Where did you go, Mohenjo Daro?
By Mayurakshi Ghosal
How did the ancient and rich city of Mohenjo Daro vanish without leaving any evidence of its existence?
As BBC Bitesize writes, Mohenjo Daro, a city in the Indus Valley Civilization, was discovered by R.D Banerji in 1922. According to Britannica, Mohenjo Daro was a city that flourished sometime during 2500-1700 BCE, yet it was only discovered about a century ago. After its discovery, archaeologists and historians have had constant debates about the causes of its destruction.
There are many probable causes behind the wiping out of Mohenjo Daro, two of which seem most likely. Firstly, BBC Bitesize suggests that one of the possible causes were natural disasters that occurred due to the location of the place. Movements in the earth’s crust might have caused floods that eventually led to the destruction of the city. Excavations suggest that the Ghaggar Hakra river, that served as the banks of Mohenjo Daro, dried up, leading to many droughts. This simultaneous occurrence of floods and droughts either forced people to vacate the city, or destroyed the city completely, causing it to vanish.
In the 1940s, an archaeologist was able to find 39 human skeletons in the area. This led some historians to believe that Mohenjo Daro perished because of a war with invaders, which left the place in ruins. However, there is no clear evidence of mass killings and war as hardly any weapons or tools were found, and the few weapons and tools that were found do not have the strength to bring down an entire population. However, as National Geographic writes, there are no clear signs of flooding either. The most likely reason is natural disaster, because excavations prove that the river dried up, which could explain the city vanishing. Overall, the collapse of Mohenjo Daro remains a mystery till date, but historians and archaeologists are trying their best to find stronger evidence to support these probable causes.