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Chapter 07. The Harappan Culture Bronze age Civilisation (Old NCERT History Ancient India)

7. The Harappan Culture Bronze age Civilisation

Geographical Extent

The indus or the Harappan culture is older than the chalcolithic cultures which have been treated earlier, but it is far more developed than these cultures. It arose in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent. It is called Harappan because this civilization was discovered first in 1921 at the modern site of Harappa situated in the province of West Punjab in Pakistan. Many sites in Sind formed the central zone of the pre-Harappan culture. This culture developed and matured into an urban civilization which emerged in Sindh and Punjab. The central zone of this mature Harappan culture lay in Sind and Punjab, mainly in the Indus valley. It is from here that it spread southwards and eastwards. In this way, the Harappan culture covered parts of Punjab, Haryana, Sindh, Baluchistan, Gujarat, Rajasthan and the fringes of western Uttar Pradesh. It extended from Jammu in the north to the Narmada estuary in the south and from the Makran coast of Baluchistan in the west to Meerut in the north-east. The area formed a triangle and accounted for about 1-299-600 square kilometres, which is larger than Pakistan and certainly bigger than ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. No other culture zone in the third and second millennium B.C. in the world was as large as the Harappan.
Nearly 1500 Harappan sites are known so far in the subcontinent. Most of them are late Harappan, post-urban sites. These, including Bhagwanpura, generally on the banks of the Hakra Ghaggar channel. They belong to early, mature and late phases of the Harappan culture. But the number of the sites belonging to the mature phase is limited and of them only a few can be regarded as cities. Of these, the two most important cities were Harappa in Punjab and Mohenjodaro (literally the mound of the dead) in Sindh, both forming parts of Pakistan. Situated at a distance of 483 kilometres they were linked together by the Indus. A third city lay at Chanhudaro about 130 km south of Mohenjodaro In Sindh and a fourth at Lothal in Gujarat at the head of the Gulf of Cambay. A fifth city lay at Kalibangan, which means black bangles, in northern Rajasthan. A sixth called Banawali is situated in Hissar district in Haryana. It saw two cultural phases, pre-Harappan and Harappan, similar to that of Kalibangan. To the Harappan period belong the remains of mud-brick platforms and of streets and drains. The Harappan culture is noticeable in its mature and flourishing stage at all these six places. It is also found in its mature phase in the coastal cities of Sutkagendor and Surkotada, each one, of which is marked by a citadel. The later Harappan phase is found in Rangpur and Rojdi in the Kathiawar peninsula in Gujarat. In addition to these, Dholavira lying in the Kutch area of Gujarat shows Harappan fortification and all the three phases of the Harappan culture. These phases also appear in Rakhigarhi which is situated on the Ghaggar in Haryana and is much bigger than Dholavira.

