The ancient city in Pakistan, Mohenjo Daro, is known for its well-planned streets and canals indicating that the early occupants of the lost city were skilled urban planners who knew how to protect the city from excessive rains and floods. But even after so many years since its discovery, archaeologists could not find any answer as to who occupied this city during the third millennium BC.

The discovery of Mohenjo Daro

It was in 1911 that archaeologists first visited the site and later, in the 1920s, the excavation started in the region. Further excavation projects continued in 1950 and in 1964, revealing some details about the inhabitants. The researchers also found monuments such as palaces, temples or monuments from the archaeological site.

It should be noted that none of the archaeologists could find any evidence to prove that it was ruled by an established monarchy. But as per the historians, it was clear that the modesty, order and in particular, the cleanliness were the major traits adapted by the inhabitants of the ancient city.

As per an expert of the Indus Valley civilization, Gregory Possehl of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, the ideology of the city was based on cleanliness. The archaeologists discovered that wells throughout the city and almost every house contained a bathing area and drainage system which actually conforms the theory given by Possehl.

Another archaeologist Jonathan Mark Kenoyer at the University of Wisconsin said the tallest mound inside the city grew organically over the centuries as the early residents kept building platforms and walls for their houses.

Mohenjo Daro
Mohenjo Daro Wikimedia Commons

The facts about this ancient city

It should be mentioned that experts claimed that the city was never ruled by any king or queen, as Mohenjo Daro was likely governed as a city-state and most probably used to elect city officials or elites from each of the mounds. How wealthy this city was, could be understood easily by the discovered artefacts, such as ivory, carnelian, and gold beads, as well as the baked-brick.

The expansion of this ancient city, as well as the Indus civilization, are still a mystery. By 1900 BC many cities had been abandoned, but archaeologists believe that things started to fall apart around 1700 BC, while some of the historians also claimed that a collapse of trade with the Indus' major trading partner, Mesopotamia was the reason behind the fall of the Indus cities. On the other hand, there are some theories which claim that war caused the demise of these ancient cities.

As per the Rigveda, ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns, recites something about northern invaders conquering the Indus Valley cities. Later, when archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler discovered 39 human skeletons from Mohenjo-Daro in the 1940s, he claimed that they were the people killed by invaders. But this theory is still questionable among many modern archaeologists.

Another study by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IITKGP) has argued that climate change caused human migration everywhere and so could it be in the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC). The study published in the journal Archaeological Research in Asia based its findings on the evidence from the sites at Karim Shahi in the GRK and Vigakot in Thar, where human habitation continued until 1000 AD.