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The Extensive Indus Valley Sites of Gujarat


The Indus Valley Civilization is believed to have existed between the 3rd and 2nd millenniums BC. This civilization covered an area of around 1,210,000 square km (467,183.6 square mi). As a comparison, the area that was occupied by the Mesopotamian civilization between the Tigris and Euphrates during the 3rd millennium BC was around 65,000 square km (25,096.6 square mi), whilst the areas of the ancient Egyptian civilization that were cultivated, i.e. the Nile Valley, only amounted to 34,440 square km (13,297.4 square mi).

Divisions of the Indus Valley

Today, the area once occupied by the Indus Valley Civilization is divided mainly between the countries of India and Pakistan. Two of the most well-known Indus Valley sites – Mohnejo-Daro and Harappa, are located in Pakistan. Many other Indus Valley sites, however, are much less famous. This article will deal with some of the sites of the Indus Valley Civilization that are located in Gujarat, a western state in India.

Indus Valley Civilization, Early Phase (3300-2600 BC)

In a list of Indus Valley Civilization sites that are currently known, there are a total of 13 sites located in Gujarat. Many of these sites have yielded incredible findings, though some are more obscure than others. For instance, it is likely that few would have heard of a site called Surkotada. This site, which is located in the Kutch district, is said to be the only known site in the entire Indus Valley Civilization where the bones of a horse have been found.

The shell workshop, with thousands of unfinished and finished products and raw shell at another of the Indus Valley archaeological sites in Gujarat - Gola Dhoro (Bagasra). ( Kuldeep, K. et al )

Another site, called Rangpur, which is located in the Ahmedabad district, was discovered to have had a seaport. Yet another site, Malwan, which is located in the Surat district, is said to be the southern-most site of the Indus Valley Civilization, thus marking the southern extent of this ancient civilization.

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Lothal: A Sheltered Harbor and Rice Cultivation

There are also other sites of the Indus Valley Civilization in Gujarat that people may be relatively more familiar with. One of these sites is Lothal, which, like Rangpur, is also located in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad district. This site was discovered in 1954, and then excavated until 1963 by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The people of the Indus Valley civilization are said to have been attracted to settle at this site due to its sheltered harbor, which was suitable for the building of a port.

Dock with canal in Lothal, India.

It has been suggested that the people of Lothal traded with the ancient Mesopotamians and Egyptians. In addition, its fertile hinterland was perfect for the growing of cotton and rice. It has also been pointed out that this is, at present, the earliest evidence for the cultivation of rice, i.e. 1800 BC.

Additionally, the archaeological evidence suggests that there were many craftsmen living in Lothal. This is supported by the fact that their shops and working-places are marked by the remains of their crafts. For example, there is in an area where hundreds of carnelian beads in different stages of manufacture (including finished ones) and a circular kiln (for the heating of raw material) have been found - it has been speculated that this was a bead factory.

Whilst other crafts, such as goldsmithing, shell-working, and copper-working are said to have been carried out in Lothal, it is the bead industry that was reckoned to have been the main industry of the settlement. Lothal was especially famous for its micro-beads, some of which were found to measure as little as 0.25 mm (0.01 inches) in diameter.

Other Large Sites of the Indus Valley in Gujarat

Another Indus Valley site in Gujarat is Dholavira, which is located in the Kutch district. This site was discovered in the 1960s, and has been excavated almost continuously by the ASI since 1990. Dholavira is said to be one of the five largest Indus Valley sites, the others being Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Gharo Bhiro (all in Pakistan) and Rakhigarhi (in India).

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Like other sites of the Indus Valley Civilization, evidence of urban planning can be seen at Dholavira. This settlement has been divided by archaeologists into three sections – the ‘citadel,’ the ‘middle town,’ and the ‘lower town.’ An enormous fortification has been found running on all four sides of this settlement, and a series of reservoirs have been found to be set within them. Moreover, there seems to have been an intricate system of fortifications within the city as well.

Excavation on a housing area at Dholavira. ( ASI)

Apart from the fortifications, Dholavira is also noteworthy for its water management system. For example, 16 or more reservoirs of varying designs and shapes were built and arranged in a series on all four sides of the settlement. In addition to being an affirmation of the skills of the settlement’s engineers, these reservoirs are also said to highlight the city planner’s abilities in organizing and beautifying their city.

Sophisticated water reservoir. Dholavira, India. (CC BY SA 3.0)

Other findings in Dholavira that are worth mentioning include graves, seals, and an inscription on the north gate that contains 10 unusually large Harappan letters believed to have been inlaid on a wooden board that has since decayed. These finds provide more evidence that the Indus Valley Civilization sites in Gujarat were once vibrant cities and key sites for trade, agriculture, and craftsmanship.

Unicorn seal of Indus Valley, Indian Museum.

Featured image: The area known as “street 9” in Lothal, Gujarat, India. Photo source: ( Dosima)

By Ḏḥwty


Sites of Indus Valley Civilization

The Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilization or Harappan Civilization was the culmination of a long and sustained cultural evolution in the Indus Valley and surrounding areas. The term “Indus Valley Civilization” was used by John Marshall for the first time. The people of this civilization were definitely in touch with the other civilizations especially with Mesopotamian civilization.

Extent

As the three of the world’s civilizations developed along the river banks , the Indus valley civilization developed on bank of Indus and several other nearby rivers such as Ghaggar– Hakra, the now dried up Saraswati and the Drasadvati. Centre of the civilization was in Sind and Punjab and from there, it spread in all directions.

Its westernmost point was Suktagendor in South Baluchistan while easternmost point was Alamgirpur in Meerut district of Uttar Pradesh. In North, it extended Afghanistan while in South, its extent was up at least Maharashtra state. So far, around 1400 settlements have been discovered, most of which are located on river banks. This civilization was largest of the four ancient urban civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, South Asia and China and covered an area of around 1.3 million square kilometers. This area is triangular in shape and no other ancient civilization was extended to such a large area.

Origin and Period

Indus Valley civilization is now considered as a continuation of the neolithic Mehrgarh culture which flourished between 7000BC to 5000BC. The overall period assigned to Indus Valley Civilization is 3300–1300 BC, with its mature period between 2600 to 1900 BC.

Some people call Indus Valley people as Proto-Dravidians, who might have been pushed to south in mature Harappan phase when Aryans, with their advanced military skills commenced their migration around 2000BC.

Indus Valley Sites

Harappa

Harappa is the first discovered site of this civilization excavated in 1921 by a team led by Daya Ram Sahni. It was a major urban centre during its mature phase surrounded by extensive walls. It is located in Punjab Province, Pakistan, on an old bank / bed of the River Ravi. Its location along old course of Ravi provided access to trade networks, aquatic food and water for drinking and cultivation. Due to this, Harappa remained occupied for a long time. Further, Harappa was also a meeting point of trade routes coming from east.

Archaeologists have divided Harappa in five different phases of which oldest is Ravi aspect / Hakra (3300-2800BC), followed by Kot Dijian or Early Harappa (2800-2600BC) followed by Mature (2600-1900BC), Transitional (1900-1800BC) and Late Harappa (1800-1300BC) phases.

Important Findings of Harappa

The important material findings at Harappa include pottery, chert blades, copper or bronze implements, terracotta figurines, seals and sealing, weights, etc. This apart, the two rows of granaries with brick platforms, a citadel on elevated platform, a supposed workmen’s quarter, vanity case, furnaces, crucibles for bronze smelting etc. have also been found. Harappa also is the only site which yields the evidence of coffin burial. A copper bullock cart is another notable finding.

Mohen-jo Daro

Mohenjo-Daro (mound of dead) was excavated by a team led by R.D. Banerjee in 1922. It is located in the Larkana District of Sindh Pakistan on bank of Indus River.

Important Findings of MohenJo Daro

Notable findings at Mohenjo-Daro are the magnum opus Great Bath, uniform buildings and weights, hidden drains and other hallmarks of the civilization. This is the site where most unicorn seals have been found. Mohenjo-Daro is also sometimes known as largest urban centre of the civilization. The famous bronze dancing girl, seal of supposed Pashupati, steatite statue of bearded priest, numerous terracotta figurines are another notable findings of Mohenjo-Daro.

Great Bath

The most famous building found at Mohenjo-Daro is a great bath. It is a 6合 meter specimen of beautiful brick work. The water for the bath was provided from a well in an adjacent room. The floor was made up of bricks. Floor and outer walls were bituminized so that there is no leakage of water. There are open porch’s on four sides of the bath. There is use of Burnt bricks, Mortar and Gypsum in the Great bath but NO use of stone is there.

Kalibangan

Kalibangan (black bangles) is in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan. It was located on the banks of now dried up Sarwaswati River and flourished for at least 5 centuries. The site was first discovered by Italian Luigi Pio Tessitori and was later excavated extensively by A Ghosh.

Important Findings at Kalibangan

The oldest ploughed field, evidence of earliest recorded Earthquake (which might have ended this city itself), Fire-Altars, Charging bull, tiled floor, two kinds of burials (circular and rectangular graves), bones of camels etc. are important findings of Kalibangan. Further, this site was different from Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro in the following respects:

  • The bricks in other sites were baked ones, while Kalibangan bricks are earthen ones.
  • There was no drainage system in Kalibangan.

Due to these, Kalibangan is not considered a well planned city as comparable to other important sites of Indus Valley.

Dholovira

Dholavira is located in Rann of Katch of Gujarat. It is relatively a new discovery, excavated in 1990s by a team led by R S Bisht. It had several large reservoirs, an elaborate system of drains to collect water from the city walls and house tops to fill these water tanks.

Dholavira versus Harappa & MohenJo Daro

Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and Dholavira are called the nucleus cities of the civilization. Unlike the Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro where there are two settlements, in Dholavira 3 citadels or principal divisions have been found which have been duly protected by fortifications. There is an open ground out of the fortifications. In Dholavira there has been found the inner enclosure of the citadel too which has not been found in any other cities of the Harappan culture.

Important Findings of Dholavira

One of the most important findings of Dholavira has been a signboard with Indus Script.

Lothal

Lothal is located in Ahmadabad, Gujarat. It was a coastal town and had different type of town planning. The city was divided into six sections and each section was built on a wide platform of unripe bricks. Entry to the houses were on Main Street while other sites of IVC have lateral entry.

Important Findings of Lothal

Important findings of Lothal include an artificial dockyard , rice husk , bead making factory etc. Lothal is thought to have direct sea trade links with Mesopotamia because of finding of an Iranian seal from there.

Suktagendor

Suktagendor was located around 55 kms from the shore of Arabian Sea on the Bank of Dasht River near the Iran Border. It was an important coastal town along with Lothal and Balakot (in Pakistan) and is considered to be the western border of Indus Valley Civilization. It was originally a port and later cut off from the sea due to coastal upliftment. The conclusion has been drawn up that Suktagendor had trade relationships with Babylon.

Kot Diji

Kot Diji was a pre-harappan site and located on the left bank of River Sindh. This city was destructed by Force or some fire. A tar is the major object found here. Statues of bull and mother goddess are other things found in Kot diji.

Ropar

Ropar in Punjab was excavated under Y D Sharma. There is another site Bara near Ropar, which shows an evidence of the decaying culture of pre harappan era.

Mittathal

Mittathal is located in the Bhiwani district of Haryana. A terracotta cartwheel has been found. Weights of stones have also been found. The evidence of residence outside a Citadel have been found in Mittathal. The site gives evidences of rise, flourishing and fall of Harappa civilization.

Chanhu-Daro

Chanhu Daro is situated 130 kms south of Mohenjo-Daro in Sindh and is the only harappan city which does not have a fortified citadel. The Chanhu Daro has given evidence of factories of various figurines, seals, toys, bone implements so it has been interpreted that it was a settlement with lots of artisans and was an industrial town.

Banawali

Banawali is located in Hissar district of Haryana. High quality barley has been found at Banawali.

Alamgirpur

Alamgirpur is located in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and is considered to be easternmost boundary of Indus Valley. Important findings of Alamgirpur include pottery, plant fossils, animal bones and copper tools.

Surkotda

Surkotda is located in the Bhuj area of Gujarat and has provided evidence of the first actual remains of the horse bones.

Rangpur

Rangpur is located 50 kms from Ahmadabad in Gujarat. This along with Lothal are two sites where rice husk has been found by archaeologists.

Rakhigarhi

Rakhigarhi in Hissar, Haryana is one of the largest sites of Indus Valley.

Bhagatrav

Bhagatrav is located in Bharuch district of Gujarat along the Arabian Sea coast and seems to have remained an important port of the Indus valley.

Salient Common Features of Entire Civilization

The common features of all the Indus valley civilizations are as follows:


5 Indus Valley Civilisation archaeological sites to visit in India

Of several things we are proud of as Indians, one definitely is the Indus Valley Civilisation or the Harappan culture sites that were found way back in our country. India alone is home to more than 100 sites related to this over a thousand year old civilisation, which are spread across various states, such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, and Punjab. However, some of the prime ones went to Pakistan during the time of partition, and some are in Afghanistan now.

Several excavations related to the Indus Valley Civilisation have been made in the past by historians and archaeologists. So if you are the one who enjoys digging deep into history, here is a list of 5 best places where you can come face-to-face with a part a bygone era about which you only have read in old history books.

Lothal, Gujarat

Lothal, meaning ‘Mound of the Dead’ is around 85 km from today’s main Ahmedabad city. Once upon a time, Lothal used to be one of the important cities of the Indus Valley Civilization, dating back to around 3700 BCE. Among several prominent feature of Lothal, one was the dock, which is considered the oldest in the world. It connected the Arabian Sea via the Sabarmati River in the region. Owing to this, the city served as prime trade centre back then. Visit here to get an insight into the lives of people during the Indus Valley Civilisation.

Kalibangan, Rajasthan

Kalibangan is around 210 km from Bikaner, and just 30 km from Hanumangarh town in Rajasthan. The place was built on the banks of the River Ghaggar, which is believed to be a remnant of the ancient Sarasvati River. The town flourished from 3500 BC to 1750 BC, and was discovered first sometime in 1900s. The major discoveries that were made here were the world’s first ploughed field and the ritualistic fire altars. You can visit the nearby Kalibangan Museum to see pottery objects and other things that were found here during the excavation.

Dholavira, Gujarat

Dholavira is nearly 350 km from Ahmedabad, and 250 km from Bhuj, on an island named Khadir Bet in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. It was among the largest cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. This city was there from about 2650 BC to 1450 BC, and was first discovered in the year 1967, but excavation here began in 1989. Among prime discoveries made here were various reservoirs which bear testimony to the advanced water-management system back then. Much later in the year 2014, archaeologists discovered a step-well here, which is almost three times bigger than the famous Great Bath of Mohenjo-Daro.

Rakhigarhi, Haryana

You can find this site in Haryana around 150 km from Delhi. It is among the largest settlements of the Indus Valley that was discovered here. The site existed from 2600 BC to 1900 BC, and the excavation work here began only in the year 1963. During the excavation, it was found that Rakhigarhi was an extremely well-planned city having great roads and quite urbanised sewage system. A number of terracotta statues, bronze toys, and other artefacts were unearthed during the excavation.

Alamgirpur, Uttar Pradesh

Alamgirpur is another prominent archaeological site of the Indus Valley Civilization in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district. Also known as Parasaram-ka-khera, this settlement along the Yamuna River existed from 3300 BC to 1300 BC from the Harappan-Bara period. Among major discoveries made here during the excavation were several ceramic items like roof tiles, cups, vases, beads and carts, among others. Also a humped bull and broken copper blade were unearthed at this site.

Besides above mentioned sites, Balu and Farmana in Haryana, Baror in Rajasthan, and Bet Dwarka and Bhagatrav in Gujarat can also be visited, as they are also some of the major Indus Valley Civilisation sites in India.


AssamExam

List of Indus Valley sites in India (Ancient History of India) – APSC Exam Notes

List of Indus Valley Civilization sites in India – APSC, UPSC and state Exam Notes

List of Indus Valley Civilization sites in India

Alamgirpur in Meerut District of Uttar Pradesh, India

Babar Kot, Saurashtra – A stone fortification wall, plant remains of millets & gram.

Balu, Haryana – Earliest evidence of garlic. Several plant remains were found here include various types of barley, wheat, rice, horse gram, green gram, various types of a pea, sesamum, melon, watermelon, grapes, dates, garlic, etc. which is comparable to a nearby IVC site Kunal, Haryana revealed remains of rice.

Banawali, Fatehabad District of Haryana – Barley, terracotta figure of plough

Baror, Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan- Human skeleton, ornaments, 5 meter long and 3 meter clay oven, a pitcher filled with 8000 pearls

Bet Dwarka in Dwarka district, Gujarat- Late Harappan seal, inscribed jar, the mould of coppersmith, a copper fishhook

Bhirrana, Fatehabad District of Haryana – Graffiti of a dancing girl on pottery, which resembles a dancing girl statue found at Mohenjo-Daro

Daimabad, Ahmadnagar District of Maharashtra – A sculpture of a bronze chariot, 45 cm long and 16 cm wide, yoked to two oxen, driven by a man 16 cm high standing in it and three other bronze sculptures. Southernmost IVC site

Desalpur in Nakhtrana Taluka, Kutch District of Gujarat – Massive stone fortification, Harappan pottery, three script bearing seals one of steatite, one of copper and one of terracotta.

Dholavira, Kutch District of Gujarat – Water reservoir, Dholavira Figure of chariot tied to a pair of bullocks and driven by a nude human, Water harvesting and number of reservoirs, use of rocks for constructions

Farmana, Rohtak District of Haryana – Largest burial site of IVC, with 65 burials, found in India

Gola Dhoro, kutch district of Gujarat – Production of shell bangles, semi-precious beads, etc.

Hisar mound inside Firoz Shah Palace of Hisar District, Haryana – Unexcavated site

Juni Kuran, Kutch District of Gujarat – fortified citadel, lower town, public gathering area

Jognakhera, Kurukshetra of Haryana – Copper smelting furnaces with copper slag and pot shards

Kaj, Gir Somnath District of Gujarat – Ceramic artifacts, including bowls. Ancient port.

Kanjetar, Gir Somnath District of Gujarat – Single phase Harapppan site.

Kalibangan, Hanumangarh District of Rajasthan- Baked/burnt bangles, fire altars, Shiva Lingam, small circular pits containing large urns and accompanied by pottery, bones of camel

Karanpura near Bhadra city, Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan – Western mound called citadel Skeleton of child, terracotta like pottery, bangles, seals similar to other Harappan sites

Khirasara, Kutch district of Gujarat – Ware House, Industrial area, gold, copper, semi-precious stone, shell objects, and weight hoards

Kerala-no-dhoro or Padri in Saurashtra, Gujarat – Salt production centre, by evaporating sea water

Kunal, Fatehabad District in Haryana India – Earliest Pre-Harappan site, Copper smelting.

Kuntasi in Rajkot District of Gujarat – Small port

Loteshwar in Patan District of Gujarat – Ancient archaeological site

Lothal, Ahmedabad District of Gujarat – Bead making factory, dockyard, button seal, fire altars, painted jar, earliest cultivation of rice (1800 BC)

Manda in Jammu & Kashmir India- northernmost Harappan site in Himalayan foothills

Malwan in Surat District, Gujarat – Southernmost Harappan site in India

Mandi, Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh

Mitathal of Bhiwani District in Haryana

Pabumath in Kutch District in Gujarat – A large building complex, unicorn seal, shell bangles, beads, copper bangles, needles, antimony rods, steatite micro beads pottery include large and medium size jars, beaker, dishes, dish-on-stand, perforated jars etc. fine red pottery with black painted designs etc.

Rakhigarhi in Hisar District of Haryana – Terrecotta wheels, toys, figurines, pottery. Large site, partially excavated.

Rangpur in Ahmedabad District of Gujarat – Seaport

Sanauli in Baghpat District, Uttar Pradesh – Burial site with 125 burials found

Shikarpur, Gujarat – Food habit details of Harappans

Surkotada in Kutch District of Gujarat – only site where Bones of a horse were found

Kotada, Kutch District of Gujarat – Fortification bastion few houses foundations


The Indus Valley Civilization of Ancient India

The Indus Valley civilization of ancient India was one of the earliest civilizations in world history. It was located in the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent, and its rise and fall form the first great chapter in the history of ancient India.

The Indus Valley is contemporary with the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. The civilization is famous for its large and well-planned cities. Over 1,052 cities and settlements have been found. Most of these are small, but amongst them are some of the largest cities of their time, especially Harappa and Mohenjo-daro.

Contents

Geography

The Indus Valley civilization covered most of what is today Pakistan and the Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab. Settlements which were closely related to the core civilization – and may have been colonies of it – have been found in Afghanistan and central Asia.

The huge Indus river system waters a rich agricultural landscape. The Indus plain is surrounded by high mountains, desert and ocean, and at that time there were dense forests and swamps to the east.

Prehistory

Prior to 6500 BCE, the Indian sub-continent was home to hunter-gatherers (as in the rest of the world, bas some regions in the Middle East, where farming had been spreading since 8000 BCE).

The earliest remains of Neolithic communities have been found in western Pakistan. This is the closest area in South Asia to the Middle East this, along with the fact that their staple crops, wheat and barley, were those grown to the west, makes it a natural inference that farming peoples arrived here from outside the region, ultimately from the Middle East.

There are some contrary indications to this idea, however. There is evidence for continuity from earlier, hunter-gatherer times in the style of stone tools found and the type of cattle here were smaller than those found in the Middle East, suggesting that local Zebu cattle had been domesticated. It seems therefore that farming was not simply brought in to South Asia by colonists from further west, bringing with them their “package” of crops and animals. It looks as though hunter-gatherers already established in the region either developed farming practices completely independently from those in the Middle East, or at the least adapted the “package” to the extent of domesticating local animals rather than using alien species.

In any event, small farming and pastoral villages spread across the northwest of the subcontinent. The earliest of these had no pottery (to use the jargon, theirs was an a-ceramic culture) but by c. 5000 BCE they made pottery, as well as shell- and stone artifacts, There is evidence of trade links with peoples to north, south and west.

By the start of the 4th millennium farming communities dotted the flood plain of the river Indus and from the mid-4th millennium, proto-urban settlements had appeared which shared traits which would later appear in Indus Valley cities: rigid city planning, massive brick walls and bull motifs in their art. Trade networks expanded, particularly with the west. Craft manufacture became more specialized and sophisticated. Wheel-thrown ceramics appeared from c. 3300 BCE, a sure sign of mass production, and hence of increased wealth.

Finally, around 2600 BCE, the mature, fully urban phase of Indus civilization appeared.

Well-planned cities

The quality of municipal town planning indicates that these communities were controlled by efficient governments. These clearly placed a high priority on accessibility to water. Modern scholars tend to see in this the influence of a religion which places a string emphasis on ritual washing – much like modern Hinduism.

Hygiene was also important to the inhabitants. The urban planning included the world’s first known urban sanitation systems. Within the city, people obtained water from wells. Within their homes, some rooms had facilities in which waste water was directed to covered drains. These lined the major streets. These ancient Indus sewerage and drainage systems were far in advance of anything found in contemporary urban sites in the Middle East.

The advanced architecture and construction techniques of the Indus cities is shown by their impressive dockyards, granaries, warehouses, brick platforms, and massive protective walls.

Most city dwellers were traders or artisans. They lived with others of the same occupation in well-defined neighborhoods. All the houses had access to water and drainage facilities, which gives the impression of a society where even the poor had a decent standard of living (though there may have been extensive “shanty towns” outside the walls, which have left scant archaeological remains).

Although some houses were larger than others, what seems to be missing from the Indus cities are elite buildings such as palaces and mansions. It seems highly improbable that there was no class of rulers and officials (if so, the Indus civilization was unique amongst advanced societies). However, a key feature of Indus cities was a large walled citadel, and it is possible that some kind of ruling group lived in these, separated from the rest of the population.

Writing

For an historian’s point of view, the most frustrating thing about this civilization is that the script has not been deciphered. Over 400 distinct symbols (some say 600) have been recovered from the sites of Indus Valley cities, on seals, small tablets, or ceramic pots, and on over a dozen other materials. This compares with many thousands of texts from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt and typical inscriptions are no more than four or five characters in length, most of which are tiny.


Ten Indus Signs, dubbed Dholavira Signboard.
Reproduced under Creative Commons 3.0

Clearly, the Indus civilization scribes committed most of their writing to perishable materials which have not survived. The lack of decipherable texts means that we can gain no real insight into many of the details of Indus society, and virtually none about its government and politics. Was it a unified state – or was it numerous kingdoms and city-states? Or perhaps both, at different times? Was it ruled by priests or warriors? We simply do not know.

Agriculture, trade and transportation

Like all pre-modern societies, agriculture would have played the primary role in the Indus Valley economy. Key staples were wheat and barley, pulses and millet. Melons, cucumbers, squashes, rice (the growing of which had probably arrived from East Asia) and flax were also grown.

For meat, hides and wool, cattle, water buffalo, goat and sheep were kept.

An extensive canal network, used for irrigation, has been discovered in the vicinity of the city of Lothal, near the coast of western India and it is almost certain, given the vast floods that the Indus river can inflict, that other cities would have had extensive water control systems. Indeed, the massive walls which are a key feature of their urban planning may well have been as much against floods as against human enemies.

Trade was very important. The fact that the Indus civilization was located on a floodplain meant that there was poor availability of raw materials resources nearby. Trade routes linked urban centers with their hinterlands, sources of materials such as lapis Lazuli, carnelian, steatite, tin, copper and gold. The presence of manufactured goods such as copper tools and drilled beads in areas away from the cities suggest that rural populations, even hunter-gatherers, exchanged raw materials for finished products.

Materials from more distant regions were used in the cities for manufacturing seals, beads and other objects. Judging from the wide area in which Indus civilization artifacts have been found, their trade networks reached out as far as Afghanistan, the coastal regions of Persia, northern and western India, and Mesopotamia. Many of the (as yet) indecipherable Indus texts were on clay seals on what look like trade goods.

Trade would have been facilitated by a major advance in transport technology. The Indus Valley civilization may have been the first in world history to use wheeled transport. These were bullock carts identical to those seen throughout India and Pakistan today.

Most of the boats were probably river craft, small, flat-bottomed boats perhaps with a sail, similar to those plying the Indus River today. The Indus people clearly also had seagoing craft as well. There was an extensive maritime trade with Mesopotamia. Archaeologists have discovered a dredged canal and what they regard as a docking facility at the coastal city of Lothal in Western India.

Religion

Reconstructing Indus Valley religion is impossible, but there are intriguing indications of continuity between the religion of this civilization and the later religions of ancient India. Some Indus Valley seals show swastikas, which are also found in Hinduism and its offshoots, Buddhism and Jainism. Many seals also show animals presented in a format reminiscent of later Hindu gods such as Shiva and Indra. The large number of figurines found in the Indus Valley have led some scholars to argue that the Indus people worshipped a Mother Goddess symbolizing fertility, a common practice among rural Hindus even today. All these pieces of evidence point to the Indus Valley religion having a large measure of influence on the beliefs and practices of the Aryan peoples who came after them.


