In MohenjoDaro they traded with neighbors to get the water and food they needed.

Example of one characteristic with examples. 2
Conventions 2

Writing is in all of these civilizations, ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Mohenjodaro. Religion was developed in all of these three civilizations.

Paragraph 3
Examples of one characteristic as described in your intro paragraph that is found in all three civilizations, with specific examples.
Example of one characteristic with examples. 2
Conventions 2

Stable food supply was also found in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and example of stable food supply found in Mesopotamia was there complex irrigation systems.this was important because it helped them have enough water for their crops so they could have good crops to grow food. An example of stable found in ancient Egypt was the nile river. The nile river was important because it fertilized the fields so the fields were good to grow crops. An example of stable food supply in Mohenjodaro was a granary. This was important because it provided a nice place to store grains. In conclusion, stable food supply was extremely important for a civilization to survive.

Example of one characteristic with examples. 2
Conventions 2

I changed this one.
Government was also very important. The government decided laws and controlled the armies. Without government the King, the Queen, or designated leader would be powerless. Riots would breakout and lack of an army to protect homes and the people if no government was in place. In Egypt they believed the Gods chose the King so he was basically the most powerful of every city in Egypt’s control. In Mesopotamia’s government was very similar to Egypt. The gods also picked Their King but they also relied on taxes. MohenjoDaro had of a military at all, and most of Mohenjo-Daro’s government is unknown.

Example of one characteristic with examples. 2
Conventions 2

Irrigation is very important because without irrigation there wouldn’t really be another way to water there crops so irrigation, without water and they wouldn’t have enough food.

Paragraph 4: Conclusion. What have you learned?
Concluding statement that describes what was learned. At least 3 sentences. 2
Conventions 2

I changed this one.

I learned from this essay that if it were not for the ancient civilizations of our earth we would be extinct by now. These civilizations kept going and stuck to these rules and characteristics of civilization and thrived.

Concluding statement that describes what was learned. At least 3 sentences 2
Conventions 2

In conclusion, technology and stable food supply were very important to creating a civilization. Technology helped create a new, better way to live. Stable food supply provided a way for people to eat and not starve. By looking at Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, and Mohenjodaro it is easy to see that they created a stable food supply and new technology that helped them survive.
Concluding statement that describes what was learned. At least 3 sentences. 2
Conventions 2

I learned that all three of these characteristics are important because without them the environment around them would die down.

This article is about the archaeological site. For the 2016 film, see Mohenjo Daro (film).

Mohenjo-daro (Sindhi: موئن جو دڙو‎, Urdu: موئن جو دڑو‬‎, IPA: [muˑənⁱ dʑoˑ d̪əɽoˑ], Sindhi for Mound of the Dead Men;[2]English:) is an archaeological site in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. 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, contemporaneous with the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Minoan Crete, and Norte Chico. Mohenjo-daro was abandoned in the 19th century BCE as the Indus Valley Civilization declined, and the site was not rediscovered until the 1920s. Significant excavation has since been conducted at the site of the city, which was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.[3] The site is currently threatened by erosion and improper restoration.[4]


Mohenjo-daro, the modern name for the site, has been variously interpreted as "Mound of the Dead Men" in Sindhi, and as "Mound of Mohan" (where Mohan is Krishna).[2][5] The city's original name is unknown. Based on his analysis of a Mohenjo-daro seal, Iravatham Mahadevan speculates that the city's ancient name could have been Kukkutarma ("the city [-rma] of the cockerel [kukkuta]").[6]Cock-fighting may have had ritual and religious significance for the city, with domesticated chickens bred there for sacred purposes, rather than as a food source. Mohenjo-daro may also have been a point of diffusion for the eventual worldwide domestication of chickens.[7]


Mohenjo-daro is located west of the Indus River in Larkana District, Sindh, Pakistan, in a central position between the Indus River and the Ghaggar-Hakra River. It is sited on a Pleistocene ridge in the middle of the flood plain of the Indus River Valley, around 28 kilometres (17 mi) from the town of Larkana.[8] The ridge was prominent during the time of the Indus Valley Civilization, allowing the city to stand above the surrounding flood, but subsequent flooding has since buried most of the ridge in silt deposits. The Indus still flows east of the site, but the Ghaggar-Hakra riverbed on the western side is now dry.[9]

Historical context

Mohenjo-daro was built in the 26th century BCE.[10] It was one of the largest cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, also known as the Harappan Civilization,[11] which developed around 3,000 BCE from the prehistoric Indus culture. At its height, the Indus Civilization spanned much of what is now Pakistan and North India, extending westwards to the Iranian border, south to Gujarat in India and northwards to an outpost in Bactria, with major urban centers at Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Lothal, Kalibangan, Dholavira and Rakhigarhi. Mohenjo-daro was the most advanced city of its time, with remarkably sophisticated civil engineering and urban planning.[12] When the Indus civilization went into sudden decline around 1900 BCE, Mohenjo-daro was abandoned.[10][13]

