Dr. Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin, Madison
George Mason University
In November of 2005, this website was launched by the designers of Harappa.com1 in order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the older website. It presents 103 images and supporting secondary-source material from excavations of the Mohenjo Daro, or “Mound of the Dead,” site in the Indus Valley. As with the Indus Valley resources on Harappa.com, the intellectual oversight for the Mohenjo-daro material is provided by Dr. Jonathan Mark Kenoyer from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is one of the few archaeologists in the world who has continued to conduct fieldwork at Indus sites and is an ideal person to present this material to the public.
The site itself is very easy to navigate and the vast majority of the material it offers is accessible directly from the main page. The “Introduction” and the “Illustrated Essay,” both written by Dr. Kenoyer, offer a fantastic introduction to the background, major issues, and basic terminology used by archaeologists. The writing is clear, cautious, and is generally honest about the uncertainty that still surrounds some aspects of this fascinating culture that thrived between 2600-1900 BCE. The materials are sophisticated but clearly presented. I would recommend them to any student interested in learning more about the ancient Indus culture. Along with this introductory material, an excellent and comprehensive bibliography is provided. This list exhaustively records the major (and minor) publications in the field. It is an ideal jumping-off point for students who wish to pursue further information on the field.
Along with the written materials, a major draw to the site is the collection of 103 images it provides. The site divides the images into small categories making them very easy to navigate. Topics as specific as “Indus Plains,” “Great Bath,” “Drains,” “Citadel,” “Courtyard,” “House,” “Street,” “Wells,” “Boats,” “Ancient Villages,” “Ringstones,” “The Granary,” “Latrines,” and other specific areas around the site are used to group the images. As a classroom exercise, the students might be asked to read the introductory essays and then be challenged to explain how the images provide evidence that supports the authorís views about daily life in the ancient Indus culture. For instance, the street scenes, like Image 66, might lead to a discussion of transportation; or images of elevated structures, like Image 62, might lead to a discussion of status and rank.
All of the images are of excellent quality and are accompanied by detailed explanations that describe the importance of the specific image and its relation to the site. The descriptions make it easy for students to understand what they are seeing and help to teach the processes by which archaeologists draw conclusions about the past.
It must be mentioned that the site does have advertisements that link to websites that sell various products. The site, itself, also offers books, slide sets, and souvenirs for sale. There are also links to sites that accept donations for the victims of recent earthquakes in South Asia.
1 See the review of this website at World History Matters, http://chnm.gmu.edu/worldhistorysources/r/34/whm.html.