Ancient Civilizations in India
Indus Valley Civilization
- The Indus Valley Civilization was an ancient civilization thriving along the Indus River & the Ghaggar-Hakra River in what is now Pakistan & north-western India.
- According to radio-carbon dating, it spread from the year 2500 – 1750 BC.
- R.B. Dayaram Sahni first discovered Harappa (on Ravi) in 1921. R.D. Banerjee discovered Mohenjodaro or ‘Mound of the Dead (on Indus) in 1922. Sir John Marshal played a crucial role in both these.
- Harappan Civilization forms part of the protohistory of India & belongs to the Bronze Age.
- Copper, bronze, silver, and gold were known but not iron.
- The Indus Valley people were well-acquainted with the use both of cotton & wool.
- Domestication of animals:
- Stockbreeding was important in Indus culture. Besides sheep & goats, dogs, humped cattle buffalo & elephant was certainly domesticated. The camel was rare & the horse was not known.
Indus Valley Civilization Town Planning:
- Elaborate town-planning. It followed the Grid System. Roads were well cut, dividing the town into large rectangular or square blocks
- Used burnt bricks of good quality as the building material. Elsewhere in the contemporary world, mud bricks were used.
- In Mohanjodaro, a big public bath (Great Bath) measuring 12 m by 7 m & 2.4 m deep, has been found. Steps led from either end to the surface, with changing rooms alongside. It was probably used for ritual bathing.
- Mohenjodaro (Sind) is situated on the right bank of the Indus.
- Chanhudaro lies on the left bank of the Indus about 130 km south of Mohenjodaro.
- Kalibangan (Rajasthan) was on the banks of the river Ghaggar which dried up centuries ago.
- Lothal is at the head of the Gulf of Cambay.
- Banawali (Haryana) was situated on the banks of the now-extinct Sarasvati River.
- Surkotada (Gujarat) is at the head of the Rann of Kutch.
- Dholavira (Gujarat) excavated is in the Kutch district
Trade & Commerce in Ancient India:
There was no metallic money in circulation & trade was carried through Barter System
Weights & measures of accuracy existed in Harappan culture (found at Lothal). The weights were made of limestone, steatite, etc & were generally cubical in shape.
16 was the unit of measurement (16, 64,160, 320).
A dockyard has been discovered at Lothal. Rangpur, Somnath & Balakot functioned as seaports. Sutkagendor & Sutkakoh functioned as outlets.
Indus Valley Civilization Script:
- The script is not alphabetical but pictographic (about 600 undeciphered pictographs).
- The script has not been deciphered so far, but overlaps of letters show that it was written from right to left in the first line & left to right in the second line. This style is called ‘Boustrophedon’