Monday, February 25, 2013

The Harappa Culture/Indus Valley Civilization

1. The Civilization was named “Indus Valley Civilization” by Sir John Marshal(1924), after its discovery by Daya Ram Sahni and Vatsa in 1921-’22. However, Indus Valley Civilization is not limited to areas around Harappa or those lying in the Indus valley alone.

2. The maximum number of sites were  explored by S.R. Raoin Gujarat (190 sites). At present there are over 350 sites which have been excavated.

3. Modern technique of carbon-14 dating has been employed to calculate the date of the Indus Valley Civilization. Harappan seals, which have been obtained from Mesopotamia provide additional help.

4. The population was heterogeneous, and at Mohenjodaro four races have been discovered. The people were not of Dravidian origin. The population was mostly belonged to the mediterranean race.

5. Indus Valley Civilization people had contacts with West Asia and Central Asia. Their contacts are proved by the discovery of terracota figures of the mother goddess, bull seals, etc in West and Central Asia. Their weights and measures resemble those ofBabylonTheir drainage system resembles that at Tell Asmar.

6. The largest Indus Valley Civilization site is Mohenjodaro.
The smallest site is Allahdino.
The largest sites in India are Dholavira, Rakhigarhi.
The three nucleus sites are Mohenjodaro, Harappa,Dholavira.
The number of sites which are considered as cities are six.

7. Mohenjodaro is located on the banks of Indus river. Chanhudaro is located on Indus/SutlejHarappa on RaviKalibangan on Ghaggar/SaraswatiLothal onBhogavo; and Ropar on Sutlej.

8. Important Harappan sites, year of discovery and discoverer

Harappan sites
Year of discovery
D.R. Sahni and M.S. Vatsa (under Sir John Marshal)
R.D. Banerjee
A.N. Ghosh
Kot Diji
Fazal Ahmad
M.S. Vatsa/S.R. Rao
George Dales
J.P. Joshi
R.S. Bisht
Talwar and Bisht

9. The same type of layoutwith a separate acropolis and lower city is found at Mohenjodaro, Harappa and Kalibangan.

10. The citadel and the lower city are joined at Surkatoda and Banawali.

11. The citadel was normally smaller than the lower city and lay to its West side.

12. Three divisions of town were discovered at Dholavira.

13. The town which shows marked differences in its town planning and drainage system from other Indus Valley Civilization sites is Banawali.

14. The town which resembles European castles (due to stone masonry) is Dholavira.

15. The Indus Valley Civilization site where houses are built just next to the wall is Desalpur.

16. Stone rubble has been used at Kalibangan.

17. The site of Mohenjodaro was constructed at least seven times.

18. The towns which resemble castles of merchants are Desalpur, Rojdi, Balakot.

19. The coastal towns are: Lothal, Surkatoda, Balakot, Allahdino and Rangpur.

20. The shape of citadel at Lothal is trapezium.

21. The houses were constructed on the pattern of gridiron (chess).

22. Fire altars have been discovered at Kalibangan.

23. Stupa, great bath, college, Hammam, granary and assembly hall belong to Mohenjodaro.

24. The cemetery R37containing 57 burials, is located at Harappa.

25. Lothal is famous for warehouse, granary, merchant’s housebesides its warehouse.

26. The only site where guard rooms were provided at gates is Dholavira.

27. ceramic bath tub was discovered at Balakot.

28. The major seal producing units were at Chanhudaro.

29. A huge palace-like building has been found at Banawali.

30. Bead-maker’s shop and equipments were found at Chanhudaro and Lothal.

31. Maximum number of seals have been found in Mohendojaro (57%). Second maximum at Harappa (36%).

32. Persian-gulf seal was found at Lothal—it is a button seal.

33. Tiger seal was found at Banawali.

34. Iraqi cylindrical seal was found at Mohenjodaro.

35. crucible for making bronze articles was discovered at Harappa.

36. Maximum bronze figures have been found in Mohenjodaro.

37. The Bronze dancing girl was found in Mohenjodaro.

38. Mostly limestone was used for sculptures.

39. Limestone sculpture of a seated male priest was found at Mohenjodaro.

40. An atta chakki (grinding stone) was discovered at Lothal.

41. Deluxe pottery was discovered at Banawali.

42. The only place where pottery depicting humans has been found is in Harrappa.

43. Pottery inkpots and writing tablets (leafs) were found at Chanhudaro.

44. War-tools made of copper and bronze were discovered at Mohenjodaro.

45. The site where oxen driven carts were found was Harappa.

46. A terracota model of a ship was found at Lothal.

47. seat latrine has been found at Mohenjodaro.