Town Planning and Structures

The Harappan culture was distinguished by its system of town planning. Harappa and Mohenjo-daro each had its own citadel or acropolis, which was possibly occupied by members of the ruling class. Below the citadel in each city lay a lower town containing brick houses, which were inhabited by the common people. The remarkable thing about the arrangement of the houses in the cities is that they followed the grid system. According to it, roads cut across one another almost at right angles and the city was divided into so many blocks. This is true of almost all Indus settlements regardless of size.
Big buildings distinguished both Harappa and Mohenjodaro; the latter was extremely rich in structures. Their monuments symbolised the ability of the ruling class to mobilise labour and collect taxes; the huge brick constructions also impressed the common people with the prestige and influence of their rulers.
The most important public place of Mohenjodaro seems to be the Great Bath, comprising the tank which is situated in the citadel mound. It is an example of beautiful brickwork. It measures 11.88 x 7.01 metres and 2.43 metres deep. Flights of steps at either end lead to the surface. There are side rooms for changing clothes. The floor of the Bath was made of burnt bricks. Water was drawn from a large well in an adjacent room and an outlet from the corner of the Bath led to a drain. It is suggested that the Great Bath served ritual bathing, which has been so vital to any religious ceremony in India.
In Mohenjodaro the largest building is a granary, which is 45.71 metres long and 15-23 metres wide. But in the citadel of Harappa we find as many as six granaries. We come across a series of brick platforms which formed the basis for two rows of six granaries. Each granary measured 15.23 x 6.09 metres and lay within a few metres of the river bank. The combined floor space of the twelve units would be about 838 square metres. Approximately it had the same area as the Great Granary at Mohenjodaro. To the south of the granaries at Harappa lay working floors consisting of the rows of circular brick platforms. These were evidently meant for threshing grain because wheat and barley have been found in the crevices of the floors. Harappa also shows two-roomed barracks, which possibly accommodated labourers.
At Kalibangan also we notice in the southern part brick platforms, which may have been used for granaries. Thus, it would appear that granaries constituted an important part of the Harappan cities.
The use of burnt bricks in the Harappan cities is remarkable, because in the contemporary buildings of Egypt mainly dried bricks were used. We find the use of baked bricks in contemporary Mesopotamia, but they were used to a much larger extent in the Harappan cities.
The drainage system of Mohenjodaro was very impressive. In almost all cities every big or small house had its own courtyard and bathroom. In Kalibangan many houses had their wells. Water flowed from the house to the streets which had drains. Sometimes these drains were covered with bricks and sometimes with stone slabs. The street drains were equipped, with manholes. The remains of streets and drains have also been found at Banawali. Altogether the quality of the domestic bathrooms and drains is remarkable and the drainage system of Harappa is almost unique. Perhaps no other Bronze Age civilization gave so much attention to health and cleanliness as the Harappan did.


Comparatively rainless, the Indus region is not so fertile these days. Its prosperous villages and towns show that it was fertile in ancient times. At present it has only a rainfall of about 15 cm. In the fourth century B.C. one of the historians of Alexander informs us that Sindh was a fertile part of the country. In earlier times the Indus region possessed more natural vegetation which attracted more rainfall. It supplied timber fuel for baking bricks on a large scale and also for construction. In course of time, natural vegetation was destroyed by the extension of agriculture, large-scale grazing and supply of fuel. A far more important reason for the fertility of the area seems to have been the annual inundation in the Indus river. Walls made of burnt bricks raised for protection show that floods took place annually. The Indus earned far more alluvial silt than the Nile in Egypt and deposited it on the flood plains. Just as the Nile created Egypt and supported its people, so also the Indus created Sindh and fed its people. 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. No hoe or ploughshare has been discovered, but the furrows discovered in the pre-Harappan phase at Kalibangan show that the fields were ploughed in Rajasthan in the Harappan period. The Harappans probably used the wooden ploughshare. We do not know whether the plough was drawn by men or oxen. Stone sickles may have been used for harvesting the crops Gabarbands or nalas enclosed by dams for storing water were a feature in parts of Baluchistan and Afghanistan, but channel or canal irrigation seems to have been absent. The Harappan villages, mostly situated near the flood plains, produced sufficient foodgrains not only to feed themselves but also the town people They must have worked very hard to meet their own requirements as well as those of the artisans, merchants and others, who lived in the city and who were not directly concerned with food-producing activities.
The Indus people produced wheat, barley, rai, peas, etc. They produced two types of wheat and barley. A good quantity of barley has been discovered at Banawali. In addition to this, they produced sesamum and mustard. But the position seems to have been different with the Harappans at Lothat. It seems that as early as 1800 B.C., the people of Lothal used rice whose remains have been found. Foodgrains were stored in huge granaries in both Mohenjodaro and Harappa and possibly in Kalibangan. Probably, cereals were received as taxes from peasants and stored in granaries for the payment of wages as well as for use during emergencies. This can be said on the analogy of Mesopotamian cities where wages were paid in barley. The Indus people were the earliest people to produce cotton. Because cotton was first produced in this area the Greeks called it sindon, which is derived from Sindh.

Domestication of Animals

Although the Harappans practised agriculture animals were kept on a large scale. Oxen buffaloes, goats, sheep and pigs were domesticated. The humped bulls were favoured by the Harappans. From the very beginning dogs were regarded as pets. Cats were also domesticated and signs of the feet of both dogs and cats have been noticed. They also kept asses and camels, which were obviously used as beasts of burden. Evidence of the horse comes from, a superficial level of Mohenjodaro and from a doubtful terracotta figurine from Lethal. The remains of the horse are reported from Surkotada, situated in west Gujarat and belong to around 2000 B.C. but the identity is doubtful. In any case the Harappan culture was not horse centred. Neither the bones of horse nor its representations appear in early and mature Harappan culture. Elephants were well known to the Harappans, who were also acquainted with the rhinoceros. The contemporary Sumerian cities in Mesopotamia practically produced the same foodgrains and domesticated the same animals as the Harappans did. But the Harappan people in Gujarat produced rice and domesticated elephants, which was not the case with the people of Mesopotamian cities.

Technology and Crafts.

The Harappan culture belongs to the Bronze Age. The people of Harappa used many tools and implements of stone, but they were very well acquainted with the manufacture and use of bronze. Ordinarily bronze was made by the smiths by mixing tin with copper. Since none of the two metals was easily available to the Harappans, bronze tools are not prolific in Harappa. The impurities of the-ores show that copper was obtained from the Khetri copper mines of Rajasthan, although it could also be brought from Baluchistan. Tin was possibly brought with difficulty from Afghanistan although its old workings are stated to have been found in Hazaribagh and Bastar. The bronze tools and weapons recovered from the Harappan sites contain a smaller percentage of tin. However, the kit of bronze goods left by the Harappans is considerable, which suggests that the bronze smiths constituted an important group of artisans in the Harappans society. They produced not only images and utensils but also various tools and weapons such as axes, saws, knives and spears. Several other important crafts flourished, in the Harappans towns. A piece of woven cotton has been recovered from Mohenjodaro and textile impressions found on several objects. Spindle whorls were used for spinning. Weavers wove cloth of wool and cotton. Huge brick structures suggest that brick-laying was an important craft. They also attest the existence of a class of masons. The Harappans also practised boat-making. As will be shown later, seal-making and terracotta manufacture was also important crafts. The goldsmiths made jewellery of silver, gold and precious stones; tire first two may have been obtained from Afghanistan and the last from south India. The Harappans were also experts in bead-making.
The potter’s wheel was in full use and the Harappans produced their own characteristic pottery, which was made glossy and shining.


The importance of trade in the life of the Indus people is attested not only by granaries found at Harappa, Mohenjo-daro and Lothal but also by the presence of numerous seals, uniform script and regulated weights and measures in a wide area. The Harappans carried on considerable trade in stone, metal, shell, etc., within the Indus culture gone. However, their cities did not possess the necessary raw material for the commodities they produced, They did not use metal money. Most probably they carried on all exchanges through barter. In return for finished goods and possibly foodgrains, they procured metals from the neighbouring areas by boats and bullock-carts. They practised navigation on the coast, of the Arabian Sea. They knew the use of wheel and carts with solid wheels were in use in Harappa.
The Harappans had commercial links with one area of Rajasthan and also with Afghanistan and Iran. They had set up a trading colony in northern Afghanistan which evidently facilitated trade with Central Asia. Their cities also carried commerce with, those in the land of the Tigris and the Euphrates. Many Harappan seals have been discovered in Mesopotamia and it seems that the Harappans imitated some cosmetics used by the urban people of Mesopotamia.
The Harappans carried on long-distance trade in lapis lazuli-lapis may have contributed to the social prestige of the ruling class. The Mesopotamian records from about 2350 B.C. onwards refer to trade relations with Meluha, which was the ancient name given to the Indus region. The Mesopotamian texts speaks of two intermediate trading stations called Dilmun and Makan, which lay between Mesopotamia and Meluha. Dilmun can probably be identified with Bahrain on the Persian Gulf. Thousands of graves await excavation in that port city.

Political Organisation

We have no clear idea about the political organization of the Harappans. But if we take into account the cultural homogeneity of the Indus civilization it can be said that this cultural homogeneity would not have been possible to achieve without a central authority.
If the Harappan cultural zone is considered identical with the political zone, the subcontinent did not witness such a large political unit until the rise of the Maurya empire; the remarkable stability of this unit is demonstrated by its continuity for nearly 600 years.
In sharp contrast to Egypt and Mesopotamia, no temples have been found at any Harappan site. We have no religious structures of any kind except the Great Bath, which may have been used for ablutions. Therefore, it would be wrong, to think that priests ruled in Harappa, as they did in the cities of Lower Mesopotamia. Perhaps there are some indications of the practice of fire cult at Lothal in Gujarat in the later phase, but no temples were used for the purpose. Perhaps the Harappan rulers were more concerned with commerce than with conquests and Harappa was possibly ruled by a class of merchants. It may be noted that the Harappans were lacking in weapons.

Religious Practices

Its Harappa numerous terracotta figurines of women have been found. In one figurine a plant is shown growing out of the embryo of a woman. Probably the image represents the goddess of earth and it was intimately connected with the origin and growth of plants. The Harappans, therefore, looked upon the earth as a fertility goddess and worshipped her in the same manner as the Egyptians worshipped the Nile goddess Isis. But we do not know whether the Harappans were a matriarchal people like the Egyptians. In Egypt the daughter inherited the throne or property, but we do not know about the nature of inheritance in the Harappan society.
Some Vedic texts show reverence to the earth goddess, although she is not given any prominence. It took a long time for the worship of the supreme goddess to develop in Hinduism. Only from the sixth century A.D. onwards various mother-goddesses such as Durga, Amba, Kali, Chandi, etc. came to be regarded as goddesses in the Puranas and in the Taintra literature, In course of time every village came to have its own separate goddess.

The Male Deity in the Indus Valley

The male deity is represented on a seal. This god has three horned heads. He is represented in the sitting posture of a yogi, placing one foot, on the other. This god is surrounded by an elephant, a tiger, a rhinoceros and has a buffalo below his throne. At his feet appear two deer. The depicted god is identified as Pushupati Mahadeva. But the identification is doubtful, because horned gods also appear in other ancient civilizations. We also come across the prevalence of the phallus worship, which became so intimately connected with Shiva in later times. Numerous symbols of the phallus and female sex organs made of stone have been found in Harappa. They were possibly meant for worship. The Rig Veda speaks of the non-Aryan people who were phallus worshippers. The phallus worship which started in the days of Harappa came to be recognized as a respectable form of worship in Hindu society.

Tree and Animal Worship

The people of the Indus region also worshipped trees. The picture of a deity is represented on a seal in the midst of the branches of the pipal. This tree continues to be worshipped to this day.
Animals were also worshipped in Harappan times and many of them are represented on seals. The most important of them is the one horned animal unicorn which may be identified with the rhinoceros. Next in importance is the humped bull. Even today, when such a bull passes in the market streets the pious Hindus give way to it. Similarly, the animals surrounding Pashupati Mahadeva indicate that these were worshipped. Obviously the inhabitants of the Indus region worshipped gods in the form of trees, animals and human beings. But the gods were not placed in temples, a practice which was common in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Nor can we say anything about the religious beliefs of the Harappans without being able to read their script. Amulets have been found in large numbers. Probably the Harappairs believed that ghosts and evil forces were capable of harming them and, therefore, used amulets against them. The Atharva Veda, which is associated with non-Aryan tradition, contains many charms and spells and recommends

The Harappan Script

The Harappans invented the art of writing like the people of ancient Mesopotamia. Although the earliest specimen of Harappan script was noticed in 1853 and the complete script discovered by 1923, it has not been deciphered so far. Some try to connect it with the Dravidian or the proto-Dravidian language, others with the Sanskrit language and still others with the Sumerian language, but none of these readings is satisfactory. As the script has not been deciphered, we cannot judge the Harappan contribution to literature, nor can we say anything about their ideas and beliefs.
There are nearly 4,000 specimens of Harappan writing on stone seals and other Objects. Unlike the Egyptians and Mesopotamians, the Harappans did not write long inscriptions. Most inscriptions were recorded on seals and contain only a few words. These seals may have been used by propertied people to mark and identify their private property. Altogether we have about 250 to 400 pictographs and in the form of a picture each letter stands for some sound, idea or object. The Harappan script is not alphabetical but mainly pictographic. Attempts have been made to compare it with the contemporary scripts of Mesopotamia and Egypt. But it is the indigenous product of the Indus region and does not show any connection with scripts of western Asia.