Elephant seal of Indus Valley, Indian Museum.
Reproduced under Creative Commons 4.0

In the earlier phases of their culture, the Indus people buried their dead later, they also cremated them and buried the ashes in urns. The lack of weapons and armor in the graves gave rise to the common idea that the Indus civilization was inherently peaceful, but this is probably faulty. Other civilizations originally thought to have been peaceful, like the Minoans and Maya, have, on further investigation, turned out to be anything but. The lack of any weapons is simply a function of the fact that no elite goods at all have been found in Indus graves.

Arts and Crafts

All kinds of artifacts have been found in the Indus Valley cities: seals, glazed beads, pottery, gold jewelry, and anatomically detailed figurines in terra-cotta, bronze, and soapstone. Various gold, terra-cotta and stone figurines have also been discovered, of dancing girls, men (perhaps gods?), animals (cows, bears, monkeys, and dogs) and a mythical beast (part bull, part zebra, with a huge horn). Shell, ceramic, agate and soapstone beads were used in making necklaces, bangles, and other ornaments. All these show that these cities housed a busy and highly refined craft industry.

Science

The people of the Indus Civilization achieved great accuracy in measuring length, mass, and time. They were among the first to develop a system of uniform weights and measures, although, as in other civilizations of the time, actual weights were not uniform from city to city. Their smallest division, which is marked on an ivory scale found in Lothal, was approximately 1.704 mm, the smallest division ever recorded on a scale of the Bronze Age. The weights were in a perfect ratio of 5:2:1, on a scale very similar to the English Imperial ounce or Greek uncia.

The engineering skills of the Indus Valley people were of a very high order. This can be seen in the large buildings and water-management systems on evidence at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. It is also clear from the fact that harbor buildings were constructed to take maximum advantage of tides and currents. This would have involved very careful measurement and design.


Computer-aided reconstruction of coastal Harappan settlement at Sokhta Koh near Pasni, Pakistan.
Reproduced under Creative Commons 2.5

The End of the Indus Valley civilization

After c. 1900 BCE, all the major Indus Valley cities were abandoned. They were replaced by fewer and smaller settlements, without planning, monumental buildings or writing. The core areas of the civilization clearly experienced catastrophic population decline.

It was once widely thought that the Indus Valley cities were the victims of assaults by Aryan (Indo-European) nomadic invaders from central Asia. This is no longer accepted, but the causes of decline are disputed. It is probable that a combination of factors were involved. Some modern scholars suggest long-term changes in the climate. Shifts in the monsoon pattern and changes in temperature may have begun to transform the region into the arid steppe that it has remained for most of recorded history. Rapid changes in types of pottery suggest a series of migrations into the region, which may have been highly disruptive for the Indus Valley cities.


Storage jar. C. 2700-2000 BCE. Mature Harappan period

These migrants had strong links to central Asia, and they were probably groups of Aryan herders entering the Indus region over an extended period of time, rather than as a single militant conquest. As cattle herders, they may have destroyed or neglected the dikes and canals on which the agrarian life of the Indus peoples depended. There is some evidence of violent conflict: groups of skeletons in postures of flight have been found on the stairways at some sites, and traces of burned-out settlements have also been uncovered.

Whatever the explanation, the brilliant achievements of the Indus Valley civilization gave way to a new chapter in the history of ancient India. Large, well-planned cities vanished, and the material culture of the people of northern India declined sharply as society became less complex. It was to be a thousand years before cities, writing and organized states would come again to the Indian sub-continent.


History of Gujarat

Early human settlement in Gujarat has been traced to hundreds of thousands of years ago—to the Stone Age—in the valleys of the Sabarmati and Mahi rivers in the eastern part of the state. The emergence of a historical record is linked with the spread of the Indus (Harappan) civilization, which flourished in the 3rd and 2nd millennia bce . Centres of that civilization have been found at Lothal, Rangpur, Amri, Lakhabaval, and Rozdi (mostly in the Kathiawar Peninsula).

The known history of Gujarat begins with the Mauryan dynasty, which had extended its rule over the area by the 3rd century bce , as indicated by the edicts of the emperor Ashoka (c. 250 bce ), which are carved on a rock in the Girnar Hills of the Kathiawar Peninsula. After the fall of the Mauryan empire, Gujarat came under the rule of the Shakas (Scythians), or western Kshatrapas (130–390 ce ). The greatest of the Shaka leaders, Mahakshatrapa Rudradaman, established his sway over Saurashtra (a region roughly corresponding to the Kathiawar Peninsula) and Kachchh, as well as over the neighbouring province of Malwa and other areas in what are now the states of Madhya Pradesh Rajasthan.

From the late 4th to the late 5th century, Gujarat formed a part of the Gupta empire until the Guptas were succeeded by the Maitraka dynasty of the kingdom of Valabhi, which ruled over Gujarat and Malwa for three centuries. The capital, Valabhipura (near the eastern coast of the Kathiawar Peninsula), was a great centre of Buddhist, Vedic, and Jain learning. The Maitraka dynasty was succeeded by the Gurjara-Pratiharas (the imperial Gurjaras of Kannauj), who ruled during the 8th and 9th centuries they, in turn, were followed shortly afterward by the Solanki dynasty. The boundaries of Gujarat reached their farthest limits during the reign of the Solankis, when remarkable progress was made in the economic and cultural fields. Siddharaja Jayasimha and Kumarapala are the best-known Solanki kings. Karnadeva Vaghela, of the subsequent Vaghela dynasty, was defeated in about 1299 by ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Khaljī, sultan of Delhi Gujarat then came under Muslim rule. It was Aḥmad Shah, the first independent sultan of Gujarat, who founded Ahmadabad (1411). By the end of the 16th century, Gujarat was ruled by the Mughals. Their control of the region lasted until the mid-18th century, when the Marathas overran the state.

Gujarat came under the administration of the British East India Company in 1818. After the Indian Mutiny of 1857–58, the area became a province of the British crown and was divided into Gujarat province, with an area of about 10,000 square miles (26,000 square km), and numerous native states (including Saurashtra and Kachchh). With Indian independence in 1947, the province of Gujarat was included in Bombay state in 1956 the province was enlarged to include Kachchh and Saurashtra. On May 1, 1960, India’s Bombay state was split into present-day Gujarat and Maharashtra.

In April 1965 fighting broke out between India and Pakistan in the Rann of Kachchh, an area that had long been in dispute between the two countries. A cease-fire came into force on July 1, and the dispute was submitted to arbitration by an international tribunal. The tribunal’s award, published in 1968, gave nine-tenths of the territory to India and one-tenth to Pakistan. Gujarat was again gripped by violence in 1985. Triggered by proposed changes in the concessions reserved for the Scheduled Castes, the disturbances soon escalated into riots between Muslims and Hindus that continued for five months. In January 2001 the state was rocked by a devastating earthquake, which had its epicentre at Bhuj in the Kachchh district.

About a year later, in February 2002, Gujarat experienced a resurgence of large-scale rioting and Muslim-Hindu communal violence that left some 1,000 people dead, most of them Muslims. The state’s government, led by Chief Minister Narendra Modi of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was widely criticized for doing little to stop the killing of Muslims. Nonetheless, Modi and the BJP remained in power in Gujarat. In 2014, after the BJP had won a majority of seats in the Lok Sabha (lower chamber of the Indian parliament), Modi was sworn in as prime minister of India.


Indus civilization

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Indus civilization, also called Indus valley civilization or Harappan civilization, the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent. The nuclear dates of the civilization appear to be about 2500–1700 bce , though the southern sites may have lasted later into the 2nd millennium bce .

What is the Indus civilization?

The Indus civilization was the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent—one of the world’s three earliest civilizations, along with Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt.

Where did the Indus civilization begin?

The Indus civilization began in the Indus River valley, evolving from villages that used the Mesopotamian model of irrigated agriculture.

Where was the Harappan civilization located?

The Harappan civilization was located in the Indus River valley. Its two large cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, were located in present-day Pakistan’s Punjab and Sindh provinces, respectively. Its extent reached as far south as the Gulf of Khambhat and as far east as the Yamuna (Jumna) River.

How did the Indus civilization end?

It remains unclear how the Indus civilization came to an end, and its decline was probably not uniform. By the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE, the city of Mohenjo-daro was already dying and was dealt a final blow by invaders from the north. The civilization’s southernmost parts, by contrast, may have continued until Iron Age civilization developed in India about 1000 BCE.

When did the Indus civilization develop?

The Indus civilization developed in the 3rd millennium BCE, making it one of the earliest of the world’s civilizations, and it lasted into the 2nd millennium BCE.

The civilization was first identified in 1921 at Harappa in the Punjab region and then in 1922 at Mohenjo-daro (Mohenjodaro), near the Indus River in the Sindh (Sind) region. Both sites are in present-day Pakistan, in Punjab and Sindh provinces, respectively. The ruins of Mohenjo-daro were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980.

Subsequently, vestiges of the civilization were found as far apart as Sutkagen Dor in southwestern Balochistan province, Pakistan, near the shore of the Arabian Sea, about 300 miles (480 km) west of Karachi and at Ropar (or Rupar), in eastern Punjab state, northwestern India, at the foot of the Shimla Hills some 1,000 miles (1,600 km) northeast of Sutkagen Dor. Later exploration established its existence southward down the west coast of India as far as the Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay), 500 miles (800 km) southeast of Karachi, and as far east as the Yamuna (Jumna) River basin, 30 miles (50 km) north of Delhi. It is thus decidedly the most extensive of the world’s three earliest civilizations the other two are those of Mesopotamia and Egypt, both of which began somewhat before it.

The Indus civilization is known to have consisted of two large cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, and more than 100 towns and villages, often of relatively small size. The two cities were each perhaps originally about 1 mile (1.6 km) square in overall dimensions, and their outstanding magnitude suggests political centralization, either in two large states or in a single great empire with alternative capitals, a practice having analogies in Indian history. It is also possible that Harappa succeeded Mohenjo-daro, which is known to have been devastated more than once by exceptional floods. The southern region of the civilization, on the Kathiawar Peninsula and beyond, appears to be of later origin than the major Indus sites. The civilization was literate, and its script, with some 250 to 500 characters, has been partly and tentatively deciphered the language has been indefinitely identified as Dravidian.

The Indus civilization apparently evolved from the villages of neighbours or predecessors, using the Mesopotamian model of irrigated agriculture with sufficient skill to reap the advantages of the spacious and fertile Indus River valley while controlling the formidable annual flood that simultaneously fertilizes and destroys. Having obtained a secure foothold on the plain and mastered its more immediate problems, the new civilization, doubtless with a well-nourished and increasing population, would find expansion along the flanks of the great waterways an inevitable sequel. The civilization subsisted primarily by farming, supplemented by an appreciable but often elusive commerce. Wheat and six-row barley were grown field peas, mustard, sesame, and a few date stones have also been found, as well as some of the earliest known traces of cotton. Domesticated animals included dogs and cats, humped and shorthorn cattle, domestic fowl, and possibly pigs, camels, and buffalo. The Asian elephant probably was also domesticated, and its ivory tusks were freely used. Minerals, unavailable from the alluvial plain, were sometimes brought in from far afield. Gold was imported from southern India or Afghanistan, silver and copper from Afghanistan or northwestern India (present-day Rajasthan state), lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, turquoise from Iran (Persia), and a jadelike fuchsite from southern India.

Perhaps the best-known artifacts of the Indus civilization are a number of small seals, generally made of steatite (a form of talc), which are distinctive in kind and unique in quality, depicting a wide variety of animals, both real—such as elephants, tigers, rhinoceros, and antelopes—and fantastic, often composite creatures. Sometimes human forms are included. A few examples of Indus stone sculpture have also been found, usually small and representing humans or gods. There are great numbers of small terra-cotta figures of animals and humans.

How and when the civilization came to an end remains uncertain. In fact, no uniform ending need be postulated for a culture so widely distributed. But the end of Mohenjo-daro is known and was dramatic and sudden. Mohenjo-daro was attacked toward the middle of the 2nd millennium bce by raiders who swept over the city and then passed on, leaving the dead lying where they fell. Who the attackers were is matter for conjecture. The episode would appear to be consistent in time and place with the earlier invaders from the north (formerly called Aryans) into the Indus region as reflected in the older books of the Rigveda, in which the newcomers are represented as attacking the “walled cities” or “citadels” of the aboriginal peoples and the invaders’ war-god Indra as rending forts “as age consumes a garment.” However, one thing is clear: the city was already in an advanced stage of economic and social decline before it received the coup de grâce. Deep floods had more than once submerged large tracts of it. Houses had become increasingly shoddy in construction and showed signs of overcrowding. The final blow seems to have been sudden, but the city was already dying. As the evidence stands, the civilization was succeeded in the Indus valley by poverty-stricken cultures, deriving a little from a sub-Indus heritage but also drawing elements from the direction of Iran and the Caucasus—from the general direction, in fact, of the northern invasions. For many centuries urban civilization was dead in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent.

In the south, however, in Kathiawar and beyond, the situation appears to have been very different. There it would seem that there was a real cultural continuity between the late Indus phase and the Copper Age cultures that characterized central and western India between 1700 and the 1st millennium bce . Those cultures form a material bridge between the end of the Indus civilization proper and the developed Iron Age civilization that arose in India about 1000 bce .


Indus Valley Civilisation: Origin, Evolution and Characteristics

The Indus or Harappan culture arose in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent.

It is called Harappan civilisation because this was discovered first in 1921 at the modern site of Harappa, situated in the province of west Punjab in Pakistan.

It is also called as Indus civilisation because it refers to precisely the same cultural, chronological and geographic entity confined to the geographic bounds of the Indus valley.

Image Source: 3219a2.medialib.glogster.com/media/18/187c4b304d7c7cfa7725fd9ee2f92742e304eee49357c17dc7718a7de08ee274/indus-valley-civilization-source.jpg

Sir John Marshall was the first person to use the term ‘Indus civilisation’. The Indus or the Harappan civilisation belongs to the Chalcolithic or Bronze Age since the objects of copper and stone were found at the various sites of this civilisation. Nearly, 1,400 Harappan sites are known so far in the sub-continent.

They belong to early, mature and late phases of the Harappan culture. But the number of the sites belonging to the mature phase is limited, and of them only half a dozen can be regarded as cities.

Some of the noteworthy sites which have been excavated are Harappa (1921) by Daya Ram Sahni, Mohenjodaro (1922) by R.D. Banerjee, Dholavira (1967-68) by J.P. Joshi and (1990-91) by R.S. Bisht, Kalibangan by Dr. A. Ghosh, Lothal (1955-63), Chanhu-daro, Banawali (1975-77), etc.

Origin and Evolution:

The discovery of India’s first and earliest civilisation posed a historical puzzle as it seemed to have suddenly appeared on the stage of history, full grown and fully equipped. The Harappan civilisation till recently showed no definite signs of birth and growth.

The puzzle could largely be solved after the extensive excavation work conducted at Mehrgarh near the Bolan Pass between 1973 and 1980 by two French archaeologists Richard H. Meadow and Jean Francoise Jarrige.

According to them, Mehrgarh gives us an archaeological record with a sequence of occupations. Archaeological research over the past decades has established a continuous sequence of strata, showing the gradual development to the high standard of the full-fledged Indus civilisation.

These strata have been named pre-Harappan, early Harappan, mature Harappan and late Harappan phases or stages. By reviewing the main ele­ments of the rural cultures of the Indian sub-continent the origin of the Indus civilisation can be traced. Any Pre-Harappan culture claiming ancestry to the Indus civilisation must satisfy two conditions.

The first condition is that it must not only precede but also overlap the Indus culture.

The second is that the essential elements of the Indus culture must have been anticipated by the Proto-Harappan (Indus) culture in its material aspects, viz, the rudiments of town planning, provision of minimum sanitary facilities, knowledge of pictographic writing, the introduction of trade mechanisms, the knowledge of metallurgy and the prevalence of ceramic traditions.

The different stages of the indigenous evolution of the Indus can be documented by an analysis of four sites which reflect the sequence of the four important stages or phases in the pre-history and proto-history of the Indus valley region.

The sequence begins with the transition of nomadic herdsmen to settled agricultural communities as per the evidence found at the first site i.e. Mehrgarh near the Bolan Pass. It continues with the growth of large villages and the rise of towns in the second stage exemplified at Amri.

The Amri people did not possess any knowledge of town-planning or of writing. The third stage in the sequence leads to the emergence of the great cities as in Kalibangan and finally ends with their decline, which is the fourth stage and exemplified by Lothal. Amri, Kot-Dijian and Kalibangan cultures are stratigraphically found to be pre-Harappan.

The pre-Harappan culture of Kalibangan in Rajasthan is termed as Sothi culture by Amalananda Ghosh, its excavator. The Harappan were owed certain elements such as the fish scale and pipal leaf to the Sothi ware.

The four Baluchi cultures, viz, Zhob, Quetta, Nal and Kulli, undoubtedly pre-Harappan, also have some minor common features with the Indus civilisation, and cannot be considered as full-fledged proto-Harappan cultures.

The culture of Northern Baluchistan is termed as ‘Zhob’ culture after the sites in the Zhob valley, the chief among them being Rana Ghundai. This culture is characterised by black and red ware and terracotta female figurines. Nal culture is characterised by the use of white-clipped ware with attractive polychrome paintings and the observance of fractional burial.

The characteristic pottery of the Quetta culture is the buff-ware, painted in black pigment and decorated with geometrical designs. Apart from the painted motifs such as the pipal leaf and sacred brazier, some pottery shapes are common to the Harappan and Kulli cultures. All these pre-Harappan habitations preceding the phase of the Harappan civilization shows evidences of people living in houses of stone and mud-brick.

Similarities were found in the cultural traditions of the diverse agricultural communities living in the Indus region in the ‘early Indus period’. During the urban phase these little traditions were fused into one great tradition.

How­ever, even in the ‘early Indus period’, use of similar kinds of pottery terracotta mother goddess, repre­sentation of the horned deity in many sites show the way to the emergence of a homogenous tradition in the entire area.

The people of Baluchistan had already established trading relations with the towns of the Persian Gulf and Central Asia. Kulli, situated on the southern foothills of the Baluchi mountains near the Makran coast, occupies an important position on the trade route between the Persian Gulf and the Indus Valley.

Thus, the available evidence suggests that the Harappan culture had its origin in the Indus valley. And even within the Indus valley, several cultures seem to have contributed to evolve the urban civilisation. There is no evidence to suggest that the Indus people borrowed anything substantial from the Sumerians. It is thus difficult to accept Sir Mortimer Wheeler’s assumption that “the idea of civilization came to the Indus valley from Mesopotamia”.

Date and Extent:

The Harappan culture existed between 2500 BC and 1800 BC. Its mature phase lay between 2200 BC and 2000 BC. The advent of radiocarbon dating has provided a new source of information in fixing the Harappan chronology. Indus civilization was the largest cultural zone of the period – the area covered by it (about 1.3 million sq.km.) being much greater than that of other contemporary civilisation.

Over 1000 sites have discovered so far. It extends from Ropar, almost impinging upon the sub-Hima­layan foot-hills in the North to Daimabad in the Ahmadnagar district of Maharashtra in the south, and from Sutkagendor (on the sea-coast of south Baluchistan) in the west to Alamgirpur (in the upper Ganga-Yamuna Doab, U P.) in the east.

Characteristics of Indus Valley Civilisation:

1. Indus Valley Cities:

The excavated Indus cities may be classified into the following groups:

(iii) Other cities and townships.

It was the first Indus site to be discovered and excavated in 1921 by Daya Ram Sahni. The site has two large and imposing ruined mounds located some 25 kms. South-west of Mont­gomery district of Punjab (Pakistan) on the left bank of river Ravi.

The vast mounds at Harappa were first reported by Masson in 1826. Alexander Cunningham identified Harappa with Po-Fa-to or Po-Fa-to-do visited by Hiuen-Tsang.

a) The western mound of Harappa, smaller in size represented the citadel, parallelogram in plan and fortified.

b) Outside the citadel was the unfortified town having some important structures identified with workmen’s quarters, working floors and granaries. The workmen’s quarters, 10 in number were of uniform size and space (17࡭.5 m). Close to these quarters were 16 furnaces, pear- shaped on plan with cow-dung ash and charcoal.

c) 12 Granary building of 15.24࡬.10 m each, arranged systematically in 2 rows (6 in each row) with central passage 7 m. wide

d) The material remains discovered at Harappa are of the typical Indus character, prominent being.

e) 891 seals which form 36.32 per cent of the total writing material of the Indus civilisation ,

f) Two very important stone figurines (not available at any other site) which include one red stone torso of a naked male figure (the prototype of the Jina or Yaksha Figure) and a female figure in dancing pose.

g) A crucible used for smelting bronze was also found at a slightly higher level.

h) Dog attacking deer on a pin

Evidence of the disposal of the dead has been found to the south of the citadel area named as cemetery R-37. Excavations have also yielded 57 burials of different types. The skeletons were disposed of in the graves along with the grave-goods.

The site of Mohenjo-Daro (or the Mound of the Dead) situated in the Larkana district of Sind (Pakistan) and 540 km. south of Harappa is situated on the right bank of the river Indus. It also has two mounds, the western being the citadel or acropolis and the eastern extensive mound was enshrining the relics of the buried lower city. The mounds were excavated first by Sir John Marshall. The citadel was fortified with big buildings extremely rich in structures.

a. The most important public place of Mohenjo-Daro seems to be the Great Bath, with a bed made water tight by the use of bitumen and a system of supplying and draining away water. This tank which is situated in the citadel mound is an example of beautiful brick-work measuring 11.88࡭.01 meters and 2.43 meters deep. Flight of steps at either end lead to the surface. There are side rooms for changing clothes. This tank seems to have been used for ritual bathing.

b. In Mohenjo-Daro, the largest building is the great granary which is 45.71 meters long and 15.23 meters wide and lies to the west of the great bath.

c. To the north-east of the great bath is a long collegiate building, perhaps meant for the resi­dence of a very high official, possibly the high priest himself, or a college of priests.

e. The lower unfortified city displayed all the elements of a planned city. The remarkable thing about the arrangement of the houses in the city is that they followed the grid system with the main streets running north-south and east-west dividing the city into many blocks.

This is true of almost all Indus settlements regardless of size. The main streets in the lower city are about 9.14 metre wide. The drainage system of Mohenjo-Daro was very impressive. These drains were covered with bricks and sometimes with stone slabs. The street drains were equipped with manholes. Houses were made of kiln-burnt bricks as in Harappa.

f. Material remains of Mohenjo-Daro with its richness confirms that it was a great city of the Indus civilisation. About 1398 seals representing 56.67 percent of the total writing material of the Indus cities throws light on Harappan religion.

Important stone images found here includes the torso of a priest made of steatite (19 cm), lime stone male head (14 cm), the seated male of alabaster (29.5 cm), the seated male with the hands placed on knees (21 cm) and a composite animal figure made up of limestone. The bronze dancing girl from Mohenjo-Daro, considered a masterpiece (14 cm) is made by cast wax technique.

Situated in Kutch district of Gujarat, Dholavira is the latest and one of the two largest Harappan settlements in India, the other being Rakhigarhi in Haryana. The ancient mounds of Dholavira were first noticed by Dr J.P. Joshi but extensive excavation work at the site was con­ducted by R.S. Bisht and his team in 1990-91.

It shares almost all the common features of the Indus cities but its unique feature is that there are three principal divisions (instead of two in other cities), two of which were strongly protected by rectangular fortifications.

The first inner encloser hemmed in the citadel (the acropolis) probably housed the highest authority and second one protected the middle town meant for the close relatives of the administrators and other officials.

The existence of this middle town, apart from the lower town, is the unique feature of this settle­ment. The access to these fortified settlements at Dholavira was provided through an elaborate gate-complex.

Situated in Ganganagar district of Rajasthan on the southern bank of the Ghaggar river this site was excavated by B.B. Lai and B.K. Thapar (1961-69). This site also has two mounds yielding the remains of a citadel and lower city respectively. Excavations have revealed evidence of pre-Harappan and Harappan culture.

a. The citadel and the lower city both were fortified.

b. The citadel had mud-brick platforms having seven fire-altars in a row.

c. The lower fortified town had two gateways.

e. The people of Kalibangan used mud-bricks for the construction of houses, the use of burnt bricks has been found only in wells, drains and pavements.

f .The cylindrical seals found at Kalibangan had an analogy in the Mesopotamian counterpart. The discovery of inscribed sherds clearly suggests that Indus script was written from right to left.

g. Excavations at Kalibangan revealed the evidence of the ploughed field.

It was an important trading centre of the Indus civilisation and situated near the bed of the Bhogavo River at the head of the Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat. Lothal was excavated by S R. Rao which brought to light five period sequences of cultures. It was one rectangular settlement surrounded by a brick wall. Along the eastern side of the town was a brick basin, which has been identified as a dockyard by its excavator.

a) The house of a wealthy merchant yielded gold beads with axial tubes and sherds of Reserved Slip Ware related to the Sumerian origin indicating that the merchants were engaged in foreign trade.

b) Metal-workers, shell ornament makers and bead-makers shops have been discovered here.

c) The discovery of the Persian Gulf seal and the Reserved Slip Ware suggests that Lothal was engaged in the maritime activities.

Situated at a distance of 500 kms to the west of Karachi on the Makran coast it functioned as a trading post of the Harappans. It was originally a port of Harappan according to archaeologist Dales but later cut off from the sea due to coastal uplift. Excavation at the site revealed the two-fold division of the township into ‘citadel’ and ‘Lower city’.

(c) Balakot:

Situated at a distance of 98 km to the north west of Karachi this coastal settlement yielded the relics of the pre-Harappan and Harappan civilisation. Baked bricks were used in few drains but the standard building material were the mud-bricks.

The excavations at Allahdino were undertaken by W. A. Fairservis and are situated at a distance of 40 kms to the east of Karachi. These coastal cities have yielded the remains of mud-brick structures.

III. Other cities and township:

(a) Surkotada:

Situated about 270 km. north-west of Ahmedabad in Gujarat the settlement pattern of Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and Kalibangan was repeated here. As at Kalibangan, both the citadel and the lower town were fortified. There was also an inter-communicating gate between the two.

In addition to mud- bricks, stone rubble was liberally used for construction. In the last phase of this site, bones of horses, hitherto unknown, have been discovered.

(b) Banawali:

Situated in the Hissar district of Haryana it was on the bank of the river Rangoi, identified with the ancient bed of Sarasvati River. The excavations conducted by R.S. Bisht have yielded two cultural phases, Pre-Harappan and Harappan, similar to that of Kalibangan.

The Harappan phase showed significant departure from the established norms of town-planning (chess-board pattern as in Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, etc.). The roads were neither always straight, nor are they cut at right-angles. It lacked systematic drainage system, a noteworthy feature of the Indus civilisation.

(c) Chanhudaro:

The township of Chanhudaro, situated about 130 km. south of Mohenjodaro, consists of a single mound divided into several parts by erosion. An evidence of material remains clearly shows that it was the major centre of production for the beautiful seals.

The hoards of copper and bronze tools, castings, evidence of the crafts like bead-making, bone items and seal making suggest that Chandhudaro was mostly inhabited by artisans and crafts-men. Excavations have also unearthed a furnace with a brick- floor used for glazing steatite beads.

