Services (Prelims) Examination Special
Quick Revision Notes
Valley Civilization (Indian
Some other known animals were
bull, dog, rabbit and bird.
Though lot of buildings and bricks
were found, no brick kilns have been found so far.
The customary vessels for drinking were goblets with pointed
bases, which were used only once.
The most extensively used metal in Indus Valley Civilization
was pure copper (unalloyed copper).
The metal which made earliest
appearance during the Indus Valley Civilization was Silver.
The Indus Valley Civilization forts
were not meant for defence from enemies. They were mere entry points and
provided safety from petty robbers. They also stood as a symbol of â€œsocial
authorityâ€ on an area.
The best information on social life comes from the terracota figures.
The weapons used were: axes, bows, arrows and the â€œGadaâ€.
No defensive weapons have beenfound here. No swords were discovered.
They are considered to be overall a peaceloving race.
Houses never opened towards the main roads. They opened towards the galis.
Exception is houses found in Lothal.
The Indus Valley Civilization was probably ruled by the merchant
Mostly all cities had a citadel or Acropolise. It stood on a high
mound, was called upper city and was fortified. Chanhudaro had no
The greatest work of art,
of Indus Valley Civilization are the seals. They were mostly rectangular or
square and were made from â€œsteatiteâ€.
The crossing point of the First street and East street of Mohenjodaro has
been named Oxford Circus.
The various minerals (metals) used
by Indus Valley Civilization people and their sources are: Silver
from Afghanistan and Iran and Iraq; Lead from Kashmir, Rajasthan,
etc.; Gold from Karnataka; Copper from Rajasthan; Lapis
Lazuli from Afghanistan. Iron was not known to Indus
Valley Civilization people.
Though pottery has been
discovered, no potterâ€™s wheel has been found (probably
because it was wooden and hence perished).
The first mention of the
possibility of the Harappan civilization was made as early as 1826, by Charles
â€œSindonâ€ is the Greek
word for cotton and it was grown earliest in the Indus Valley Civilization
The Mesopotamian king, whose date
is known with certainty (2,350 B.C.), who claimed that ships from Indus Valley
Civilization traded with him was King Sargon
In Dholavira (Rann of
Kutch, Gujarat) Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found elaborate stone
gateways with rounded columns, apart from giant reservoirs for water. A
board inlaid with large Harappan script charactersâ€”probably
the worldâ€™s first hoardingâ€” was also found here.
In recent times, archaeologists have excavated r are in the process of
digging up 90 other sites, both in India and Pakistan, that are throwing up
remarkable clues about this great prehistoric civilisation. Among them are: Indus
Valley was probably the largest prehistoric urban
civilisation. The empire was ruled much like a democracy and the Indus
people were the worldâ€™s top exporters. And, instead of the Aryans it was
possibly a massive earthquake that did them in.
As per latest estimates, Indus Valley Civilization encompassed a staggering
1.5 million sq kmâ€”an area larger than Western Europe. In size, it dwarfed
contemporary civilisations in the Nile Valley in Egypt and in the Tigris and
Euphrates valleys in Sumer (modern Iraq). Its geographical boundaries are now
believed to extend up to the Iranian border on the west, Turkmenistan and
Kashmir in the north, Delhi in the east and the Godavari Valley in the south.
While Mohenjodaro and Harappa are rightly regarded as principal cities of
Indus Valley Civilization, there were several others, such as Rakhigarhi in
Haryana and Ganweriwala in Pakistanâ€™s Punjab province, that match them
both in size and importance.
Along with the Etruscan of Italy, the Indus Valley
script is the last script of the Bronze Age that is yet to be deciphered. So
far no such bilingual artefact has been found that could help break the Indus
The Indus Valley civilizationâ€™s inscriptions are usually short, made up of
26 characters written usually in one line. The script, largely glyptic in
content, has around 419 signs. The writing system is believed to be based on syllables.
The Indus people also wrote from right to left, as is manifest
by the strokes.
The excavation of Lothal, an Indus port town located off the Gujarat
coast, shattered notions that the Civilization was landlocked and isolated. A
700 ft long dockâ€”-even bigger than the oneâ€™s in many present day portsâ€”has
been discovered. It took an estimated million bricks to build. Hundreds of seals
were found, some showing Persian Gulf origin, indicating that Lothal was a
major port of exit and entry.
A lapis lazuli bead factory, discovered in Shortugai in
Afghanistan, is believed to have been a major supplier to Harappan traders.
Harappans are credited with being the earliest growers of rice and
Outside the Indus system a few sites occur on the Makran Coast (Pakistan-
Iran border), the westernmost of which is at Sutkagen Dor, near
the modern frontier with Iran. These sites were probably ports or trading posts,
supporting the sea trade with the Persian Gulf, and were established in what
otherwise remained a argely separate cultural region. The uplands of Baluchistan,
while showing clear evidence of trade and contact with the Indus
Civilization, appear to have remained outside the direct Harappan rule.
East of the Indus system, toward the north, a number of sites occur right up
to the edge of the Himalayan foothills, where at Alamgirpur, east of
Delhi, the easternmost Harappan (or perhaps late Harappan) settlement has been
discovered and partly excavated.
Besides Mohenjodaro and Harrapa, other major sites excavated include Dholavira
and Surkotada in the Rann of Kach; Nausharo Firoz in
Baluchistan; Shortughai in northern Afghanistan; Amri, Chanhu-daro,
and Judeirjodaro in Sindh (Pakistan); and Sandhanawala in Bahawalpur
Of all the Indus Valley Civilization sites, Harappa, Mohenjo-daro,
Kalibangan and Lothal have been most extensively excavated.
At major three sites excavated, the citadel mound is on a
north-south axis and about twice as long as it is broad. The lower city
is laid out in a grid pattern of streets; at Kalibangan these were of
regularly controlled widths, with the major streets running through, while the
minor lanes were sometimes offset, creating different sizes of blocks. At all
three sites the citadel was protected by a massive, defensive wall of
brick, which at Kalibangan was strengthened at intervals by square or
rectangular bastions. In all three cases the city was situated near a river,
although in modern times the rivers have deserted their former courses.
The most common building material at every site was brick, but the
proportions of burned brick to unburned mud brick vary. Mohenjo-daro employs
burned brick, perhaps because timber was more readily available, while mud brick
was reserved for fillings and mass work. Kalibangan, on the other hand,
reserved burned brick for bathrooms, wells, and drains. Most of the
domestic architecture at Kalibangan was in mud
The bathrooms of houses made during the time were usually indicated
by the fine quality of the brickwork in the floor and by waste drains.
There is surprisingly little evidence of public places of worship, although
at Mohenjo-daro a number of possible temples were unearthed in the lower
city, and other buildings of a ritual character were reported in the citadel.