Friday January 27, 2023

Flood endangers world heritage site ‘Mohenjo Daro’

By Agencies
September 09, 2022

LARKANA: The heavy rains threaten the archeological ruins of a 4,500-year-old city of Mohenjo Daro “the mound of the dead,” that contains the remains of what was once the largest city of the Indus civilization, is at the verge of damage.

The ruins of Mohenjo Daro are located in Sindh on the right bank of the Indus River, about 510 kilometers away from Karachi and 28 kilometers from Larkana. The site is considered one of the best preserved urban centers in South Asia. The Indus River floods did not directly hit Mohenjo Daro, Ahsan Abbasi, the site’s curator told the media.

Nonetheless, the unprecedented rainfalls severely damaged the ruins of the ancient city, he added. Several big walls collapsed, he said, adding that the extensive repair work has begun, however, the site’s landmark Buddhist stupa (a structure resembling a burial mound, ed.) is intact.

Mohenjo Daro was part of the Bronze Age Indus culture from 2,600 to 1,800 BC, one of the three early advanced civilisations in the 3rd millennium BC. Its disappearance coincided with that of Egypt and Mesopotamia. According to the UNESCO, Mohenjo Daro was a “Metropolis of great importance,” and it is on the world heritage list as the largest preserved ‘Bronze Age’ city.

The discovery of the site allowed accurate conclusions about the locals’ customs, art, religion and administrative organisation. Their well-planned city with its public baths, a college of priests, an elaborate sewerage system with wells, cesspools and a large granary, was built largely of baked bricks.Severe monsoon rains

The ruins are visible from afar. At 15 meters, the citadel located west of the lower city is the highest structure. 4,500 years ago, the site must have been even more impressive — over time, the Indus River has raised the plain by more than seven meters. The rising water of the Indus, one of the region’s most important rivers, had wreaked havoc across large parts of the country. More than 1,300 people have been killed and millions have lost their homes and valuables in the floods.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is scheduled to visit Pakistan on September 9 to express solidarity with the people and ask for massive international support for the country.