An Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis: Mohenjo Daro, or “Mound of the Dead” is an ancient Indus Valley Civilization city that flourished between 2600 and 1900 BCE. The site was discovered in the 1920s and lies in Pakistan’s Sindh province. Only a handful of archaeologists have excavated here.

Mohenjo-daro was one of the earliest cities in the world, one of the most advanced of its time, and one of the main cities of the Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC). That was one of the great civilisations of the ancient world, and one of the earliest Bronze Age civilisations. Over the period 3,300-1,300 BCE, and to over a thousand sites where their artefacts have been found. The peak was the Mature Harappan period, 2,600-1,900 BCE, when Mohenjo-daro was a great city.

On an early winter morning the mist settles in the low-lying areas of Mohenjo daro between the “citadel” and the “lower town”. In the distance the heavy mist on the Indus River forms a solid white line. The mounds of the “lower town” are barely visible above the mist and in the foreground are the edges of brick structures belonging to the Buddhist monastery complex on the “citadel” mound.


The Buddhist StupaThe Buddhist Stupa, visible from a great distance, is the highest and most prominent structure in Mohenjo-daro. The stupa was built atop the citadel mound long after the fall of the ancient city. It is from the Kushan Empire, 1st to 4th centuries CE, while all of the other excavated ruins are from 2,600-1,900 BCE

Mohenjo-daro Archaeology MuseumOpen between 08:30 and 12:30 and between 14:30 and 17:30 from April to September, and between 09:00 and 16:00 from October to MarchThe museum was inaugurated in 1967, and contains relics found at the archaeologic site. The relics include weapons, engraved seals, kitchen utensils, sculptures and terracotta toys. Jewellery and other ornaments are showcased on the first floor and illuminated in natural light while heavy stones found during excavation are kept as well. A wall on the first floor is illustrated with an conjectural view of the ancient city of Mohenjo-daro. Rs 300 for foreigners, Rs 20 for locals.

The actual excavation has two main areas, east and west. The higher settlement to the west has the ruins of ancient administrative buildings and some that were likely residences for the elite.

Citadel Mound (Stupa Mound). This is a massive unbaked mud-brick platform with many buildings constructed on top. This is where most of Mohenjo-daro’s major structures can be found, including the Great Bath, Granary, College and Assembly Hall. It is thought to have housed the elite of the IVC society and to have been a very sacred part of this ancient city.

The Great Hall (Granary). The Great Hall is a large building and is believed to may have been a granary; it has what appear to have been a loading platform for carts transporting grain and a ventilation system to prevent spoilage. An alternate theory is that it was a public hall; the actual function of the building has not been determined.

The Great BathA 2.4m deep, 12m long, and 7m wide pool known as “The Great Bath” in the center of higher settlement is the best-known structure of Mohenjo-daro. It is made of fine baked waterproof mud bricks and a thick layer of bitumen (natural tar – presumably to keep water from seeping through the walls), which indicates that it was used for holding water. Many scholars have suggested that this huge deep bath could have been a place for ritual bathing or religious ceremonies. It is the earliest public water tank of the ancient world. Adjacent to it is a well that was used to supply water to the bath

College of PriestsA large open space and courtyard is referred to as a college lies to the east of the Great Bath. This large building having several rooms and three verandas, with two staircases leading to roof and upper floor, is thought to have been the residence of a very high official priest or college for priests.

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