48. A house floor containing the design of intersecting circles was found at Kalibangan.

49. The seals depicting the lord Pasupati Siva, Sumerian Gilgamesh and his two lions were found at Mohenjodaro.

50. Agricultural implements were found in Mohenjodaro.

51. Ploughed field were found in Kalibangan.

52. Jowar (Jau) was found in Banawali.

53.Cotton spindles(and sewing needles) have been found in Mohenjodaro.

54. Rice husk was discovered in Lothal and Rangpur.

55. The foreign site where Indus Valley Civilization cotton cloth has been discoveredis Sumer.

56. Indus Valley Civilization people disposed of the dead bodies in three forms. At Mohenjodaro, we find three forms of burials:

(aComplete burial—whole body buried along with the grave goods.
(bFractional burial—only bones (after exposure to beasts, birds, etc.) were buried along with goods.
 (cCremation burials—body was cremated in urns and then buried under house floors or streets.

57. Four pot burials containing bone ashes were discovered at Surkatoda.

58. Bodies were found buried in oval pits at Ropar.

59. Important measurements:
Great Bath: 12 m x 7 m x 2.4 m.
Hammam/Granary:46 m x 23 m.
Collegiate building: 10 m square court.
Cubical bricks:10 x 20 x 40 cm3.
Average brick size: 5.5 x 12.5 x 26 cm.
_ Ratio of length, breadth and height of bricks: 4 : 2 :

_ Larger bricks to cover drains: 51 cm (+).
_ Stone weights used for trade were in the denominations of: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32,
..... 160 and decimal multiples of 16. Eg. 16, 320, 6400, 8000, 12800, etc.
_ Length was generally measured in: Foot (37.6 cm) and cubit (52 cm approx).
_ Granary at Lothal: 214 x 36 x 4.5 m.
_ Harappan storehouse: 50 m x 40 m, with a 7 m central passage.

60. The interesting evidences about the horse during Indus Valley Civilization are:

Horse bones have been found in 
Horse tooth has been found in Ranaghudai.
Terracota figure of a horse has been found in Lothal.
Ashes of a horse have been found in Suktagendor.

61. Seals mostly depict the “humpless” bull (unicorn).
62. 75% terracota figures are of the “humped” bull.

63. The Garuda is depicted on a seal from Harappa.

64. Evidence of the rhinoceros comes from Amri and Kalibangan. It also tells us that there was plenty of rainfall there.

65. The Sumerian Gilgamesh seal also shows two tigers.

66. Some other known animals were bull, dog, rabbit and bird.

67. Though lot of buildings and bricks were found, no brick kilns have been found so far.

68. The customary vessels for drinking were goblets with pointed bases, which were used only once.

69. The most extensively used metal in Indus Valley Civilization was pure copper (unalloyed copper).

70. The metal which made earliest appearance during the Indus Valley Civilization was Silver.

71. The Indus Valley Civilization forts were not meant for defence from enemies. They were mere entry points and provided safety from petty robbers. They also stood as a symbol of “social authority” on an area.

72. The best information on social life comes from the terracota figures.

73. The weapons used were: axes, bows, arrows and the Gada”. No defensive weapons have beenfound here. No swords were discovered. They are considered to be overall a peaceloving race.

74. Houses never opened towards the main roads. They opened towards the galisException is houses found in Lothal.

75. The Indus Valley Civilization was probably ruled by the merchant class.

76. Mostly all cities had a citadel or AcropoliseIt stood on a high mound, was called upper city and was fortified. Chanhudaro had no citadel.

77. The greatest work of artof Indus Valley Civilization are the seals. They were mostly rectangular or square and were made from “steatite”.

78. The crossing point of the First street and East street of Mohenjodaro has been named Oxford Circus.

79. The various minerals (metals) used by Indus Valley Civilization people and their sources are:

Major Imports by the Harappans
Afghanistan, Persia, Karnataka
Afghanistan, Iran
Baluchistan and Khetri(Rajasthan)
Afghanistan, Central Asia
Western India
Rajasthan, South India, Afghanistan, Iran
Copper seals from Lothal and Desalpur
Central Asia

Iron was not known to Indus Valley Civilization people.

80. Though pottery has been discovered, no potter’s wheel has been found (probably because it was wooden and hence perished).

81. The first mention of the possibility of the Harappan civilization was made as early as 1826, by Charles Masen.

82. Sindon is the Greek word for cotton and it was grown earliest in the Indus Valley Civilization period only.

83. The Mesopotamian king, whose date is known with certainty (2,350 B.C.), who claimed that ships from Indus Valley Civilization traded with him was King Sargon of Akkad.

