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Characteristics of the City

Cities that first appeared along river valleys were larger in scale than other human Settlements, for example – Mohenjodaro.


For your information

Mohenjo-daro was a city of the Indus Valley Civilization built around 2600 BCE and is located in the Sindh Province of Pakistan. This ancient city is five thousand years old. It was one of the world’s first cities.

Mohenjo-daro is a remarkable construction. It has a planned layout based on a grid of streets, which were laid out in perfect patterns. The city probably had around 35,000 residents. The buildings of the city were advanced, and were constructed with same-sized sun dried bricks of baked mud and burned wood.

The public buildings of these cities also suggest a high degree of social organization.

The great granary at Mohenjo-daro is designed with bays to receive carts delivering crops from the countryside, and there are air ducts to dry the stored grain.

There is a great public bath, with steps down to a brick-lined pool in a colonnaded courtyard. The elaborate bath area was very well built, with a layer of natural tar to keep it from leaking, and in the center was the pool.

The houses were protected from noise, odors, and thieves. This urban plan included the world's first urban sanitation systems.

Being an agricultural city, it also featured a large well, and central marketplace. It also had a building with an underground furnace, possibly for heated bathing.

Mohenjo-daro was a well fortified city. It had towers to the west of the main settlement, and defensive fortifications to the south

The city was divided into two parts, the Citadel and the Lower City. Most of the Lower City is yet uncovered, but the Citadel is known to have the public bath, a large residential structure designed to house 5,000 citizens and two large assembly halls.

Mohenjo-daro, vanished without trace from history until discovered in the 1920s.

Ancient cities develop only when there was sufficient food for all the people- even for those not involved in Agriculture.

Move on to the Modern City

  • Cites were often the centres of political power and administration.
  • Trade and industries flourished here.
  • Cities were filled with educational and religious institutions as they were thickly populated.
  • Cities also supported various social groups such as artisans, merchants and priests.
  • Cities vary in size and complexity :-

    • The larger cities are called metropolises. They are the political and economic centre for a larger region. They are thickly populated.
    • The smaller cities are not as thickly populated and their functions are not as important as the metropolises.

    To understand how these metropolises developed we have to dwell into the history of a few modern metropolises.

    London, the capital of Britain and Bombay the economic capital of India, are 2 modern metropolises. A study of these 2 cities will provide us with a clear picture of urbanisation.

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