Rediscovery and excavation

The ruins of the city remained undocumented for around 3,700 years until R. D. Banerji, an officer of the Archaeological Survey of India, visited the site in 1919–20, identifying the Buddhist stupa (150–500 CE) known to be there and finding a flint scraper which convinced him of the site's antiquity. This led to large-scale excavations of Mohenjo-daro led by Kashinath Narayan Dikshit in 1924–25, and John Marshall in 1925–26.[14] In the 1930s, major excavations were conducted at the site under the leadership of Marshall, D. K. Dikshitar and Ernest Mackay. Further excavations were carried out in 1945 by Ahmad Hasan Dani and Mortimer Wheeler. The last major series of excavations were conducted in 1964 and 1965 by Dr. George F. Dales. After 1965 excavations were banned due to weathering damage to the exposed structures, and the only projects allowed at the site since have been salvage excavations, surface surveys, and conservation projects. However, in the 1980s, German and Italian survey groups led by Dr. Michael Jansen and Dr. Maurizio Tosi used less invasive archeological techniques, such as architectural documentation, surface surveys, and localized probing, to gather further information about Mohenjo-daro.[3] A dry core drilling conducted in 2015 by Pakistan's National Fund for Mohenjo-daro revealed that the site is larger than the unearthed area.[15]

Architecture and urban infrastructure

Further information: Sanitation of the Indus Valley Civilization

Mohenjo-daro has a planned layout with rectilinear buildings arranged on a grid plan.[16] Most were built of fired and mortared brick; some incorporated sun-dried mud-brick and wooden superstructures. The covered area of Mohenjo-daro is estimated at 300 hectares.[17] The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History offers a "weak" estimate of a peak population of around 40,000.[18]

The sheer size of the city, and its provision of public buildings and facilities, suggests a high level of social organization.[19] The city is divided into two parts, the so-called Citadel and the Lower City. The Citadel – a mud-brick mound around 12 metres (39 ft) high – is known to have supported public baths, a large residential structure designed to house about 5,000 citizens, and two large assembly halls. The city had a central marketplace, with a large central well. Individual households or groups of households obtained their water from smaller wells. Waste water was channeled to covered drains that lined the major streets. Some houses, presumably those of more prestigious inhabitants, include rooms that appear to have been set aside for bathing, and one building had an underground furnace (known as a hypocaust), possibly for heated bathing. Most houses had inner courtyards, with doors that opened onto side-lanes. Some buildings had two stories.[citation needed]

Major buildings

In 1950, Sir Mortimer Wheeler identified one large building in Mohenjo-daro as a "Great Granary". Certain wall-divisions in its massive wooden superstructure appeared to be grain storage-bays, complete with air-ducts to dry the grain. According to Wheeler, carts would have brought grain from the countryside and unloaded them directly into the bays. However, Jonathan Mark Kenoyer noted the complete lack of evidence for grain at the "granary", which, he argued, might therefore be better termed a "Great Hall" of uncertain function.[13] Close to the "Great Granary" is a large and elaborate public bath, sometimes called the Great Bath. From a colonnaded courtyard, steps lead down to the brick-built pool, which was waterproofed by a lining of bitumen. The pool measures 12 metres (39 ft) long, 7 metres (23 ft) wide and 2.4 metres (7.9 ft) deep. It may have been used for religious purification. Other large buildings include a "Pillared Hall", thought to be an assembly hall of some kind, and the so-called "College Hall", a complex of buildings comprising 78 rooms, thought to have been a priestly residence.[citation needed]


Mohenjo-daro had no series of city walls, but was fortified with guard towers to the west of the main settlement, and defensive fortifications to the south. Considering these fortifications and the structure of other major Indus valley cities like Harappa, it is postulated that Mohenjo-daro was an administrative center. Both Harappa and Mohenjo-daro share relatively the same architectural layout, and were generally not heavily fortified like other Indus Valley sites. It is obvious from the identical city layouts of all Indus sites that there was some kind of political or administrative centrality, but the extent and functioning of an administrative center remains unclear.

