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Chapter 03. Indus Valley Civilization (Indian History Notes)



Excavation of Harappa and Mohenjodaro in Punjab and Sind, now in Pakistan, awared the world about an ancient most advanced civilization contemporary to Egypt, Mesopotamia and Sham civilisation of China.


Scholar believed that the history of India began with the coming of the Aryans. When Sir John Marshal announced the discovery of a new civilization named Indus Valley civilization in a London weekly in 1924, a great sensation was created among the world archaeologists. Though, in 1826 an English man named Charles Masson had got large number of bricks from a place named Harappa. Later on in 1831, when Colonel Burnes was going to meet Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, he visited the Wreckage of Harappan. Similarly, in 1853 and 1856 Alexander Cunningham supervised the ruins of Harappa. In 1856 the English government started making railway track from Karachi to Lahaur. For this the work of excavation was started and many mysterious objects were obtained but on seeing those objects from ruins the workers became frightened and the work was postponed.
It was in 1921 Daya Ram Sahni got the site excavated at Harappa in the Montgomery district of the Punjab (now in Pakistan) on the left bank of Ravi. Just after one year in 1922, Rakhal Das Banerjee discovered the remains of civilization at Mohenjodaro in the Larkana district of Sindh, now in Pakistan. These two excavations prepared the foundation of a new chapter in history which is studied under the name of Indus Valley Civilization. Now Let us study more about it.


Discoveries have extended the area of the Indus Valley.
The 1400 settlements, discovered so far are distributed over a very wide geographical area. It is known extent in the West upto Sutkagendor in Baluchistan; Alamgirpur (Meerut, U.P.) in the East, Daimabad (Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra) in South and Manda (Akhoot, J & K) in the North. Thus, From West to East the Indus Civilization covered an area
of 1600 km and from North to South of 1100 km. All the settlements are mostly located on the river banks of Indus and
Saraswati. In 1947, after the partition of India, all the well known Harappan sites, Mohenjodaro, Harappa, Chahundaro and Jhukar (near Larkana) went to Pakistan. The shape of the civilization was triangular covering an area of about 12,50,000 sq. km. Let’s see the areas in Maps and chart.
Map of Indus Valley Civilization

Sites Regions
HarappaPunjab (Pakistan)
MohenjodaroSindh (Pakistan)
ChanhudaroSindh (Pakistan)
Rangpura RojdiGujarat
DholaviraKutch (Gujarat)


The two names, Harappan civilization or Indus civilization are used interchangeably. The first one is derived from an academic tradition used in archaeology. Thus, Harappan civilization based on a notion that it began at a site which best represents the ancient urban system of South Asia.
Whereas, the Indus civilization began from the river valley of the Indus river with the largest concentration of settlement sites along the course of this river. John Marshall was first scholar to use this term.


Name of sitesYear of
Excavator River/Region Archaeological Findings
I.Harappa1921 –
1926 –
1946 –
Daya Ram Sahni
SwaroopVatsa, .
S.M Wheeler,
A. Cunningham
R.H. Meadow
Montgomery of

between Lahaur
and Multan
• Six Granaries in row.
• Grid planned city.
• Coffin burial
• Cemetery-H of alien people
• Virgin-Goddess
• Stone symbols of Lingam and Yoni.
• Clay figures of mother Goddess; Wheat and
Barley in wooden mortar; Copper scale;
Dice, Vanity box; Copper made mirror;
workmen’s quarter
i.e. Oasis of
1922 –
1927 –
R. D. Banerjee
Mackay, E. J. H.
Wheeler, S.M.
S. J. Marshall
G.F. Dales

Larkanadistrict in Sindh.
• City followed by grid planning.
• Great Granary; Great Bath (the largest building)
• Assembly hall; shell strips; Pashupati Mahadev;
Bronze image of a nude woman dancer, steatite
image of bearded man, human skeletons
showing invasion and massacre. Painted seal
(Demi God) Clay figure of mother goddess.
III.Chanhudaro1925 –
1931 –
N. Gopal
E.J.H. Mackay

NawabshahDistrict in
City without a citadel, Inkpot, Lipstick, Metal
works, Shell-ornament makers, bead makers,
shops, dog’s paw imprint on a brick, Terracotta
(bullock cart) Bronze toy cart with created drivers
The Ghaggar
is known as
Saraswati in
B. B. Lal and
B. K. Thapar
G. Dales,
S.M. Wheeler

• Shows both Pre-harappan & Harappan
• Furrowed land (pre-harappan)
• 07 fire altars; camel bones; well; wheels of
a toy cart; Mesopotamian cylindrical seal,
gram; tiger marked coin.
(It was
by a wall)
1954-58S. R. RaoBetween Bhogava
& Sabarmati
district (Gujarat)
First manmade port in the world, dockyard
made by burnt bricks, painted jar (bird-fox) Bead
makers factory, rice husk, fire altars; a measuring
scale, chess playing; terracotta figurines of a horse
and a ship, etc. Double burial (Male & Female),
Dying Vat, Persian/Iranian seal, Bharainean seal.
VI.Banwali1973R.N. Bisht
(Ravindra Nath)
Hisar district
Shows both pre Harappan & Harappan phase.
Toy plough, Clay figures of mother Goddess,
Good quantity of barley and rice. Lack systematic
drainage system.
VII.Surkotada1964J. P. Josi
Gujrat (India)
Bones of horses, Bead making shops, oval grave,
pot burials.
R.L. Stein
George Dales
Dasht river
Port city. Trade point between Harappa and
Human bones copper axe, an ashfullpot.
N.G. Majumdar
J.M. Casal
Indus river
Sindh (Pakistan)
Evidence of Antelope
J.P. Joshi
R. N. Bisht
Rann (Kutchh)
• Unique water management
• Largest site of large well and a bath.
• Three parts of city.
• Seven cultural stages.
• Largest Harrappan inscription used for civil
purposes, A stadium
XI.Rangpur1953M. S. Vats
B. B. Lal
S. R. Rao
Cultivation of rice
XII.Kot Diji1955-57Faizal Ahmed
Sindh (Pakistan)
• Wheel made painted pottery, 16 layers of
• defensive wall and aligned streets.
• Metallurgy and artistic toys.
• 05 figurines of Mother Goddess.
Y.D. Sharma
S.S. Talwar
R.N. Bisht
Burying a dog with master rectangular mudbrick
chamber. Scented soil five fold cultures. (Harappa,
Kushan, Gupta and Medieval)
J.P. Joshi
G.F. Dales
the Arabian sea
Las Bela Valley
• Remain of Pre-Harappan & Harappan
• The mounds (9.7 mts (H) 2.8 sq. hectare of area)
XV.Alamgirpur1958Y. D. Sharma
(Yagya Dutta)
Meerut (U.P)
Eastern side of Civilization.
Impression of cloth on a trough.
XVI.Manda1975-76J.P.Joshi &
Madhu Bala
Chenab river
Akhnoor (Jammu)
Northern site of civilization
Copper pin, Saddle querns
XVIIGanweriwalaRafeeq MugalPakistan
XVIIIRakhi GarhiRafeeq MugalJind (Haryana)


To make a precise date for the beginning of Indus Valley Civilization scholars differ in opinions.
Scholars Period
Marshall 3250-2750 B.C.
Mackay 2800-2500 B.C.
M.S. Vats 3500-2500 B.C.
C.J. Gadds 2350-1770 B.C.
S. Piggott & S.M. Wheeler 2500-1500 B.C.
Allbright around 1750 B.C.
D.P. Agarwal 2300-1750 B.C.
Dales 2900-1900 B.C.
R.H. Brunswig 2800-2000 B.C.
J.P. Joshi 2550-2050 B.C.
G. Possehl 2867-2000 B.C.
Rafiq Mughal 3500-2900 B.C.
Difference between pre-harappan and proto-
Harappan cultures :
All the cultures existing before the Harappa culture are called pre-harappa culture whereas proto-Harappa cultures are those pre-harappa cultures which take some close similarities with the Harappa-culture. Here it would be pertinent to indicate that the Harappa civilization belongs to the Bronze Age (during the year 2500 to 1750 B.C.) extending from Baluchistan (Pakistan) to Gujarat in India.
Comparison with others: According to Sir John Marshall chat the standard of civilized life reached by the people of Harappa and Mohenjodaro was higher than that of the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians and equal to that of Sumerians.



Town Planning
The most striking feature of Harappan civilisation is its town-planning and sanitation.
► Harappan cities such as Mohenjodaro, Harappa, Kalibangan, Dholavira & Surkotada, were divided into two parts – a fortified settlement on the high mounds called ‘citadels’ and the main residential areas called ‘lower town’. ‘Citadel’ was smaller in area than the ‘lower town’ and located to the west of the cities.
► Houses were built of Kiln-burnt bricks. At Lothal and Kalibanga residential houses were made of sun-dried bricks.
► The drains, wells, bathing platforms were made of Kilnburnt bricks.
► Most of the houses had wells within them and a drainage system carried the waste water to the main underground drain of the street. The covered drains had soak-pits and manholes for clearing.
► The arrangements for street lighting were available for the people.
► The main streets ran from North to South varied from 9 ft to 34 ft in width.
► Municipal authority controlled the development of the city.
► The streets ran in straight lines crossing one another at right angles. Houses stood on both sides of the streets.
The street and lanes were not paved but a famous street called ‘The first street’ of Mohenjodaro was surfaced with broken bricks and potsherds.
► Harappa and Mohenjodaro were built entirely of burnt bricks. All the bricks were well proportioned measuring 26 × 12.5 × 5.5 cm. Large bricks (51 cm) were used to cover drains. The bricks were made of Alluvial soil. Wedge-shaped bricks were used in the lining of wells. Small bricks were used for making the bathroom pavements watertight. L-shaped bricks were preferred for corners.
► The buildings (dwelling house, larger buildings and public baths, granaries, etc.) were mostly plain without plasters. At Kalibanga, ornamental bricks were used in the floor of a house. The ground floor of a small house measured 8 × 9 metres and the large one was double of its size.
► Some of the houses were double storeyed. Wooden beams were used in making the roofs. The roofs were made of reed matting covered with thick coating mud. A few staircases have been discovered. Wooden staircase with high narrow steps (38 cm highs, 13 cm wide) were used in general. The roofs were flat and enclosed by a parapet.
► Gutters of pottery (found at Chahundaro) were made for draining the rainwater. The entrance to the house was made from the street side.
► The open court was the basic feature of house planning.
The courtyard (paved with bricks) was laid flat and surrounded by chambers. Doors and windows opened into it. Doors were placed at the ends of the walls, not in the middle and outer walls from the roadside had no windows.
► Perforated lattices were used as windows or ventilators.
Houses had stairways made of solid masonry. In some buildings, the stairways led to the upper storeys which contained the bath and the living and sleeping apartments.
► An average house had besides kitchen and bath, four to six living rooms. Some large houses had near about thirty rooms. The kitchen was small and fuel was placed on a high platform.
► Cooking was done in the courtyards in the open. Sometimes an aperture in the wall was made between the kitchen and the larger room for making a ‘serving hatch’. The waste water ran into the earth through a pottery vessel with a hole sunked in the kitchen.
► Every house had its bathroom on the side of the street.
► Latrine found between the bathroom and the street.
The bathroom had brick pavement sloping towards one corner. Pottery rasps were used to remove thickened cuticle.
► From Mohenjodaro large khans (inns), stone houses and watch towers have been unearthed. This is an extensive building on the West of the stupa measuring 69 × 23.5 metres. It was a priestly corporation containing the Great Bath. The whole complex is a single unit which is named the ‘Collegiate Building’. At that time bathing was a ritual and the Great Bath (12 × 7 metres) made of burnt brick, was used only on ceremonial occasions.
It has staircases on both sides. Below the staircases is a broad platform (01 m wide, 41 cm high). It was a safe bathing place for children. There are eight bathrooms on the North of the Great Bath. This building was for priests.
► There was a large oval well which supplied water. A hall (8 metres square) has been discovered on the South of the stupa. It was used for some religious assembly. John Marshall compares it with a Buddhist rock-cut-temple while Mackay calls it a large market hall with lines of permanent stalls along the aisles. There are four wellpaved aisles which are separated by rows of pillars. At Harappa a building has been discovered measuring 50 × 40 metres with a central passage of 07 metres wide. It was a store house for grain.
► Near the ‘First street’ there was a palatial building with two spacious courtyards, servant quarters and store rooms. It was either a temple or the residence of the Governor.
► The entire city was protected by a ‘city wall’. A small fort has been laid bare in most of the important cities.
► Like Babylonia and Egypt, Harappans did not use any foundation deposits. For this nothing is known about the ceremonies associated with the lying of foundation that can help the excavator to know about the history of the building.
► The Harappan fortifications were not meant to defend the township from strong attacks by enemies. It was constructed for the protection against floods, robbers and cattle raiders. It was also a hallmark of social authority over the area they commanded.
► The Harappan towns were encompassed by walls with gateways, the simple entry points to the town. Some of the gateways had attached guard rooms.
Do you know ?
► Two important Harappan crops → Wheat, barley
► The most widely used metal by → Bronze the Indus Valley people
► Harappan trading station → Lothal.
► The most important industry → Bead at Lothal and Chanhudaro making.
► Station of Harappan cattle → Nesadi breeders
► The largest Harappan settlement → Kuntasi in India
► Traces of rice cultivation → Lothal and have been found at Rangpur.
Religious life
Harappan people had features of Hinduism, such as worship of the mother Goddess, Pashupati, Shiva, Scared animals, trees, etc.
Clay figures of the mother goddess as the symbol of fertility have been found.
► The three-faced deity wearing a horned head-dress, seated cross-legged on a throne, and surrounded by elephant, tiger, buffalo and rhinoceros, with deer appearing under the seat is the representation of Lord Shiva.
► Marshall has discovered some conical and cylindrical stones which indicate the phallic worship, i.e. lingam worship. Similarly, on the basis of small ring stones, Marshall suggested them the female generative organ (yoni) which indicate the worshipping of the Mother Goddess.
► At Kalibangan, fire altars have been discovered.
► We do not find any tracer of temple or places for worship at any of the Harappan sites.
Harappans believed in animal worship. The animals fall into three groups :
(1) Mythical animals or complex animals, e.g. a semi human, semi-bovine creature
(2) Ambiguous creature, e.g. the strand unicorn accompanied with manager or incense-burner and
(3) Actual animal including the rhinoceros, the bison, the tiger, the humped bull, etc.
► The most common animal found on the Harappan seals is the bull which has been referred to as ‘a unicorn’.
► The cow is not dipicted or introduced anywhere.
► Tree worshipping was a culture in this civilization. Pipal
tree was the most worshipped tree.
► Indus people believed in armlets and Talisman. On a seal, a six-rayed motif is depicted signifying the sun.
Clay models of oxen were used as motive offerings.
Tablets of clay and copper were used as armlets.
► Swastik and cross signs were harbingers of good luck.
► Daya Ram Shahni has discovered the famous dancing girl called ‘Devadasi’ which is depicted on a seal.
► The offering of animals in sacrifice was a Harappan practice which have been discovered from Mohenjodaro and Kailbangan. In a ‘fire-altar’ bovine, bones and outliers were discovered which represent some kind of animal sacrifice.
Funerary Customs
Three forms of burials have been found at Mohenjodaro, viz, complete burials, Fractional burials (only, a collection of bones are buried after the exposure of the body of wild beasts and birds) and part – cremation burials.
At Kalibangan three types of burial practices are noticed:
1. Extended inhumanion in rectangular or oval graves, 2. Pot-burial in the circular pit containing pots and grave goods like beads and 3. Pottery deposit in rectangular or oval graves.
At Lothal, two types of burial practices were followed the first type contained the grave goods and a single skeleton, the other contained two skeletons buried together.
Economic Life
Harappan people were comfort living and prosperous. Their richness was due to surplus agriculture, cattle rearing, proficiency in various crafts and trade.
Agriculture was the backbone of the Harappan people.
Sindh was a fertile part of country.
► The Indus people sowed seeds in the flood plains in November when the flood water receded, and reaped their harvests of wheat and barley in April, before the advent of the next flood.
► They produced wheat, barley, peas, kodon, sanwa, jowar, ragi, etc.
► Two types of wheat – the club wheat campactum and the Indian dwarf wheat (Ttriticum sphaerococcum) were grown.
► Barley (hordeum vulgare, probably of a small-seeded six-rowed variety, was also sound at Kalibangan. Barley and wheat have been the most important crops at all Harappan sites.
► Other crops include dates, seasam and mustard were also grown.
► It seems that as early as 180 B.C. the people of Lothal used rice whose remains have been found.
The evidence of the sugarcane has not been found yet. Though its presence is to be expected. At Lothal and Rangpur, rice husks and spikelets were found embedded in clay and pottery.
► A fragment of woven cotton cloth has been found at Mohenjodaro. The Indus people were the earliest people to produce cotton.
The Harappans used the wooden plough with wooden or copper plough share.
► Stone and Copper sickles may have been used for harvesting the crops.
► Gabar bands or nalas enclosed by dams were used for storing the water which are found at Baluchistan and Afghanistan. No evidences of channel or canal irrigation has been discovered from the sites of this civilization.
Animal Husbandry
Animals were kept on a large scale and oxen, buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis), goats (Sus cristatus), sheep, and pigs were domesticated.
Dogs and cats were also domesticated. The humped bulls were favoured by the Harappans.
Asses and Camels were used as beasts of burden. Camel bones are reported at Kalibangan.
► The only plausible evidence of the horse comes from Surkotada belonging to around 2000 B.C.
Elephants were well known to the Harappans. They were also acquainted with the rhinoceros, spotted dear, hog deer, wild pig, etc.
Trade and Commerce
The cities like Mohenjodaro, Harappa and Lothal were the important centres for metallurgy, producing tools and weapons as well as kitchenware.
Rice seems to have been imported to Punjab from Gujarat.
► Lothal and Surkotada filled a large gap in the growing demands for cotton.
► Sea-shells were exported from Balakot and Lothal to Baluchistan as well as the Indus.
Dates, Shilajeet were found at Mohenjodaro.
► The Harappans imported metals and semi precious stones, ornaments of gold and silver from the subcontinental areas like Lapis Lazuli from Kashmir and Afghanistan
Turquoise and jade from Central Asia or gran, amethyst from Maharashtra and agate, Chalcedony and Carnelian from Saurashtra.
Gold, silver, Tin and Lead were imported from Iran and Afghanistan. Precious stones were imported from Badakhanshan and copper from Khetri (Rajasthan).
► The Products of Indus have been found in Mesopotamia. Its seals and products were also discovered at Sumer.
► The chief merchandise cotton was exported from Lothal Harbour. The Harappan had trading relations with the West and Central Asian sites.
Trade Mechanism
A copper scale has been found from Harappa. This scale is divided into many parts. All the parts are same in size measuring 0.3676 inch. At that time one foot are equal to 13.2 inch.
► The sexagesimal and decimal system were known to the Harappans.
► The weights were made of stone and they were of cubical and spherical in shape. They followed the series in doubling from 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and then 160, 320, 640 and so forth. The smallest weights are found of 13.64 grams.
► The unit of ratio was 16 equivalent to 13.64 grams. 16 chhatank made a ser and 16 annas made one rupee.
Crafts and Industries
► Weaving was the chief industry at Mohenjodaro.
Pottery was an important industry. They were also acquainted with the art of dying and the art of smelting
► Balakot and Chanhudaro were for shell working and Bangle making Charnnudaro was centre for the manufacture of beads of carnelian.
Bronze Smiths produced images, utensils, tools and weapons.
Brick-laying was an important craft of that time.
► The Harappans had the knowledge of boat-making, sealmaking and terracotta manufacturing.
► The Harappans had experts beadmakers and Goldsmiths
Transport and Communications
Harappans had good transporting system for trade.
► They used bullock carts and rarely horse carts for onland journey.
