After reading books and watching videos on Ancient India for a few weeks, we set out to build the ancient city of Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley (in modern-day Pakistan and northwestern India). This mysterious city was built in 2600 BCE, abandoned around 1500 BCE, and finally rediscovered in 1922. It may have been the most advanced city in the world at the time, as it featured an extremely well-planned layout according to a grid pattern plan. At least 35,000 residents lived in the city.  It had a Great Granary to receive crops from the countryside, a Great Bath, a large central marketplace. The buildings were made of baked bricks and sometimes wood bricks. Most houses had bathrooms and the streets had an advanced and extensive drainage system.

So we set aside an hour this afternoon to build our own Mohenjo-Daro city. I chose this clay – Activ-Clay Air Dry 3.3 lbs tub which I think I found at Jo-Anns. It was already colored terra cotta, so we were able to skip the painting part at the end.

Once we smoothed out a slab 1/2″ thick, this kitchen cutter/chopper tool came in extremely handy to make perfect bricks. Satori is now cutting out slabs that are again 1/2″ thick.

Using our ruler, we then cut these into 1 inch bricks.


We laid them out in the Colorado sun to dry. Even though we got two feet of snow yesterday, today it is sunny, and that’s all that is needed for all that snow to melt very quickly. I shoveled a patch on our deck right when we started and it is already totally dry.

I found out later when Googling that they built their buildings out of baked bricks, which lasted longer than the Mesopotamian bricks which were only sun-dried. Our bricks will be only sun-dried, Colorado-style. 🙂

I think we let them dry maybe 30 minutes before they were hard enough to start playing with, yet squishy enough to press together if we wanted. Satori couldn’t wait to make her brick buildings.

A closeup of our bricks. Maybe not as perfect as Legos, but they sure are more authentic!

We even included the drainage system the city enjoyed.

We were supposed to glue the bricks together, but we decided to not to at this time, as Satori wanted to play with the bricks and make other things.

It is still a mystery why this city was abandoned. It could be due to a shift in the Indus River, or a decline in rainfall, or invaders. We cannot read their writings, so it is still a mystery.