Weights and Measures

The knowledge of script must have helped the recording of private property and the keeping of accounts. The urban people of the Indus region also needed and used weights and measures for trade and other transactions. Numerous articles used for weights have been found. They show that in weighing mostly 16 or its multiples were used; for instance, 16, 64, 160, 320 and 640, interestingly the tradition of 16 has continued in India till modern times and till recently 16 annas made one rupee. The Harappans also knew the art of measurement. We have come across sticks inscribed with measure marks; one of these is made of bronze.

Harappan Pottery

The Harappans were great experts in the use of the potter’s wheel. We come across numerous pots painted in various designs. Harappan pots were generally decorated with the designs of trees and circles. The images of men also appear on some pottery fragments.


The greatest artistic creations of the Harappan culture are the seals. About 2000 seals have been found and of these a great majority carry short inscriptions with pictures of the one horned bull, the buffalo, the tiger, the rhinoceros, the goat and the elephant.


The Harappan artisans made beautiful images of metal. A woman dancer made of bronze is the best specimen.
Except for a necklace she is naked. We get a few pieces of Harappan stone sculptures. One steatite statue wears an ornamented robe over the left shoulder under the right arm and its short locks at the back of the head are kept tidy by a woven fillet.

Terracotta Figurines

We get many figurines made of fire baked earthen clay, commonly called terracotta. These were either used as toys or objects of worship. They represent birds, dogs, sheep, cattle and monkeys. Men and women also find place and the second outnumber the first. The seals and images were manufactured with great skill, but the terracotta pieces represent unsophisticated artistic works. The contrast between the two sets indicates the gap between the classes which used them. The first were used by members of the upper classes and the second by the common people. The Harappan culture is poor in artistic works made of stone. We do not come across any massive work of art in stone as we find in the case of sculptures of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Origin, Maturity and End

The mature Harappan culture, broadly speaking, existed between 2550 B.C. and 1900 B.C. Throughout the period of its existence it seems to have retained the same kind of tools, weapons and houses. The whole style of life appears to be uniform. We notice the same town-planning, the same seals, the same terracotta works and the same long chert blades. But the view stressing changelessness cannot be pushed too far. We do notice changes in the pottery of Mohenjodaro over a period of time. By the nineteenth century B.C., the two important cities of the Harappan culture, Harappa and Mohenjodaro, disappeared but the Harappan culture at other sites faded out gradually and continued in its degenerate phase in the outlying fringes in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh.
It is as difficult to explain the origin of the Harappan culture as its end. Several pre-Harappan settlements have been found in lower Sindh, Baluchistan and in Rajasthan, but the connection between them and the mature Harappan culture is not clear, though the Harappan culture may have evolved out of these indigenous settlements : Nor do we have clear proof of outside influence which helped the rise of the Harappan cities in the subcontinent. Contact with Mesopotamian cities may have provided some stimulus to the development of the Harappan culture. But there can be no doubt about the Indianness of the Harappan culture. Certain elements distinguish it from the contemporary cultures in western Asia. It planned its towns with their chess-board system, streets, drainage pipes and cess pits. On the other hand, the Mesopotamian cities show a hap hazard growth. Rectangular houses with brick-lined bathrooms and wells together with their stairways are found in all Harappan cities. Such town planning is not to be found in the cities of western Asia. No other people in antiquity had built such an excellent drainage system except perhaps those of Crete in Knossos, nor did the people of western Asia show such skill in the use of burnt bricks as the Harappans show. The Harappans produced their own characteristic pottery and seals; the latter represented the local animal world. Above all, they invented their own typical script, which bears no resemblance to the Egyptian and Mesopotamian scripts. Although the Harappan culture was a Bronze Age culture, they used bronze on a limited scale and largely continued to use stone Implements. Finally, no contemporary culture spread over such a wide area as the Harappan culture did. The structures of Harappa cover 5 km in circuit; and in that way is one of the largest of its type in the Bronze Age. No urban complex of the Harappan magnitude has been discovered so far.
While the ancient cultures of Mesopotamia continued to exist even after 1900 B.C., the urban Harappan culture disappeared at about that time. Various causes have been suggested. It is held that the amount of rainfall in the Indus region slightly increased around 3000 B.C. and then decreased in the earlier part of the second millennium B.C. This may have adversely affected agriculture and stockbreeding. Some ascribe the decline to the decreasing fertility on account of the increasing salinity of the soil caused by the expansion of the neighbouring desert. Others attribute it to a sudden subsidence or uplift of the land which caused floods. Earthquakes caused changes in the course of the Indus which led to the inundation of the hinterland, of Mohenjodaro. And, still others point out that the Harappan culture was destroyed by the Aryans, but there is very little evidence for this.
The consequences of the disintegration of the largest Bronze Age cultural entity are still to be clarified. We do not know whether the urban eclipse led to the migration of merchants and craftsmen and the dissemination of the elements of Harappan technology and way of life in the countryside. Something is known about the post urban situation in Sindh, Punjab and Haryana, We find agricultural settlements inside the Indus region, but their connection with the precedingculture is not clear. We need clear and adequate information.

