Mohenjo Daro

 

我對印度文明所知甚少,

今天看新聞時發現這個地方。

位在現今巴基斯坦的 Sindh 省,

是當今所知歷史最為悠久的大型城市古蹟。

比中國的夏朝更早,比馬雅文化更久遠。大約跟埃及最古老的金字塔吉薩胡夫金字塔差不多時期。

建於西元前 26 世紀,判斷在 前18-19 世紀左右被遺棄。

棄置原因有可能是因為地理位置處在水患頻繁的區域,

位在印度河 (Indus River) 和 Ghagger-Hakra River 中間的平原地帶。

這裡應該是印度文化時的大都會。

其城市規模完善,排水系統先進,直線棋盤狀的街道整齊

預計當時約有三萬五千住民。

 

Mohenjo Daro

 

上圖咸信是當時的公共浴室。

 

在近四千年被遺棄之後,

此後沒有關於此地的任何載,

到1920 年代被印度考古學家 Rakhaldas Bandyopadhy 發現。

當時一位僧侶帶他來此,

僧侶認為這裡可能是佛教墓塚 (Stupa),

沒想到下面隱藏是一個古代都市的遺跡。

此後陸續有考古學家前來挖掘開發,

然而氣候成為它的致命傷,

在泥沙下保存千年的古都不堪風吹雨淋,

地表水的鹽份對它的泥土磚牆造成破壞,

而政府又缺乏保護古蹟的知識與計畫,

所謂的「古蹟維修」只是放上全新的磚塊來補坍方的破洞,

材料之間的不合,

只是加速破壞而已。

 

 

說一下題外話,

維修古蹟真的是大學問,

看過幾次紀錄片講述英國舊建築的維護,

非常講求使用當時 (數百年前) 土法煉鋼的建築技術來進行維修,

包括磚瓦、外漆、黏著劑,都用當時的工法製造。

雖然耗時費力,

但也因此老建築可以維持當時的風貌。

而不是去 B&Q 買個矽膠油漆抹一抹就了事。

 

Mohenjo Daro

 

Mohenjo Daro

 

目前這裡已經禁止考古挖掘,

以防曝露更多的建物。

考古學家甚至考慮,為了保存,

也許要將 Mohenjo Daro 再覆於塵土之中。

 

 

我想最近幾年恐怕沒機會造訪巴基斯坦,

如果有人來到這裡,

希望能看到多一點照片分享。

當然也希望遊客都能小心,不要進一步破壞。

 

下面附上BBC 的報導。


 

Pakistani officials say they are doing their best to save one of the most important archaeological sites in south Asia, Mohenjo Daro. But some experts fear the Bronze Age site could be lost unless radical steps are taken.

It is awe-inspiring to walk through a home built 4,500 years ago.

Especially one still very much recognisable as a house today, with front and back entrances, interconnecting rooms, neat fired brick walls - even a basic toilet and sewage outlet.

Astonishingly, given its age, the home in question was also built on two storeys.

But it is even more impressive to walk outside into a real Bronze Age street, and see all of the other homes lining it.

And to walk the length of it, seeing all the precise lanes running off it before reaching a grand, ancient marketplace.

Mohenjo Daro upper townThe upper town in the once thriving city

This is the marvel of Mohenjo Daro, one of the earliest cities in the world.

In its day, about 2600 BC, its complex planning, incredible architecture, and complex water and sewage systems made it one of the most advanced urban settings anywhere. It was a city thought to have housed up to 35,000 inhabitants of the great Indus civilisation.

While I was overwhelmed by the scale and wonderment of it all, my eminent guide to the site was almost in tears of despair.

"Every time I come here, I feel worse that the previous time," says Dr Asma Ibrahim, one of Pakistan's most accomplished archaeologists.

"I haven't been back for two or three years," she says. "The losses since then are so immense and it breaks my heart."

Dr Ibrahim starts to point out signs of major decay.

In the lower town of Mohenjo Daro, where the middle and working classes once lived, the walls are crumbling from the base upwards. This is new damage.

Map of Pakistan locating Mohenjo Daro

The salt content of the ground water is eating away at the bricks that, before excavation, had survived thousands of years.

As we move to the upper town where the elite of the Indus civilization would have lived, and where some of the signature sites like the large public bath lie, it appears even worse.

Some walls have collapsed completely, others seem to be close to doing so.

"It is definitely a complicated site to protect, given the problems of salinity, humidity and rainfall," says Dr Ibrahim. "But most of the attempts at conservation by the authorities have been so bad and so amateur they have only accelerated the damage."

One method used has been to cover all the brickwork across the vast site with mud slurry, in the hope the mud will absorb the salt and moisture.

But where the mud has dried and crumbled, it has taken with it fragments of ancient brick, and the decay goes on underneath.

Start Quote

Asma Ibrahim

We have to do something soon, because if things carry on like this, the site will not last more than 20 years”

Archaeologist Asma Ibrahim

There are even parts of the site where millennia-old bricks have been replaced with brand new ones.

