If you love to read history and are fascinated with time travel, then this book could be for you.
Before you begin to read MohenjoDaro Mysteries it would be good to get familiar with a little basic information, as the book takes you directly into the site and into the lives of the people who used to live there. Not only was it one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation, it was also one of the world's earliest major urban settlements. It existed at the same time as the civilisations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Crete. According to scholars Mohenjo-Daro was built around 2600 BC. It was abandoned in 1800 BC and rediscovered only in 1922. The name Mohenjo-Daro literally means “Mound of the Dead”. Today,this archeological site is located in Sindh, Pakistan. It is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1922, the site was discovered by Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyay, an officer with the Archaelogical Survey of India. A Buddhist monk led him to the site because he thought it was a stupa. Intensive excavations were conducted under the leadership of John Marshall, K.N. Dikshit, Ernest Mackay and others. In 1945, more excavations were conducted by Ahmad Hasan Dani and Mortimer Wheeler. However, since 1965 excavations were banned because of weathering damage to the exposed structures. The only projects that are allowed now are salvage excavations, surface surveys and conservation projects.
Getting back to the book. Ilona Aronovsky's The Indus Investigators – MohenjoDaro Mystery allows you to travel through the city as it is today after excavation. Mina and Yasin are excited when their class teacher Mrs. Rehman announces a class trip to Mohenjo-Daro the next day. But, it's not all about fun. Mrs. Rehman asks them to take down six questions, which the class would have to answer after their visit.
The trip itself becomes something far more exciting than an ordinary “school trip”. The first stop is the museum. They get to see the car that John Marshall drove. Though Mrs. Rehman mentions that the car belonged to John Marshall she does not tell the class who he was. Instead they move to the next exhibit — the artefacts — necklaces, jewellery, plates and pots, spearheads and axes of copper replicas of animals, symbols, small square seals and more. Then Yasin spots a clay man on a model cart and a bull to pull it.
Just for a laugh, he begins to talk to the clay man and before he knows it the clay man is talking to him and he is invited on a tour of the city! But of course, when he tells Mina, she just accuses him of being a story teller, for surely clay men do not talk. But Yasin is not put off and soon finds the clay man. Mina follows and thus begins their rediscovery of Mohenjo-Daro.
It's a fun trip and the two children get to talk to other clay people and children and also get a glimpse of how they lived, what they ate and the games they played.
Interestingly written it gives the reader a chance to learn about MohenjoDaro. But the author mentions a lot of names – Harold Hargreaves, John Marshall, Rai Bahudur Daya Ram Sahni and more but does not tell you who they are. It would have been nice if there is some introduction to the people mentioned.
The black and white sketches of the finds are fascinating and add allure to the text.
THE INDUS INVESTIGATORS, MOHENJODARO MYSTERY by Ilona Aronovsky, Scholastic, Rs. 150