Chapter 3. In Earliest Cities

The Story of Harappa
• Harappa was one of oldest cities and first city to be discovered in subcontinent.
• Harappa was a modern city located in what is now Pakistan. In 1856, famous East India Company accidentally discovered Harappa while building a railway.
• At first, workers thought it was ruins of an ordinary broken city and began to use bricks for construction projects.
• About eighty years ago, archaeologists realized that it was not one of ordinary ruins and realised that this was one of oldest cities in subcontinent. These cities developed about 4700 years ago.

Harappa -The Earliest Civilization
• The most striking feature of Harappan cities is their town planning. The Harappan city was divided into 2 parts:
1. Citadel: Citadel was placed in west of city, which was smaller in size but higher than lower town.
2. Lower Town: Lower town was placed on east and was larger in size than citadel.
• Baked bricks were used to build walls and bricks were laid in an interlocking pattern that made walls strong.
• The famous Great Bath was found in Mohenjo-Daro, one of earliest cities of Harappan civilization.
1. Important people took a dip in this tank on special occasions.
2. There were steps leading down to it from two sides, there were rooms on all sides.
3. Water was probably brought in from a well and drained out after use.
• Kalibangan and Lothal had fire altars, where sacrifices may have been performed. Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa & Lothal had elaborate store houses.
• Many of these cities had covered drains. Smaller drains were connected to bigger drains.
• Houses were either one or two storeys high with a separate bathing area and some had wells to supply water.
• All three — houses, drains & streets — were probably planned and built at same time.

Life in Harappa
Rulers: They were leaders of place and they sent people to faraway lands to get precious stones, metals & other important things.
Scribes: They were ones who knew writings and helped to prepare seals.

New Crafts in city
• There were men and women, crafts persons who used to make all kinds of things.
• Many terracotta toys have been found in Harappan cities, which show that children must have played with these.
• Most of objects that were made and found in Harappan cities were of stone, shell & metal, including copper, bronze, gold & silver.
• Copper and bronze were used to make tools, weapons, ornaments & vessels.
• Gold and silver were used to make ornaments and vessels.
• The Harappan people made seals by using stones of rectangular shapes that had pictures of animals on them.
• The Harappan people made seals by using stones of rectangular shapes that had pictures of animals on them.
• Raw materials are substances that are either found naturally or produced by farmers or herders. Raw materials are processed to produce finished goods.
• The Harappans probably got copper from presentday Rajasthan and from Oman in West Asia.
• Tin, which was mixed with copper to produce bronze, had been brought from present-day Afghanistan and Iran.
• Gold had been brought from present-day Karnataka and precious stones from present-day Gujarat, Iran & Afghanistan.

Food habits of people
• Harappans grew wheat, barley, pulses, peas, rice, sesame, linseed & mustard.
• The plough was used to dig earth for turning soil and planting seeds.
• The water was stored and supplied to fields when plants were growing.
• The Harappans reared cattle, sheep, goat & buffalo.
• Harappan people grew various fruits like berries and fishing as well as they hunted for wild animals like antelopes.
• Harappans grew wheat, barley, pulses, peas, rice, sesame, linseed & mustard. They developed some new tools called plough and was used to dig earth for planting seeds and turning soil.

A Closer look at Harappan Sites – Dholavira and Lothal Dholavira
• The city of Dholavira was excavated in 1990 by RS Bisht and his team.
• This city had fresh water and fertile soil.
• There was a large open area in settlement, where public ceremonies were held.
• Dholavira was divided into three parts and each part was surrounded by massive stone walls, with entrances through gateways.
• Large letters of Harappan script were carved out of white stone and inlaid in wood.

Lothal
• The city of Lothal stood beside a tributary of Sabarmati, in Gujarat, close to Gulf of Khambat.
• The raw materials such as semi-precious stones were easily available in city.
• Lothal is only site that has an old brick dockyard. The dockyard is surrounded by brick walls to protect them from heavy floods.
• Lothal was city where first tidal port was found.

The mystery behind end of earliest civilization
• Around 3900 years ago we find beginning of a major change.
• People stopped living in many of cities. Writings, seals & weights were no longer used.
• Raw materials brought from long distances became rare.
• In Mohenjo-Daro, we found that garbage was piled up on streets, drainage system broke down and new, less impressive houses were built, even over streets.
• The cause for breakdown of Indus Valley Civilization is not yet known by anyone. Many scholars came up with different reasons for breakdown.
• Some scholars suggest that rivers dried up. Others suggest that there was deforestation. In some areas there were floods. But none of these reasons can explain end of all cities.

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