Pakistan’s Department of Archaeology has said that Mohenjo-daro might be removed from the world heritage list, if urgent attention towards its conservation and restoration is not given.
GS I: History
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Mohenjo-daro
- Other Indus Valley sites
- What next for the site?
- Losing world heritage tag
- Mohenjo-daro, a group of mounds and ruins, is a 5000-year-old archaeological site located about 80-km off the city of Sukkur.
- It comprises the remnants of one of two main centres of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation, the other one being Harappa, located 640 km to the northwest, in Punjab province.
- Mohenjo-daro, which means ‘mound of the dead’, was one of the oldest cities of the world.
- Known to be a model planned city of the ancient civilisation, the houses here had bathrooms, toilets and drainage system.
- The sheer size of the city, and its provision of public buildings and facilities, suggests a high level of social organisation.
- Though in ruins, the walls and brick pavements in the streets are still in a preserved condition.
- The ruins of the city remained undocumented for around 3,700 years, until 1920, when archaeologist RD Banerji visited the site.
- Its excavation started in 1921 and continued in phases till 1964-65.
- The site went to Pakistan during Partition.
Other Indus Valley sites
- The Indus Valley Civilisation spanned much of what is now Pakistan and the northern states of India (Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan), even extending towards the Iranian border.
- Its major urban centres included Harappa and Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan, and Lothal, Kalibangan, Dholavira and Rakhigarhi in India.
- Mohenjo-daro is considered the most advanced city of its time, with sophisticated civil engineering and urban planning.
- When the Indus Valley Civilisation went into sudden decline around 19th century BC, Mohenjo-Daro was abandoned.
What next for the site?
- According to media reports, many streets and sewerage drains of the historical ruins have been badly damaged due to the floods.
- However, the work of removing the sediments deposited due the flooding is still underway.
- But if this kind of flooding happens again, the heritage site may once again get buried under the ground, archaeologists say.
Losing world heritage tag
- There are around 1,100 UNESCO listed sites across its 167 member countries.
- Last year, the World Heritage Committee, holding its 44th session in China, decided to delete the property ‘Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City’ (UK) from the World Heritage List, due to “the irreversible loss of attributes conveying the outstanding universal value of the property,”.
- Liverpool was added to the World Heritage List in 2004 in recognition of its role as one of the world’s major trading centres in the 18th and 19th centuries – and its pioneering dock technology, transport systems and port management.
- Before that, the first venue to be delisted by the UNESCO panel was the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in Oman, in 2007, after concerns over poaching and habitat degradation.
- Another site to be removed from the World Heritage list in 2009 was Elbe Valley in Dresden, Germany, after the construction of the Waldschloesschen road bridge across the Elbe river.
-Source: The Hindu