► They practised navigation on the coast of the Arabian sea. Representation of ships and boats are found on seals or graffiti at Harappa, Mohenjodaro, etc. and a terracotta model of a ship comes from Lothal.
Caravans of pack-oxen were the chief means of transport for longer journeys through rougher and wooded country.
Language and Script
The language of the Harappan is still unknown. The number of pictoral signs in the script vary according to different archaeologists. For examples G.R. Hunter (1932)-149 signs, A. H.Dani (1963) – 537, Asko Parpola (1973)-396, etc. Those symbols were not alphabetic in their order.
► Their language is closer to Dravidian than to any other known languages.
► Their scripts were pictographic.
► The script was written from right to left like modern urdu. These scripts are found on various seals, pottery copper tablets, tools, etc.
► The script is not related to any of the contemporary Egyption, Sumerian or Babylonian script. Some scholars call it the parent of the Brahmi Script.
► All the inscriptions discovered till now are short, with an average of half a dozen letters, the longest has seventeen.
It will be a turning point in the history of India when this Indus script is deciphered.
Social Life
Social Hierarchy
Indus people believed in simple living and high thinking.
► Traditional family was the unit of the society.
► Women were given high honour in society. Family was regulated in the name of mother.
► The Indus Civilization had four different classes in which the society was divided Scholars, warriors, businessman and labourers.
► No evidence of caste system has been found yet.
Food habits
The Harappans were non-vegetarians. Wheat, barley and bread were commonly used. They used to eat fish, beef, mutton, poultry occasionally.
► Coconut, dates, pomegranate, lemon and watermelon were the chief fruits they ate.
They preferred indoor hobbies to outdoor amusements.
Dance and music were their popular amusements.
► Dices, chess, fishing, hunting and swimming were the sources of entertainment.
► Gambling was also in vogue.
► On some occasions they made animals or birds fight together for their entertainment.
► Marble dolls and animals toys show that the children of Mohenjodaro were well supplied with playthings.
Costumes, ornaments and Jewellery
The ladies were scantily dressed. They wore a short skirt that reached up to the knee; and it was held by a girdle – a string of beads.
► The male used a robe with or without embroidery. It was worn over the left shoulder and under the right arm.
Dhoti wearing was also in practice. Perhaps they did not use footware. Cotton was used. There is no evidence of linen or wool.
► Different types of hair styles were used but very long beards were not preferred. The dancing girl from Mohenjodaro has a pony tail. Some females have a plait tied with a bow at the end.
► Men’s hair was parted in the middle and tied with a fillet. Sometimes the hair was gathered up in a bun or coiled in a ring on top of the head.
► Beards were trimmed and upper lips were shaven.
Completely shaven faces with a small beard on the chin are also noticed.
► Mirrors of bronze were very common.
► The people followed the veil system in the society.
Women used a special clothe over their heads which were flying from the backside of their heads.
► Man and woman both were fond of ornaments. Women wore a fan-shaped head-dress. Small cones of Gold, Silver, Copper and Faience were worn on the sides of the head.
► The Forehead was decorated with a fillet or a headband. Ear-rings were made of coils of gold, silver, copper or faience. Probably no nose ornaments were used.
► Necklaces, fillets, armlets, finger rings and bangles were used by both the sexes.
► Girdles, nose -studs, ear-studs, anklet, etc. may have been worn by woman only as are proved by the statues.
► They used some sorts of collyrium, face-powders, lip-sticks, face paints and perfumary which were also exported.
Political life
Urbanization represents radical socio-political change.
► Harappan political system was organised on the pattern of ‘city states’, which were highly disciplined on account of dominant social controls.
► Harappan rulers were more concerned with commerce, than with conquests, and Harappa was possibly ruled by a class of merchants.
► Harappa was ruled by the two capital cities. The distance between the two capitals was 350 mile.
► Sir Mortimer Wheeler writes, “the lords of Harappa administered their city in the fashion not remote from that of the priest-kings or governors of Sumer and Akkad.


► Harappans had close trade relations with submarine.
The Sumerian Civilization was a part of Mesopotamian Civilization. Mangol and Dravid were the progeniar of Sumer. The presence of a cuneiform inscription at Mohenjodaro witnesses the links with the Mesopotamians (area between Dajla and Furat).


► The Harappan Culture lasted for around 1000 years.
Invasion of the Aryans, Mortimer Wheeler says, destroyed the Indus settlements.
► Men and women were massacred in the streets and houses.
► They were left lying covered without last rites.
E. J. H. Mackay, Lambric and John Marshall are of the view that the decline of the Harappan Civilization was mainly due to the vagaries of the Indus river.
► Some evidence of devastation by floods is to be found at Mohenjodaro and Lothal.
► According to Thus, numerous causes, natural and human, as the invasion of nomadic outsiders (B.C. 1500), flood, social breakup of Harappans, the decline in trade and commerce were the major causes of its decline.


The decline does not mean the total eclipse of all. For this, we can find the historical continuity from the Harappan period to the later periods of Indian history.
► The worship of ‘Pashupati Shiva’ and ‘Lingam’ is survived in these days.
► Similarly Mother Goddess, sacred tree, animals, serpent, different religious symbols such as Swastik, etc. which were prevalent in the Harappan religion, were adopted in later Hinduism and are in Vogue in present time.
► In the field of Science and Technology, the Indus Civilization greatly contributed to the similar future developments.
► Harappan civilization was the womb of mathematics.
► The numerical and decimal system were evolved there from which ‘the vedic mathematics’ is based.
Punch marked coins is an important survival of the Indus Valley.
► The art of making pottery, baked bricks, beads, jewellery, different utensils, was adopted in the vedic civilization.
Indus Civilization at a Glance (2500 B.C. – 1750 B.C.)
First discovered site of the civilization
► Harappa (1921) by D. Sahani.
► The oldest name of the civilization
► Indus civilization.
► The most suitable name (Geographical )
► Indus-saraswat civilization.
► John Marshall was the first to use the term Indus Civilization (1924)
Other important sites : Harappa, Mohenjodaro and Dholavira (The nucleus cities); Suktagendor, Balakot, Allahdino (near karachi), Lothal (The coastal towns and ports); Chanhudaro, Kotdiji, Surkotada, Desalpur, Rojdi, Manda, Ropar, Kalibangan, Banwali, Balu and Rakhi Shahpur (other cities and township). Harappa (North) and Mohenjodaro (South) (The two capital cities)
► Latest Harappan site discovered Dholavira
► The largest site – Mahenjodaro
► The largest Indian site – Rakhigarhi.
► Indus sites found in Afghanistan – Shatughai and Mundigaq.
► The makers of the Indus Civilization – Dravidian.
► Contemporary Civilizations
► Mesopotamia (Dajla-Furat) at Nile and China at Whang Ho & Yang-si.
► The entry port for trade between Indus and Mesopotamia – Bahrain
► Close commercial and cultural contacts with
► Sumer, Elam, Mesopotamia, Iran, Bahrain and Central Asia.
► The two most thickly populated cities – Mohenjodaro and Harappa.
► The two main trade routes:
I. The northern route linked North Iran and oxus region with Kabul and the central reaches of the Indus.
II. The southern route linked central and south Iran with Kandhar, north Baluchistan and the more southerly regions of the Indus.
► The Indus Civilizations belongs to Chalcolithic or Bronze Age. (‘Chalco’ means copper and lithic means stone).
