Facts Related to Indus Valley Civilisation
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Facts Related to Indus Valley Civilisation

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Ancient and Medieval History

Facts Related to Indus Valley Civilisation 

Introduction

Indus Valley Civilisation is also known as Harappan Civilisation and is a very important part of ancient history. Here are some important and interesting facts related to Indus Valley Civilisation. 

History is one of the major section of the UPSC exam. 

Terracotta figurines:

  • Terracotta figurines were made of baked clay. 
  • The majority of them are hand-modelled.
  • Both male and female figurines are found, the latter being more common.
  • Also, terracotta figurines of a range of birds and animals, including monkeys, dogs, sheep and cattle are seen.
  • Both humped and humpless bulls are found, the pride of place seemingly going to the great humpless bulls.

Image:

  • Image of both metal and stone have been discovered.

Facts Related to Indus Valley Civilisation

  • The Best metal specimen is that of a bronze image of a nude woman dancer at Mohenjo Daro.
  • The best stone specimen is a steatite image of a bearded man at Mohenjodaro.
  • Stone sculptures have also been found from Harappa, Dabar Kot and Mundigak.
  • The seals and images were manufactured With great skill, but the terracotta pieces represent unsophisticated artistic works.
  • The contrast between the two sets indicates the gap between the classes which used them. 
  • The first was used by members of the upper classes, and the second by the common people.

Pottery:

  • The Indus people indulged in the widespread use of the potter’s wheel.
  • Pots were painted in various colours and decorated with human figures, plants, animal and geometrical patterns.
  • Harappan glazed pottery was the first of its kind in the world.
  • Both plain and painted pottery were present, but plain pottery is more common than the painted ware.
  • The plain pottery is red in colour whereas the painted pottery is of red and black colour.

Facts Related to Indus Valley Civilisation     Facts Related to Indus Valley Civilisation

Burial practices:

  • Cemeteries are generally located around the perimeter of the settlements.
  • Three forms of burials are found at Mohenjodaro, viz. The complete burial, fractional burials (Burial of some bones after exposure to wild beasts and birds) and post-cremation burials.
  • The general practice was extended inhumation, the body lying on its back, with the head generally to the north.
  • At Harappa, traces of a wooden coffin and bodies covered by a reed-shroud were found.

Special features of Harappan sites:

Harappa

  • Discovered by: First Indus site to be discovered by Dayaram Sahni in 1921.
  • Located: On the banks of river Ravi.

Findings:

  • Two rows of six granaries, these were the nearest buildings to the river.
  • Barracks in the form of rows of single-roomed habitations which housed labourers are seen.
  • The largest number of wheat grains 
  • Red sandstone torso of a nude male.

Facts Related to Indus Valley Civilisation

Harappan granary

Mohenjodaro (literally means ‘mound of the dead)

  • Discovered by: Second Indus site to be discovered by R.D. Banerjee in 1922.
  • Located: On the banks of river Indus.

Findings:

  • Great granary (the largest building).
  • Pashupati seal 
  • The multi-pillared assembly hall and a big rectangular building.
  • Bronze image of a dancing girl with right hand on hip.
  • Steatite image of a bearded man said to be of a priest.
  • Bronze mirror, bronze needle, bronze saw 
  • Great bath 

Lothal (Gujarat)

  • Excavated by: S.R. Rao.
  • Located: On the banks of river Bhagava.
  • Known as Manchester of Harappan civilisation for its cotton trade.
  • The world’s first tidal port.
  • Only Indus site with an artificial dockyard.

Findings:

  • Evidence of double burials (Burying a male and a female in a single grave)
  • Evidence of Cultivation of rice in Lothal and Rangpur.
  • Beadmakers shop, Copper furnaces A circular button-shaped seal called Persian gulf seal seen.

Facts Related to Indus Valley Civilisation            Facts Related to Indus Valley Civilisation

                    Double burial                                                                           Persian gulf Seal

  • Two terracotta models of Egyptian mummies found wrapped in muslin cloth. 
  • A sacrificial fire altar found both in Lothal and Kalibangan suggesting medical and surgical skills.

Chanhudaro

  • Excavated by: N.G. Majumdar in Sindh.
  • Known as the Lancashire of India.
  • The only Indus city without a citadel.
  • Like Mohenjo Daro it was also flooded more than once.
  • Findings: 
  • Discovery of a small pot with was probably an ink-well.
  • The largest number of copper implements

Kalibangan (literally means black bangles)

  • Excavated by: B.B. Lal and K. Ghosh.
  • Located: On the banks of Ghaggar river in Rajasthan.

Findings: 

  • Seven Fire altars found.
  • The conspicuous absence of mother Goddess Figurines.
  • Mud is found in every house 
  • 6- patterns of pottery type are found.
  • Evidence of mixed cropping 
  • A Mesopotamian cylindrical seal, Decorated bricks, Wheels of a toy cart.

Facts Related to Indus Valley Civilisation

Surkotada

  • Excavated by: Joshi 
  • Located in Gujarat.

Findings:

  • Evidence of bones of a horse, oval grave.
  • The only Indus city to have a stone wall as a fortification.
  • Evidence of Pot burial 

Dholavira

  • Excavated by: R.S. Bisht.

Findings: 

  • Only site to be divided into three parts.
  • A Middletown is seen only in Dholavira.
  • Stone has been used in constructions.
  • A megalith burial has been seen.
  • Evidence of irrigation, dams and embankments.
  • Unique water harnessing system
  • Well, prepared gold rings have been seen in Dholavira, Mandi and Daimabad.
  • Dholavira is located on a faultline that might have been destroyed by an earthquake.

Daimabad

  • Excavated by: Dhavalikar.
  • Located: On the banks of Pravara river in Maharashtra.

Findings:

  •  The largest number of bronze items.
  • A bronze chariot, rhino, elephant, bull seen.
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Theory of decline:

Invasion by foreigners:

  • Theory of Aryan invasion talks about the reference to the destruction of forts by Aryans in the Rig Veda. 
  • The discovery of human skeletons huddled together at Mohenjodaro might indicate invasion by foreigners.

Natural calamities:

  • Recurring floods leading to declining of Mohenjo Daro and Chanhu Daro
  • Drying of rivers leading to declining of Kalibangan and Bhansali
  • Decreasing fertility: Expansion of desert increased salinity which further decreased fertility.
  • Earthquake: Earthquake caused changes in the course of Indus causing inundation of Mohenjo-Daro hinterland.
  • The decline of oceanic trades with the Sumerians must have contributed partly to the decline of Indus civilisation.
  • The outbreak of certain epidemics such as malaria might also have been ended, but faded away gradually.

These were some important facts related to the Indus valley civilisation. To know more about this topic click here

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