Indus Valley Civilization was the first major civilization in south Asia, which spread across a vast area of land in present day India and Pakistan (Around 12 lakh sq.km). The time period of mature Indus Valley Civilization is estimated between BC. 2700- BC.1900 ie for 800 years. But Early Indus Valley Civilization had existed even before BC.2700.
Mohanjodaro discovered by – R. D. Banerji – Larkana district, Sind, Pakistan
City was divided into Citadel(west) and Lower Town(east)
Red pottery painted with designs in black
Stone weights, seals, special beads, copper tools, long stone blades etc.
copper, bronze, silver, gold present
Artificially produced – Faience
Specialists for handicrafts
Import of raw materials
Bodies were buried in wooden coffins, but during the later stages ‘H symmetry culture’ evolved where bodies were buried in painted burial urns.
Sugar cane not cultivated, horse, iron not used.
Indus Valley Sites and Specialties
Seals out of stones
Citadel outside on banks of river Ravi
Great Bath, Great Granary, Dancing Girl, Man with Beard, Cotton, Assembly hall
Term means ” Mount of the dead”
On the bank of river Indus
Believed to have been destructed by flood or invasion(Destruction was not gradual).
Bank of Indus river. – discovered by Gopal Majumdar and Mackey (1931)
Pre-harappan culture – Jhangar Culture and Jhukar Culture
Only cite without citadel.
At Rajastan on the banks of river Ghaggar, discovered by A.Ghosh (1953)
Bones of camel
Evidence of furrows
Horse remains ( even though Indus valley people didn’t use horses).
Known as third capital of Indus Empire.
At Gujarat near Bhogava river, discovered by S.R. Rao (1957)
Beside the tributary of Sabarmati
Dockyard and earliest port.
House had front entrance (exception).
Punjab, on the banks of river Sutlej. Discovered by Y.D Sharma (1955)
Dog buried with humans.
On banks of lost river Saraswathi
Biggest site in India and last discovered
Located in Khadir Beyt, Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. Discovered by J.P Joshi/Rabindra Singh (1990)
3 parts + large open area for ceremonies
Large letters of the Harappan script (sign boards)
Religion of Indus Valley People
Pashupathi Mahadev (Proto Siva)
Nature/ Animal worship
Unicorn, Dove, Peepal Tree, Fire
Idol worship was practiced ( not a feature of Aryans)
Did not construct temples.
Similarity to Hindu religious practises. (Hinduism in its present form originated later)
No Caste system.
Indus Valley Society and Culture
Systematic method of weights and measures ( 16 and its multiples).
Pictographic Script, Boustrophedon script – Deciphering efforts by I. Mahadevan
Equal status to men and women
Economic Inequality, not an egalitarian society
Textiles – Spinning and weaving
3 types – burial, cremation and post cremation were there, though burial was common.
Majority of people Proto-australoids and Mediterraneans (Dravidians), though Mongoloids, Nordics etc were present in the city culture. Read more on races of India.
Reasons for Decline of Indus Valley Civilization
Though there are various theories, the exact reason is still unknown. But environmental changes, coupled with loss of power of rulers( central administration) of Indus valley to sustain the city life might be the cause. (Fariservis Theory). There might be resource shortage to sustain the population, and then people moved towards south India.
Aryan Invasion : Motimer Wheeler
Tectonic Movements/ Flood – Robert Raikes
Change of course of river Indus – Lambrick
Indian History is a topic of interest to many, including foreigners because of the cultures and civilizations existed in this sub-continent. History of India can be studied under political, cultural, religious or economic heads, but the most accepted classification is based on time-periods. Thus broadly Indian History can be classified into three periods – Ancient India, Medieval India and Modern India.
Ancient India (Pre-historic to AD 700)
Ancient India : Courtesy Government of India
There were activities of proto humans (Homo erectus) in the Indian subcontinent 20 lakh years (2 million years) ago, and of Homo sapiens since 70,000 BC . But they were gathers/hunters.
The first inhabitants of Indian subcontinent might have been tribals like Nagas(Assam), Bhils, Santhals(Andaman), Gonds, Todas etc (speakers of the Austric, pre-Dravidian languages, such as Munda and Gondvi). Dravidians and Aryans were believed to be immigrants who came later to the sub-continent.
Ancient India can be studied under other heads like Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and Chalcolithic period – based on the type of stone/ metal tools people used.
Paleolithic Period ( 2 million BC – 10,000 BC)
Tools made up of lime stone
Important Paleolithic sites : Bhimbetka (M.P), Hunsgi, Kurnool Caves, Narmada Valley (Hathnora, M.P), Kaladgi Basin
Mesolithic Period ( 10,000 BC – 8,000 BC)
Major Climatic Change happened
Domestication of animals ie Cattle rearing started
Microliths found at Brahmagiri (Mysore), Narmada, Vindya, Gujarat