Post-Urban Phase of the Harappan Culture

The Harappan culture seems to have flourished until 1900 B.C. Afterwards its urban phase marked by systematic town planning, extensive brick : work, art Of writing, standard weights and measures, distinction between the citadel and the lower town, use of bronze tools, and, red ware pottery painted with black designs practically disappeared. Its stylistic homogeneity disappeared and the post-urban Harappan stage was marked by sharp stylistic diversity. Some traits of the post-urban Harappan culture are found in Pakistan and in central and western India, in Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and western Uttar Pradesh. They broadly cover the period from 1900 B.C to 1200 B.C. The post-urban phase of the Harappan culture is also known as the sub-Indus culture. This culture was earlier considered post-Harappan but now it is more popularly known as the late Harappan culture.
The late Harappan cultures are primarily chalcolithic in which tools of stone and copper are used. They do not show metal objects requiring complicated casting, although these consisted of axes, chisels, knives, bangles, curved razors, fish-hooks and spearheads. The chalcolithic people in the later Harappan phase lived in villages subsisting on agriculture, stock raising, hunting and fishing. Probably the dissemination of metal technology in the rural areas promoted agriculture and settlements. Some places such as Prabhas Patan (Somnath) and Rangpur, both in Gujarat, are the direct descendants of the Harappan culture. But in Ahar near Udaipur only a few Harappan elements are found. Gilund which seems to be a regional centre of Ahar culture has even brick structures which may be placid roughly between 2000 B.C. and 1500 B.C. Otherwise burnt bricks are not to be found anywhere else except in the late Harappan phase at Bhagwanpura in Haryana, but the dating of the layer to which the bricks belong is uncertain. Stray pieces occur at the OCP site of Lal Quila in Bulandshahr district in western Uttar Pradesh. It should be, however, emphasised that Harappan elements appear very little in the chalcolithic culture of Malwa (C. 1700.
C 1200 B.C.), which had its largest settlement at Navdatoli. The same is the case with the numerous Jorwe sites found in the valleys of the Tapi, Godavari and Bhima. The largest of the Jorwe settlements was Daimabad which had about 22 hectares of habitation with a possible population of 4000 it may be considered proto urban. But a vast majority of the Jorwe settlements were villages.
The post-urban Harappan settlements have been discovered in the Swat valley. Here the people practised a developed agriculture and cattle breeding together with pastoralism. They used black-grey burnished ware produced on a slow wheel. This ware resembles the pottery from the northern Iranian plateau during the third millennium B.C. and later. The Swat valley people also produced black-on red painted and wheel-turned pottery which shows close links with the Indus pottery during the early post-urban period. They show the connection with a post-urban culture associated with Harappa. The Swat: valley, therefore, may be regarded as the northernmost outpost of the late Harappan culture. Several late Harappan sites have been excavated in the Indian territories of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and also in Jammu. Mention may be made of Manda in Jammu, Chandigarh, Sanghol in Punjab, Daulatpur and Mitathal in Haryana and Alamgirpur and Hulas in western Uttar Pradesh. It seems that the Harappans took to rice when they came to Daulatpur in Haryana and Hulas in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Ragi or the finger millet is not known so far to any Harappan site in north India. In Alamgirpur the late Harappans probably produced cotton, as can be inferred from the cloth impression on the Harappan pottery.
