Archaeologists first visited Mohenjo Daro in 1911. Several excavations occurred in the 1920s through 1931. Small probes took place in the 1930s, and subsequent digs occurred in 1950 and 1964.
The ancient city sits on elevated ground in the modern-day Larkana district of Sindh province in Pakistan.
During its heyday from about 2500 to 1900 B.C., the city was among the most important to the Indus civilization, Possehl says. It spread out over about 250 acres (100 hectares) on a series of mounds, and the Great Bath and an associated large building occupied the tallest mound.
According to University of Wisconsin, Madison, archaeologist Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, also a National Geographic grantee, the mounds grew organically over the centuries as people kept building platforms and walls for their houses.
“You have a high promontory on which people are living,” he says.
With no evidence of kings or queens, Mohenjo Daro was likely governed as a city-state, perhaps by elected officials or elites from each of the mounds.
A miniature bronze statuette of a nude female, known as the dancing girl, was celebrated by archaeologists when it was discovered in 1926, Kenoyer notes.
Of greater interest to him, though, are a few stone sculptures of seated male figures, such as the intricately carved and colored Priest King, so called even though there is no evidence he was a priest or king.
The sculptures were all found broken, Kenoyer says. “Whoever came in at the very end of the Indus period clearly didn’t like the people who were representing themselves or their elders,” he says.
Just what ended the Indus civilization—and Mohenjo Daro—is also a mystery.
Kenoyer suggests that the Indus River changed course, which would have hampered the local agricultural economy and the city’s importance as a center of trade.
But no evidence exists that flooding destroyed the city, and the city wasn’t totally abandoned, Kenoyer says. And, Possehl says, a changing river course doesn’t explain the collapse of the entire Indus civilization. Throughout the valley, the culture changed, he says.
“It reaches some kind of obvious archaeological fruition about 1900 B.C.,” he said. “What drives that, nobody knows.”
(For the source of this, and many other quite interesting articles, please visit: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/archaeology/mohenjo-daro/)