"In a way, it is testament to Mohenjo Daro that it is still standing, given everything that has been thrown at it in the last few decades in the name of conservation," says Dr Ibrahim.

Even the Mohenjo Daro museum has been looted, with many of its famous seals (thought to have been used by traders) among the artefacts that were stolen. They have not been recovered.

A guide at the site says he too has seen the dramatic changes in its condition and upkeep.

And while Pakistani visitors do still come on public holidays, he says very few foreign tourists visit Mohenjo Daro now. He suggests that might be because of Pakistan's security problems.

Given the damage being done to this World Heritage Site, a poor tourism strategy has become the least of its troubles.

It was the government of Pakistan that was in charge of Mohenjo Daro for decades, but recently responsibility was handed over to the provincial authorities in Sindh. They have now set up a technical committee to rescue the site.

Mohenjo Daro Burying the site may be the only hope

"We need urgently to listen to experts from all fields to save Mohenjo Daro," says Dr Ibrahim.

"Yes, there is salinity, but local farmers have worked out how to overcome that problem so why can't we? But we have to do something soon, because if things carry on like this, in my assessment, the site will not last more than 20 years."

One saving grace may be that some of the city remains unexcavated and so remains protected.

Some experts have gone so far as to suggest the entire site should be buried again to halt its decline.

It is a sign of the desperation of those who love Mohenjo Daro, and who are pained to see a city that once rivalled sites of its contemporary civilisations in Egypt, Mesopotamia and China, losing its glory in this undignified way.

 

以下是國家地理雜誌的介紹:


 

By John Roach

A well-planned street grid and an elaborate drainage system hint that the occupants of the ancient Indus civilization city of Mohenjo Daro were skilled urban planners with a reverence for the control of water. But just who occupied the ancient city in modern-day Pakistan during the third millennium B.C. remains a puzzle.

"It's pretty faceless," says Indus expert Gregory Possehl of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

The city lacks ostentatious palaces, temples, or monuments. There's no obvious central seat of government or evidence of a king or queen. Modesty, order, and cleanliness were apparently preferred. Pottery and tools of copper and stone were standardized. Seals and weights suggest a system of tightly controlled trade.

The city's wealth and stature is evident in artifacts such as ivory, lapis, carnelian, and gold beads, as well as the baked-brick city structures themselves.

A watertight pool called the Great Bath, perched on top of a mound of dirt and held in place with walls of baked brick, is the closest structure Mohenjo Daro has to a temple. Possehl, a National Geographic grantee, says it suggests an ideology based on cleanliness

Wells were found throughout the city, and nearly every house contained a bathing area and drainage system.

City of Mounds

Archaeologists first visited Mohenjo Daro in 1911. Several excavations occurred in the 1920s through 1931. Small probes took place in the 1930s, and subsequent digs occurred in 1950 and 1964.

The ancient city sits on elevated ground in the modern-day Larkana district of Sindh province in Pakistan.

During its heyday from about 2500 to 1900 B.C. the city was among the most important to the Indus civilization, Possehl says. It spread out over about 250 acres (100 hectares) on a series of mounds, and the Great Bath and an associated large building occupied the tallest mound.

According to University of Wisconsin, Madison, archaeologist Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, also a National Geographic grantee, the mounds grew organically over the centuries as people kept building platforms and walls for their houses.

"Gradually you have a high promontory on which people are living," he says.

With no evidence of kings or queens, Mohenjo Daro was likely governed as a city-state, perhaps by elected officials or elites from each of the mounds.

Prized Artifacts

A miniature bronze statuette of a nude female, known as the dancing girl, was celebrated by archaeologists when it was discovered in 1926, Kenoyer notes.

Of greater interest to him, though, are a few stone sculptures of seated male figures, such as the intricately carved and colored Priest King, so called even though there is no evidence he was a priest or king.

The sculptures were all found broken, Kenoyer says. "Whoever came in at the very end of the Indus period clearly didn't like the people who were representing themselves or their elders," he says.

Just what ended the Indus civilization—and Mohenjo Daro—is also a mystery.

Kenoyer suggests that the Indus River changed course, which would have hampered the local agricultural economy and the city's importance as a center of trade.

But no evidence exists that flooding destroyed the city, and the city wasn't totally abandoned, Kenoyer says. And, Possehl says, a changing river course doesn't explain the collapse of the entire Indus civilization. Throughout the valley, the culture changed, he says.

"It reaches some kind of obvious archaeological fruition about 1900 B.C.," he said. "What drives that, nobody knows."

 

 

 


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  • ㄚ芬
  • 照片看起來年代沒有很久遠
    因為磚的顏色太鮮豔了

    考古真的事大學問
    之前去柬埔寨,古蹟讓聯合國接手維護
    方法技術不對,結果哩哩落落
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