Flooding and rebuilding

The city also had large platforms perhaps intended as defense against flooding.[19] According to a theory first advanced by Wheeler, the city could have been flooded and silted over, perhaps six times, and later rebuilt in the same location.[21]

Notable artefacts

Numerous objects found in excavation include seated and standing figures, copper and stone tools, carved seals, balance-scales and weights, gold and jasper jewellery, and children's toys.[22] Many important objects from Mohenjo-daro are conserved at the National Museum of India in Delhi and the National Museum of Pakistan in Karachi. In 1939, a representative collection of artefacts excavated at the site was transferred to the British Museum by the Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India.[23]

Dancing Girl

Main article: Dancing Girl (Mohenjo-daro)

A bronze statuette dubbed the "Dancing Girl", 10.5 centimetres (4.1 in) high[24] and about 4,500 years old, was found in 'HR area' of Mohenjo-daro in 1926.[24] In 1973, British archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler described the item as his favorite statuette:

"She's about fifteen years old I should think, not more, but she stands there with bangles all the way up her arm and nothing else on. A girl perfectly, for the moment, perfectly confident of herself and the world. There's nothing like her, I think, in the world."

John Marshall, another archeologist at Mohenjo-daro, described the figure as "a young girl, her hand on her hip in a half-impudent posture, and legs slightly forward as she beats time to the music with her legs and feet."[25] The archaeologist Gregory Possehl said of the statuette, "We may not be certain that she was a dancer, but she was good at what she did and she knew it". The statue led to two important discoveries about the civilization: first, that they knew metal blending, casting and other sophisticated methods of working with ore, and secondly that entertainment, especially dance, was part of the culture.[24]


In 1927, a seated male soapstone figure was found in a building with unusually ornamental brickwork and a wall-niche. Though there is no evidence that priests or monarchs ruled Mohenjo-daro, archaeologists dubbed this dignified figure a "Priest-King." The sculpture is 17.5 centimetres (6.9 in) tall, and shows a neatly bearded man with pierced earlobes and a fillet around his head, possibly all that is left of a once-elaborate hairstyle or head-dress; his hair is combed back. He wears an armband, and a cloak with drilled trefoil, single circle and double circle motifs, which show traces of red. His eyes might have originally been inlaid.[26]

Pashupati seal

Main article: Pashupati seal

A seal discovered at the site bears the image of a seated, cross-legged and possibly ithyphallic figure surrounded by animals. The figure has been interpreted by some scholars as a yogi, and by others as a three-headed "proto-Shiva" as "Lord of Animals".

Seven-stranded necklace

Sir Mortimer Wheeler was especially fascinated with this artifact, which he believed to be at least 4,500 years old. The necklace has an S-shaped clasp with seven strands, each over 4 ft long, of bronze-metal bead-like nuggets which connect each arm of the "S" in filigree. Each strand has between 220 and 230 of the many-faceted nuggets, and there are about 1,600 nuggets in total. The necklace weighs about 250 grams in total, and is presently held in a private collection in India.[citation needed]

Conservation and current state

An initial agreement to fund restoration was agreed through the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris on 27 May 1980. Contributions were made by a number of other countries to the project:

CountryContribution US$
 Saudi Arabia$58,993.63
 Sri Lanka$1,562.50

Preservation work for Mohenjo-daro was suspended in December 1996 after funding from the Pakistani government and international organizations stopped. Site conservation work resumed in April 1997, using funds made available by the UNESCO. The 20-year funding plan provided $10 million to protect the site and standing structures from flooding. In 2011, responsibility for the preservation of the site was transferred to the government of Sindh.[27]

Currently the site is threatened by groundwater salinity and improper restoration. Many walls have already collapsed, while others are crumbling from the ground up. In 2012, Pakistani archaeologists warned that, without improved conservation measures, the site could disappear by 2030.[4][28]

2014 Sindh Festival

The Mohenjo-daro site was further threatened in January 2014, when Bilawal Bhutto Zardari of the Pakistan People's Party chose the site for Sindh Festival's inauguration ceremony. This would have exposed the site to mechanical operations, including excavation and drilling. Farzand Masih, head of the Department of Archaeology at Punjab University warned that such activity was banned under the Antiquity Act, saying "You cannot even hammer a nail at an archaeological site." On 31 January 2014, a case was filed in the Sindh High Court to bar the Sindh government from continuing with the event.[29][30]The festival was held by PPP at the historic site, despite all the protest by both national and international historians and educators.