Situated on the left bank of the Indus River about 50 km. east of Mohenjo-Daro, the site of Kot Diji excavated by F.A. Khan Yields two cultural phases’ pre-Harappan and Harappan civilisation. Material remains discovered at the site are terracotta bulls, five figurines of the Mother Goddess and large unbaked cooking brick-lined ovens.

2. Polity and Society:

There is no clear idea about the political organization of the Harappans. If the Harappan cultural zone is considered identical with the political zone, the sub-continent did not witness such a large political unit until the rise of the Maurya Empire. The Harappans made the first ever experiment to bring about political unity of the divergent geographical units of the civilisation without the use of force.

The total absence of internecine wars, religious or political, speaks volumes about the peaceful administra­tion of the Indus state. It would be wrong to think that priests ruled in Harappa, as they did in the cities of lower Mesopotamia for we have no religions structures of any kind except the Great Bath.

There are some indications of the practice of fire cult at Lothal in the later phase, but no temples were used for the purpose. Perhaps the Harappan rulers were more concerned with commerce than with conquests, and it was possibly ruled by a class of merchants.

3. Social set-up:

An important characteristic of the Indus civilisation was its urban life. The rural areas not only supported but often contributed to the socio-cultural development. The social stratification is reflected in the dwellings and disposition of the dead bodies in the graves.

4. Dress, Hairstyles and Ornaments:

The Harappan men wore robes which left one shoulder bare, and the garments of the upper classes were often richly patterned. Beards were worn, and men and women alike had long hair.

The elaborate head-dresses of the Mother Goddess probably had their counter-parts in the festive attire of the richer women. The women wore a short skirt that reached upto the knee and it was held by a girdle-a string of beads.

The coiffures of the women were often elaborate, and pigtails were also popular, as in present-day India. Women loved jewellery and wore heavy bangles in profusion, large necklaces, and earrings. Mirrors of bronze were very common. It appears that the ladies at Mohenjo-Daro knew the use of collyrium, face-paint and other cosmetics. Chanhudaro finds indicate the use of lip­sticks. Bronze razors of various types served for the toilet of the male.

5. Amusements:

Kids played with terracotta toys such as rattles, birds shaped whistle, bulls with movable heads, monkeys with movable arms, figures which ran down strings, the favorite being the baked clay cart.

Dice was used in gambling, marbles of jasper and chert were played by rich children. Music and dance were secular. Hunting and fishing was in vogue. On a few seals, hunting of wild rhino and antelope are shown.

6. Religious Practices:

Except for the discovery of fire altars at Kalibangan, we have not found any cult objects, temples at any of the Harappan sites. On the basis of the material remains discovered at various Harappan sites we can say that the Harappan people had many features of the later Hinduism, such as worship of the Mother Goddess, Pashupati Siva, animal worship, tree-worship, etc.

The chief female deity was Mother Goddess. In one terracotta figurine found at Harappa, a plant is shown growing out of the embryo of a woman. Probably the image represents the goddess of earth. The Harappans, therefore, looked upon the earth as a fertility goddess and worshipped her.

The most striking deity of the Harappan culture is the horned-deity of the seals. He is depicted on three specimens, in two, seated on a small dais, and in the third on the ground in all three his posture is cross-legged (sitting posture of a yogi). On the largest of the seals, he is surrounded by four wild animals, an elephant, a tiger, a rhinoceros and a buffalo, and beneath his feet appear two deer.

Marshall boldly called this god Proto-Siva, and the name has been generally accepted certainly the horned god has much in common with the Siva of later Hinduism, who is, in his most important aspect a fertility deity, is known as Pasupati, the Lord of Beasts. Phallic worship was an important element of Harappa religion.

Many cone-shaped objects have been found, which almost certainly formalized represen­tation of the phallus are. The linga or phallic emblem in later Hinduism is the symbol of the god Siva. The people of the Indus region also worshipped trees. The picture of a deity is represented on a seal in the midst of the branches of the pipal tree which continues to be worshipped to this day.

Animals were also worshipped and many of them are represented on seals. The most important of them is the humped bull. The inhabitants of the Indus region thus worshipped gods in the form of trees, animals and human beings. Amulets have been found in large numbers. Probably the Harappans believed in ghosts and evil forces.

7. Burial Practices:

Cemeteries excavated at several Indus sites like Mohenjodaro, Harappa, Kalibangan, Lothal and Ropar throws light on the burial practises of the Harappans. Three forms of burials have been found at Mohenjo-Daro, viz., complete burials, (means the burial of the whole body along with the grave goods) fractional burials, (burial of some bones after the exposure of the body to wild beasts and birds) and post-cremation burials.

From the Lothal cemetery comes evidence of another burial type with several examples of pairs of skeletons, one male and one female in each case, buried in a single grave. Bodies were always placed in the north-south direction with the head in the north.

8. Economy:

The Harappan economy was based on irrigated surplus agriculture, cattle rearing, proficiency in various crafts and brisk trade both internal and external.

I. Agriculture:

The Harappan villages, mostly situated near the flood plains, produced sufficient foodgrains not only to feed themselves but also the town people. No hoe or ploughshare has been discovered, but the furrows discovered in the pre-Harappan phase at Kalibangan show that the fields were ploughed in Rajasthan in the Harappan period.

The Harappans probably used the wooden ploughshare. We do not know whether the plough was drawn by men or oxen. Stone sickles may have been used for harvesting the crops. Gabarbands or nalas enclosed by dams for storing water were a feature in parts of Baluchistan and Afghanistan, but channel or canal irrigation seems to have been absent.

The Indus people produced wheat, barley, rai, peas, etc. They produced two types of wheat and barley. A good quantity of barley has been discovered at Banawali. In addition to this, they produced sesamum, mustard, dates and varieties of leguminous plants.

At Lothal and Rangpur, rice and spike- lets were found embedded in clay and pottery. The Indus people were the earliest people to produce cotton. Because cotton was first produced in this area the Greeks called it Sindon, which is derived from Sindh.

II. Domestication of Animals:

Although the Harappans practised agriculture, animals were kept on a large scale. Oxen, buffa­loes, goats, sheeps and pigs were domesticated. The humped bulls were favoured by the Harappans. From the very beginning dogs were regarded as pets.

Cats were also domesticated. Asses and camels were used as beasts of burden. Camel bones are reported at Kalibangan. Evidence of horse are also reported from Mohenjodaro, Lothal and Surkotada. Elephants and rhinoceros were well known to the Harappans.

III. Technology and Crafts:

The Harappan culture belongs to the Bronze Age. The people of Harappa used many tools and implements of stone, but they were very well acquainted with the manufacture and use of bronze. Bronze was made by the smiths by mixing tin with copper.

Numerous tools and weapons recovered from the Harappan sites suggest that the bronzesmiths constituted an important group of artisans in the Harappan society. Objects of gold are reasonably common, silver makes its earliest appearance in the Indus civilization and was relatively more common than gold. Lead, arsenic, antimony and nickel were also used by the Harappan people.

The axes, chisels, knives, spearheads, etc., were made of bronze and stone. They seem to have been produced on a mass-scale in place like Sukkur. Two short copper swords found in Mohenjodaro are of the slashing type and not cutting type.

As for craft specialization, the towns of Chanhudaro and Lothal have yielded evidence of the presence of work­shops of bead-makers. Balakot, Lothal and Chanhudaro were centres for shell-working and bangle- making.

Apart from them the evidences indicate the presence of potters, stone masons, brick makers, seal cutters, traders, priests, etc. The Harappans also practised boat making. Weavers wove cloth of wool and cotton. Spindle whorls were used for spinning. The potter’s wheel was in full use, and the Harappans produced their own characteristic pottery, which was made glossy and shining. Most of the time it means the use of a pinkish pottery with bright red slip and standard representation of trees, birds, animals and geometric motifs, in black.

No human figure is depicted on the pottery from Mohenjo-Daro but a few pottery pieces discovered from Harappa portray a man and a child. The Harappan pottery was highly utilitarian in character with artistic touch.

The greatest artistic creations of the Harappans are the seals. About 2000 seals have been found, made of stealite, these seals range in size from 1 cm to 5 cm. Two main types are seen. First, square with a carved animal and inscription and second, rectangular with an inscription only.

Stone sculptures and terracotta figurines have been reported from various sites. Figurines made of fire-baked clay, commonly called terracotta which were either used as toys or objects of worship. It was used mainly by the common people and it represented sophisticated artistic works.

9. Trade:

The importance of trade in the life of the Indus people is attested not only by granaries found at Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and Lothal but also by the presence of numerous seals, uniform script and regulated weights and measures in a wide area. They did not use metal money. Most probably they carried on all exchanges through barter.

In return for finished goods and possibly food grains, they procured metals from the neighbouring areas by boats and bullock-carts. Inter-regional trade was carried on with Rajasthan, Saurashtra, Maharashtra, parts of western Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. For­eign trade was conducted mainly with Mesopotamia or Sumeria (modern Iraq) and Iran.

Their cities also carried commerce with those in the land of the Tigris and the Euphrates. Discovery of many Indus seals in Mesopotamia and evidence of imitation by the Harappans of some cosmetics used by the urban people of Mesopotamia suggests that some of the Harappan merchants must have resided or visited Mesopotamia.

About two dozen Indus type seals were also discovered from different cities of Mesopotamia like, Ur, Susa, Lagash, Kish and Tell Asmar. Reciprocal evidence comes from the Indus cities also-discovery of a circular button seals which belongs to a class of Persian Gulf seals, several bun-shaped copper ingots of Mesopotamian origin and the ‘Reserved Slip Ware’ of the Mesopotamian type at Lothal.

All these provide conclusive proof of trade links between the two civilisations. The Mesopotamian records from about 2350 B.C. onwards refer to trade relations with Meluha, which was the ancient name given to the Indus region, and they also speak of two intermediate stations called ‘Dilmun’ (identified with Bahrain on the Persian Gulf) and Makan (Makran Coast). Shortughai located near Badakhsan in north-east Afghanistan was one of the Harappan trading outpost, beyond the high passes of the Hindukush.

The Harappan cities did not possess the necessary raw material for the commodities they pro­duced and hence depended upon the products imported from distant places. Main imports consisted of precious metals like gold (from North Karnataka), silver (probably from Afghanistan or Iran), Copper (from Khetri copper mines of Rajasthan, Baluchistan and Arabia), lead (East and South India), tin (Afghanistan and Hazaribagh in Bihar), and several semi-precious stones like lapis lazuli (Badakshan in North-East Afghanistan), turquoise (central Asia and Iran), amethyst (Maharashtra), agate (Saurashtra), jade (central Asia), and chalcedonies and carnelians (from Saurashtra and west India).

Main exports were several agricultural products and a variety of finished products such as cotton goods, carnelian beads, pottery, shell and bone inlays etc.

10. Weights and Measures:

The knowledge of script must have helped the recording of private property and accounts-keeping. Numerous articles used for weights have been found. They show that in weighting mostly 16 or its multiples were used for instance, 16, 64, 160, 320 and 640.

The Harappans also knew the art of measurement. The measures of length were based upon a foot of 13.2 inches and a cubit of 20.6 inches. Several sticks inscribed with measure marks, one of these made of bronze have been discovered.

11. Script and Language:

The Harappans invented the art of writing like the people of ancient Mesopotamia. Although the earliest specimen of Harappan script was noticed in 1853 and the complete script discovered by 1923, it has not been deciphered so far. Unlike the Egyptians and Mesopotamians, the Harappan did not write long inscriptions. Most inscriptions were recorded on seals, and contain only a few words.

These seals may have been used by propertied people to mark and identify their private property. Altogether there are about 250 to 400 pictographs, and in the form of picture each letter stands for some sound idea or object.

The Harappan script is not alphabetical but mainly pictographic since its sign represent birds, fish, varieties of the human form, etc. and it was written from right to left like modern Urdu.

There are two main arguments as to the nature of the language that it belongs to the Indo- European or even Indo-Aryan family, or that it belongs to the Dravidian family. Parpola and his Scandi­navian colleagues gave a hypothesis that the language was Dravidian.

Problems of Decline:

In the absence of any written material or historical evidence, scholars have made various specula­tions regarding the causes for the decline of the Harappan culture. Cities like Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and Kalibangan saw a gradual decline in urban planning. Later on some of the settlements like Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa etc. were abandoned. However, in most other sites people continued to live.

Some important features associated with the Harappan civilization, writing, uniform weights, pottery and architectural style disappeared of. Wheeler believed that the Indus civilization was destroyed by the Aryan invaders. It has been pointed out that in the late phases of Mohenjo-Daro there are evidences of a massacre.

However, it has been pointed out that Mohenjo-Daro was abandoned by about 1800 B.C., Aryans on the other hand are said to have come to India around 1500 B.C. Thus, this theory of sudden death cannot explain the decline. The gradual death theory is supported by several scholars.

R. Raikes, a hydrologist, has set forth a theory that due to tectonic activity, the flood plains of the lower Indus river were raised which led to prolonged submergence of cities like Mohenjo-Daro and Chanhudaro and hence their abandonment. But the cause for the decline of some of the other Indus cities like Kalibangan and Banawali seems to be not the floods but the drying up of rivers.

W.A. Fairservis have tried to explain the decay of the Harappan civilization in terms of the prob­lems of ecology. He believes that the Harappans degraded their delicate environment. A growing population of men and animals confronted by falling resources wore out the landscape which resulted into more floods and droughts. These stresses in the end led to the collapse of the urban culture. The enduring fertility of the soils of the Indian sub-continent disproves this hypothesis.

