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Morodharo : New Harappan Site


Prelims: History (Ancient History – Harappan site), Morodharo, Harappa Civilisation.

Mains: General Studies-I  Indian Culture – Salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Why in the News ?

Archaeologists recently discovered a Harappan-era fortified settlement named Morodharo. They said architectural details at the new site bear striking resemblance to Dholavira.

Source: TOI

Key Facts 🗝️

  • Morodharo Location: Kutch District, Gujarat.
  • The thickness of the wall is an average of 3.3 m.
  • It has a 10×10 m platform on the south-west side and a well on the north-east.


  • Morodharo 

    • It is a fortified settlement dating back to the Harappan-era.
    • Features:
      • The settlement looks mature (2,600-1,900BCE) to late (1,900-1,300 BCE) Harappan.
      • Findings: Burial cairns, which are mounds of stones to demarcate a boundary, are also found here. Harappan pottery with perforated jar sherds, reserved slipware, and terracotta cakes were unearthed. All these items have a striking resemblance to those found in Dholavira.
  • Harappan Civilization: 

    • The Indus Valley/Harappan civilisation was the first urban civilisation in South Asia, coexisting with Mesopotamia and Egypt.
    • The Harappan civilisation occupied the largest area (approximately 8,00,000 sq km) among the three civilisations.
    • Harappa (Punjab, Pakistan), Mohenjo-Daro (Sindh, Pakistan), Dholavira, Lothal, and Surkotada (Gujarat, India), Kalibangan and Banawali (Rajasthan, India), and Rakhigarhi (Haryana, India) are the major cities in the Harappan period. 
  • The features of town planning of Harappan civilisation included: 
    • Rectangular grid pattern: The Harappan cities were designed on a grid pattern, with streets running in a north-south and east-west direction, forming a well-organized layout. Streets and lanes were cutting across one another almost at right angles, thus dividing the city into several rectangular blocks.
    • Planned streets and alleyways: The streets and alleyways of Harappan cities were planned and constructed with precision. They were wide enough to allow the movement of carts and pedestrians, and some streets had covered drains running alongside them.
    • Fortification: The cities were surrounded by fortified walls made of mud bricks, providing protection against robbers, cattle raiders, and floods. 
    • Division of cities: The city was divided into two parts: an upraised citadel and the lower part of the city. 
    • Upper part: An upraised citadel in the western part was used for constructing buildings of large dimensions, such as granaries, administrative buildings, pillared halls, and courtyards.
    • Lower part: Below the citadel in each city lay a lower town containing brick houses, which were inhabited by the common people.
    • Material used: They used burnt bricks on a large scale in almost all kinds of constructions, and there was the absence of stone buildings during Harappan culture.
    • Residential areas: The cities were divided into distinct residential areas. Houses were made of baked bricks, often with multiple stories, indicating a well-developed urban society. The houses were generally built around courtyards, and some had private wells and properly ventilated bathrooms. No window faced the streets, and the houses had tiled bathrooms.
    • Sophisticated drainage systems: The drainage system of the Harappans was elaborate and well laid out. Every house had drains, which opened into the street drains. Drains were made of mortar, lime, and gypsum.
    • Granaries and storage facilities: The cities had well-planned granaries and storage facilities to store surplus agricultural produce. 


Prelims: PYQ/FAQ

Q. Which one of the following ancient towns is well-known for its elaborate system of water harvesting and management by building a series of dams and channelizing water into connected reservoirs?

A) Dholavira

B) Kalibangan

C) Rakhigarhi

D) Ropar

Ans: a. Dholavira


  • The ancient city of Dholavira is one of the most remarkable and well-preserved urban settlements in South Asia dating from the 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BCE (Before Common Era).  Discovered in 1968, the site is set apart by its unique characteristics, such as its water management system, multi-layered defensive mechanisms, extensive use of stone in construction and special burial structures. 
  • It has a complex system for collecting and storing rain water within several reservoirs. Planners in the ancient city of Dholavira had conceptualised an amazing system of drains, dams and tanks to manage water.  

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