Ancient India Mohenjodaro Indus civilization part1, part 2, part3
Mohenjodaro was most probably one of the largest cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. It was also known as the Harappan Civilization after Harappa. Harappa is another important site which is located to the north of Mohenjodaro in Punjab.
The Indus culture blossomed over the centuries. It also gave rise to the Indus Valley Civilization around 3000 BC. The civilization spanned much of what constitutes the present day Pakistan and North India, suddenly went into decline around 1900 BC.
Indus Civilization settlements spread far wide. Far west till the Iranian border, with a settlement in Bactria, as far south as the Arabian Sea coast of western India in Gujarat as well. Among the settlements were the major urban centers of Harappa and Mohenjodaro, as well as Lothal.
At its height, Mohenjodaro was the most developed and advanced city in South Asia. Additionally, it also displayed extraordinary developed engineering and urban planning of its time.
Mohenjodaro had a well planned layout based on a street-grid of rectilinear buildings. Most of the buildings were built of fired and mortared brick. Some, on the other hand, incorporated sun-dried mud-brick and wooden superstructures. High levels of social organization indicate the sheer size of the city, and its provision of public buildings and facilities. At the peak of its development, Mohenjodaro could have provided houses for almost as many as 35,000 residents.
The city also had a central marketplace, with a large central well. Individual households or groups of households used water from smaller wells. Waste water was channeled to covered drains that lined the major streets.
Some houses, mostly of the wealthier inhabitants, include rooms that appear to have been set aside for bathing. Apart from this, one building also had an underground furnace. This was also known as a hypocaust, possibly for the purpose of heated bathing. Most houses had inner courtyards, with doors which opened onto side-lanes. Some buildings were even two-storied.
There were also certain wall-divisions in its massive wooden superstructure. These appeared to be grain storage-bays, complete with air-ducts to dry the grain. All this probably hinted that carts would have brought grain from the countryside and unloaded them directly into those bays.
Close to the "Great Granary" is a large and intricate public bath. Hence sometimes, it is also referred to as the Great Bath. From a colonnaded courtyard, steps lead the way down to the brick-built pool. This pool was waterproofed by a lining of bitumen.
The pool measured 12m in length, 7m in width and 2.4m in depth. This pool was believed to have been used for religious purification. Other large buildings also include a "Pillared Hall." This was construed to be an assembly hall of some kind. On the other hand, the so-called "College Hall", which was a complex of buildings comprising of 78 rooms, thought to have been a priestly residence.
Mohenjodaro had no route of city walls. In spite of this, it was well fortified, with guard towers to the west of the main settlement. The defensive fortifications were situated down in the south. Considering these fortifications and the structure of other major Indus valley cities like Harappa, it is hypothesized that Mohenjodaro was an administrative center.