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INDUS VALLEY CIVILISATION | GEOGRAPHY DISCOVERIES

INDUS VALLEY CIVILISATION

INDUS VALLEY CIVILISATION
  1. Indus civilisation is one of the four earliest civilisations of the world along with the civilisation of Mesopotamia  ( Tigris and Euphrates ), Egypt ( Nile ) and China ( Hwang Ho ).
  2. The civilisation forms part of the proto - history of India and belongs to the BRONZE AGE.
  3. The most accepted period is 2500 - 1700 BC ( by Carbon - 14 dating ).  
IT CAN BE DIVIDED INTO FOLLOWING  SUB - PARTS 
  1. Early phase  2900-2500 BC
  2. Middle ( mature ) Phase 2500 - 2000 BC
  3. Later Phase  2000 - 1750 BC 
  4. DAYARAM SAHNI first discovered Harappa in 1921.
  5. RD BANERJEE discovered Mohenjodaro or Mound of the Dead in 1922.
NOMENCLATURE OF INDUS VALLEY CIVILISATION 
  1. Indus valley Civilisation as it flourished along the Indus river.
  2. Harappan Civilisation named by John Marshall after the first discovered site, Harappa.
  3. Saraswati - Sindhu Civilisation  as most of the sites have been found at the Hakra- Ghaggar river.
GEOGRAPHICAL SPREAD
  1. The Civilisation covered parts of Sind, Baluchistan, Afganistan , West Punjab , Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Maharashtra.
  2. MUNDIGAK and SHORTUGHAL are the two sites located in Afghanistan .
  3. West - Sutkagendor on Makran coast ( Pak - Iran Border ) East - Alamgirpur in Uttar Pradesh ( River Hindon ) .
  4. North - Manda in Jammu ( River Chenab ). South - Daimabad in Maharashtra  ( River Pravara ) are major sites. 
SOME NEW DISCOVERIES
  1. GANVERIVALA in pakistan by Rafeeq Mughal.
  2. RAKHIGARHI in Sind ( Harayana ) by Rafeeq Mughal.
  3. DHOLAVIRA  on bank of river Luni in Gujarat excavated by RS Bist and JP Joshi is largest and latest excavated site in India.
  4. BHIRRANA oldest Harappan site has said to be the mounds at Bhirrana village on the banks of Ghaggar river.
TOWN PLANNING
  1. It was not uniform. A unique feature was the grid system i.e. streets cutting across one another at right angles, dividing the town into large rectangular blocks.
  2. The towns were divided into two parts: Upper part or citadel and Lower part.
  3. The fortified CITADEL on the Western side housed public buildings and members of ruling class.
  4. Below the citadel on the Eastern side, lay the LOWER TOWN inhabited by the common people.
  5. UNDERGROUND DRAINAGE SYSTEM connected all houses to the street drains made of mortar , lime and gypsum. They were covered with either brick or stone slabs and equpped with its  MANHOLE. This shows developed sense of health and sanitation.
  6. THE GREAT BATH ( Mohenjodaro ) : It was used for religious bathing. Steps at either end leads to the surface . There were charging rooms alongside.
  7. THE GRANARIES ( Harappa ) six granaries in a row were found in the Citadel at Harappa.
  8. Houses were made up of BURNT BRICKS.: They were often two or more storeyed. varied in size , with a square courtyard around , which had a number of rooms. Windows did not face the main streets. They had titled bathrooms.
  9. LAMP - POSTS were erected at regular intervals. It indicates the existence of street lighting.
    AGRICULTURE
  1. It was the backbone of the civilisation . The soil was fertile due to inundation in the river Indus and flooding.
  2. The Indus people sowed seeds in the flood plains in November. When the flood water received and reaped their harvests of wheat and barley in April before the advent of next flood.
  3. They used wooden plough share ( Ploughed  field from Kalibangan ) and stone sickles for harvesting.
  4. GABARBANDS or  NALAS enclosed by the dam for storing water were a feature in parts of Baluchistan . Grains were stored in granaries.
  5. Crop Produced : wheat, barley, dates, peas, sesamum, mustard, millet ,ragi, bajra , and jowar. At Lothal and Rangpur, rice husks were found.
  6. They were First to Produce Cotton in the world , which Greeks called as SINDON derived from Sind. A fragment of woven cotton cloth was found at Mohenjodaro. 
  7. Well irrigation is evident from Alladinho, dams and irrigation canals from Dholavira. Sugarcane was not known to Indus people.
DOMESTICATION OF ANIMALS
  1. Animal rearing was practiced , evident from the discovery of the Humped Bull. 
  2. They domesticated buffaloes ,oxens, sheep , asses, goats, pigs, elephants, dogs, cats etc..
  3. Camel bones are reported at Kalibangan and remains of horse from Surkotada.
TRADE
  1. Agriculture , industry and forest produce provided the basis for internal and external trade.
  2. Trade was based on BARTAR SYSTEM Coins were not evident, bullock carts, pack animlas and boasts were used for transportation .
  3. Weights and measures were made of limestone, steatite etc.. generally in cubical shape. They were in multiple of sixteen.
  4. Several sticks inscribed with measure marks have been discovered. It points that linear system of measurement was in use.
  5. Foreign trade flourished with Mesopotamia or Sumeria ( Iraq ) , Central Asia , Persia. Afghanistan and Bahrain.
  6. Sumerian text refers to trade with Meluha ( Indus ) . Dilmun ( Bahrain ) and Makan  ( Makran coast ) were two intermediate stations.
  7. Lothal ( Artificial dockyard ), Surkotada, Sutkagendor, prabhas, Bhatrao, Kalibangan , Dholavira, Daimabad were Coastal towns of the Civilisation.
  8. Major Exports were agricultural products, cotton goods, terracotta figurines, pottery, steatite beads  ( from Chanhudaro ), Conch - shell ( from Lothal ) , ivory products, copper etc..
ART AND CRAFT
  1. Harappans used stone tools and were well acquainted with bronze . Bronze was made by mixing copper ( from Khetri ) with tin. 
  2. Bead making and jewellery of gold , silver precious stone were made. Cotton fabrics were used in summers and woollen in winters.
  3. Both men and women were very fond of ornaments and dressing up. 
  4. Pottery both plain ( red ) or painted ( red and black ) pottery was made. Pots were decorated with human figures, plants, animals and geometrical patterns and OCHRE  was painted over it.
  5. SEALS were made of steatite of steatite pictures of one horned bull, buffalo, tiger, rhinecerous, goat and elephant are found on the seals. They marked ownership of property .
  6. MESOPOTAMIA seals were found from Mohenjodaro and Kalibangan; Persian seal was obtained from Lothal . Most important one is the PASHUPATI SEAL.
  7. METAL IMAGES  Bronze image of a nude woman dancer ( identified as devdasi ) amd stone steatite images of a bearded man ( both are obtained from Mohenjodaro ).
  8. TERACOTTA FIGURINES  Fire baked clay was used to make toys, objects of worship , animals ( monkey, dogs, sheep , cattle , toys with movable head, toy carts, whistle shaped like birds and both male and female figurines.
  9. They played dice games. Gambling was their favourite time pass. No clear evidence of music.

