No archaeological site like Moenjodaro has been discovered in 100 years, says expert

HYDERABAD: An archeology expert lamented that unfortunately 100 years after the discovery of Moenjodaro, the country has not explored any other similar sites, although there must be more such cities and sites and “we must keep looking for them.”

Professor Dr Mohammad Hameed, Head of Department of Archeology, Punjab University, said on Sunday at the 7th National Dr NA Baloch Seminar hosted at a local hotel by Dr NA Baloch Institute of Heritage Research, Jamshoro, and the Sindh culture and tourism department that a replica of Moenjodaro town should be created to link the current society with the Indus Valley Civilization to help people understand how human settlements functioned then and how people managed their economic life.

He stressed the need to produce PhD students on the Indus Valley Civilization and to explore more such sites, which unfortunately had not been done so far.

In his presentation on “Where are we after a century” at a seminar session on “Celebrating the centenary of the discovery of the Indus civilization”, the professor said that most explorations and research had been carried out by foreigners. “We live here. This is our land and we understand the issues with a clear cultural background more than outsiders. But unfortunately we are lagging behind in Indus civilization research,” he said. said, wondering if native experts could challenge the work of outsiders.

He said, “We can effectively preserve Moenjodaro after making research-oriented efforts.” The population of Moenjodaro presented the concept of urbanized life with a sectoral approach. “It shows that their economic life was prosperous. They used to store grain and had better urban planning. We need to understand how the decline set in,” he said.

Mr Hameed said the Indus civilization was central to the identity of the region, followed by the Gandhara, Mughal, Sikh and then colonial civilizations.

He praised the fact that Sindh had done a better job of preservation than other provinces. “The people of that time must have ideas of festivals and towns as well as villages. But we are not able to explore more cities,” he said.

He said their regional variations and settlement patterns need to be explored.

“Unfortunately, 100 years later, we haven’t explored any other remarkable sites. There must be more cities and sites like this. We must keep looking for them,” he said. He said that the people of Moenjodaro believed in “life after death”, regardless of their religion.

The researcher regretted that specialized studies do not receive due attention, forcing researchers to rely on foreign supervisors. “It shows that we have a weak research-based initiative on the subject. We took the site for granted and have average studies of art, pottery etc. he said, urging experts to ask whether the site has become a burden and let’s take care of it.

He called for synchronizing the work of different departments under Moenjodaro to have more manpower and better results. From a tourism perspective, 30% of the expenditure was observed for Sikh tourism, 20% each for Gandhara and Mughals and 10% for the Indus Valley nationwide, he said.

He proposed that Moenjodaro be connected to the current society. “A replica of Moenjodaro should be created to connect people with it to let them experience how the people lived then. Let tourists feel that they are living with people from Moenjodaro,” he said, adding that Moenjodaro’s hypothetical life would have to be artificially reconstructed,” he said.

Dr Kaleem Lashari discussed the details of a dry drilling project to establish the boundaries of Moenjodaro to avoid any steps that could accidentally damage the site in the future. Various samples were collected under the project for geological and archaeological study, he said.

Dr. Asma Hameed gave his scientific presentation on the use of strontium as it relates to Moenjodaro and discussed his findings based on some laboratory tests.

She said she took 40 samples to determine if the population of Moenjodaro belonged to this part of the region and if they came from another region.

Dr. Abdul Ghaffar Soomro, who chaired the seminar, spoke about Dr. NA Baloch’s work on Moenjodaro and discussed his book Deewan-e-Gul.

He said Deewan author Gul Mohammad, who had added two more alphabets to Sindhi script while raising questions about 52 Sindhi Arabic script alphabets introduced by the colonial regime. Deewan-e-Gul, he said, was Sindhi’s first deewan, he added.

Professor Dr Saleem Akthar read his article on his book Sindh under the Mughals while Mohammad Hafeez Khan spoke about “Multan under the 150 year reign of Soomro”.

Posted in Dawn, June 20, 2022