The 4,500-year-old ruins of an ancient civilization once hidden in Pakistan are under threat from the country’s historic rains

  • Some of Mohenjo-Daro’s walls were destroyed as a result of Pakistan’s historic floods.
  • The Department of Culture, Tourism, Antiquities and Archives of Sindh province estimated the repairs would cost $45 million.

An ancient city preserved in Pakistan has witnessed ‘massive destruction’ following the country’s historic rains and could cost millions of dollars to repair.

Ahsan Abbasi, curator at Mohenjo Daro, told the Associated Press the outer walls of the city had been damaged by the rains.

The Mohenjo Daro “Buddhist stupa” – a religious burial site – survived the rains, however. Repairs to preserve the World Heritage Site are underway, Abbasi told the AP.

Mohenjo Daro – or Mound of the Dead in Sindhi – is an ancient civilization in the heart of Pakistan that arose on the Indus River 4,500 years ago. The ruins of the city are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mojenjo Daro was discovered in the 1920s after mysteriously disappearing 4,000 years ago, according to National Geographic. The remains of the city include bronze statues, pottery and a swimming pool called the Large bath.

The perfectly planned city, with endless rows of baked brick walls, was considered the “first great urban center” of the Indus Valley Civilization and had complex drainage systems to deal with ancient floods, according to UNESCO.

The Indus Valley Civilization is one of the earliest civilizations in the world, lasting between 2500 and 1700 BCE, and made up of more than 100 towns and villages along the Indus River in today’s Pakistan.

A letter sent to UNESCO by the Department of Culture, Tourism, Antiquities and Archives of Sindh Province said the Indus Valley Civilization site had witnessed “massive destruction” and demanded $45 million for repairs, according to CNN.

During UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ visit to the country on Friday, UNESCO responded with $350,000 in funds to help rebuild the site, along with other destroyed sites across the country. The money will help make critical repairs while UNESCO continues to assess the situation, CNN reported.

The letter also said that various parts of the site and the museum had been given to people to take refuge during the monsoon.

Over the past two months, Pakistan has endured heavy monsoon rains and melting glaciers which submerged a third of the country and affected 33 million Pakistanis. More than 1,100 people have died so far.

The province of Sindh, where Mohenjo Daro is located, was one of the most affected by the floods due to its location near the overflowing from Lake Manchar.