Tuesday, October 15, 2013

World’s only surviving Bronze Age Metropolis Faces Ruin in Pakistan

When archeologists first uncovered the 5,000-year-old ruins of Mohenjodaro, they made one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century: the world’s only surviving Bronze Age metropolis. That was in colonial India in 1924. Today, the most important site of the Indus civilisation lies in Pakistan.  Now the once lost city is in danger of disappearing again as its clay wall houses, grid system roads, great granaries, baths and drainage systems crumble to dust, a victim of government neglect, public indifference and tourists’ fears of terrorism.  Archeologists have told The Sunday Telegraph that the world’s oldest planned urban landscape is being corroded by salt and could disappear within 20 years without an urgent rescue plan. Read more.
The Pakistani government is unable to look after the culture it has on its soil, yet - like all cultural property retentionist governments of the developing world - insists on retaining all of it hidden away in the deepest basements of their dusty museums rather than letting collectors preserve and display them. It is up to us to talk reason to these people and encourage them, by whatever means at our disposal, to adopt a more sensible and equitable cultural property policy, and we should make that a primary consideration in any future talks with Pakistan.

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