I used to subscribe to Biblical Archaeology Review along with Archaeology. One year for Christmas, my wife Peggy, gave me a large brown paper bag filled with books on history and the people who created it. I loved her for it . . . and still do. An on-going present from her to me is the monthly delivery of Smithsonian and Archaeology magazines. One of the results of my reading these selections is periodically speaking to groups about Hannibal and the Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome. Another result of reading about pre-civilizations and other past civilizations is a circumspect attitude towards religion.
The latest issue of Archaeology features an article on the city of Mohenjo-Daro. This is not a new discovery. It was excavated way back in the 1920s. What’s unusual about the city? Almost everything.
Mohenjo-Daro is on the flood plains of the Indus River. It was home to approximately 40,000 people about five-thousand years ago. The city was built on a grid plan with covered sewers, and homes that shared walls. The city was constructed of fired clay bricks. Like Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley, all are considered the cradle of civilization, but Mohenjo-Daro stands out. It’s mud bricks came in one or two sizes in an exact proportion. Millions of them. They are one unit high, two units wide, and four units long. They were designed to withstand the floods. How did they determine the best size? Who told them what plans to follow? Did someone create the brick size and just kept reproducing the basic bricks over and over?
In over a hundred years you would expect more information about a very successful state, and they have found plenty, but details and stories never really got handed down about how the people of Mohenjo-Daro worked together. Did they bow down, did they share their thoughts and dreams, did they have factions, did they forbid political parties, or did they just all get a long and not require guidance at all? Unlike Egypt, Mesopotamia, and other centers of civilization, there are no real connections to politicians, leaders, and religions. No senators, no rulers, no presidents, no kings, no princes, no gods, no priests, no burning bushes, no commandments disturbing their daily lives, all without need for voting. Sounds like heaven to me.
For images and more information about Mohenjo-Daro watch this video: