The Indus Valley Civilization, 3300-1300 BCE, is also called Indus valley civilization or Harappan Civilisation. This is the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent. This was extended from modern-day northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and India. The methodology of system of governance as well as the institutions is something that is least known to the present world. The important innovations of the History Of Indus Valley Civilization included the metallurgy processing with lead, tin bronze as well as copper, measuring done through standardized weights with various measure ranges, and seal carving that is worth mentioning. It is also said that this civilization likely ended because of climate change and migration. The scholars in today’s era, have tried piecing all the facts together about this amazing civilization, and in the process, have been able to know more ever since its rediscovery.
The Life of the Indus Valley Civilization
As one of the three “Ancient East”, The Indus Valley Civilization has a lifespan which is divided into three stages: Early Harappan Phase (3300-2600 BCE), Mature Harappan Phase (2600-1900 BCE) and Late Harappan Phase (1900-1300 BCE). According to Indus Valley Civilization Facts, the Indus Valley Civilization had a population of about five million people. The society of this civilization is also called a Bronze Age society when the inhabitants were prone to develop new techniques in metallurgy. They started to work with bronze, lead, copper and tin. They also used different products for making handicrafts. The Indus cities are also known for their baked brick houses and non-residential buildings.
Two cities have been excavated at the sites of Mohenjo-Daro on the lower Indus, and at Harappa, further upstream. According to research, residents of this civilization enjoy the developed life. Their houses were comfortable for them as most of them had wells, bathrooms as well as drainage system. There is evidence that there was contact between the Indus Valley Civilization and the Near East. According to some documents, the Indus valley people are referred to as Meluhhaites and the Indus valley is called Meluhha.
During those days, the writing system was very much present in the Indus Valley Civilization. However, till now it remains a mystery. People have failed to understand it and that is why the Indus civilization is one of the least known civilizations in the world. Archaeologists have found some examples of their writing system in pottery, carved stamp seals, amulets and even in copper tablets.
Based on evidence, it is believed that the people of Indus River Valley Civilizations loved games and toys. This evidence came from the fact that the archaeologists found more and more of toys during excavations. This gave me them a reason to assume that most of the inhabitants of this civilization were children. They also found engraved grid markings and playing pieces which also shows that the Indus people have played chess. Dice cubes with six sides have also been found and the archaeologists started believing that the people of the Indus Civilization have invented the dice too.
Harappa and Mohenjo Daro
As it was mentioned above, the Indus Valley Civilization is also referred to as the Harappan Civilisation, after Harappa. This was a fortified city in modern Pakistan and it was the first of its sites to be excavated in the 1920s. It is said that Harappa has been a home of about 23,500 residents who lived in sculpted houses that had flat roofs, all made of red sand and clay. The city included of about 150 hectares and the modern village of Harappa was considered to be a railway station during the Raj but during the British period of rule it faced a lot of damages.
Mohenjo Daro is considered to have been built in the 26th century BCE. It is said to be the Largest Site Of Indus Civilization and most popular one among the Ancient Cities Of The Indus Valley Civilization. Mohenjo Daro was also designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980. However, it was abandoned around 1900 BCE. This was the time when the Indus Civilization went into decline out of the blue.
Based on archaeologists’ research, people of the Indus River Valley had a highly advanced knowledge of mathematics. A lot of shreds of evidence by the archaeologists stated the making of pots, toys, and several different games, as well as the presence of musical instruments. People of the Indus Civilization are also believed to be interested in cleanliness. When these two cities have been excavated, the experts found combs, soaps, and medicine. This was evidence that these people paid much attention to the clean lifestyle. Moreover, the cities were also practicing some form of dentistry. This was found out when the archaeologists found a gravesite with the remains of people whose teeth had been drilled. These archaeologists have also found jewelry made in Harappa as far away as Mesopotamia. Additionally, it has been seen that the traders of those times used to sell clothes made from cotton as well as products of hardwoods specifically made from teak trees.
The Indus Valley Civilization was also remarkable for its apparent egalitarianism. It is considered that there was a central authority but it is unknown how the society functioned and its distribution of power. Indus Valley people worshiped trees such as Neem and Banyan; animals like Bulls and Elephants; and stones in the form of Lingam and Yoni as sources of potency and divine.
The Indus Script
The Indus Script is a collection of symbols. They have been found on artifacts. Archaeologists have found 400 different symbols on seals, tablets, ceramic pots etc. However, the writing system of the Indus Valley Civilization has not been deciphered yet. It is also worth mentioning that there have been attempts to link the Indus script with other scripts in India but there are not results till now. Moreover, many other scholars have said that Indus script is not linked at all to other scripts.
Rituals and Beliefs
Hardly can you find much information about rituals and beliefs of the Indus River Valley Civilization. Though this information is limited at present, some studies state that people of this civilization were used to worship deities, especially fertility deities. Religious activities were performed by priests. Harappan Civilization was also fond of ritualistic baths. The archaeologists have also found seals which include pictures of people doing meditation and sitting in a crossed legged posture.