Indus valley civilisation (IVC) Sites are a favourite topic of the UPSC Examination. In This article, we will see the important IVC sites with a map, a brief about these important IVC Sites. Then we will look into various features of the Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) such as their Craft, Agriculture, Town Planning, Economy, religion. And finally, we will look at the most contested causes of IVC decline. You can also download the indus valley civilisation IVC sites map at the end of the article.
Table of Contents
Indus valley civilisation
- The history of India is believed to have begun with the start of the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), often known as Harappan Civilization.
- It flourished in and around 2,500 BC, within the western areas of South Asia, in modern-day Pakistan and Western India.
- IVC was the biggest among the 4 historical civilizations of that time which were Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China.
- During the 1920s, the Archaeological Survey of India ASI carried out excavations within the Indus valley and the ruins of the 2 old cities, Mohenjodaro and Harappa were unearthed.
- In 1924, John Marshall, Director-General of the ASI, introduced the discovery of a brand new civilisation called Indus valley civilisation IVC to the world.
|Site||Excavated by||Location||Important Findings|
|Harappa||Daya Ram Sahini in 1921||Situated on the bank of river Ravi in Montgomery district of Punjab (Pakistan).|| • two row of 6 granaries ,
• workmen quarters,
• 2 sandstone statues depicting human anatomy ,
• dog attacking dear,
• little bullock carts (ekkas)
• Only sites which yield the evidence of coffin burial
• Rigveda Mention it as a Hariyupia
|Mohenjodaro (Mound of Dead)||R.D Banerjee in 1922||Situated on the Bank of river Indus in Larkana district of Punjab (Pakistan).|| • the great Bath,
• a large granary ,
• a piece of woven cotton ,
• bronze dancing girl,
• seal of Pashupati Mahadeva ,
• Steatite statute of a beared man supposed to a priest,
• evidence of horse for superficial level,
• bronze buffalo
• Probable the city decline due to flooding
• Bronze dancing girl
• Seal of Pasupathi Mahadeva
• Steatite statue of beard man
• A piece of woven cotton
|Sutkagendor||Stein in 1929||In southwestern Balochistan province, Pakistan on Dast river||A trade point between Harappa and Babylon|
|Chanhudaro||N.G Majumdar in 1931||Sindh on the Indus river|| • Bead makers shop
• foot print of a dog chasing a cat
|Amri||N.G Majumdar in 1935||On the bank of Indus river||Antelope evidence|
|Kalibangan||Ghose in 1953||Rajasthan on the bank of Ghaggar river||• Fire altar
• Camel bones
• Wooden plough
|Lothal||R.Rao in 1953||Gujarat on Bhogva river near Gulf of Cambay||• First manmade port
• Rice husk
• Fire altars
• Chess playing
|Surkotada||J.P Joshi in 1964||Gujarat||Bones of horses Beads|
|Banawali||R.S Bisht in 1974||Hisar district of Haryana|| • Beads
• Evidence of both pre-Harappan and Harappan culture
|Dholavira||R.S Bisht in 1985||Gujarat in Rann of Kachchh|| • Water harnessing system
• Water reservoir
Phases of IVC
Three phases of IVC, indus valley civilisation are:
- the Early Harappan Phase from 3300 to 2600 BCE,
- the Mature Harappan Phase from 2600 to 1900 BCE, and
- the Late Harappan Phase from 1900 to 1300 BCE.
City Planning and Constructions in IVC Sites
- The Harappan tradition was distinguished by its system of city planning.
- Harappa and Mohenjodaro had their citadel, located at the elevated region of the city and it was probably occupied by members of the ruling class.
- Under the citadel in every city lay a lower city containing brick homes, which have been inhabited by the common folks.
- The remarkable thing in regards to the arrangement of the homes within the cities is that they adopted the grid system.
- Granaries constituted an essential part of the Harappan cities.
- Using burnt bricks within the Harappan cities is outstanding, because within the contemporary buildings of Egypt primarily dried bricks have been used.
- The drainage system of Mohenjodaro was very spectacular.
- In nearly all cities each big or small home had its courtyard and bathroom.
- In Kalibangan many homes had their wells.