E.J.H. Mackay, Lambrick and John Marshall suggest that the decline of the Harappan Civilization was mainly due to the vagaries of the Indus river, Shereen Ratnagar of Jawaharlal Nehru University, proposed in 1986 that lift-irrigation may have resulted in an over-reaching of its ecological limits.

The Harappans are also said to have suffered from several suicidal weaknesses. The Harappans, for instance lacked plasticity of mind as seen in the non-changing successive layers of the cities, non- adoption of the technical advancement of the Mesopotamians (iron technology). Also the Harappans ignored defence, as suggested by the paucity of sharp edged effective weapons.

The eclipse of sea- trade might have contributed to the decline of the Harappan civilization but it cannot be held as the main cause. Thus, as seen above, there are several important causes for the decline of the civilisation. Also, there is enough evidence to show that the great Harappan civilisation did not come to a sudden ‘dead end’ instead it seems to have faded away gradually.


Main keywords of the article below: civilization, possehl, holocene, sites, rowman, interpretations, termination, important, 1425, 4, contemporary, valley, compare, south, indus, altamira, bp, variability", ka, 2003, 2002, civilization:, perspective, 30, staubwasser, grl, 978-0-7591-0172-2, gregory, change, asian, l, michael, monsoon, pp237-245, "climate, 42.

KEY TOPICS
Compare with the very different interpretations in Possehl, Gregory L. (2002), The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective, Rowman Altamira, pp.237-245, ISBN 978-0-7591-0172-2, and Michael Staubwasser et al., "Climate Change at the 4.2 ka BP Termination of the Indus Valley Civilization and Holocene South Asian Monsoon Variability," GRL 30 (2003), 1425. [1] The Indus Valley Civilisation is also named the Harappan civilisation after Harappa, the first of its sites to be excavated in the 1920s, in what was then the Punjab province of British India. [1] The mature phase of the Harappan civilisation lasted from c. 2600 to 1900 BCE. With the inclusion of the predecessor and successor cultures -- Early Harappan and Late Harappan, respectively -- the entire Indus Valley Civilisation may be taken to have lasted from the 33rd to the 14th centuries BCE. It is part of the Indus Valley Tradition, which also includes the pre-Harappan occupation of Mehrgarh, the earliest farming site of the Indus Valley. [1]

An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortughai in northern Afghanistan, in the Gomal River valley in northwestern Pakistan, at Manda, Jammu on the Beas River near Jammu, India, and at Alamgirpur on the Hindon River, only 28km from Delhi. [1] Indus Valley sites have been found most often on rivers, but also on the ancient seacoast, for example, Balakot, and on islands, for example, Dholavira. [1] According to Shereen Ratnagar the Ghaggar-Hakra desert area has more remaining sites than the alluvium of the Indus Valley, since the Ghaggar-Hakra desert area has been left untouched by settlements and agriculture since the end of the Indus Valley Civilisation. [1] The Indus Valley Civilisation site was hit by almost 10 feet of water as the Sutlej Yamuna link canal overflowed. [1] According to Jean-Francois Jarrige, farming had an independent origin at Mehrgarh, despite the similarities which he notes between Neolithic sites from eastern Mesopotamia and the western Indus valley, which are evidence of a "cultural continuum" between those sites. [1]

In the 1980s, important archaeological discoveries were made at Ras al-Jinz ( Oman ), demonstrating maritime Indus Valley connections with the Arabian Peninsula. [1] The ancient city of Mohenjo Daro in Pakistan is considered to be the most important site connected with the great Indus Valley Civilization, also known as the Harappan civilization. [2] Indus Valley Civilization Sites: This map shows a cluster of Indus Valley Civilization cities and excavation sites along the course of the Indus River in Pakistan. [3] These finds provide more evidence that the Indus Valley Civilization sites in Gujarat were once vibrant cities and key sites for trade, agriculture, and craftsmanship. [2] Ruins of the city of Lothal: Archaeological evidence shows that the site, which had been a major city before the downfall of the Indus Valley Civilization, continued to be inhabited by a much smaller population after the collapse. [3] This article will deal with some of the sites of the Indus Valley Civilization that are located in Gujarat, a western state in India. [2] This site, which is located in the Kutch district, is said to be the only known site in the entire Indus Valley Civilization where the bones of a horse have been found. [2] In a list of Indus Valley Civilization sites that are currently known, there are a total of 13 sites located in Gujarat. [2] There are also other sites of the Indus Valley Civilization in Gujarat that people may be relatively more familiar with. [2] The people of the Indus Valley civilization are said to have been attracted to settle at this site due to its sheltered harbor, which was suitable for the building of a port. [2] The Indus Valley Civilization site was hit by almost 10 feet of water as the Sutlej Yamuna link canal overflowed. [4] The Indus Valley Civilization is also known as the Harappan Civilization, after Harappa, the first of its sites to be excavated in the 1920s, in what was then the Punjab province of British India and is now in Pakistan. [3] Another site, Malwan, which is located in the Surat district, is said to be the southern-most site of the Indus Valley Civilization, thus marking the southern extent of this ancient civilization. [2]

This is one of the reasons why the Indus Valley Civilization is one of the least known of the important early civilizations of antiquity. [5] Indus valley civilization is a rich civilization and one of the most important civilizations that existed in the world. [6]

The great Indus Valley Civilization, located in modern-day India and Pakistan, began to decline around 1800 BCE. The civilization eventually disappeared along with its two great cities, Mohenjo-daro and Harappa. [3] Harappa and Mohenjo-daro were thought to be the two great cities of the Indus Valley Civilization, emerging around 2600 BCE along the Indus River Valley in the Sindh and Punjab provinces of Pakistan. [3] The Indus Valley Civilization existed through its early years of 3300-1300 BCE, and its mature period of 2600-1900 BCE. The area of this civilization extended along the Indus River from what today is northeast Afghanistan, into Pakistan and northwest India. [3] The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilization (3300-1300 BCE mature period 2600-1900 BCE) extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. [4]

In 2001, archaeologists studying the remains of two men from Mehrgarh, Pakistan, made the discovery that the people of the Indus Valley Civilization, from the early Harappan periods, had knowledge of proto-dentistry. [4] The Indus Valley Civilization encompassed most of Pakistan and parts of northwestern India, Afghanistan and Iran, extending from Balochistan in the west to Uttar Pradesh in the east, northeastern Afghanistan to the north and Maharashtra to the south. [4] Outposts of the Indus Valley civilization were excavated as far west as Sutkagan Dor in Baluchistan, as far north as at Shortugai on the Amu Darya (the river's ancient name was Oxus) in current Afghanistan, as far east as at Alamgirpur, Uttar Pradesh, India and as far south as at Malwan, Surat Dist., India. [4] The Indus Valley civilization of ancient India was one of the earliest civilizations in world history. [7] Whatever the explanation, the brilliant achievements of the Indus Valley civilization gave way to a new chapter in the history of ancient India. [7] Today, the area once occupied by the Indus Valley Civilization is divided mainly between the countries of India and Pakistan. [2] By 1800 BCE, the Indus Valley Civilization saw the beginning of their decline: Writing started to disappear, standardized weights and measures used for trade and taxation purposes fell out of use, the connection with the Near East was interrupted, and some cities were gradually abandoned. [5] By 2600 BCE, dozens of towns and cities had been established, and between 2500 and 2000 BCE the Indus Valley Civilization was at its peak. [5] Mohenjo-daro is thought to have been built in the 26th century BCE and became not only the largest city of the Indus Valley Civilization but one of the world’s earliest, major urban centers. [3] Map showing the Indus Valley Civilization - Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Mehrgarh and Lothal with current countriy boundaries. [8] More than four millennia ago, the Indus Valley civilization was a vast and sophisticated culture spanning what is now Pakistan and western India. [2] …the musical culture of the Indus valley civilization of the 3rd and 2nd millennia bce. [9] A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture is evident in the Indus Valley civilization. [4] The Indus Valley Civilization was one of the three "Ancient East" societies that are considered to be the cradles of civilization of the old world of man, and are among the most widespread the other two "Ancient East" societies are Mesopotamia and Pharonic Egypt. [3] Unlike Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilization did not build large, monumental structures. [3]

The Indus Valley Civilization contained more than 1,000 cities and settlements. [3] The remains of the Indus Valley Civilization cities indicate remarkable organization there were well-ordered wastewater drainage and trash collection systems, and possibly even public granaries and baths. [3] The decline of the Indus Valley civilization began to start between 2000 and 1750 BC. Many historians claim different causes for the decline of the civilization such as floods, earthquakes, Aryan invasions, etc. But some scholars believe that it is a wrong perception to look for the causes of decline of the civilization, because, the stylistic continuity from the Harappan phase is still prevalent in some parts of India like Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, etc. [6] The lifespan of the Indus Valley Civilization is often separated into three phases: Early Harappan Phase (3300-2600 BCE), Mature Harappan Phase (2600-1900 BCE) and Late Harappan Phase (1900-1300 BCE). [3]

The Indus Valley Civilisation ( IVC ), or Harappan Civilisation, was a Bronze Age civilisation (3300-1300 BCE mature period 2600-1900 BCE) mainly in the northwestern regions of South Asia, extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. [1] In 2001, archaeologists studying the remains of two men from Mehrgarh, Pakistan, discovered that the people of the Indus Valley Civilisation, from the early Harappan periods, had knowledge of proto- dentistry. [1]

According to Rao, Hakra Ware has been found at Bhirrana, and is pre-Harappan, dating to the 8th-7th millennium BCE. Hakra Ware culture is a material culture which is contemporaneous with the early Harappan Ravi phase culture (3300-2800 BCE) of the Indus Valley. [1] During 4300-3200 BCE of the chalcolithic period (copper age), the Indus Valley Civilisation area shows ceramic similarities with southern Turkmenistan and northern Iran which suggest considerable mobility and trade. [1] Outposts of the Indus Valley civilisation were excavated as far west as Sutkagan Dor in Pakistani Balochistan, as far north as at Shortugai on the Amu Darya (the river's ancient name was Oxus ) in current Afghanistan, as far east as at Alamgirpur, Uttar Pradesh, India and as far south as at Malwan, in modern-day Surat, Gujarat, India. [1] The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) encompassed much of Pakistan, western India, and northeastern Afghanistan extending from Pakistani Balochistan in the west to Uttar Pradesh in the east, northeastern Afghanistan in the north and Maharashtra in the south. [1]

The Indus Valley Civilisation has also been called by some the "Sarasvati culture", the "Sarasvati Civilisation", the "Indus-Sarasvati Civilisation" or the "Sindhu-Saraswati Civilisation", as the Ghaggar-Hakra river is identified by some with the mythological Sarasvati river, suggesting that the Indus Valley Civilisation was the Vedic civilisation as perceived by traditional Hindu beliefs. [1] A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture is evident in the Indus Valley Civilisation making them the first urban centre in the region. [1] The Indus Valley Civilisation is named after the Indus Valley, where the first remains were found. [1] The cities of the Indus Valley Civilisation had "social hierarchies, their writing system, their large planned cities and their long-distance trade mark them to archaeologists as a full-fledged 'civilisation.'" [1] In contrast to contemporary Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilisations, Indus Valley lacks any monumental palaces, even though excavated cities indicate that the society possessed the requisite engineering knowledge. [1] While the Indus Valley Civilisation is generally characterised as a literate society on the evidence of these inscriptions, this description has been challenged by Farmer, Sproat, and Witzel (2004) who argue that the Indus system did not encode language, but was instead similar to a variety of non-linguistic sign systems used extensively in the Near East and other societies, to symbolise families, clans, gods, and religious concepts. [1]

Gallego Romero et al. (2011) notice that " he earliest evidence of cattle herding in south Asia comes from the Indus River Valley site of Mehrgarh and is dated to 7,000 YBP." [1] Mehrgarh is a Neolithic (7000BCE to c. 2500BCE) site to the west of the Indus River valley, near the capital of the Kachi District in Pakistan, on the Kacchi Plain of Balochistan, near the Bolan Pass. [1]

Steatite seals have images of animals, people (perhaps gods), and other types of inscriptions, including the yet un-deciphered writing system of the Indus Valley Civilisation. [1] Edakkal caves in Wayanad district of Kerala contain drawings that range over periods from as early as 5000 BCE to 1000 BCE. The youngest group of paintings have been in the news for a possible connection to the Indus Valley Civilisation. [1] According to Parpola, the culture migrated into the Indus Valley and became the Indus Valley Civilisation. [1] Historians such as Heinrich Zimmer and Thomas McEvilley believe that there is a connection between first Jain Tirthankara Rishabhanatha and the Indus Valley civilisation. [1] Several periodisations are employed for the periodisation of the IVC. The most commonly used classifies the Indus Valley Civilisation into Early, Mature and Late Harappan Phase. [1] Toilets that used water were used in the Indus Valley Civilisation. [1]

