Indus Valley Civilisation


The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) or Bronze Age civilisation can be dated around 2500-1750 B.C. according to radiocarbon dating. Situated near Ravi river.
Indus Valley Civilisation is one of the four earliest civilisations of the world and contemporary to the Mesopotamian or Sumerian, Egyptian and Chinese civilization.
The name Indus Valley Civilisation given by Sir John Marshals (Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India from 1902 to 1928.)

The known extent of the Indus Valley Civilisation

  • In the west – Sutkagandor in Baluchistan
  • in the east – Alamgirpur (UP)
  • in the South – Daimabad (Maharastra)
  • and in the north – Manda (J&K)

Indus Valley civilisation is also called as Harapan civilisation because Harapan was the first site to be excavation in 1921 under the supervision of Daya Ram sahani.

  • Systematic town planning was based on grid system
  • Gid system means each street, House and Town cuts at 90 degree.  
  • burnt bricks (terracotta) were used to construct houses
  • well-managed drainage system
  • fortified Citadel
  • highly urbanised
  • absence of iron implements. 

The Great Bath (Mohenjodaro) was used for religious bathing. There were changing rooms alongside.

  • The tank measures approximately 12 meters north-south and 7 meters wide, with a maximum depth of 2.4 meters.
  • Two wide staircases lead down into the tank from the north and south.

The towns were divided into 2 parts:  The Upper Part or Citadel and the Lower Part.

Six granaries in a row were found in the Citadel at Harappa.

Indus people sowed seeds in November and reaped their harvest in April, because of the danger of floods.  Produced wheat, barley, rai, peas, rice, Sesamum, and mustard. 

Indus people were the first to produce cotton, which the Greeks termed as Sindon (derived from Sindh).

Animals known were oxen, sheep, buffaloes, goats, pigs, elephants, dogs, cats, asses, and camels.

Horse, the Lion, was not known to the Indus people.

They follow a Matriarchy culture.
Female was the head of the family

Well-knit external and internal trade. The barter system was prevalent.
Trade with Mesopotamia from Lothal (Gujrat)
Mesopotamians called “Melhua” to the Indus People.

A very interesting feature of this civilisation was that iron was not known to the people.
The Indus people used weights and measures in the multiples of 16.
Harappans looked on Earth as fertility Goddess worship was prevalent.
Unicorn was the most worshipped animal.

Many trees (pipal), animals (bull), birds (dove, pigeon), and stones too were worshipped.
No evidence of the temple has been found. Dead bodies were placed in North-South orientation. Dead body kept in R37 and H type of Cemetery.

The Seal of Pashupati depicts elephants, tigers, rhinoceros, and buffalo. Two deers appear at the feet of Pashupati. 

The Indus people believed in ghosts and evil forces evident by their use of amulets for protection against them. Fire altars are found at Lothal and Kalibangan.
The greatest artistic creation of the Harappan culture were the seals, made of steatite.
Harappan script is pictographic and hasn’t been deciphered yetThe script was written from right to left in the first line and left to right in the second line. This style is called Boustrophedon.

The earliest evidence of silver in India is found in the Harrapan Culture.
Occupations practiced were spinning, weaving, boat-making, goldsmiths, making pottery and seal-making.
The possible causes of the decline of the civilisation may be invasion of the Aryans, recurrent floods, social break-up of Harappans and earthquakes, etc.

Site Discovery

Harappa is Situated on river Ravi in the Montgomery district of Punjab (Pakistan).

  • It was excavated by Daya Ram Sahni in 1921-23.
  • The Indus Civilisation is named after it as the Harappan Civilisation.
  • Stone dancing Natraja and have been found here. 

Mohenjodaro  (Mound of Dead)  Situated on river Indus in Larkana district of Sind (Pak).

  • It was excavated by RD Bannerji in 1922.
  • The main building includes the Great Bath, the Great Granary, the Collegiate Building and the Assembly Hall.
  • The dancing girl made of bronze has been found here. Pashupati Mahadeva/proto-Shiva seal; fragment of woven cotton, etc are other findings. 

Chanhudaro  (Sindh, Pakistan)  On river Indus;

  • discovered by NG Majumdar (1931);
  • only Indus site without citadel
  • bronze figurines of bullock cart and ekkas
  • a small pot suggesting a  an ink pot. 

Lothal (Gujarat) Discovered by SR Rao (1954); situated on river Bhogava.

  • A part of the town was divided into citadel and the lower town and dockyard.
  • Evidence of rice has been found here. 

Kalibangan (meaning, Black Bangles) (Rajasthan) Discovered by BB Lal (1961);

  • situated on Ghaggar river, a ploughed field; a wooden furrow; seven fire-altars; bones of camel; and evidence of two types of burials namely—circular grave and rectangular grave.

Dholavira It was found on river Luni of Kachchh district in Gujarat discovered by JP Joshi (1967-68).

  • It has a unique water management system; only site to be divided into 3 parts; largest Harappan inscription and a stadium. 

Surkotada (Gujarat) was Discovered by JP Joshi in 1972; oval grave; pit burials and seemingly a port city.  

Banawali (Haryana) On river Saraswati; discovered by RS Bisht (1973) evidence of both pre-Harappan and Harappan culture; lacked systematic drainage system; evidence of good quality barley. 

SitesYearExcavated by 
Harappa1921-23Daya Ram Sahni 
Mohenjodaro 1922RD Bannerji 
Chanhudaro 1931NG Majumdar 
Lothal1954SR Rao 
Kalibangan1961BB Lal 
Dholavira1967-1968JP Joshi 
Surkotada1972JP Joshi 
Banawali1973RS Bisht 
Share your love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *