Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Mohenjodaro Crumbles Without a Rescue Plan

Tuesday, October 15, 2013



MOHENJODARO, PAKISTAN—Salt is corroding the bricks of Mohenjodaro, the Indus metropolis where as many as 40,000 people are estimated to have lived 5,000 years ago. The World Heritage Site featured a grid system of roads, a drainage system, houses, granaries, and baths built of mud bricks. But hot summers, cold winters, monsoon rains, and humid air leave salt crystals on the bricks, turning them to dust. Just 16 men struggle to shore up and protect the walls with a coating of mud. At least 350 men are needed to complete the job. Earthquakes and floods in Pakistan have diverted meager funding away from the ancient city. “There is no department with expertise, no decisions taken for the last two years. The way things are going, it will survive maybe only another 20 years,” commented Pakistani archaeologist Asma Ibrahim.