The painted Harappan pottery found in late Harappan sites in northern and eastern areas is replaced with less intricate designs although some new pot forms appear. Some late Harappan ppt forms are found inter locked with Painted Grey Ware remains at Bhagwanpuia, but by this time the Harappan culture seems to have reached a point of complete dilution.
In the late Harappan phase no object for measuring the length is noticed. In Gujarat, cubical stone weights and terracotta cakes were absent in the later period. Generally all late Harappan sites lack human figurines and characteristic painted designs. Although faience went out of fashion in Gujarat, it was freely used in north India. The post-urban phase v of Harappa saw the end of the Indus trade with the West Asian centres. Lapis lazuli, chert, carnelian beads and copper and bronze vessels are either absent or scarce as trade items. All this was natural because most late Harappan sites excavated in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are rural settlements.
During the later phases of the Harappan culture some exotic tools and pottery indicate the slow percolation of new peoples in the Indus basin. A few signs of insecurity and violence appear in the last phase of Mohenjodaro. Hoards of jewellery were buried at places and skulls were huddled together at one place. New types of axes, daggers, knives with midribs and flat tangs appear in the upper levels of Mohenjodaro. They seem to betray some foreign intrusion. Traces of new peoples appear in a cemetery belonging to the late phase of Harappa, where new kinds of pottery occur in the latest levels. New types of pottery also occur in some Harappan sites in Baluchistan. At several sites in Punjab and Haryana, Grey Ware and Painted Grey Ware, generally associated with Vedic people, have been found in conjunction with some late Harappan pottery dated around 1200 B.C. All this can be attributed to the barbarian horse-riding people who may have come from Iran through the hills. But the new peoples did not come in such numbers as to completely overwhelm the Harappan cities in Punjab and Sindh. Although the Rig Vedic Aryans settled down mostly in the land of the Seven Rivers, in which, the Harappan culture once flourished, we have no archaeological evidence of any mass-scale confrontation between the mature Harappans and the Aryans. Successive groups of the Vedic people may have encountered the people belonging to the late Harappan phase between 1500 B.C. and 1200 B.C.


1 Why is Harappan civilization called a Bronze Age civilization?
2 How were the Harappan cities planned? Describe their distinctive features.
3 Describe the main occupations of the Harappan people.
4 Mention the achievements of the Harappan people in the field of technology and crafts.
5 Terracotta figurines and seals throw a light on the religious practices followed by the Harappan people Discuss.
6 How did the Harappan civilization come to an end? Discuss.
7 Which Bronze Age civilizations of other parts of the world-were contemporaries of the Harappans? With which of these the Harappans had trade relations?
8 In what respects did the Harappan civilization mark an advance on the chalcolitbic cultures (even though it was more ancient than most of the chalcolithic cultures)? Explain with examples.
9 On an outline map of India show the extent of the Harappan civilization and the following sites: Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Chanhu-daro, Kalibangan, Banawali, Lothal, Rupar.
10 Work out a group project on various aspects of the Harappan civilization. Prepare a chart of the signs of the Harappan script as a part of the project. Find out when, how and by whom were the scripts of other civilizations deciphered.

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