Known as Harappan Civilisation as Harappa was the first site to be discovered and that civilization spread beyond the Indus river.
Indus Valley Civilisation
1. Early Phase (3500 B.C to 2500 B.C)
2. Mature Phase (2500 B.C to 2000 B.C)
3. Late Phase (2000 B.C to 1500 B.C)
Important Sites and its specialities
|Sites||Findings and special characteristics|
|Mohenjodaro||1. Discovered by R.D.Banerjee in 1922.Meaning in Sindhi – The mound of the dead.|
2. Located on the right bank of the Indus River.
3. The largest of the Indus cities. Triad System- entire city divided into two citadels and a lower town.
4. Great Bath, Granary, assembly hall all made of kiln burnt bricks.
5. Steatite figure of presumed priest-king.
6. Bronze buffalo and Bronze dancing girl.
7. Evidence of cotton.
|Harappa||1. Excavated by Daya Ram Sahni in 1921.|
2. Located on the left bank of river Ravi.
3. Town planning on grid pattern and division of the entire city into – citadel and lower town.
4. Granaries (Outside the Citadel)Evidence of Coffin Burial.
5. Two Stone Sculptures- a nude male torso of red sandstone and a nude dancing male figure of grey stone.
6. Bronze sculpture of a dog chasing a deer.
|Kalibangan||1. Excavated by A.Ghosh in 1953Located on the left bank of the river Ghaggar.|
2. Name means Black Bangles.
3. Furrow Field (Evidence of Ploughing)Both the citadel and the lower town were fortified.
4. Fire Altars (Fire Cult) and Bangle factory were found.
|Dholavira||1. Discovered by R Bisht in 1985.Situated in Kachchh district, Gujarat.|
2. Located on Tropic of CancerEvidence of dams, irrigation, water reservoir, water harvesting system and embankments
3. Only site to be divided into 3 parts: Citadel, Middle town and Lower Town.
4. Dholavira has been named as the UNESCO World Heritage Site(India’s 40th )
|Lothal||1. Discovered by R.S Rao (1957)|
2. Located on the banks of river Bhogava.
3.Situated in Ahmedabad district of Gujarat.
4. Evidence of the use of rice husk.
5. Terracotta model of boats
6. Known for cotton trade (Manchester of Harappan Civilization)
7. Circular button seal (also called Persian Gulf seal)
8. An artificial dockyard (port) built of burnt bricks was found east of the city.
9. Double burial (male female together)
10. Important naval trade site and a Cremation site.
|Chanhudaro||1. Excavated by M.G. Majumdar first in 1931.|
2. Located in Sindh, Pakistan
3. Only Indus valley site without a Citadel.
|Banawali||1. Excavated by R.S.Bisth in 1973-74, Hisar district of Haryana ( left banks of dried up Sarasvati River).|
2. Barley and Mustard were grown here.
3. Figurine of the mother goddess and plough toy were found.
4. Radial street
|Rakhigarhi||1. On Ghaggar –Hakra river, Haryana.|
2. Largest IVC site.
3. Evidence of Domestication of Dog.
Important Features of Indus Valley Civilisation:
|Town Planning||1. Entire city complex were bifurcated into two distinct parts: Citadel and Lower Town|
2. Systematic town-planning on the lines of ‘grid system’
3. Use of Standardised kiln-burnt bricks in construction
4. An excellent underground drainage system ( indicates civic sense and attention to health and cleanliness).
5. An Average house consisted of a courtyard and four to six living rooms, a bedroom, a kitchen and a well.
6. Presence of the staircase in houses indicates presence of the second storey.
7. House had back lane entrances and windows were absent.
|Society||1. An ‘Urban Society’ consisting mainly of middle class, highly developed civic life, a stratified social structure.|
2. Division of labour based on specialisation of work like craftsmen, sculptures, jewellers, merchants, traders, potters, carpenters etc.
3. The presence of the warrior class is uncertain.
4. Food: Wheat and Barley were their staple food.
5. Clothing: garments of cotton and wool were used.
6. Entertainment: dice playing and hunting.
7. Burials: Three types- cremation, complete burial and fractional burial.
8. Belief in life after death is amply suggested by burial mode.
9. Script: Pictographic in origin. The writing was ‘Boustrophedon’ (from right to left and then from left to right)
|Economic Activity||1. It was mainly agrarian but supported by Trade and Commerce.|
2. Tade: Barter system was practised, seals were used, trade was undertaken by land and sea routes.
3. Metals: Copper was from Ganeshwar mines of Khetri, Rajasthan, Tin from Afghanistan, Gold and silver from Afghanistan and semi precious stones from South India.
|Religion||1. It was “Primitive Animism”.|
2. No temple-like structures have been found.Image worship was in vogue.
3. Female deities were much prominent (Mother Goddess).
4. Phallus Worship of Linga or Yogi indicates fertility worship.
5. Practice of Fire-Cult (Ritual Sacrifice) in Lothal and Kalibangan.
6. Animals, particularly the humped bull, were much venerated.
|Art and Craft||1. Pottery: Two types: Plain pottery and Red and Black pottery with decoration.|
2. Seals: Purpose to mark ownership of goods and also used as amulets. Displayed symbols like circles, Swastika and leaves of Peepal tree. Most frequently displayed animal is the Unicorn. Pashupati seal has been discovered from Mohenjodaro.
3. Beads: Made of gold, silver, copper, faience, steatite, shells and semi-precious stones. Mainly made of Steatite.
Stone Sculptures: Use of soft stone (Limestone, Steatite and Alabaster) mainly. Size is moderate and no life size sculpture was found. Most of them are from Mohenjo Daro and few from Harappa.
4. Bronze Figures: Dancing girl from Mahenjodaro and animal motifs of buffalo.Terracotta Figurines: Less sophisticated than seals or bronze and stone sculptures. The most frequently depicted animal is the Unicorn.
|Political System||1. All sites present a uniform culture which reflects centralised government. |
2. It is clear that the ruling class used to live in the Citadels and Lower towns where the common subjects were occupied. A.L Basham has rightly remarked that the civilization was theocratic in character.
3. The People of the Harappa culture were more concerned with trade and commerce than with conquests because tools used for war purposes have not been found so far.