For most Westerners, the term “ancient civilization” evokes images of ancient Rome, Hellenic republic or Egypt. Much less known is the Bronze Age Indus Valley culture that flourished from 2500 to 1800 BCE in areas on modernistic-day Islamic republic of pakistan and northwest India. Yet it was the largest civilization of its time with a population estimated at 5 meg people. Archeologists take uncovered more than a one thousand sites of the Indus Valley people, and the about famous ones are the cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa in Islamic republic of pakistan.
I had the opportunity to visit Mohenjo-daro earlier this yr, and I was inspired by how much these people could achieve with so little and so long agone. In its heyday, Mohenjo-daro had a population of 40000 people and it was the well-nigh avant-garde city in the world in terms of urban planning and especially sanitation. Despite beingness such an impressive site and on the UNESCO Globe Heritage list, the site receives very few foreign visitors today because of the unpredictable situation in Pakistan. I run across Mohenjo-daro today equally a reminder of how simple technology and materials can exist used to provide the most basic human needs.
The on-site Mohenjo-daro museum displays a number of practical and recreational artifacts found during excavations. Amidst the most interesting finds are a large number of carved seals that draw unlike animals and the local writing that still hasn’t been encrypted. Another interesting fact is the near lack of weapons or other bear witness of warfare, suggesting a peaceful civilization.
Equality and comfort in city planning
Walking among the remaining brick walls of Mohenjo-daro makes one marvel at how planned the urban center looks. There is a lack of decoration and the design of the city and the houses focused instead on creating a comfortable and clean urban environment. There was as well petty difference in living conditions betwixt the rich and the poor which suggests a level of equality in the club.
The climate around Mohenjo-daro is very hot almost of the year and the design of the metropolis takes advantage of current of air and differences in day and night temperatures to create a more comfy microclimate in the city. Except for a few main streets, the streets are narrow and accept high walls that provided efficient shading and protection from the sun. The streets were laid in a perpendicular filigree which minimized the corporeality of obstructions and encouraged air menses through the streets, providing a comfortable cooling effect.
The houses had thick walls fabricated of baked bricks and most houses had two stories. The uniform size and shape of bricks institute at different Indus Valley sites suggests that standardized sizes were used. The light color of the bricks would reflected the heat from the sun, and the oestrus from the air was captivated by the thermal mass of the walls, keeping the houses and the streets cool during the day and warm during the night.
The houses had very few window openings and these were mainly towards the smaller side streets or interior courtyards around which rooms were bundled. This way the air that entered the houses came generally from the cooler shaded areas. The nearly lack of openings and the thick walls kept the houses cool, but the lack of air move might hateful that people spent nigh of the 24-hour interval outdoors. Evidence shows that the roofs were almost likely flat rammed earth. Clay plaster was used for waterproofing the roof and remains of dirt roof drains take also been found.
Forerunners in urban water and waste material management
Like most ancient civilizations, the Indus Valley civilisation was centered around a river, in this case the Indus river, and the river provided the element without which no human settlement could be possible – water. The climate around Mohenjo-daro is semi-barren with little rainfall, and this makes access to water an even more crucial issue. Instead of relying only on surface h2o from the river, the city had a large number of wells, both public wells and also individual wells located in courtyards of houses, and these made h2o easily accessible in the urban setting.
The importance of h2o is further reflected in the largest edifice of Mohenjo-daro. Different the majority of historic sites, the largest building was not a temple, a palace or a tomb, but instead a bath firm, known as the Nifty Bath. The floor of the Great Bath had a gentle slope that slowly drained the h2o out of the bath and into a drainage system and eventually out of the city, significant that fresh water was constantly provided to keep the bath clean. Gypsum was used for waterproofing the floor and the side walls, and the side walls besides have a layer of bitumen for further waterproofing.
Probably the most impressive urban feature of Mohenjo-daro is its sanitation system. The city had an extensive covered drainage system that relied on gravity and carried sewage out of the city. The drains were running under the streets and they had manholes with brick tiles that could easily be removed if the drain needed inspecting.
Houses had bathrooms that were directly connected to the drainage organization. Evidence shows that water was used to flush toilets and that water was also used to wash up later on, showing an early on understanding of hygiene. Some bathrooms were even on the second floor and these were connected to the drainage system through pipes running inside the brick walls. Some houses also had garbage chutes for other types of waste product.
Because that the Indus Valley people could provide urban sanitation 4500 years agone, it seems incredible that there are today one.two billion people whole have no access to sanitation and rely on open defecation.
The refuse of Mohenjo-daro – and then and now
It is still a mystery what led to the reject of Mohenjo-daro and the whole Indus Valley civilization. Theories mention invasion or natural disasters such as floods caused by changes in the form of the Indus river. A more than pressing question even so, is the pass up of the site today.
Excavations at Mohenjo-daro began less than a hundred years ago, and yet the structures that survived millennia accept been severely damaged during this time. The structures are eroding and collapsing due to improper restoration, neglect, looting, and salt from the groundwater. Experimentations in restoration accept actually fabricated things worse and some archeologists believe that the site will not last some other twenty or 30 years at this charge per unit of decline.
At the same time only about 10% of the vast site has been excavated. Many of the remaining parts are below the water table today considering of changes in the form of the Indus river, and this makes these parts difficult to excavate. Considering the harm done to the excavated parts, it might be better to go out the remaining parts alone so that the heritage can be passed on to time to come generations who tin can hopefully meliorate sympathize and capeesh it.
Which River Flows Through Mohenjo Daro and Hyderabad