► The heartland of the Indus civilization – Harappa – Ghaggar – Mohenjodaro axis.
Common features of major cities : Grid system in town planning; sanitation (underground drainage system); Fortified Citadel (Exception-Chanhudaro); use of burnt bricks; dwelling houses (kitchen, bathroom and toilet); larger buildings; public baths and grainaries, etc. Assembly hall; palace of the Governor, Collegiate building gateways.
Main crops : Wheat and barley; Evidence of rice in Lothal and Rangpur only. Main fruits-Coconut, Dates, Pomegranate, Watermelon, Lemon, etc. Other crops-mustard, sesame, cotton, etc. Indus people were the first to produce cotton in the world.
Animals (Domestic and wild) : Sheep, buffalo, goat, dog, cat, pig, fowl, deer, tortoise, bull (humped and humpless), camel, elephant, tiger, rhinoceros, etc. They were not acquainted with ‘Lion’, trace of horse is rarely discovered.
Surkotada (Kutchh, Gujarat) is the only site where the remains of a horse have been found. Camel bones are reported at Kalibangan. From Amari, a single instance of the Indian rhinoceros has been reported and of elephant from Rojadi (Saurashtra).
Trade : Foreign trade with Mesopotamia or Sumeria (Nowgraa), Bahrain.
Major Imports Material Source
Gold Kolar (Karnataka, Afghanistan, Persia (Iran) Silver Afghanistan, Persia (Iran) Copper Khetri (Rajasthan), Baluchistan, Arabia Tin Afghanistan, Central Asia, Bihar Agates Western India.
Chalcedony Saurashtra Lead Rajasthan, South India, Afghanistan, Iran Lapis Lazuri Badak-shan (Afghanistan) & Sapphire Torquise Central Asia, Iran.
Amethyst Maharashtra Jade Central Asia Carnelian Saurashtra Some Important names/facts of I.V. Civilisation
The Sumerian texts refer to two intermediate station – Dilmun (Bahrain) and Makan. It also refers to trade relation with ‘Meluha’ – the name given to the Indus region.
► Harappan cotton was called ‘Sindon’ by the Greeks.
► A community who worshiped rivers was called ‘Dariyapanthi’ in Indus civilization.
► ‘Boustrophendon’ is name of Indus script. It is written from right to left and then left to right.
► English Bound System : The way of fitting the bricks in making walls. In this system one large of bricks is placed in length and the other layer is made by placing the bricks widthwise.
► Ziggurat : The temples of Sumeria.
► The traces of Sati system is found in Lothal (Joint buria).
► First of all Sweden tries to read the script of Harappan Civilization.
Lipistic has been discovered from Chahundaro and Black eastern bangles from Kalibangan. Pastry rollar and board and bowls have been discovered from Alamgirpur Meerut.
► The evidence of coins is not found. Barter is assumed to have been the method of exchange of goods.
► Merchants were the ruling class of Indus Civilization.
► The Harappan did not worship their gods in temple.
They did not worship the cow as we do today. They worshipped Matridev Shakti, Yoni, Pashupati, Lingam, Naga (Serpent), trees (Peepal and acacia), humped bull, the sun, water, etc. They believed in paganism and sacrified animals in religious ceremonies.
Steatite was used in seals manufacturing.
► The origin of ‘swastika’ is discovered from the Indus Civilization.
Indra, the commander of Aryan, is accused of causing the decline of their civilization.
► The battle of ‘Hariyumpia’ (in Rigveda) has been identified with Harappa. (M. Wheeler)
► ‘Susa’ are Mesopotamian places where Harappa seals were found.

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