Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Mysterious Ancient Civilization You've Never Heard Of

Location of Harappa in the Indus Valley and ex...Image via Wikipedia
The Voice of America recently posted a brief yet interesting update on Mohenjodaro (also spelled Moenjodaro, Mohenjo-Daro), the mysterious, ancient Indus Valley civilization that existed roughly parallel to Egypt and Mesopotamia. Mohenjodaro, the city, is a UNESCO-recognized World Heritage Site.

But because of its location in dirt poor, arid southern Pakistan northeast of Karachi, the remains of this Indus Valley civilization faces a Rodney Dangerfield reality. The country experiences widespread poverty, is administratively mismanaged, confronts an enervating insurgency and the culture places little value on the past that is not related to Islam.

As the article points out, this is a recipe for neglect. Less than 10% of Moenjodaro and its sister city of Harappa have been excavated. Almost nothing is known of this mysterious civilization except that at its peak it may have contained the most modern capital city and administrative in the world, with advanced housing for 30,000 to 40,000 residents, a perfectly engineered street grid, sophisticated water distribution and waste-water removal, public pools, a vast granary to collect the harvest from the surrounding agricultural areas.

Little art work has of yet surfaced from this mysterious civilization that stretched from northern India to Iran. Intriguingly, the artifact above, often called The Dancing Girl, was found there and is considered by art experts to be one of the most sophisticated and evocative sculptures ever made (the artifact that speaks to the ages") . It depicts a young woman of perhaps 15 caught in the moment of song and dance.

With the global economy weak and archaeological funds short, what other undiscovered evidence of surprisingly advanced and evocative past civilizations exist for us to find under the baked dirt and sands of our world?

My new novel, Gettysburg Passage, from Amazon, deals with issues of unknown yet hard-to-supress civilizations and how they can messily erupt in our midst today. When they show up, they impact ordinary people attempting to go about their lives as they are pulled and tugged reluctantly into events that often seem well above their experience to handle. For a review of the book, check out one of my earlier posts or contact me directly via email or Twitter. As of this writing, the publication date is anticipated to be in the first week of August, 2010.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Here is the Voice of America link:

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