If we look at how civil societies had overruled the sporadic human existence the world over, we find ourselves unfailingly drawing on inferences of the ancient civilisations that has shaped the current existence in more ways than one.
One among the finest of the earliest civilisations has been the flourishing Indus Valley Civilisation. Between 2600 BC and 1900 BC, the Indus Valley civilisation and its cities including the likes of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa were among the most fruitful habitats of their kind.
However, as the name suggests, the city of Mohenjo Daro has had a not so undaunted continual existence. Literally translating as Mound of the Dead, this ancient city is a beholder of one of the finest world cultures. Yet, as the Indus civilisation gradually withered away, the city of Mohenjo Daro also died a death that remains shroud in mystery even now.
Here are a look into all those causes that might have led Mohenjo Daro to its ruins-
As with any other empire and kingdom, the Indus valley civilisation was also prone to foreign invasions. Not surprisingly therefore, one of the main theories governing the downfall of Mohenjo daro under the Indus valley was the theory of the the Aryan invasion.
The Aryans were a nomadic Indo- European tribe who has been forever ‘credited’ for bringing Mohenjo Daro to ruins. In fact, evidences suggest that most of the unburied corpses found among the rumbles of the city were unfortunate victims of war. With use of more advanced weapons, the Aryans managed to overpower the Mohenjo Daro people.
Of course, there exists disputes regarding this claim. Several theories point to the bodies being remains of hasty burials, and not remnants of war. What may therefore transpire is that these were the people that had not been victims of a mass massacre, but rather were the final occupants of an already debilitating city.
Further evidences of Indus Valley elements making inroads into later history further strengthen the brittleness of this claim about Mohenjo Daro being invaded.
Another theory that has surfaced to explain the collapse of Mohenjo Daro rests its cause on the rather urban topic of climate change. Indeed, climate change seems like an issue that has grappled the world only in recent years, yet the stark reality behind a gradually changing climate can actually take you by surprise.
The city of Mohenjo Daro sustained as being primarily the part of a civilisation that thrived round the river Saraswati. Naturally then, as the river dried up owing to continuous use and exploitation, Mohenjo Daro was a city that had particularly no chance at survival.
From crop failures that led to starvation and consequently diseases to droughts plaguing the entire civilisation, the theory of climate change seems to suggest that the Indus city of Mohenjo Daro had a slow, tragic death.
Not only did a drying up of the primary water source led to casualties initially, but it also changed drastically the entire economic and civic composition of the civilisation. Thus ushered in an all round decline of one of the most flourishing civilisations of ancient times.
However, droughts weren’t the only climatic disaster that Mohenjo Daro had had to mitigate in its later times. Climate change was also manifested through untimely and more than proportionate rainfalls that harboured yet another epidemic. Consequently, Mohenjo Daro withered away being unable to shift between the continual complexities of a drastically changed environment.
Flood and disease
The city of Mohenjo Daro fell in the grasp of a catastrophic flood. As a result, a massive outbreak of disease occurred. Diseases like cholera sky rocketed the death count. Proof of this flood was said to be found in the form of layers of silty clay.
The course of the Indus River changed with the passing time and moved eastwards. This lead to flooding within the bounds of Mohenjo Daro. The construction of massive brick platforms was intended to protect the city from floods. There was no way to stop the spread of water-borne diseases.
Many archaeologists from around the world concluded that the population of Mohenjo Daro fell victim to flood and diseases. Thus a great civilization succumbed to nature’s fury.
Another factor that might have been a contributing influence towards the disappearment of an entire civilisation is an atomic war. However whimsical this theory might appear to be in those times when such catastrophes weren’t quite the reality, it is not possible to completely refute it as well.
Because the discovery of a huge number of crystallized rocks among the Mohenjo Daro debris is indeed ‘evidence’ of a possible atomic war. And there’s obviously no other explanation to this than high temperatures operating on objects that were completely glassified.
The city itself housed an epicentre of an width of around 50 yards and within that zone and even a bit beyond, everything was crystallized or melted. Even remnants of mortal existence showed unnaturally high levels of radioactivity. And without any evidence of a volcanic explosion, the possibility of an atomic explosion seems highly real. In fact, claims suggest that what was found at Mohenjo Daro corresponded exactly to what was seen at Nagasaki and Hiroshima after the dropping of atom bombs during the World War.
While natural catastrophes have always been promulgated as a factor responsible for the end of Mohenjo Daro as a city with floods and droughts capturing most of the research interests, geomorphological changes are as likely factors that might have triggered the destruction.
A couple of major earthquakes reported in the region during the period can also be considered a very plausible cause of destruction of the ancient city.
Of course, none of these verdicts on the possible factor that might have brought Mohenjo Daro to its end is very assertive. Each of the claims is disputable and will be debated for years to come. But with continuing researches and investigations into the same, we would hope there exists a definitive answer to the downfall of one of the most celebrated ancient cities of the world.