added by archaeologs One of the two capitals of the Indus civilization, the best known of the Mature Harappan cities, located in the Sind region on the right bank of the Indus in Pakistan. Radiocarbon dates and corroboration with Mesopotamian data date the capital to about 3000-1700 BC. The city, covering approximately 2.5 square km, was laid out on a grid plan, the oldest recorded. The larger blocks, separated by broad streets with elaborate drains, were subdivided. It was the largest of all the Indus Valley sites, and like other Indus Valley settlements, Mohenjo-Daro consists of two parts: a lower town in the east, overlooked by a high artificial mound or citadel on the west side. Traces of mud and baked brick defenses have been found. Within these an assembly hall, 'college', great bath, and granary were excavated. Numerous craft installations were in the lower town, for pottery, beadmaking, shell working, dyeing, and metalworking. Artifacts provide the basic definition of the Mature Harappan material culture for pottery styles, seals, weights, bead forms, metal forms, figurines, etc. There are many flood deposits, which many times overwhelmed the city. Mohenjo-daro was abandoned c 1700/1600 BC, apparently after a massacre, as in the latest layers groups of skeletons were found lying in houses and in the streets. The other capital, Harappa, was 400 miles away.
added by archaeologs One of the two major cities of the Harappan civilization of the 3rd millennium bc. Mohenjo-Daro, in the upper Sind district of Pakistan, is the largest of all the Indus Valley sites, covering cl 00 hectares, of which nearly one third has been excavated. Its population has been estimated as around 40,000. Like other Indus Valley settlements, Mohenjo-Daro consists of two parts: a lower town in the east, overlooked by a high artificial mound or citadel on the west side. The fortified citadel, dominated today by a ruined Buddhist stupa of the 2nd century ad, has produced remains of several important buildings of the Indus Valley Civilization. The Great Bath, measuring 12 metres by 7 metres and 2.5 metres deep, with its associated complex of bathrooms and other rooms, was probably connected with the religious life of the city. Next to the Great Bath is the Granary, a massive structure, covering originally an area of c46 by 23 metres and subsequently extended, which is usually regarded as a state granary for the storage of the collective agricultural wealth of the whole community. The function of other structures on the citadel, labelled by the excavators the ‘College’ and the ‘Assembly Hall’, are unknown but their size and impressive appearance suggest that they were important public buildings. The lower town was laid out on a gridiron plan of streets dividing the area into rectangular blocks. The streets were unpaved but supplied with brick drains and brick-built manholes at regular intervals. Although some buildings may have had an industrial function and a few have been tentatively interpreted as shrines, the vast majority were houses, commodious dwellings consisting of ranges of rooms opening on to a central courtyard. Baked brick was the normal building material and the houses were built to a high standard, provided with upper storeys and often with a well room and adjoining bathroom, with a drain connecting it to the street drain outside. Radiocarbon dates from Mohenjo-Daro fall between 1950 and 1650 be, giving corrected dates for the mature Harappan civilisation here of c2450 to 2000 bc. However, deep soundings have shown evidence of occupation at great depths below the modem flood plain, suggesting that much earlier phases of occupation remain to be investigated. Mohenjo-Daro was abandoned cl600 bc (1950 bc), apparently after a massacre, as in the latest layers groups of skeletons were found lying in houses and in the streets.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983