Indus Valley Civilization

Indus Valley Civilization flourished along the Indus River and the Ghaggar-Hakra river in what is now Pakistan and north-western India. Also known as Harappan Civilization, in reference to its first excavated city of Harappa.

Note: At the time of partition of India in 1947, barely 40 settlements are there. Now about 1400 settlements belonging to the different phases of this culture are known from parts of India. In terms of political boundaries of today, of these 1400 sites nearly 925 settlements are in India and 475 in Pakistan.

Name of the site:

Harappa

Year of excavation:

1921

Excavated by: Daya Ram Sahni
Location: Montgomery district of Punjab (Pak) on the left bank of Ravi
Remarkable features:
  • Six rows of granaries.

  • Evidence of fractional burial and coffin burial.

  • Cemetery-H of alien people.
  • City followed grid planning.

Name of the site:

Mohenjo-daro (Mount of the dead)

Year of excavation:

1922

Excavated by: R.D.Banarjee
Location: Larkhana district in Sind (Pak)on the right bank of Indus
Remarkable features:
  • A piece of woven cotton alongwith spindle whorls and needles
  • Bronze image of dancing girl

  • City followed grid planning
  • Great Bath (Largest Brick Work)

  • Great Granary (Largest Building)

  • Human skeletons showing invasiona and massacre.
  • Image of steatite bearded man

  • Impressive drainage system

  • Seal of pashupati

  • Skeletons on stairs of well

Name of the site:

Sutkagendor

Year of excavation:

1927

Excavated by: R.L.Stein
Location: Baluchistan on the banks of Dast River
Remarkable features:
  • Trade point between Harappa and Babylon
  • Evidence of horse

Name of the site:

Chanhu-daro

Year of excavation:

1931

Excavated by:

N.Gopal Majumdar, Mackey

Location: Situated in Sind on the bank of Indus
Remarkable features:
  • Only city without citadal
  • Famous for bead and bangles making factory
  • A small pot, possibly an inkpot
  • Foot prints of a dog chasing a cat.

Name of the site:

Kalibangan

Year of excavation:

1953

Excavated by:

A. Ghosh

Location: Situated in Rajasthan on the Bank of Ghaggar river
Remarkable features:
  • Black bangles
  • Evidence of furrowed land
  • Evidence of seven fire altars and camel bones
  • Evidence of wooden furrow
  • Granary & Wooden plough
  • Many houses had their own well
  • Wells in every house

Name of the site:

Lothal

Year of excavation:

1953

Excavated by:

S.R. Rao

Location: Situated in Gujarat on Bhogava river
Remarkable features:
  • A ship designed on a seal
  • An instrument for measuring angles, pointing to modern day compass
  • Artificial Dock
  • Beads & trade ports
  • Cotton cultivation
  • Evidence of horse from a terracotta figurine
  • Remains of rice husk
Decline of Indus valley civilization:
The Indus valley civilization flourished until about 1800 BC. There is no agreement among historian on the exact reason of the decline of this urban civilization. Different theories of decline have been put forward by different scholars. Following table consists of theorists and their theories
Theorists Reasons of decline
Gorden Childe & Stuart Piggot External Aggression
H.T.Lambrick Unstable river system
K.U.R.Kenedy Natural calamity
Orell Stein & A.N. Ghosh Climate change
R. Mprtimer Wheeler Aryan invasion
Robert Raikes Earthquake
Sood and Aggarwal Dryness of river
Walter Fairservis Ecological imbalance

indus valley civilization

Important points:

  • Gujarat →highest number of Harappan sites after independence.

  • Humpless bull or unicorn → Most commonly engraved animal on Harappan seals.

  • Major ports → Lothal, Balakot, Suktagendor and Allahdin (Pakistan)

  • Lions → have not been found anywhere in Harappa.

  • Rakhigarhi → Largest Harappan site in India and second largest is Dholavira in Gujarat.

  • Harappan wheels were axeless

  • Sukotada → only site where remains of a horse have actually been found.

  • Also known as Saraswati-Sindhu Civilization.

  • Copper, bronze, silver, gold were known but not iron.

  • The Mesopotamian records from about 2350 BC refer to trade relations with Meluha, which was the ancient name given to the Indus region.

  • Their script had 400 to 500 signs and it were not alphabetic but was logo syllablic writing system.

  • Pashupati was the chief male deity and Mother Goddess was the chief female diety.

 

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