There is a viral claim, copied across many web-sites that ancient people in India had nuclear weapons.

Part of the evidence is another claim - that radioactive bodies were found in Mohanjo-daro.

For example, Veda page at Wikidot

These skeletons are among the most radioactive ever found, on par with those at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At one site, Soviet scholars found a skeleton which had a radioactive level 50 times greater than normal.

Ignoring the nuclear weapon claim, is it true that radioactive skepeltons were found in the Mahanjo-daro archaeological site in Pakistan?

  • 2
    Background radiation across the world may vary greatly. The Ramsar region of Iran for instance has background radiation 80 times over normal. Also nuclear weapons do not leave "radioactive ash" for 8000+ years, because if they did, Hiroshima would not look like this. Apart from that: this myth is already debunked.
    – user32299
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 11:24
  • 8
    Ugh. Argument from ignorant much? We don't know how to explain radioactive skeletons so that must mean that they had access to nuclear bombs? Kudos for the OP by focusing on the skeletons and not the bomb. Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 11:30
  • 1
    If people are interested in the nuclear weapon claim, it has been asked here
    – Kruga
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 9:33

2 Answers 2


There seems to be some research on these claims here, which places the original source of the myth here as appearing on the internet ~2000.

Note there is yet no mention of atomic skeletons.

You can find an analysis of the skeletons in question here, with pictures - which total about 37, from different time periods. Lots of them where buried. Still there is no mention of any radioactivity.

So yes, there are bodies found in Mohanjo-daro. But not as the article that you linked suggests: skeletons scattered about the cities, many holding hands and sprawling in the streets as if some instant, horrible doom had taken place. People were just lying, unburied, in the streets of the city.

I may also point out, that in theory it is at least plausible to have radioactively polluted skeletons without any bombs. Radioactive material is found all over the world. Most Popular example are the natural reactors in Oklo in Africa.

Also, radiation left behind by a correctly functioning atomic bomb is much smaller than many other forms of radioactive pollution so an atomic bomb is not necessarily the best explanation for them.

  • I believe there was an Ancient Aliens episode that explored this claim as well. FWIW
    – user34422
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 22:09

There's never been any radioactive skeleton in Mohenjo-Daro. It's a tale from the 60's. I explain it clearly in my article.

Conclusion: The myth of radioactive skeletons found in Mohenjo Daro is not based on any valid evidence:

  • There are not many but only one skeleton.

  • This skeleton is Egyptian and not Indian.

  • Its radioactivity is absolutely normal.

  • Welcome to Skeptics.SE! Link-only answers are frowned upon here, because links tend to die out over time. Could you at least summarise the important points of your article within your answer?
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 5:55
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    I would include more information in your answer besides the conclusion of the linked article. This by itself is not an answer.
    – DenisS
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 15:09

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