| 8 February 2009
New discoveries at Moenjodaro
Archaeologists cleaning a drain to flush out rainwater from an explored part of the ancient Indus Valley city of Moenjodaro (Pakistan) have been pleasantly surprised to come across artefacts and other objects of much cultural value at the World Heritage site. "We had gone just half a metre down the level of surface of the old structures in the DK-G area and found the material of cultural value," Moenjodaro director Qasim Ali Qasim said.
Well-defined structures of old drains were discovered along with certain old artefacts during the digging, which was necessitated to prevent rainwater stagnating at the world heritage site. An object called an 'elliptical lid' that might have been used for keeping 'holy water' or 'ceremonial water' was also found. Moenjodaro curator Irshad Rid said this was something new for archaeologists. "A miniature used for keeping medicines was also discovered at the site," the curator said. According to Qasim, pieces of charcoal were found that would help establish the age of the structures. At the same time, he said that Pakistan needed fine and delicate technology to analyse the new finds without which it would be difficult to determine the age and utility of the objects.
Asked why the new digging was being undertaken, Qasim said it was for constructing a drain and to study the phenomenon of the 'First Street' of the site. "The presence of old remains and structures in the area under study showed that it was a congested area, compelling the people to encroach upon the main street and construct houses," Dawn said. Qasim also said that Unesco wanted to undertake a new phase of excavations at Moenjodaro to understand different aspects of the gigantic prehistoric city. According to Qasim, many questions related to Moenjodaro were yet to be discussed and answered and it was, therefore, necessary to continue work on the site. Curator Rid said E.J.H. Mackay of the Archaeological Survey of India had conducted the last excavation at the present site between 1927 and 1931.
Source: The Hindu (2 February 2009)
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