Civilization of indus valley
Table of Contents
Civilization of indus valley
Indus Valley Civilization and Culture:
This civilization developed in the north-western regions of the Indian subcontinent.
This culture is known as Harappan culture after the name of the main site of this civilization.
It is also called the Indus Valley Civilization
because some of the important sites of this civilization
where excavated are located in the valley of the Indus River.
Harappa among the Bronze Age civilizations :
The Harappan culture is not the oldest of the Bronze Age civilizations.
It is being called first here because it is the first known civilization of India,
it seems that it existed in 2500 BC.
It developed around 1000 BC and was spread over a larger area than any other contemporary civilization.
Signs of this civilization have been found in Baluchistan, Sindh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Western Uttar Pradesh.
The existence of this civilization came to light in the third decade of the twentieth century.
This discovery pushed back the beginning of India’s history by at least a thousand years.
Firstly, two major sites of this civilization were found in Harappa in Montgomery province of Western Pakistan and Mohenjodaro in Larkana province of Sindh.
Both these places are now in Pakistan. Since then, especially after 1947,
many such sites have been discovered, the most important of which are Ropar in Punjab, Kalibanga in Rajasthan and Lothal and Surkotada in Gujarat.
Scholars are not unanimous regarding how this culture developed.
Evidence suggests that early agrarian communities lived in some areas such as Balochistan and Rajasthan.
This civilization must have developed from these communities only.
Some scholars are of the opinion that it developed as a result of the influence of other civilizations like Mesopotamia etc.
Cities of Hadappa Culture:
Cities of Harappan culture- Harappa and Mohenjodaro cities were built according to a well-planned plan.
And the population here was quite dense.
The roads were straight and wide and intersected each other at right angles.
The main road of Mohenjodaro was 10 meters wide and 400 meters long.
The houses there were built on the roadside and baked bricks were used to build them.
Some houses had more than one storey. each house
There were wells and bathrooms.
The drainage system in Mohenjodaro was excellent.
All the dirty water used to fall into a big river through the drains of the houses.
A big pond has been found in Mohenjodaro.
There were small rooms built around the swimming pool.
There were stairs to reach the water.
It is called public bath.
A citadel has been found in Harappa,
it was situated on a high platform and contained many buildings which now appear to be public.
Most of the cities had large grain warehouses,
probably the grains brought from the countryside were collected in them.
According to archaeologists, Lothal was a port.
This indicates that Lothal must have been an important trading center where foreign boats would also come.
Life of the people:
We do not know anything exactly about the occupations of the people of Harappan culture.
Most of the people were engaged in farming and lived outside the city walls.
They cultivated wheat, barley and peas.
Cotton was also cultivated and people generally wore clothes made from it.
Fish were probably also caught for food.
At this time, bulls, goats, buffaloes, elephants and horses were reared
but it seems that the residents there did not use horses much.
The pottery found in Harappa was made on a wheel.
Some good samples of pottery have been found,
which reveal the high level artistic achievements of the potters of Harappa.
The diversity of these utensils is surprising in terms of shape and size.
Very large pitchers have been found here which have thin necks.
Black painting has been done on red colored pottery.
There are some characteristics of Harappan pottery.
The paintings made on these are not simple.
Many types of patterns have been made using circles, triangles, trees and vines.
The skill of the painters is evident from the depictions done on the pottery.
Many types of clay toys have been found at many sites of Harappan culture.
Innumerable earthen carts have been found in them,
which have wheels and are plowed by animals.
There are many birds whose legs are as long as sticks.
There are statues of some humans whose arms can rotate.
Some clay bulls have been found which can shake their heads.
People used metals for tools and utensils.
They used earthen pots of various shapes and sizes which were made on a potter’s wheel.
The bronze statue of a dancer found in Mohenjodaro is a surprising example of his skilled craftsmanship.
Archaeologists have found hundreds of seals on which beautiful figures of bulls, rhinos, leopards and elephants are carved.
Various objects of Harappan culture like rosary beads,
a golden monkey on a pin and seals have been found in Mesopotamia.
Harappan seals have been found in large numbers in a city.
These things point towards direct trade between the Indus Valley Civilization and Mesopotamia.
Which goods were traded?
We have no written evidence to tell us what the exact transport arrangements were.
To avoid the difficulties of land route, trade was done by sea.
Traders used to take earthen utensils, grains, cotton clothes, spices, beads made of stone, pearls
and antimony from India and brought metal items from there to India.
The people of the Indus Valley had an efficient government
but on the basis of present information we cannot say anything definite about it.
Can’t say for sure.
No big palaces have been found there,
hence some scholars are of the opinion that these cities
were not ruled by kings but by a group of some important citizens.
There is no specific information about the religion of these people.
Many seals have a yoke in the shape of a humped bull.
Probably they considered it sacred.
The figure of a deity is depicted on some seals.
It is considered to be the initial form of the Hindu deity Shikka.
Small figures of humans and figures of goddesses have been found.
Scholars believe that kings and mother goddesses were worshipped.
The Great Bath of Mohenjodaro may have been a place of religious bathing.
Dead bodies were also burnt in fire and buried in the ground.
The seals found in Harappa are typical products of the culture there.
Some of these are bokor cakes made of clay.
One of them is raised and the other has been carved and after cutting they were smoothed.
The figures of animals like bull, rhinoceros, leopard, elephant and crocodile are very clear and beautiful on them.
There are also inscriptions on some seals.
Which have not been read yet.
No person can remain impressed by the skill with which the minute parts of the animal figures have been shown.
No definite answer can be given as to what purpose these seals were used for.
The Harappan culture ended :
The Harappan culture ended in around 1500 BC.
It is not known why and how this happened.
The reasons attributed for the destruction of the Harappan culture are
its gradual decline due to floods and the arrival of a new people, the Aryans.
There is no consensus on this question among scholars.
In many parts of India, the Bronze Age came after the rise of the Later Stone Age and the Chalcolithic Age.
Many sites of these cultures have been found in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Eastern India.
Most of these cultures were much less developed than the Harappan culture.
These cultures neither had cities nor script systems.
The use of iron started in India around 1000 BC.
It brought about many changes in the lives of people and helped in the development of Indian civilization.