Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Indus Valley Civilization

Indus Valley Civilization is known mainly from two archeological sites of Harappa and Mohenjodaro.Other important sites are Chanu Daro,Kalibangan,Lothal,Amri and others.Harappa is situated on the banks of River Ravi at the distance of 160 kms from Lahore.Mohenjodaro is located in the Larkana district of Sind.It seemed to have flourished around 2500 BC. The most prominent feature is the citadel built of burnt brick on a hill on the western side of the city.There also located a structure called Great Bath.It comprised of large rectangular pool.At each end were steps leading into the water and the base was made of neatly fitted bricks coated with pitch to make them watertight.At the foot of the citadel lay the workers quarters which were small houses of wood and mud on brick foundations divided into blocks by narrow streets.The more spacious residential quarters of the citizens lay to the east.

In Harappa granaries were massive structures.The warehouse consisted of 12 granaries arranged in two parallel rows and on each side of a wide central alley.The granaries were separated by further passages built for ventilation.The grain was stored in wooden silos which rested on giant platforms constructed of baked mud bricks.The cementary was located to the south of the citadel.The graves were laid with many articles such as copper rings,stone and shell necklaces and mirror made up of copper.

The cities depicted a very advanced system of town planning.Within the thick outer walls built a defence system against flooding were large blocks of houses separated  by broad road laid out on a grid pattern.There was a drainage system following the routes of the streets with wells,brick gutters and draining wells.

The houses were terraced and varied in size were designed round an inner courtyard some with upper floor approached by staircase.It was in the courtyard that animals were kept.The water supply for each home came from wells located in the courtyard.The houses were partitioned into several rooms one of which was a bathroom.Cooper and bronze were the main metals and casting and forging were the metallurgical techniques common among the people.They have standardized weights and measures.It was based on binomial coupled with a decimal system.

Industry and commerce flourished in the Indus valley.The people engaged in trading with places as far as Mesopotamia.There is textual reference in Mesopotamia to show that the Indus people exported carnelian, copper,ivory and ebony.In turn the Indus people imported gold,silver,tin from Persia,lapislazuli from Afganistan.The indus people were thus engaged not in only inland trading but in overseas trading through navigation.In Lothal a dockyard has been discovered.

Indus people had developed the art of writing evidences  for which come from numerous square seals made of copper and clay engraved with signs.Similar signs are found on pottery and tools.Many of the signs are representations of animals or objects.The inscriptions remain to this day undeciphered.

Farming and agriculture was the main occupation of people.The agricultural surplus was stored  in the granaries.The major crops were barley,wheat and cotton was grown and spun to be woven.Domesticated animals included buffalo,humped bull,goat,sheep,pig,fowl etc.

The Indus pottery is thick walled,wheel turned,kin fired and red with designs painted on in clay.Red ochre was used for painting.Geometric designs and floral designs were made for painting.Besides pottery small terracotta toys of animal figures,carts were also found.Further bronze figurine of dancing girls were found.Beads,necklaces,bangles and other jewellery also have been discovered.

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