The Bronze Age village and urban societies of the Indus Valley are some-thing of an anomaly, in that archaeologists have found little indication of local defense and regional warfare. [1] The religion and belief system of the Indus Valley people have received considerable attention, especially from the view of identifying precursors to deities and religious practices of Indian religions that later developed in the area. [1] However the function of the female figurines in the life of Indus Valley people remains unclear, and Possehl does not regard the evidence for Marshall's hypothesis to be "terribly robust". [1] Studies of tooth enamel from individuals buried at Harappa suggest that some residents had migrated to the city from beyond the Indus Valley. [1] "It is generally assumed that most trade between the Indus Valley (ancient Meluhha?) and western neighbors proceeded up the Persian Gulf rather than overland. [1] The Indus Valley Civilisation did not disappear suddenly, and many elements of the Indus Civilisation appear in later cultures. [1] The geography of the Indus Valley put the civilisations that arose there in a highly similar situation to those in Egypt and Peru, with rich agricultural lands being surrounded by highlands, desert, and ocean. [1] David Gordon White cites three other mainstream scholars who "have emphatically demonstrated" that Vedic religion derives partially from the Indus Valley Civilisations. [1] The Indus Valley climate grew significantly cooler and drier from about 1800 BCE, linked to a general weakening of the monsoon at that time. [1] One Indus Valley seal shows a seated figure with a horned headdress, possibly tricephalic and possibly ithyphallic, surrounded by animals. [1] Many Indus Valley seals show animals, with some depicting them being carried in processions, while others show chimeric creations. [1] Although there is no incontrovertible proof that this was indeed the case, the distribution of Indus-type artifacts on the Oman peninsula, on Bahrain and in southern Mesopotamia makes it plausible that a series of maritime stages linked the Indus Valley and the Gulf region." [1] It is hypothesized that the proto-Elamo-Dravidian language, most likely originated in the Elam province in southwestern Iran, spread eastwards with the movement of farmers to the Indus Valley and the Indian sub-continent." [1] Art of the Bronze Age: southeastern Iran, western Central Asia, and the Indus Valley. [1] An alternative approach by Shaffer divides the broader Indus Valley Tradition into four eras, the pre-Harappan "Early Food Producing Era," and the Regionalisation, Integration, and Localisation eras, which correspond roughly with the Early Harappan, Mature Harappan, and Late Harappan phases. [1]

The Indus Valley civilization covered most of what is today Pakistan and the Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab. [7] Evidence supporting this claim includes: the continuity of pre-Aryan traditions practices by many sectors of Indian society and also the possibility that some major gods of the Hindu pantheon actually originated during the time of the Indus Valley Civilization and were kept "alive" by the original inhabitants through the centuries. [5] There is evidence of some level of contact between the Indus Valley Civilization and the Near East. [5] At its peak, the Indus Valley Civilization may had a population of over five million people. [3] Indus Valley Civilization was one of the worlds first great civilization. [10] From excavated remains, it is clear that the Indus Valley civilization possessed a flourishing urban architecture. [9] The Indus Valley Civilization is believed to have existed between the 3rd and 2nd millenniums BC. This civilization covered an area of around 1,210,000 square km (467,183.6 square mi). [2] The Indus Script is the writing system developed by the Indus Valley Civilization and it is the earliest form of writing. [5] The population of the Indus Valley Civilization may have once been as large as five million. [3] The Indus Valley Civilization may have met its demise due to invasion. [3] The Aryans crossed the Hindu Kush mountains and came in contact with the Indus Valley Civilization. [5] Aryans : A nomadic, Indo-European tribe called the Aryans suddenly overwhelmed and conquered the Indus Valley Civilization. [3] One theory suggested that a nomadic, Indo-European tribe, called the Aryans, invaded and conquered the Indus Valley Civilization. [3] In an interview with the Deccan Herald on 12 August 2012, Asko Parpola clarified his position by admitting that Sanskrit-speakers had contributed to the Indus Valley Civilization. [4] A society still silent and secreted beneath the earth of the Himalayas, the earliest civilization associated with Hindu/Indian art history is the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC). [2] A recent discovery suggests that the Indus Valley Civilization is at least 8,000 years old, not 5,500 as previously believed. [2] Experts have theorized that the Indus Valley Civilization had no rulers as we understand them, with everyone enjoying equal status. [3] Many scholars now believe the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization was caused by climate change. [3] Scroll down to learn about the history of Indus valley civilization. [6] Indus civilization, also called Indus valley civilization or Harappan civilization, the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent. [9] The Indus Valley Civilization is the earliest known culture of the Indian subcontinent of the kind now called "urban" (or centered on large municipalities), and the largest of the four ancient civilizations, which also included Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China. [3] Indus Valley Civilization - Ancient History Encyclopedia Indus Valley Civilization Cristian Violatti The Indus Valley Civilization was an ancient civilization located in what is Pakistan and northwest India today, on the fertile flood plain of the Indus River and its vicinity. [5] The Indus Valley Civilization (also known as the Harappan Civilization) was a Bronze Age society extending from modern northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. [3] The mature phase of the Harappan civilization lasted from c. 2600 to 1900 BCE. With the inclusion of the predecessor and successor cultures - Early Harappan and Late Harappan, respectively - the entire Indus Valley Civilization may be taken to have lasted from the 33rd to the 14th centuries BCE. Two terms are employed for the periodization of the IVC: Phases and Eras. [4] The Indus Valley Civilization did not disappear suddenly, and many elements of the Indus Civilization can be found in later cultures. [4]

The docks and canal in the ancient city of Lothal, located in modern India: Archaeological evidence suggests that the Indus River Valley Civilization constructed boats and may have participated in an extensive maritime trade network. [3] The Indus River Valley Civilization, also known as Harappan, included its own advanced technology, economy, and culture. [3] Miniature Votive Images or Toy Models from Harappa, c. 2500 BCE: The Indus River Valley Civilization created figurines from terracotta, as well as bronze and steatite. [3] This Indus Script suggests that writing developed independently in the Indus River Valley Civilization from the script employed in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. [3] The Indus River Valley Civilization, located in modern Pakistan, was one of the world’s three earliest widespread societies. [3]

The discovery of one of Pakistan’s most important heritage sites belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization begins with the dismantling of ruins as the site was being used as a quarry for bricks. [11] The Indus Valley Civilization has more than 1500 known archaeological sites and stretched from the foothills of the Himalayas in the North, to the Arabian Sea coast in the South, and from the Iran-Pakistan borderlands in the West to Gujrat in India in the East. [11] The perception of origins of Indus valley civilization was altered dramatically with the discovery of the extraordinary complex of culture sites on the Bolan river around Mehrgarh which was discovered and excavated under the direction of French Arhchaeologist J.F.Jarriage in 1975. [12]

An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortughai in northern Afghanistan, in the Gomal River valley in northwestern Pakistan, at Manda,Jammu on the Beas River near Jammu, India, and at Alamgirpur on the Hindon River, only 28 km from Delhi. [4] Dholavira is said to be one of the five largest Indus Valley sites, the others being Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Gharo Bhiro (all in Pakistan) and Rakhigarhi (in India). [2] Two of the most well-known Indus Valley sites - Mohnejo-Daro and Harappa, are located in Pakistan. [2] Many Indus Valley (or Harappan) sites have been discovered along the Ghaggar-Hakra beds. Among them are: Rupar, Rakhigarhi, Sothi, Kalibangan, and Ganwariwala. [4] Rakhigarhi is a key site in the Indus Valley civilisation, which ruled a more than 1m sq km swath of the Asian subcontinent during the bronze age and was as advanced and powerful as its better known contemporary counterparts in Egypt and Mesopotamia. [13] Indus Valley excavation sites have revealed a number of distinct examples of the culture’s art, including sculptures, seals, pottery, gold jewelry, and anatomically detailed figurines in terracotta, bronze, and steatite--more commonly known as Soapstone. [3] Over 400 distinct symbols (some say 600) have been recovered from the sites of Indus Valley cities, on seals, small tablets, or ceramic pots, and on over a dozen other materials. [7]

While the Indus (or Harappan) civilization may be considered the culmination of a long process indigenous to the Indus valley, a number of parallels exist between developments on the Indus River and the rise of civilization in Mesopotamia. [9] Built around 2600 BCE, it was one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, and one of the world's earliest major urban settlements, contemporaneous with the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Crete. [4] Reconstructing Indus Valley religion is impossible, but there are intriguing indications of continuity between the religion of this civilization and the later religions of ancient India. [7] The Indus Valley is contemporary with the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. [7] As the evidence stands, the civilization was succeeded in the Indus valley by poverty-stricken cultures, deriving a little from a sub-Indus heritage but also drawing elements from the direction of Iran and the Caucasus --from the general direction, in fact, of the northern invasions. [9] It has long been claimed that the Indus Valley was the home of a literate civilization, but this has recently been challenged on linguistic and archaeological grounds. [4] The Indus River Valley Civilization (IVC) contained urban centers with well-conceived and organized infrastructure, architecture, and systems of governance. [3] Indus Script : Symbols produced by the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. [3] Mohenjo Daro sat beneath the soil for thousands of years, a preserved relic of the ancient Indus Valley civilization. [4] The geography of the Indus Valley put the civilizations that arose there in a highly similar situation to those in Egypt and Peru, with rich agricultural lands being surrounded by highlands, desert, and ocean. [4] Another Indus Valley site in Gujarat is Dholavira, which is located in the Kutch district. [2] Many other Indus Valley sites, however, are much less famous. [2]

The Indus River Valley Civilization, also known as Harappan civilization, developed the first accurate system of standardized weights and measures, some as accurate as to 1.6 mm. [3]

The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilisation in the northwest Indian subcontinent encompassing most of modern-day Pakistan and some regions in northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. [14] The Indus Valley Civilization stands as one of the great early civilizations, alongside ancient Egypt and Sumerian Civilization, as a place where human settlements organized into cities, invented a system of writing and supported an advanced culture. [15] Over 140 ancient towns and cities belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization have been discovered along its course. [15] The first settlements discovered were along the banks of river Indus, so the archaeologist called them " Indus Valley Civilization [16] The Harappans, as the architects of the Indus valley civilization, are known to have constructed the world's first tidal port at Lothal at the head of the Gulf of Cambay. [12] John Marshall, then Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI), and his menespecially M.S.Vatsmade a spectacular Discovery:the Indus valley civilization and the twin cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro. [12] Moen jo Daro, the largest and most elaborate city of the Indus Valley Civilization, is also located in Sindh, 400 miles from its counterpart, Harappa, in the province of Punjab. [11] Some scholars argue that a sunken city, linked with the Indus Valley Civilization, off the coast of India was the Dwawka of the Mahabharata, and, dating this at 7500 B.C.E. or perhaps ever earlier, they make it a rival to Jericho (circa 10,000-11,000 B.C.E. ) as the oldest city on earth (Howe 2002). [15] The Indus Valley Civilization, (mature period 2600-1900 BCE), abbreviated IVC, was an Bronze Age civilization that flourished in the Indus River basin. [17] The Indus Valley Civilization existed along the Indus River in present-day Pakistan. [15] The Indus Valley Civilization had some of the most sophisticated and technologically advanced urban centres in ancient history. [14] A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture is evident in the Indus Valley Civilization. [15] Ecological destruction theory is that the Indus valley civilization was a Bronze Age culture, which began in 3000 BC. [12] The famous Indus Valley Civilization thus never collapsed its large structures were only expedient buildings reflecting a wheat-based culture. [18] Lost to human memory was the fourth civilization of equal importance and much more sophisticated Indus Valley Civilization that thrived along the flood plains of rivers Indus and Gaggar-Hakra. [16] Steatite seals have images of animals, people (perhaps gods), and other types of inscriptions, including the yet un-deciphered writing system of the Indus Valley Civilization. [14] The Indus seals at Ur showed the Indus Valley Civilization to be contemporaneous with the Mesopotamian and Egyptian Civilizations, subjecting Moen jo Daro to an unworthy comparison of its utilitarian architectural remains with the monumental structures of Egypt and Mesopotamia. [11] Archaeological evidence has proved that Indus Valley civilization and Mesopotamians were having long time trade relations. [16] New evidence offers unique insight into the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization. [18] The seals did help, however, with establishing the chronology of the Indus Valley Civilization. [11] The people of this Indus Valley civilization did not build massive monuments like their contemporaries, nor did they bury riches among their dead in golden tombs. [19] Parveen Talpur's latest book, Moen jo Daro: The Metropolis of Indus Valley Civilization 2600-1900 B.C, is currently under publication. [11] The Indus Valley Civilization had a total population of over five million. [16] Var's work is extremely significant since it also challenges the idea that the Indus Valley Civilization was pre-Aryan and that the Aryans invaded or migrated from the European zone. [15] Archaeologists believe that majority of the population of Indus Valley Civilization lived in villages. [16] Engineers of Indus Valley Civilization had mastered the channeling of water and disposal of wastewater thousands of years before the Romans began to start building aqueducts. [16] Remarkably, the lack of all these is what makes the Indus Valley civilization so exciting and unique. [19] Amazingly, the Indus Valley civilization appears to have been a peaceful one. [19] Check out these lesser-known facts about Indus Valley civilization that are not just worth sharing but will keep your curiosity going. [16] It is entirely possible that the place the Mesopotamians called Meluhha is Indus Valley Civilization. [16]

The site of Harappa, Pakistan is one of the largest and most important cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. [20] The architecture and city planning of Harappa was similar to that of Mohenjo-daro and the varieties of artifacts recovered from the excavations confirmed that these two sites represented the same cultural tradition which has come to be known as the Harappa Phase of the Indus Valley Civilization. [20] Excavation of the sites of the Indus Valley Civilization is an on-going process and by 1999, 1,056 cities and settlements had been found. [21]

The different stages of the indigenous evolution of the Indus can be documented by an analysis of four sites which reflect the sequence of the four important stages or phases in the pre-history and proto-history of the Indus valley region. [22] The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), was an ancient civilization thriving along the lower Indus River and the Ghaggar River-Hakra River in what is now Pakistan and western India from the twenty-eighth century B.C.E. to the eighteenth century B.C.E. Another name for this civilization is the Harappan Civilization of the Indus Valley, in reference to its first excavated city of Harappa. [15] Harappa was, in fact, such a rich discovery that the Indus Valley Civilization is also called the Harappan civilization. [19]