RELIGIOUS PRACTICES

  1. CHIEF FEMALE DIETY : A terracotta figure where a plant is shown growing out of the embryo of a woman, represents Mother Goddess ( Goddess of Earth ) .
  2. CHIEF MALE DIETY  : Pashupati Mahadeva  ( photo - Shiva ) , represented in seals as sitting in a yogic posture on a low throne and having three faces and two horns. He is surrounded by an elephant, a tiger, a rhino, and a buffalo and two deers appear at his feet.
  3. LINGAM and YONI  worship was prevalent, trees ( pipal ) , animals ( bull, birds, dove ,pigeon ) unicorn and stones were worshipped . No temples have been found , though idoltary was practiced.
  4. Indus people believed in ghosts and evil forces and used amulets form protection against them. Fire altars are found at Lothal and Kalibangan.
  5. Evidence of snake worship is also found.

BURIAL PRACTICES

  1. General practices was placing the dead body in the in North - South direction.
  2. MOHENJODARO  : Three forms of burial were Complete , Fractinal and Post Cremation.
  3. KALIBANGAN : The two forms of burial - Circular and Rectangular Grave.
  4. SURKOTADA : Pot - burial , Dholavira Megalithic burial .
  5. LOTHAL : Double burial.
  6. HARAPPA : East - West  axis : R -37 and H cemetery.

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