Sunday, 1 April 2012

Indus valley civilization

Indus valley civilization was one of the world's greatest civilizations that flourished basically in the ancient Indian subcontinent which include the present day countries of India, Pakistan , parts of Afghanistan and Iran . The civilization is believed to have spread across 1,26,0000 square kilometers of area making it the largest ancient civilization with a population of more than 5 million. It was an bronze age civilization that flourished in the time period of 3300-1900 BCE . Like all the ancient civilizations it came up along a mighty river bed called indus which is often called as the sindhu river by the ancient hindu sctiptures .

Early Stages of The Civilization

The early stage of the civilization was from 3300-2600 BCE when the when food production and development of scripts started. Around the same time also trade links existed with other regions which is proved by the ceramic similarities with southern Turkmenistan, northern Iran and other central Asian regions  .Similarities of pottery, ornaments, figures and seals establish the fact that the link with these regions was quite influential.
People in the civilization had the knowledge and widespread involvement in agriculture. Wheat and barley were mostly produced during this time. Proof of cattle cultivation are quite open with the ancient artifacts found from the excavation sites. People were dependent on the animals for various purposes and they served as an very important part of their daily survival is also visible on the excavated seals and other artifacts in the region.


Mature Period Of The Civilization

By the time of 2600 BCE the civilization had already attained maturity as extensive urbanization in the region started with very well planed urban centers rising from the ground. Cities like Mohan jo daro , Harrapa, Lothal nad Mehrgarh had already attained their prominence in the civilization. Well planned cities with effective administration were existing side by side. Municipal governments, extensive town planning and hygiene are clearly evident at the excavation sites in the region. Efficient waste water management, impressive dockyards, protective walls , warehouses, and brick platforms showcase the expertise in town planning by the people in the civilization. Citadels were build to divert the flood water and a great public bath has also been discovered in a an ancient city adding to the glory of creative and purposeful ideas of the ancient civilization.

Science, Art and Writting Script

People in the Indus valley civilization were the first to develop the system of uniform measures and weights. They had gained quite much accuracy in measuring length, mass and time . The civilization had the knowledge of metallurgy as people were producing bronze, tin, copper and lead . The architecture of the building blocks showcase the expertise of the architects at this time.
In 2001 it was evidently proved that the people in the region had the knowledge of dentistry as it was later published in a scientific journal that that the earliest evidence of human tooth drilling was practised as a part of dentistry in ancient city of Mehrgarh . The people in the region had some specific technology for measuring the purity of gold. 
People in the region had an expert knowledge about art and craft . Terracotta, bronze and other materials were used to create beautiful artifacts which have been unearthed in the during the excavations .

 Till the date near about 600 different symbols have been found on excavated seals, ornaments, ceramic artifacts and many other materials which gives us an idea about the typical indus valley civilization inscriptions which represent their literal description of their distinct language.


Governance And Religion

The standardized size of the bricks used through out the civilization and planned settlements near the sources of raw materials give evidence that the whole region was an single state. Every city had its different rulers and in Harappan society people enjoyed equal status . The similarity in the artifacts shows that complex decisions were implemented with centralised authority .

People in the indus valley had many similarities with the present Hindu religion . Like the Hindus the people of indus valley worshiped mother goddess (Sakthi and Parvati) and considered cow and the river holy and sacred.Images of later Hindu gods like Shiva also are found in the excavated indus valley artifacts. Like the hindus also later indus valley people also cremated their dead and buried their ashes in burial urns . The word Hindu itself is derived from the word Sindhu which represents the area around the ancient sindhu river or indus river .

Transportation and Trade

For inland transport the indus valley people used bullock carts and also used the river for traveling from one place to other with the help of small flat bottomed craft driven by sails. In the coastal city of Lotahal the architects of ancient dockyards giving evidence to sea trade of the time. 
Indus valley civilization had trade links with regions like central Asia, southern Iran and ancient Mesopotamia . Some trade contacts reached far regions of Crete and possibly to Egypt which established with certain proven facts.

Collapse of The Civilization

The first theory established for the collapse of the civilization is the theory of Aryan invasion a race of people from the central Asian regions but later it was discarded due to lack of proper evidence. Other theories like immigration by new race of people, consecutive floods, droughts and deforestation are widely accepted to be the cause due to which the civilization collapsed with time. It has been also accepted that the civilization did not collapse all at once but in a gradual manner as it's influence was clearly visible on later emerging cultures. Recent archeological exacavations in gangetic plains give the evidence that the people from the Indus valley moved eastwards in search of new settlements. Changes in the middle east region climate also is considered to have dramatically influenced the Indus valley climate as it became cooler and the monsoon became scarce affecting the cultivation of crops in the region.

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