84. In Dholavira (Rann of Kutch, Gujarat) Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found elaborate stone gateways with rounded columns, apart from giant reservoirs for water. A board inlaid with large Harappan script characters—probably the world’s first hoarding— was also found here.

85. In recent times, archaeologists have excavated or are in the process of digging up 90 other sites, both in India and Pakistan,that are throwing up remarkable clues about this great prehistoric civilisation.
Among them are: Indus Valley was probably the largest prehistoric urban civilisation.
The empire was ruled much like a democracy and the Indus people were the world’s top exporters. And, instead of the Aryans it was possibly a massive earthquake that did them in.

86. As per latest estimates, Indus Valley Civilization encompassed a staggering 1.5 million sq km—an area larger than Western Europe. In size, it dwarfed contemporary civilisations in the Nile Valley in Egypt and in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys in Sumer (modern Iraq). Its geographical boundaries are now believed to extend up to the Iranian border on the west, Turkmenistan and Kashmir in the north, Delhi in the east and the Godavari Valley in the south.

87. While Mohenjodaro and Harappa are rightly regarded as principal cities of Indus Valley Civilization, there were several others, such as Rakhigarhi in Haryana and Ganweriwala in Pakistan’s Punjab province, that match them both in size and importance.

88. Along with the Etruscan of Italythe Indus Valley script is the last script of the Bronze Age that is yet to be deciphered. So far no such bilingual artefact has been found that could help break the Indus writing code.

89. The Indus Valley civilization’s inscriptions are usually short, made up of 26 characters written usually in one line. The script, largely glyptic in content, has around 419 signs. The writing system is believed to be based on syllablesThe Indus people also wrote from right to left(Boustrophedon)as is manifest by the strokes.
90. The excavation of Lothalan Indus port town located off the Gujarat coast, shattered notions that the Civilization was landlocked and isolated.
A 700 ft long dock—-even bigger than the one’s in many present day ports—has been discovered.
It took an estimated million bricks to build. Hundreds of seals were found, some showing Persian Gulf origin, indicating that Lothal was a major port of exit and entry.

91. lapis lazuli bead factory, discovered in Shortugai in Afghanistan, is believed to have been a major supplier to Harappan traders.

92. Harappans are credited with being the earliest growers of rice and cotton.

93. Outside the Indus system a few sites occur on the Makran Coast (Pakistan-Iran border), the westernmost of which is at SutkagenDornear the modern frontier with Iran. These sites were probably ports or trading posts, supporting the sea trade with the Persian Gulf, and were  established in what otherwise remained a largely separate cultural region. The uplands of Baluchistanwhile showing clear evidence of trade and contact with the Indus Civilization, appear to have remained outside the direct Harappan rule.

94. East of the Indus system, toward the north, a number of sites occur right up to the edge of the Himalayan foothills, where at Alamgirpureast of
Delhi, the easternmost Harappan (or perhaps late Harappan) settlement has been discovered and partly excavated.

95. Besides Mohenjodaro and Harrapa, other major sites excavated includeDholavira and Surkotada in the Rann of KachNausharo Firoz in Baluchistan;Shortughai in northern Afghanistan; Amri, Chanhu-daro, and Judeirjodaro in Sindh (Pakistan); and Sandhanawala in Bahawalpur (Pakistan).

96. Of all the Indus Valley Civilization sites, Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Kalibangan and Lothal have been most extensively excavated.

97. At major three sites excavated, the citadel mound is on a north-south
axis and about twice as long as it is broad. The lower city is laid out in a grid pattern of streets; at Kalibangan these were of regularly controlled widths, with the major streets running through, while the minor lanes were sometimes offset, creating different sizes of blocks. At all three sites the citadel was protected by a massive, defensive wall of brick, which at Kalibangan was strengthened at intervals by square or rectangular bastions. In all three cases the city was situated near a river, although in modern times the rivers have deserted their former courses.

98. The most common building material at every site was brick, but the proportions of burned brick to unburned mud brick vary.
Mohenjo-daro employs burned brick, perhaps because timber was more readily available, while mud brick was reserved for fillings and mass work.
Kalibanganon the other hand, reserved burned brick for bathrooms, wells, and drains. Most of the domestic architecture at Kalibangan was in mud brick.

99. The bathrooms of houses made during the time were usually indicated by the fine quality of the brickwork in the floor and by waste drains.

100. There is surprisingly little evidence of public places of worship, although at Mohenjo-daro a number of possible temples were unearthed in the lower city, and other buildings of a ritual character were reported in the citadel.

