Generally, people of western countries are considered civilized than the rest of the world. But, nearly 4700 years ago that is around 2700 BC, when people of Europe and America were leading a nomadic way of life the most advanced and magnificent urban Civilization flourished in India around the river Indus mainly centered in the cities Harappa and Mohenjodaro. Thus, it was named THE INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION (or) HARAPPAN CIVILIZATION.
In the year 1921, renowned archaeologist DAYA RAM SAHANI first excavated the ruins of the INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION in HARAPPA in Punjab state (Pakistan Punjab).The next year in 1922, MOHENJO DARO was excavated in the Sind region. Later on, nearly 14 cities of the Civilization were found around the Indus river and its tributaries. HARAPPAN CIVILIZATION was considered one of the earliest civilizations of the world.
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CHARACTERISTICS OF THE INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION:
Based on the evidence found at the excavation sites, archaeologists assumed the following characteristics of the civilization.
What came as a surprise to most of the people were the advanced techniques used in building the towns and well-planned structure and brick houses around 4000 years ago.
- Streets and lanes were built in rectangular blocks in a systematic manner.
- Standardized Burnt Bricks were used in building the houses.
- The under-ground drainage system connecting all the houses is the highlight of the Civilization.
- Buildings of the officials were constructed on one side and those of common people on the other side.
- Great bath in mohenjodaro where community baths were done.
AGRICULTURE AND ECONOMY:
- Food crops such as rice, wheat and barley were grown. Other crops such as dates, mustard, sesamum were also grown. INDUS VALLEY Civilization people were the first to grow cotton.
- The agricultural technology was well developed. Evidence of well irrigation and ruins of water dams were found. Animals reared were camels, oxen, sheep, goats, dogs, cats and so on.
- Other than farmers, artisans like goldsmiths, bronze-smiths, stone-makers, weavers, boat-builders and so on were also present in the Indus valley civilization.
- Trade with regions like Persia, Central Asia, Afghanistan was evident. But, coins were not found. The exchange of goods may have taken place.
- Harappan seals were made of soft stone and may have been used for sealing goods.
- Seals of different shapes such as rectangular, circular and cylindrical ones with the symbol of animal on them were found.
- These seals are considered as one of the great artistic creations of Harappan Civilization.
CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS OF INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION:
- The chief female deity was Goddess Earth represented in terracotta figurines and the male deity was PASUPATI MAHADEVA (SIVA).
- Evidence of animal and tree worship was found in Indus valley sites.
- Harappan glazed pottery was the first in the world and pots were painted in various colours.
- The Harappan people buried the dead persons outside the settlements. Wooden burials and pot burials were found in the sites.
Also Read: The Story of Indus Valley Civilization
THEORY OF DECLINE:
Indus valley civilization came to an end around 1700 BC. Different reasons were assumed for the decline of the civilization:
- The Aryan invasion and destroying the cities may be the reason.
- Natural calamities like floods and droughts may have resulted in the destruction of the civilization.
- The outbreak of epidemic diseases killing many people there by fall of the civilization.
Thus, the INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION, the earliest civilization of our country shows how advanced were the people of India in the ancient times.