Posts about ancient Indus Valley Civilization homes and houses.
Harappa Mound AB Center with the great drain looking out over Punjab. Harappa was first excavated in 1872 by Alexander Cunningham, the original Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India. Although he named the mounds and found a seal and other implements after digging a handful of trenches, he was in search of a Buddhist city and did not realize that he had come upon a Bronze Age civilization that would push back Indian history 2,000 years.
"The Great Bath, which I have reserved to the last, was part of what appears to have been a vast hydropathic [water therapeutic] establishment and the most imposing of all the remains unearthed at Mohenjo-daro. Its plan is simple: in the centre, an open quadrangle with verandahs on its four sides, and at the back of three of the verandahs various galleries and rooms; on the south, a long allery with a small chamber in each corner; on the east, a single range of small chambers, including one with a well (no 16); on the north, a group of several halls and fair-sized rooms.
1. The Great Bath at Mohenjo-daro, looking north. The side walls of the roughly 12 by 7 meter tank were constructed with finely fitted bricks and a thick layer of bitumen (natural tar) was laid along the sides of the tank to keep water from seeping through the walls and up into the superstructure. 2.Lower ledge inside the Great Bath, southern edge, looking east. At the foot of the stairs is a small ledge with a brick edging that extends the entire width of the pool. People coming down the stairs could move along this ledge without actually stepping into the pool itself.
"Late III Phase. Average level: – 9.9 ft. – A few walls only remained of House I, and it will be noticed that Fore Lane had been closed in by continuing the east wall of House I right across it to the northern wall of Block I on the opposite side.
What was the large pillared hall at Mohenjo-daro used for? The hall was approximately 27.5 meters square (90 feet square) with twenty square brick pillars arranged in four rows, only two of which are still preserved. Strips of paved floors sloped from south to north and each strip of flooring had row of bricks set on edge along both sides. The cross wall in the foreground was built later and divided the hall into smaller rooms. Its purpose remains an enigma.
In addition to hundreds of wells, Mohenjo-daro would have had hundreds of staircases. Many houses had stairs leading to upper courtyards of the building or to a second floor. This house in HR area had a double staircase that would allow people to enter and exit the upper courtyard in an orderly fashion. Some scholars feel this may have been a palace or a temple. Two doorways lead to a narrow courtyard at a lower level.
"With the exception of First Street, the most impressive thoroughfare in the DK Area, Southern Portion," writes the early excavator of Mohenjo-daro, Ernest J.H. Mackay, "is unquestionably Low Lane which runs practically parallel with it. This is chiefly because the depth to which it has been excavated and its narrow width increase the apparent height of the houses on either side. But the street has preserved its character and identity from the Intermediate III (XVI., 2.) onwards to the Late I Phase (Pl.
John Marshall writes of what he called First Street, "The northern part of this street, 145 feet in length, had been dug by Mr. Hargreaves in 1925-6, the rest of the street, some 300 feet in length, was completely exposed by me down to the Intermediate level, the work involving the removal from the street itself of a 10 ft. thick layer of closely packed debris ... The width of the street averages 30 feet and it is the only street so far excavated at Mohenjo-daro that could have been used for wheeled traffic, if wheeled traffic was permitted inside the town.
One of only eight wells, public and private, that have thus far been discovered at Harappa. Most of the water used by the population probably came from the adjacent Ravi River. The curved wall was probably a large drain used during the latter stages of ancient Harappa, around 2,000 B.C.E. See also Mohenjo-daro: City of Wells.