Since the devolution of culture after the decisions of the 18th Amendment, the province of Sindh is responsible for its own heritage management. With this decision of devolution not only the province of Sindh was taken by surprise as for the province only the provincial remains of the former federal
institution structure of the Department of Archaeology and Museums remained available for the continuation of this important task.
Besides the responsibility of almost thousands of smaller historic sites and monuments, the responsibility also of two of the most important World Heritage sites, Mohenjo-Daro and the Makli graveyard, rests on our shoulders. Mohenjo-Daro, the largest Bronze-Age city of the third millennium BCE worldwide is a full fledged city with more than 40 km! of excavated standing brick walls being
latently endangered by sulfates in the ground. The necropolis of Makli is with several thousands of graves and tombs one of the largest necropolis worldwide. Some of them made of sandstone, others of bricks and covered by glazed tiles, are highly endangered by thermal, physical and chemical stress.
While ‘normal’ world heritage sites consist of one or a few components, our sites are extremely large, complex and ‘serial’ which is an extraordinary challenge for the Government. The primary tool for the management and the protection of heritage for a Government is the ‘Monuments List’, an official register which is the basis for legal protection and management. Such lists had been started in 1871 when Sir Alexander Cunningham became the first director of the Archaeological Survey of India (ARASI). With the division of the British Raj in 1947 into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Indian Union, the archives, museums, and administration files of the former ARASI were divided accordingly. During this process many documents got lost, also listings of protected heritage sites. The large amount of existing listings (mostly in type written copies) are difficult to use, as the locus of monuments is registered in outdated descriptions of tasil, village names, using topographic and other descriptions like 500 yards north of a big tree, turn 200 yards left….
With this data bank a new basis is laid for an effective protection and management of monuments and sites. Each and every monument has been identified by its UTM coordinates allowing immediate tracing in satellite maps and thus making them accessible for experts and administrations.