Ancient City

January 28, 2011

The site looks just the same as when Michael and I pulled through 8 years ago. Dust. Mounds. Bricks. Blocks of buildings whose roofs crumbled away several-thousand years ago.

Mohenjo-Daro is compelling even if you're not an archaelogist. Walking through the ruins of a city that was the height of world civilization before its population mysteriously disappeared: who couldn't find that intriguing?

Emma and I took the Karachi Express, the overnight train from Lahore down to this part of Pakistan. We're staying on-site at the "Archaeolgical Dak Bungalow". We're just a five-minute walk away from the remains of the ancient city.

Emma Sits amidst Ruins
There are three major patches that have been excavated so-far. A watchman accompanied me as I wandered around one of them: the blocks believed to be where the wealthy Mohenjo-Darans lived. We used Urdu as a lingua franca. (His first language was Sindhi.) If I understood what he was saying correctly, there is believed to be about twice as much again of the city as what's already been excavated yet underground, still remaining to be dug up. The site is phenomenal enough as-is. Buildings still stand. The grid-layout of blocks laid over 4,000 years ago is easy to walk through. Bricks lining the rims of wells long-dry still show the wear of ropes that once hoisted up pails of water.

This will be the point where my recent travel partner Emma and I part ways. Though we plan to press on from Mohenjo-Daro today, she's still not sure which ticket we'll buy when we reach the railway station. She'll either continue down to Karachi or return back up to Lahore. The reason for the uncertainty is because her Iranian visa application process is even more muddled than mine was. If there is good news soon, she'll pick her visa up from the consulate in Karachi. If no news, she'll return up to Lahore to lay low while waiting for the official repsonse.

Either way, I'm planning to get a train up to Quetta in far-western Baluchistan. That should be my last stop before crossing the border into Iran.