See also


  1. ^Crispin Bates; Minoru Mio (22 May 2015). Cities in South Asia. Routledge. ISBN 9781317565123. 
  2. ^ abGregory L. Possehl (11 November 2002). The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective. Rowman Altamira. p. 80. ISBN 9780759116429. 
  3. ^ ab"Mohenjo-Daro: An Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis". 
  4. ^ ab"Mohenjo Daro: Could this ancient city be lost forever?". BBC. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  5. ^"Mohenjo-Daro: An Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis"
  6. ^Iravatham Mahadevan. "'Address’ Signs of the Indus Script" (PDF). Presented at the World Classical Tamil Conference 2010. 23–27 June 2010. The Hindu.
  7. ^Poultry Breeding and Genetics. R. D. Crawford (1990). Elsevier Health Sciences. pp. 10–11, 44.
  8. ^Roach, John. "Lost City of Mohenjo Daro". National Geographic. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  9. ^"Sarasvati: Tracing the death of a river". DNA Pakistan. 12 June 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Retrieved 2012-05-02.
  11. ^Beck, Roger B.; Linda Black; Larry S. Krieger; Phillip C. Naylor; Dahia Ibo Shabaka (1999). World History: Patterns of Interaction. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell. ISBN 0-395-87274-X. 
  12. ^A H Dani (1992). "Critical Assessment of Recent Evidence on Mohenjo-daro". Second International Symposium on Mohenjo-daro, 24–27 February 1992.
  13. ^ abKenoyer, Jonathan Mark (1998). “Indus Cities, Towns and Villages”, Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. Islamabad: American Institute of Pakistan Studies. p. 65.
  14. ^Possehl, Gregory L (2010). The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective. AltaMira. p. 12. ISBN 978-0759101722. 
  15. ^"'Findings show Moenjodaro was larger than unearthed ruins'". 14 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  16. ^Mohan Pant and Shjui Fumo, "The Grid and Modular Measures in The Town Planning of Mohenjodaro and Kathmandu Valley: A Study on Modular Measures in Block and Plot Divisions in the Planning of Mohenjodaro and Sirkap (Pakistan), and Thimi (Kathmandu Valley)"; Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineerng 59, May 2005.
  17. ^T.S. SUBRAMANIAN, Harappan surprises. 13 June 2014 –
  18. ^Peter Clark (editor), The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 158–59; "since it is impossible to ascertain what proportion of the city was used for habitation the basis for this [population] estimate is weak." For lower area estimate of 85 hectares, see note 25, citing U. Singh, A History of Ancient and Medieval India, Delhi, Pearson Education, 2008, p. 149. See also FR Alchin and G Erdosy, The Archaeology of Early Historic Asia: The Emergence of Cities and States, Cambridge University Press, 1995, p. 57.
  19. ^ abMcIntosh (2008), p. 389. "The enormous amount of labor involved in the creation of Mohenjo-daro's flood defense platforms (calculated at around 4 million man-days) indicates the existence of an authority able to plan the construction and to mobilize and feed the requisite labor force."
  20. ^McIntosh (2008), p. 118. "More than seven hundred wells were sunk at Mohenjo-daro when the city was built. Over the centuries houses were rebuilt and street levels rose; new courses of bricks were therefore added to the wells to keep their tops at the same height with respect to the street. The removal of earth and debris during the excavation of the city has left many wells standing like towers high above the exposed remnants of earlier streets."
  21. ^George F. Dales, "Civilization and Floods in the Indus Valley", Expedition Magazine, July 1965.
  22. ^Mohenjo-daro Tools and Artifacts Photo Gallery. Archaeology Online; retrieved 8 April 2012.
  23. ^British Museum Collection
  24. ^ abc"Collections:Pre-History & Archaeology". National Museum, New Delhi. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  25. ^Possehl, Gregory (2002). The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective. AltaMira Press. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-7591-0172-2. 
  26. ^"Priest King, Mohenjo-daro". Glimpses of South Asia before 1947. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  27. ^"Responsibility to preserve Mohenjodaro transferred to Sindh",, 10 February 2011; retrieved 14 May 2012.
  28. ^"Moenjodaro in Danger of Disappearing, Says Pakistani Archaeologist"Archived 6 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. Global Heritage Fund blog article; accessed 8 February 2014.
  29. ^"Bilawal's 'cultural coup' threatens ancient ruins". AFP. Daily Dawn. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  30. ^Sahoutara, Naeem. "Preserving heritage: Court instructs to take 'utmost' care in holding festival at Moen Jo Daro". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 


External links

Map showing the major sites and theorised extent of the Indus Valley Civilisation, including the location of the Mohenjo-daro site
Regularity of streets and buildings suggests the influence of ancient urban planning in Mohenjo-daro's construction.
View of the site's Great Bath, showing the surrounding urban layout
Excavation of the city revealed very tall wells (left), which it seems were continually built up as flooding and rebuilding raised the elevation of street level.[20]
"The Priest-King", a seated stone sculpture at the National Museum, Karachi
Surviving structures at Mohenjo-daro

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