An Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis

An Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis

"Citadel" Mound

Mohenjodaro City Excavations in the SD area of the "citadel" mound uncovered a large colonnaded building with a specially designed water tank usually referred to as the "Great Bath". Just to the south west of the Great Bath is the so-called "Granary," a massive building with solid brick foundations with sockets for a wooden super structure and doorways.

The actual function of the building has not been determined because it was excavated by large numbers of local workmen, with no documentation of the stratigraphy or of the precise location of valuable small artifacts.

There is no concrete evidence for it being a "granary" and this term should be dropped in favor of "Great Hall". The building was probably a large public structure, but it is not clear if it was a storehouse, a temple or some form of administrative building.

Two other major buildings with large open areas and colonnades have been labeled the "Assembly Hall"; (L Area) and the "College"; (SD Area). The rest of the "citadel" mound is comprised of smaller domestic units, with bathing platforms, wells and small internal courtyards.

One portion of the citadel mound has not been excavated because it is covered by a Buddhist stupa dating to the Kushana Period, circa 2nd century CE. Wheeler claimed to have discovered the wall and gateway around the "citadel" mound (Wheeler 1972), but most scholars did not accept his interpretations.

Although Mackay had tried to locate a wall around the "Lower City" at Mohenjo-daro, he was not successful due to the high water table (Mackay 1938).

"Lower Town"

The "Lower Town" is made up of numerous lower mounds that lie to the east and may represent multiple walled neighborhoods.

Earlier scholars thought that the various mounds at Mohenjo-daro represented contemporaneous occupations in a city divided into distinct functional sectors, the western mounds being administrative centers and the lower mounds representing habitation and industrial areas for the common populace.

This simplistic interpretation is no longer supported by the available evidence, which indicates shifting centers of power within the city and the presence of habitation and industrial areas in each of the major mounds.

Each sector has numerous large brick houses that could have been the mansions of powerful merchants or landowners. No temples have been identified, though there is one building with a double staircase that may have had a ritual function.

Other habitation areas are partly buried by the silts of the encroaching Indus River and some Indus brick structures are seen eroding into the Indus River itself. No cemetery area has been located at the site, though there have been reports of occasional chance burials discovered in the course of site conservation.