101. Decline of Indus Valley:

Decline of Indus Valley
Reasons of decline
Gorden Childe, Stuart Piggot
External Aggression
Unstable river system
Natural calamity
Orell Stein and A.N. Ghosh
Climate change
R. Mprtimer Wheeler
Aryan invasion
Robert Raikes
Sood and Aggarwal
Dryness of river
Walter Fairservis
Ecological imbalance

102. Towns Associated with different industries:
Town Associated with Different Industries
Stone tools factory
Stone tools factory
Stone tools factory
Factory for metallic finished goods
Factory for pearl finished goods, Bangle's factory
Beads Factory
Pearl finished goods factory
Metallic finished goods factory
Bangle's factory


Evidence from Chief Sites
Cemetery H & R-37
Prepared Garments
Lower fortified town
Port town
Evidence of Rice
Lothal, Rangpur
Coffin Burial
Horse Bone
Fire Altar
Kalibangan & Lothal
Temple like palace
Horse's Tooth
Rana Ghundai
Pashuptai Seal
Copper Rhino
Copper Chariot
Copper Elephant
Mohenjodaro & Harappa
Bronze Female Dancer
Granery outside fort
Beads Factory
Chanhudaro, Balakot
Copper ox
Bangles Factory
Chanhudaro, Balakot
Harappa, Lothal
Phallur Worship
Bronze Bufallo
Evidence of Earthquake
Evidence of Plough
Copper dog
Camel's Bone
Stone Covered Grave
Woodenn Drainage

104. Sites at a glance:
Name of Sites
Year of Excavation
Daya Ram Sahni
Montgomery district of Punjab (Now in Pak) on the left bank of Ravi
1.           City followed grid planning
2.           Row of six granaries
3.           Only place having evidences of coffin burial
4.         Evidence of fractional burial and coffin burial
5.          Cemetery-H of alien people.
Larkana district in Sind on the right bank of Indus(Now in Pak)
1.           City followed grid planning
2.           A large granary and Great Bath, a college
3.           Human skeletons showing invasiona and massacre.
4.         Evidence of Horse come from superficial level.
5.          A piece of woven cotton alongwith spindle whorls and needles
6.          Town was flooded more then seven times.
N. Gopal Majumdar, Mackey
Situtated in Sind on the bank of Indus
1.           The city has no citadal
2.           Famous for bead makers shop
3.           A small pot, possibly an inkpot
4.         Foot prints of a dog chasing a cat
5.          Three different cultural layers, Indus,Jhukar and Jhangar
A. Ghosh
Situated in Rajasthan on the Bank of Ghaggar
1.           Shows both Pre Harappan and Harappan phase
2.           Evidence of furrowed land
3.           Evidence of seven fire altars and camel bones
4.         Many houses had their own well
5.          Kalibangan stand for black bangles
6.          Evidence of wooden furrow
S.R. Rao
Situated in Gujarat on Bhogava river near Gulf of Cambay
1.           A titled floor which bears intersecting design of circles
2.           Remains of rice husk
3.           Evidence of horse from a terracotta figurine
4.         A ship designed on a seal
5.          Beads & trade ports
6.          An instrument for measuring angles,pointing to modern day compass
R.S. Bisht
Situated in Hissar district of Haryana
1.           Shows both Pre-Harappan and Harppan phase
2.           Good quantity of barley found here
J.P. Joshi
Situated in Kutch (Bhuj) district of Gujarat
1.           Bones of horses, Bead making shops
Stein, R.L.
Situated in Baluchistan on Dast River
1.           Trade point between Harappa and Babylon, belong to mature phase
2.           Evidence of horse
N.G. Majumdar
Situated in Sind on the bank of Indus
1.           Evidence of antelope
R.S. Bisht
Situated in Gujarat in Rann of Kutch
1.           Seven cultural stages
2.           Largest site
3.           Three party of city
4.         Unique water management
M.S. Vats, B.B. Lal & S.R. Rao
Situated on the bank of Mahar in Gujarat
1.           Rice was cultivated
Kot Diji
Fazal Ahmed
Situated on the bank of Indus
1.           Wheel made painted pottery
2.           Traces of defensive wall and well aligned streets
3.           Knowledge of metallurgy, artistic toys etc
Y.D. Sharma
Situated in Punjab of the banks of Sutlej
1.           Evidence of burying a dog below the human bural
2.           One example of rectangular mudbrick chamber was noticed
3.           Five fold cultures - Harappan, PGW, NBP, Kushana - Gupta and Medieval
George F Dales
Situated on the Arabian Sea
1.           Remain of pre Harappan and Harappan civilisation
2.           The mounds rise to the height of about 9.7mts and are spread 2.8 sq hectare of area
Y.D. Sharma
Situated on Hindon in Ghaziabad
1.           The impression of cloth on a trough is discovered
2.           Usually considered to be the eastern boundary of the Indus culture


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