Moen-jo-Daro or the 'Mound of the Dead' is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is at a distance of 27 kilometres from Larkana on the right bank of the river Indus. Few people live there today, but four thousand and five hundred years ago, it was a large, busy city.
Nobody knew anything about it until 1922; when some villagers found pieces of old smooth pots and old bricks at the place, where now stands the uncovered city.
These pieces of old pots and bricks were brought to Sir John Marshall, an English civil servant, whose work it was to look after historical remains, like ancient buildings and other old things such as these pieces of pots and bricks. He was himself, very interested in history and was anxious to find out about these remains. So, when he looked at them carefully, he at once knew that they were pieces of very old pots. About the bricks he said, "Perhaps there was once a town or a city which lies under these mounds of clay and sand. Let us dig here, may be we shall uncover the remains of an old city".
So, the men started digging and as they dug, more and more such pieces came up, till there appeared bit by bit a city of straight roads, and well-built houses. You can imagine, how surprised and excited the people were, when they saw all this coming up from what they had so far taken to be only mounds of clay and sand. Each house was made of large baked bricks and had a bathroom and servant-quarters close by. Covered drains ran beside the streets. Even the streets were made of baked bricks. Carts and other forms of transport could come right to the centre of the town. You can still see the great hall where grain was stored. There is a wide road in the middle of which was the shopping centre with shops on both sides. This road, continues on to the houses of the workmen.
The people of this city must have been great traders, with the river Indus so near and the sea within easy reach. The country-side must have been fertile since wheat, rice and cotton grew there. The farmers also kept cattle. There were skilled craftsmen who worked in gold, silver and ivory. Clay dolls and carts were made for the children to play with. We also have an idea of the dresses worn by the ruling class, the priests and the elders, from the seals of many kinds that have been found there. They wore long, loose dresses.
Nearby is a museum, where interesting objects found from Moen-jo-Daro, are on exhibition. These include seals, jewelry, toys, weapons and painted pottery. The best find of Moen-jo-Daro is the head of a bull, which was used as a seal. A metal statue of a dancing girl has also been found. There are metal tools too. It is because of these metal objects that the probable age of the city is being given as about four thousand five hundred years.
For a long time, these people lived a happy life. They were quite rich and travelled from place to place on business or on pleasure. Their city was well-planned and clean. The rain water did not remain on the streets. We do not know what happened lo them later. Either they were raided from the north or some great earthquake destroyed them. No one has yet been able to determine the meaning of the words written on the seals and on the pottery. Much could be learnt if the language experts are able to decipher these words.
Learned men and visitors often come to the site. They come not only from Pakistan, but also from all over the world. Let us hope that their efforts succeed in deciphering these words. We will then know a great deal more than we do now about this dead civilization.

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