AO Magazine - October 2018

Given the insatiable appetite for all-things ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it is somewhat of a surprise that so little is known or shared about a mysterious civilization that emerged in the Indus Valley at least 5,000 years ago in what is now Pakistan and India. With impeccably-planned cities such as Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, advanced hydraulic engineering, precise measuring systems, impressive metallurgy, and an intriguing writing that remains undeciphered, the Indus Valley civilization was every bit as impressive as their ancient Egyptian counterpart. Yet, without being able to read the records they left behind, much about this ancient civilization remains a giant mystery. 

In this issue, we investigate one of the greatest puzzles to emerge out of the Mohenjo Daro excavations: the shocking case of more than 40 skeletons found scattered in the streets of the ancient city. What caused such seemingly instant mass death? Was it a gruesome massacre? A powerful ancient weapon? It turns out the truth is something else altogether! 

And while we are throwing a spotlight on the Indus Valley civilization, we also turn to a country and culture shaped by its people – India. From marvellous megaliths to mystical mudras, and even a plant cultivated in India thousands of years ago that most of us still have on hand in our own kitchens. 

Readers who hear the call of the Norsemen in their hearts will enjoy the account of the ‘mythical’ Viking sunstone that turned out to be very real. Speaking of hearing – have you heard of the perplexing archaeoacoustics in Malta’s Hypogeum? And you’re not alone if you’ve ever had difficulty with a salesman; you’ll appreciate the oldest known customer service complaint ever found.


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