Straight Talk: Quora Answers

By Sunil Kumar

As I’ve spent quite some time on this network; I’m putting all my answers on this site; positively my mental effusions and IPR. So; anybody who wants to read; please do. Positive affirmations are appreciated.

English: Indus Priest/King Statue. The statue ...

Visit English: Indus Priest/King Statue. The statue is 17.5 cm high and carved from steatite a.k.a. soapstone. It was found in Mohenjo-daro in 1927. It is on display in the National Museum, Karachi, Pakistan. Deutsch: „Priesterkönig“ gedeutete Steinfigur der Indus-Kultur aus Mohenjo-daro (Pakistan) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Qtn: When was the name Mohenjo Daro given?

My Answer:

The historical city’s original name is not Mohenjo Daro. Nobody knows what the real name is, as the Harappan script has still not been deciphered.

Over the years, numerous decipherments have been proposed, but there is no established scholarly consensus The following factors are usually regarded as the biggest obstacles for a successful decipherment:

The underlying language has not been identified though some 300 loanwords in the Rigveda are a good starting point for comparison.

The average length of the inscriptions is less than five signs, the longest being only 17 signs (and a sealing of combined inscriptions of just 27 signs).

No bilingual texts (like a Rosetta Stone(Egyptian relic currently in the British Museum) have been found.

Your guess is right; as most sane individuals would not name their city as “The Mound of the Dead”.

English: Mohenjo-daro

Visit English: Mohenjo-daro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The urban planning and architecture have mesmerised thousands of architects and archaeologists. The 5,000-year-old city could host a population of 40,000. It had a meticulous road plan with rectilinear buildings, channeled sanitisation, a huge well that served as a public pool to bathe, a ‘Great Granary’, and many more amazing designs on buildings.

There are signs that prove that the Indus Valley Civilisation had no monarchy. It was probably governed by an elected committee. So; in democracy; India beats Greece by two millenia.

Archaeologists first visited the Mohenjo Daro site 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 Indus Valley Civilisation was vast. It spanned from Iran to Gujarat and went North till Bactria. Bigger than contemporary Ancient Egypt and other contenders.

The discovery of the site was very dramatic. Bengali historian, archeologist; novelist and architect Rakhaldas Bandopadhyay, an officer at the Archaeological Survey of India, went to the site in 1919-20 to identify a Buddhist stupa. There, he found a flint scraper that was much older than the stupa itself. This discovery led to a large scale excavation led by Kashinath Narayan Dikshit in 1924-25 and John Marshall in 1925-26, and the rest is history. The name of the site is spelt Mohenjo Daro or Mohenjo-Daro in the official reports of its discovery in the 1920s.(By John Marshall; also refers to Cunningham report on Harappa in South Punjab(Montgomery district).

In 1960 the spelling was rectified to MoenjoDaro by the Government of Pakistan. This lead to a lot of scholarly discussions and debate over the name change. Sheikh Khurshid and Pakistani archeologists maintain that it actually means “Mound of the Mohan people”; a small group of fishermen living in boats and spending their whole lives on crafts floating over the River Indus in its stretch from Sukkur to Manchar lake. The Mohan boatmen speak a vernacular of the Sindhi language which is distinctive; and believed to be connected with the ancient Indus valley civilization.

A BBC documentary mentioned that the name was given by locals over centuries; and the real historical reference has been lost in the sands of time.


This entry was posted in Culture, People and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *