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How did they keep track of objects at the Mohenjo-daro excavations?


When objects are found at an archaeological site, they are given an excavation number. For instance, a pot found in DK Area of Mohenjo-daro would have an excavation number beginning with 'DK'. In addition, a record is made of where the object was found.

At Mohenjo-daro, early excavators began their work by laying out a grid system. However, most of the walls of the houses were so well preserved that when the excavators reached the floors of the houses, they could not tell where they were on the grid which was now metres above them.

To solve this problem, the excavators decided to create a different system of working out the position of the objects when they were found. They began giving numbers to blocks of buildings, individual buildings and rooms. The location was given by listing the block where it was found, then the house number and finally the room number.

For example, if a pot with the excavation number DK 1234 was found in block 1, house number 4, room 63, its location would be written like this: 1, IV, 63.

Many people have criticised this method of recording where objects were found because it is not very exact. New methods have been developed since which allow archaeologists to plot the find spot of an object more precisely.

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