- Some indus valley civilisation (IVC) sites like Dholavira and Lothal (Gujarat), had their whole settlement fortified, and sections inside the city were also separated by partitions walls.
Agriculture in IVC Sites
- The Harappan (IVC) villages, were principally located close to the flood plains and produced adequate foodgrains.
- Wheat, barley, rai, peas, sesame, lentil, chickpea and mustard had been produced. Millets are additionally discovered at sites in Gujarat. Whereas rice uses have been relatively uncommon.
- The Indus folks have been the earliest people to produce cotton.
- The prevalence of agriculture is attributed to the finds of grain, it’s harder to reconstruct precise agricultural practices.
- Representations of Bull on seals and terracotta sculpture shows the bull was known, and archaeologists extrapolate it and claim oxen have been also used for ploughing.
- Most Harappan sites are positioned in semi-arid lands, where irrigation was most likely required for agriculture.
- Traces of canals have been discovered on the Harappan site of Shortughai in Afghanistan, however not in Punjab or Sindh.
- Though the Harappans practised agriculture, animals had been also reared on a big scale.
- Proof of the horse comes from Mohenjodaro and an uncertain terracotta figurine from Lothal. In any case, the Harappan tradition was not horse centred.
- The significance of commerce in indus valley civilisation (IVC) people is witnessed by the presence of quite a few seals, uniform script and controlled weights and measures in a large area.
- The Harappans carried on substantial trade in stone, metal, shell, and so forth.
- Metal money was not used and commerce was carried by barter system.
- They practised navigation on the coast of the Arabian Sea.
- IVC civilisation had set up a trading colony in northern Afghanistan which facilitated commerce with Central Asia.
- Additionally, they carried commerce with those in the land of the Tigris and the Euphrates river (Iraq).
- The Harappans carried on long-distance commerce in lapis lazuli; which may have contributed to the social status of the ruling class.
Crafts in Indus Valley Civilisation
- The Harappans (IVC) had been very effectively acquainted with the manufacturing and use of Bronze.
- Copper was obtained from the Khetri copper mines of Rajasthan and Tin was probably introduced from Afghanistan.
- Large brick structures suggest that brick-laying was an essential craft. This additionally attests to the existence of a category of masons.
- The Harappans practised boat-making, bead making and seal-making. Terracotta manufacture was also an essential craft.
- The goldsmiths made jewellery of silver, gold and valuable stones.
- The potter’s wheel was in full use, and the Harappans produced their characteristic pottery, which was shiny or Glossy.
Religion of Indus Valley Civilisation
- In Harappa, numerous terracotta figurines of women have been discovered. In one figurine a plant is shown growing out of the embryo of a lady.
- The Harappans looked upon the earth as a fertility goddess and worshipped her in the same method as the Egyptians worshipped the Nile goddess Isis.
- The male deity is represented on a seal with three-horned heads, represented in the sitting posture of a yogi.
- This deity is surrounded by an elephant, a tiger, a rhinoceros, and has a buffalo beneath his throne. At his feet are two deer. The depicted god is recognized as Pashupati Mahadeva.
- Quite a few symbols of the phallus and feminine sex organs made from stone have been discovered.
- The people of the Indus area additionally worshipped trees and Animals.
- The most important of them was the one-horned unicorn which can be recognized with the rhinoceros and the next important was the humped bull.
- Amulets have also been present in massive numbers.
The decline of the Indus Valley Civilization
- The IVC declined and vanished around 1800 BCE. The precise causes behind its demise are still debated.
- One concept claims that the Indo-European tribe i.e. Aryans invaded and conquered the IVC.
- In later cultures, varied elements of the indus valley civilisation (IVC) are discovered which suggest that civilization didn’t disappear all of the sudden as a result of an invasion.
- However, many scholars consider natural factors are behind the decline of the IVC.
- The natural factors like geological and climatic one.
- It’s believed that the Indus Valley region experienced some tectonic disturbances which triggered earthquakes. Which also modified the courses of rivers or dried them up.
- One other natural cause may be a change in patterns of rainfall.
- There could be also dramatic shifts within the river courses, which could have introduced floods to the food-producing areas.
- Because of a mix of these natural causes, there was a gradual collapse of indus valley civilisation (IVC).