Indus Valley Civilization

Indus Valley Civilization Important Facts:

Earliest Civilizations of the World:

  • Around 3500 B.C., the first cities developed in Mesopotamia– located in the river valley of the Tigris and the Euphrates.
  • Followed by Egyptian Civilizations in the Nile River Valley beginning around 3400 B.C.
  • The Indus Valley Civilization (flourished between 2500-1500 B.C. with its peak period ranging between 2250-1750 B.C.).
  • The Chinese Civilization in the Huang Ho or Yellow River Valley, beginning around 1583 B.C.

Geographical Extent:

  • Manda in J&K in the North.
  • Daimabad in Maharashtra in the South.
  • Sutkagendor on the Makran Coast of Pakistan in the West.
  • Alamgirpur (U.P.) in the Upper Ganga-Yamuna Doab in the East.

Important Sites of Indus Valley Civilization:

1:- Harappa (Montgomary district in Punjab- Pakistan):
  • First Indus site to be discovered and excavated in 1921 by Daya Ram Sahni.
  • River Associated- Ravi/ Parushni/ Yavyavati.
  • Important finds
  1. Coffin Burial.
  2. Six Granaries in a row.
  3. Working platforms made of bricks.
  4. Workmen’s quarters.
  5. Stone Sculptures like Male torso of red sandstone, Male dancing figure of grey stone.
2:- Mohenjodaro (Larkhana district of Sind- Pakistan):
  • Literally the mound of the dead“.
  • Largest of all Indus cities.
  • River Associated- Sindhu/ Indus.
  • Excavated by R.D.Banerjee (1922).
  • Important finds
  1. Great Bath or Big Public Bath.
  2. Great Granary- Largest building.
  3. Bronze Dancing Girl Statue.
  4. Pipal tree Seal.
  5. Representations of ships, boats, Pashupati, Mother Goddess, and other animals on seals.
  6. Fragments of woven cloth.
  7. Evidence of horse from superficial levels.
3:- Lothal ( Manchester of Indus Valley Civilization):
  • Dholka taluka of Gujarat, near the Gulf of Cambay.
  • River Associated- Bhogava.
  • Excavated by S.R.Rao (1954-62).
  • Important finds
  1. Artificial brick dockyard.
  2. Persian gulf seal, Button seal.
  3. Fire altar.
  4. Metric Scale.
  5. Double burial.
  6. Head Surgery.
  7. Has the evidence for the earliest cultivation of rice-1800 B.C.
  8. A doubtful terracotta figurine of a horse.
  9. Impressions of cloth on some sealings.
4:- Kalibangan (Rajasthan):
  • Literally means “Black Bangles”.
  • Excavated by B.B.Lal (1959).
  • On the bank of river Ghaggar.
  • Important finds
  1. Fire Altars.
  2. Furrowed Field (a field which has plough marks).
  3. Bones of Camel.
  4. Cylindrical Seal.
  5. Head Surgery.
  6. Evidence for the presence of Early and Mature Harappan phases.
  7. Provides the evidence of the earliest earthquake.
5:- Banawali:
  • On the ancient bed of Saraswati river in Haryana.
  • Excavated by R.S.Bisht (1974).
  • The only city with a radial street.
  • Fire Altars.
  • Clay model of a plough.
6:- Other Sites:
  • A few bones of horse and terracotta figure of a horse like animal unearthed from Surkotada (Gujarat).
  • Dholavira (Gujarat) – Largest signboard inscription.
  • IVC is Urban Civilization.
  • Material Culture- Bronze.
  • First urbanization is related to Bronze technology.
  • The Harappan pottery called black or red pottery.

Indus Valley Civilization- Town Planning:

  • It was planned on the lines of the grid system i.e. streets and lanes cutting across one another almost at right angles.
  • The main road ran North to South and the by-lanes ran West to East, intersecting the main streets.
  • Division of town into two parts– 
  1. Upper town (citadel area)- Big public character.
  2. Lower town- Small dwelling houses.
  • Dholavira is the only exception which is divided into three parts- upper town, middle town, and lower town.
  • The area demarcated – Rectangular or Parallelogram.
  • Nowhere was a building allowed to encroach on a public highway as in Sumer.
  • Lamp posts at intervals indicate the existence of street lighting.
  • Elaborate Drainage System.
  • Generally in building wells, pavements, bathrooms, drains, etc. burnt brick was lavishly used.
  • Sun-dried brick was used only for foundation, packing of terraces, etc.
  • Brick Kilns have been found from Mohenjodaro.
  • The method of joining is the English Bond Method.

Indus Valley Civilization- Weights:

  • Decimal system and Binary system.
  • Multiples of 2 and multiples of 16.
  • A number of small cubes made of Chert.

Indus Valley Civilization- Seals:

  • Material – Steatite.
  • Shape – Rectangular, Square.
  • The Standard Harappan Seal was a square or oblong plaque.

Indus Valley Civilization- Script:

  • Still undeciphered.
  • Pictographic in nature.
  • Writing method- Boustophedron.

Indus Valley Civilization- Religion:

  • Chief Male deity was Pasupati Mahadeva (proto-siva), who is represented on seals surrounded by four animals- elephant, tiger, rhino, and buffalo, each facing a different direction.
  • Chief Female deity was Mother Goddess represented in terracotta figurines.
  • Phallus (Lingam) and Yoni worship were prevalent.
  • Trees (pepal), animals (bull), birds (dove, pigeon), and stones were worshipped. Unicorns or Ekasringa were also worshipped.
  • No temple has been found though idolatry was practiced.
  • People probably believed in ghosts and spirits as amulets were worn.

The decline of Indus Valley Civilization:

  • Mortimer Wheeler- Aryan invasion.
  • E.J.H.Mackay, Lambrick & Sir John Marshal- Floods in river Indus.
  • B.K.Thapar- Environmental & Climatic factors.
  • Rafique Mughal- Drying up of River Ghaggar-Hakra system.
  • W.A.Fairservice- Deforestation and soil salinity.
  • Robert Sharer- Shifts in ancient trade routes. 
Harappan SiteModern Name
DholaviraKadir Island
Significance of Harappan CivilizationSher Shah Suri- The Afghan Revival
Mauryan Empire Important FactsThe Maratha Kingdom
Causes For The Decline Of The Mauryan EmpireHaider Ali and Tipu Sultan
Harshavardhana or Harsha (606-647 A.D.)Social Changes in Modern India– NIOS

Comments (No)

Leave a Reply