Harappa, Lothal, Mohenjo-daro (1)
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The Indus Valley civilization of Pakistan and northwestern India flourished from 2600-1900 BCE. Harappa, Lothal, and Mohenjo-daro are three of the extensive archeological excavations in the region. They are noted for sophisticated public works that included sewage drainage systems, public wells, and private and public baths.

See Tracking Down the Roots of Our Sanitary Sewers for more information.

   


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See www.harappa.com for extensive information about the Indus Civilization.

A large corbelled drain was built in the middle of an abandoned gateway at Harappa to dispose of rainwater and sewage.

Source: Courtesy of Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin - Madison. Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization (Karachi: Oxford University Press,1998), p. 61.

An artist's reconstruction of the gateway and drain at Harappa. By Chris Sloan. See corbelled drain above.

Source: Courtesy of Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin - Madison. See www.harappa.com

Excavated by the Harappa Archaeological Research Project in 1993, this large corbelled drain was built in the middle of an abandoned gateway at Harappa to dispose of rainwater and sewage.

Source: Courtesy of Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin - Madison. See www.harappa.com

Several sump pots and latrines built one above the other were uncovered on Mound ET at Harappa. A small water jar dropped into one pot was never retrieved. The hole in the foreground is the beginning of another latrine that turned out to be a complete black-slipped jar.

Source: Courtesy of Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin - Madison. Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization (Karachi: Oxford University Press,1998), p. 60.

Public well, Harappa. A large public well and public bathing platforms were found in the southern part of Mound AB at Harappa. These public bathing areas may also have been used for washing clothes as is common in many traditional cities in Pakistan and India today. Photo by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer and/or Richard H. Meadow.

Source: Courtesy of Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin - Madison. See www.harappa.com

Lothal as envisaged by The Archaeological Survey of India.

Source: Courtesy of Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin - Madison. See www.harappa.com

Row of private baths, Lothal.

Source: Courtesy of Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin - Madison. See www.harappa.com

Kitchens and wells were spread across the upper town, Lothal.

Source: Courtesy of Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin - Madison. See www.harappa.com

An old well, Lothal. The bricks, typical of an ancient Indus city, were usually of a standard size.

Source: Courtesy of Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin - Madison. See www.harappa.com

Sanitary drainage at the acropolis, Lothal. The most unique aspect of planning during the Indus Valley civilization was the system of underground drainage. The main sewer, 1.5 meters deep and 91 cm across, connected to many north-south and east-west sewers. It was made from bricks smoothened and joined together seamlessly. The expert masonry kept the sewer watertight. Drops at regular intervals acted like an automatic cleaning device.

A wooden screen at the end of the drains held back solid wastes. Liquids entered a cesspool made of radial bricks. Tunnels carried the waste liquids to the main channel connecting the dockyard with the river estuary. Commoner houses had baths and drains that emptied into underground soakage jars.

Source: Courtesy of Professor Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, University of Wisconsin - Madison. See www.harappa.com

   


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