Mohenjo-daro World Heritage Site

Archaeological site in the province of Sindh, Pakistan

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The ancient settlement of Mohenjo-daro is in Larkana District in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Listed as an archaeological site of immense historical significance on the UNESCO World Heritage List, it is one of the most important archaeological sites of South Asia, not to be missed if you are interested in archaeology or in the history of the Indian subcontinent.

This statue is known as the Priest-King, though there is little evidence he was either a priest or a king

Believed to have been built in about 2,600 BCE on what was then the west bank of the Indus river, the city had a population of 35,000 to 50,000 at its peak. It was one of the main centres of the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first great civilisation of the Indian Subcontinent. The city was abandoned around 1,900 BCE, and the reason is not known for certain. One theory is that it was caused by climate change — in particular floods of the Indus and droughts due to monsoon hiatus.

A melting pot of traders, fishermen and farmers, Mohenjo-daro was one of the largest and most advanced cities of its time, with remarkably sophisticated civil engineering and urban planning. Given its impressive ruins, one can only imagine how magnificent the city was and how intelligent its ancient inhabitants were 5,000 years ago.

The town was buried underneath thousands of years of dirt and soil until it was discovered in 1911 and excavations started in 1922, while major excavations were carried out in the 1930s. After 1965, further excavations were banned due to fears of damage to the ruins; it is estimated that only one third of the site has been revealed thus far and some believe only 10 to 20 percent has been discovered.

The site is threatened by erosion and, despite conservation efforts funded by the Pakistani government and UNESCO, it is considered endangered. In 2012, Pakistani archaeologists said that the site could disappear by 2030 unless there is a major new conservation initiative.

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