INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION

(2350 BC – 1750 BC)

  • Indus Valley Civilization
  • Different Sites of Indus Valley Civilization
  • Harappa , Mohenjo Daro, Lothal, Kalibangan, Dholavira
  • Features of Indus Valley Civilization
  • Economy of Indus Valley Civilization
  • Agriculture and Animal Husbandry
  • Crafts And Trade
  • Religions of Indus Valley Civilization
  • Scripts of Harappan Civilization
  • Decline of Harappan Civilization

 

Indus Valley Civilization :

  • Indus valley civilization is also called ‘Harappan Civilization’ because Harappa was the first site to be excavated in 1921 under the supervision of ‘Daya Ram Sahni’.
  • Indus Valley Civilization belongs to Bronze Age/Chalcolithic Age, also called Bronze Age civilization.
  • Contemporary civilization of Harappan civilization are Mesopotamian or Sumerian civilization, Egyptian civilization or chinese civilization.

Different Sites of Indus Valley Civilization :

1.Harappa:

  • Six granaries and sixteen ‘agnikunda’ have been found in Harappa.
  • People of Harappa knew the process of making tarcol.
  • Main gate for the entry in the houses of Harappa was in the NORTH DIRECTION.
  • Terracotta figurine Mother Goddess have been found here.

2. Mohenjo Daro :

  • The literal meaning of Mohenjo Daro in sindhi language is ‘Mound of the Dead’.
  • The Great Bath, a granary, big halls, a bronze statue of dancing girl, idol of a yogi and numerous seals have been found here.
  • The evidences of assembly hall and proper planned house with a kitchen and courtyard have been found at Mohenjo Daro.
  • Mohenjo daro was discovered in 1922 under the supervision of R. D. Banerjee.
  • Seven layers of Mohenjo Daro city directs that the city was destroyed and rebuilt seven times.

3. Lothal :

  • A dockyard  have been found at lothal.
  • Lothal was discovered by S.R. Rao in (1957) jn gulf of cambay in Gujarat.
  • Red and black clay pots, copper tools brick built tank liker structure, a bead making factory and a seal from Iran have been found at Lothal.
  • Linear scale of bronze have been found here.

4. Kalibangan :

  • A number of Agnikunda (Fire Pits) have been found in Kalibangan.
  • Kalibangan was discovered in 1953. It is located in upper Rajasthan.
  • It saw two cultural Phases viz. pre-Harappan and Harappan.
  • A ploughed field have been found.
  • Kalibangan was not planned and did not have drainage system.

5. Dholavira :

  • Dholavira in Gujarat was discovered in 1992 by J.P. Joshi.
  • Dholavira shows all the phases of Harappan/ Indus valley Civilization.
  • A Script consisting of big alphabets has been found on a gate in Dholavira.

Important Features of  Indus Valley :

  • Town planning was most distinguishable feature of harappan civilization. This is also called first urbanisation.
  • Harappan cities were developed in Block Pattern.
  • Most peculiar feature of town planning was their drainage system.
  • Banawali and Kalibangan shows two phases, viz. pre-Harappan and Harappan.
  • The Harappans knew the art of measurement.
  • Complete burial was the most common method of disposal of dead.

Economy of Harappan Culture :

Agriculture And Animal Husbandry:

  • The Indus valley Civilization or Harappan  grew wheat and barley on a large scale. The other crops grown were pulses, cereals, cotton, dates, melons, pea, sesame and mustard.
  • No clear evidence of rice has been found in Harappan or The  Indus Valley Civilization.
  • Evidence of Hoe and Plough have been found in Kalibangan and Banawali.
  • Harappan domesticated sheep, goat, buffalo and pig. They also knew about tiger, camel, elephant,  tortoise, der, various birds etc. however they didn’t know about Lion.
  • Humpless bulls or Unicorn was the most important animal.
  • The Harappans were the earliest people to produce cotton.

Crafts :

  •  The Harappan culture belongs to the Bronze Age, as the People were very well acquainted with the manufacture and user of bronze.
  • Harappan used to make seals, stone statue, terracotta figurines etc.
  • Huge brick structures made up of burnt bricks and mud bricks suggest that laying was an important craft.
  • Harappan did not know about Iron.
  • They knew about boat making also, as it is evident from their seals.

Trade :

  • Land and sea trade was in Vogue.
  • A Dockyard found at Lothal is the longest building of harappan civilization.
  • Most important trading partners was Mesopotamia.
  • The Mesopotamian inscription refers to trade relation with ‘Meluha’ which was the ancient name given to the Indus region.
  • Two intermediate trading stations called dilmun and maker are identified with ‘Bahrain’ and ‘Makran Coast.’

Religion of Indus Valley Civilization:

  • Pashupati seals have been found from Mohenjo Daro in which a Yogi figure has been depicted.
  • The Yogi on the seal is surrounded by buffalo, tiger, elephant, rhinoceros and dear. Hence Yogi is said to be Proto Shiva.
  • Harappan worshipped Mother Goddess. It is evident from the terracotta figurine recovered.
  • A building called Great Bath have been found at Mohenjo Daro which was meant for ritual bathing.
  • They were superstitious as they wore amulets.
  • Harappan worshipped ’Pipal Tree’.
  • No evidence of temple have been found in this civilization.
  • The earliest evidence for elements of Hinduism are alleged to have been present before and during the early Harappan period

Scripts of harappans :

  • Harapan knew the art of writing. There are nearly 4000 specimens of Harappan writing on stone seals and other objects have been found.
  • Between 400 and as many as 600 distinct Indus symbols have been found on seals, small tablets, ceramic pots and more than a dozen other materials, including a “signboard” that apparently once hung over the gate of the inner citadel of the Indus city of Dholavira.
  • Harappan scripts is not alphabetical but mainly pictographic.
  • This scripts has not been deciphered so far.
  • Scripts was consisted of about 400 symbols, out of which 75 were original and remaining were their variants.

Decline of harappan Civilization :

  • Around 1800 BCE, signs of a gradual decline began to emerge, and by around 1700 BCE, most of the cities were abandoned.
  • There are three different view points of the historians on the decline of Harappan Civilization.
  • Sir Mortimer Wheeler proposed that the decline of the Indus Civilization was caused by the invasion of an Indo-European tribe from Central Asia called the “Aryans”
  • As per G.F Dales & Marshall, Aryans were not responsible for the decline of this civilization.
  • James Marshall stated that natural calamities were responsible for the decline of Harappan civilization. This theory was widely accepted.