In terms of geographic area, Indus Valley Civilization was the largest among the four ancient civilizations of the world namely, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China. [16] Indus valley civilization was initially called as Harappan civilization. [23] Some of those who accept this hypothesis advocate designating the Indus Valley culture the "Sarasvati-Sindhu Civilization," Sindhu being the ancient name of the Indus River. [15] While others civilizations were devoting huge amounts of time and resources to the rich, the supernatural, and the dead, Indus Valley inhabitants were taking a practical approach to supporting the common, secular, living people. [19] It has long been claimed that the Indus Valley was the home of a literate civilization, but this has been challenged on linguistic and archaeological grounds. [15] It is thus difficult to accept Sir Mortimer Wheeler's assumption that "the idea of civilization came to the Indus valley from Mesopotamia". [22] A harp-like instrument depicted on an Indus seal and two shell objects from Lothal confirm that stringed musical instruments were in use in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. [15] The Indus civilization was predated by the first farming cultures in south Asia, which emerged in the hills of what is now called Balochistan, Pakistan, to the west of the Indus Valley. [15] Among the Indus civilization's mysteries, however, are fundamental questions, including its means of subsistence and the causes for its sudden disappearance beginning around 1900 B.C.E. Lack of information until recently led many scholars to negatively contrast the Indus Valley legacy with what is known about its contemporaries, Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, implying that these have contributed more to human development. [15] The Ancient Indus Valley Civilization Architecture, engineering, the arts, and sciences: these were only a few of the areas in which the Harappan civilization was accomplished. [19]

Punch-marked coins, with their symbols reminiscent of the Indus valley script and weights, conforming to the weight system at Mohenjodaro, constitute an important survival of the Indus valley dating from before 400BC. [12] Kulli, situated on the southern foothills of the Baluchi mountains near the Makran coast, occupies an important position on the trade route between the Persian Gulf and the Indus Valley. [22] Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, a similarly-planned city situated further south, near the banks of the Indus River, are considered part of the same vast civilization, the Indus Valley Civilization, which thrived from 2600 to 1900 BCE. [24] Located in what's now Pakistan and western India, it was the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent. (1) The Indus Valley Civilization, as it is called, covered an area the size of western Europe. [25] The Indus Valley civilization covered a large area - from Balochistan (Pakistan) to Gujarat (Republic of India). [26] The Indus Valley civilization was entirely unknown until 1921, when excavations in what would become Pakistan revealed the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro (shown here). [27] The cities of Indus Valley Civilization had world's first known urban sanitation systems. [21] In most respects, the Indus Valley Civilization appears to have been urban, defying both the predominant idea of India as an eternally and essentially agricultural civilization, as well as the notion that the change from 'rural' to 'urban' represents something of a logical progression. [28] The most compelling historical narrative still suggests that the demise and eventual disappearance of the Indus Valley Civilization, which owed something to internal decline, nonetheless was facilitated by the arrival in India of the Aryans. [28] Similar to the other cities of the Indus Valley Civilization, the streets were laid out in a grid-like pattern, running either north to south or east to west. [24] Indus Valley Civilization is famous for its advanced engineering, well planned cities and a drainage system which wouldn't be bettered for many centuries. [21] More than 400 distinct symbols have been found on seals, tablets, ceramic pots etc. Despite repeated attempts, the writing system of the Indus Valley Civilization has not been deciphered yet. [21] They have then had to rely upon the surviving cultural materials to give them insight into the life of the Harappan's. (2) Harappan's are the name given to any of the ancient people belonging to the Indus Valley civilization. [25] These people and their literature is believed to have then originated after the decline of the Indus Valley civilizations. [25] The conventional historical narrative speaks of a cataclysmic blow that struck the Indus Valley Civilization around 1,600 BCE, but that would not explain why settlements at a distance of several hundred miles from each other were all eradicated. [28] The first recorded note of the discovery of Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was made in an 1842 book by James Lewis. [21] The cause of the decline and collapse of Indus Valley Civilization in 2nd Century BC is not known yet. [21] Lastly, drought and adverse climatic conditions in the area, is an often cited reason for the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization. [21] Monsoon failure can cause years of drought, and scientists theorize that a weakened monsoon may have contributed to the fall of the Indus Valley Civilization. [24] The Indus Valley civilization raises a great many, largely unresolved, questions. [28] In the 19th and 20th centuries, archaeologists discovered traces of India's earliest civilization, one that developed in the fertile Indus River Valley between 3000 and 1900 BCE. Larger than either the Egyptian or Mesopotamian civilizations of the same period, the population of the Indus Valley (or Harappan) Civilization is estimated at anywhere between two and five million people. [24] Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), also known as Harappan Civilization after its first find-spot Harappa, was the largest of the four great ancient civilizations. [21]

The people of the Indus Valley, also known as Harappan (Harappa was the first city in the region found by archaeologists), achieved many notable advances in technology, including great accuracy in their systems and tools for measuring length and mass. [3] Harappa lends its name to the Indus Valley people because it was the civilization’s first city to be discovered by modern archaeologists. [3]

By the start of the 4th millennium farming communities dotted the flood plain of the river Indus and from the mid-4th millennium, proto-urban settlements had appeared which shared traits which would later appear in Indus Valley cities: rigid city planning, massive brick walls and bull motifs in their art. [7] All kinds of artefacts have been found in the Indus Valley cities: seals, glazed beads, pottery, gold jewellery, and anatomically detailed figurines in terra-cotta, bronze, and soapstone. [7] Seals have been one of the most commonly discovered artifacts in Indus Valley cities, decorated with animal figures, such as elephants, tigers, and water buffalos. [3]

…great urban culture of the Indus civilization, a society of the Indus River valley that is thought to have been Dravidian-speaking, thrived from roughly 2500 to 1700 bce. [9] The Indus civilization apparently evolved from the villages of neighbours or predecessors, using the Mesopotamian model of irrigated agriculture with sufficient skill to reap the advantages of the spacious and fertile Indus River valley while controlling the formidable annual flood that simultaneously fertilizes and destroys. [9]

The southern region of the civilization, on the Kathiawar Peninsula and beyond, appears to be of later origin than the major Indus sites. [9] According to some archaeologists, more than 500 Harappan sites have been discovered along the dried up river beds of the Ghaggar-Hakra River and its tributaries, in contrast to only about 100 along the Indus and its tributaries consequently, in their opinion, the appellation Indus Ghaggar-Hakra civilization or Indus-Saraswati civilization is justified. [4]

The Indus Valley civilisation flourished for three thousand years before disappearing suddenly around 1500 BC. Theories range from the drying up of local rivers to an epidemic. [13] By 1800 BCE, the Indus Valley climate grew cooler and drier, and a tectonic event may have diverted the Ghaggar Hakra river system toward the Ganges Plain. [3] After c. 1900 BCE, all the major Indus Valley cities were abandoned. [7] A possible natural reason for the IVC's decline is connected with climate change that is also signaled for the neighboring areas of the Middle East: The Indus valley climate grew significantly cooler and drier from about 1800 BCE, linked to a general weakening of the monsoon at that time. [4] The smallest division, approximately 1.6 mm, was marked on an ivory scale found in Lothal, a prominent Indus Valley city in the modern Indian state of Gujarat. [3] The large number of figurines found in the Indus Valley have led some scholars to argue that the Indus people worshipped a Mother Goddess symbolizing fertility, a common practice among rural Hindus even today. [7] The origins of the people of the Indus Valley civilisation has prompted a long-running argument that has lasted for more than five decades. [13] Traces of parasites may tell archaeologists what the people of the Indus Valley civilisation ate. [13] All these pieces of evidence point to the Indus Valley religion having a large measure of influence on the beliefs and practices of the Aryan peoples who came after them. [7] The Indus valley people, used irrigation based agriculture, and they grew rice, wheat, barley, etc., and also raised animals such as cows, dogs, camels, pigs, dogs, cats and horses. [6] The metals used to make these things are not found in the Indus Valley. [4] Some Indus Valley seals show swastikas, which are also found in Hinduism and its offshoots, Buddhism and Jainism. [7] Some Indus Valley seals show a swastika symbol, which was included in later Indian religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. [3] Many Indus Valley seals also include the forms of animals, with some depicting them being carried in processions, while others showing chimeric creations, leading scholars to speculate about the role of animals in Indus Valley religions. [3] Rapid changes in types of pottery suggest a series of migrations into the region, which may have been highly disruptive for the Indus Valley cities. [7] It was once widely thought that the Indus Valley cities were the victims of assaults by Aryan (Indo-European) nomadic invaders from central Asia. [7] Dozens of towns and cities are established in the Indus Valley. [5] There also must have existed a theatrical tradition in the Indus valley cities, but of this we have no literary numismatic or any other material proof. [4] Commercial, religious, and artistic connections have been recorded in Sumerian documents, where the Indus valley people are referred to as Meluhhaites and the Indus valley is called Meluhha. [5] The engineering skills of the Indus Valley people were of a very high order. [7] Earlier studies (prior to 1980) often assumed that food production was imported to the Indus Valley by a single linguistic group ("Aryans") and/or from a single area. [4]

Why did this civilization, considering its sophistication, not spread beyond the Indus Valley? In general, the area where the Indus valley cities developed is arid, and one can surmise that urban development took place along a river that flew through a virtual desert. [28] The Indus Valley civilization was an ancient civilization in the Indian subcontinent. [26] Of all these civilizations the least is known about the Indus Valley people. [25] The most striking difference between Indus Valley and other civilizations is no evidence of an army and a lack of substantial amount of weapons to wage war. [21] Some several thousand years ago there once thrived a civilization in the Indus Valley. [25]

In 1842 Charles Masson wrote a book that mentioned the sites of Indus Valley Civilisation. [26] It is essential that detailed surveys and test trenchings of other sites in the lower Indus Valley be made. [29]

It is important for our studies into the history of flooding in the lower Indus Valley that we have a complete stratigraphic picture of the successive occupation levels of the city. [29] The Indus Valley Civilization was known for two important cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, which were centers of political activity and commerce. [30] The total geographic area encompassed by sites associated with the Indus Valley civilization is over 262,500 square miles (680,000 sq. km) and includes most of modern Pakistan and parts of western India and northern Afghanistan. [31] From the excavated archaeological sites of Indus valley, it has been found that kiln burnt bricks were lavishly used by the Harapan culture (Indus Civilization) and evidently unlimited timber must have been available for use in the third Millennium BC. Harrapan are therefore blamed to have cruelly used the forests. [32] Arts and Culture Various sculptures, seals, pottery, gold jewelry and figurines in terracotta, bronze and steatite, etc, have been excavated from the sites of the Ancient Indus Valley Civilization. [33] Because of its vast extent, the term "Greater Indus Valley " has come to be accepted by most scholars as representing the territories surrounding the Indus River that include sites of this civilization. [31]

The following features of the Mature Phase were more prominent: Cities Approximately 1052 cities and settlements belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization have been excavated till date, mainly in the general region of the Ghaggar and Indus Rivers and their tributaries. [33] Out of the lot, Mohenjo-daro became the largest city of the Indus Valley Civilization and holds the multiple distinction of being one of the world's first major urban centers, as well as, at the time, one of the most sophisticated cities in the world and a global architectonical and engineering masterpiece. [34] INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION Also referred to as the Harappa culture, the Indus Valley civilization was the earliest urban, state-level society in South Asia (2600-1900 b.c.) and was contemporaneous with state-level societies in Egypt and Mesopotamia. [31] Religion The large number of figurines found in the Indus Valley Civilization suggests that the Harappan people worshipped a Mother Goddess, who symbolized fertility. [33] After the partition of India in 1947, the area of the Indus Valley Civilization was divided between India and Pakistan. [33]

Primarily centered along the Indus and the Punjab region, the civilization extended into the en:Ghaggar-Hakra River valley and the Ganges-Yamuna Doab, encompassing most of what is now Pakistan, as well as extending into the westernmost states of modern-day India, southeastern Afghanistan and the easternmost part of Sistan and Baluchestan Province (Balochistan), Iran. [17] Some Neolithic culture sites have been unearthed in the Valleys of the Himalayas, Norhth of the Indus plain. [12] The available evidence suggests that the Harappan culture had its origin in the Indus valley. [22] Although the intricate details of the early Indus Valley culture might never be fully known, many pieces of the ancient puzzle have been discovered. [19] The die-struck and cast varieties of ancient Indian coins appear to be indebted to the Indus valley for their form. [12] Given the systematic approach in town planning and level of sophistication achieved by the Indus Valley people, scholars believed that even though these cities had very dense population, they were not chaotic. [16] We don’t know what the Indus Valley people used to call themselves. [16] His book, Vedic Glossary on Indus Seals argues that Greek evolved from old-Brahmi, which developed originally from the Indus Valley script. [15] The remains of the Indus Valley cities continue to be unearthed and interpreted today. [19] Almost all the Indus Valley cities were designed in a grid pattern with streets crossing at right angles. [16] The remains of their walls yield clues about the culture that thrived in the Indus Valley. [19] In the core areas of the greater Indus valley other metal minerals, such as haematite, lollingite, antimony,cinnabar, cerussite, galena and an unidentified type of lead. [12]

RANKED SELECTED SOURCES(40 source documents arranged by frequency of occurrence in the above report)


2. Notable Findings at Dholavira

One of unique features of Dholavira is that, unlike other Harappan cities like Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, the city is built almost exclusively of stones instead of bricks. Another striking feature of the ancient city was its sustainable use of water resources. The wisely planned and constructed network of reservoirs and water channels allowing the successful harvest of rainwater and diversion of rivulets, exemplifies the ingenuity of the Harappan people inhabiting the city. The ability to conserve every drop of water in the parched landscape speaks volumes about the engineering skills of the people of Dholavira. For all these reasons and more, the level of sophistication achieved by the people of Dholavira amazes the modern world to this date.


Watch the video: LOTHAL CITY. HARAPPA CIVILIZATION. LOTHAL DOCKYARD (January 2022).