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Write an essay on The Indus Valley Civilization?

The Indus Valley Civilization, which is being considered as the largest of all the four ancient civilizations; the Egyptian, the Mesopotamian, the Chinese and the Indian civilization. The size of the Indus Valley Civilization is almost equal to the size of the Western Europe and it covered the area of today’s India and Pakistan. The Indus valley civilization is the largest of all the civilizations that are there but the archaeologist have not known much about this civilization, mainly because the scripture of this civilization has still remained un-deciphered by the archaeologists. There was a “Rosetta Stone”, which was only being deciphered by the archaeologist and most of the scriptures that were there on the potteries and on the seal had remained un-deciphered. Therefore, not much is known about this civilization.

It was during the period between 1826 and 1838, when the Eastern Indian Railways was laying the railway track between Karachi and Lahore; they accidently used the ruins of this particular civilization. In the year 1912, one seal of the Harappan civilization was discovered by J. Fleet. Therefore, between the year 1921 and 1922 Sir John Hubert Marshall started the excavation campaign and this lead to the discovery of the city of Harappa. Later important Indus cities like Mohenjo-Daro, Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni, and the city of Madho Sarup was later discovered by the archeologiest of the same time that was led by John Marshall. The excavation team include other members like Rakhal Das Banerjee, and E J. H MacKay, who played an important role in the discovery of these other cities of the civilization.

The archaeologists have divided the Indus Valley Civilization or the Harappan civilization into three main stages and this include the Early Harappan stage, the Mature and the Late Harappan stage. The archaeologists believe during the 3300 BC to 2800 BC there is the existence of the Early Harappan stage. It is believed that during the Early Harappan stage there was a centralize authority in the civilization. The archaeologists also believe that during this stage the urban quality of life in the Harappan civilization was of very high standard and also of improved quality as well. Along with the establishment of the trade, during this period there was also what is called, the domestication of the crop. The crops that were mainly grown during that period includes different kinds of crops such as, Peas, cotton, dates, sesame seeds and many other important stages.

The Three Stages of Harappan Civilization

The Harappan civilization, from the Early Harappan stage had move towards the Mature Harappan stage, during the 2600 BC. The particular period saw the rise of the important urban centre of the Indus Valley civilization and this includes the cities like Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. Archaeologists believe that during this time almost 1052 urban centres were developed along the side of the river Indus and Ghaggar; the tributaries of these two rivers also saw, the development of these two urban centres. The excavation, of the artefacts of this particular period, made the archaeologist believe that during this time the urban culture was not only technologically advanced but at the same time it was very sophisticated as well. The Harappan civilization has a very well planned sanitation and along with the well planned sanitation there was also well planned sewerage and drainage system at the same time. The presence of the warehouse, dockyards, granaries and the brick platform prove that most of the people in the Harappan civilization was either tradesman or artisans and they used to dwell with their belongings, in the neighbourhood. Although, the Harappan cities and the other cities in the Indus Valley civilization had some houses, which are bigger than the other houses, but then the number is very low. Hence, it can be said that during the Mature Harappan stage there was a social equality among the people.

Today, there has been extensive use of the weights and the measures in the day to day life but in the ancient times it was believed that the Harappan civilization is the first civilization, which had came up with definite weights and measures. There is an approximate number of the smallest division or unit and this approximate number is said to be 1.704 mm. The use of the decimal in the Harappa and the Mohenjo-Daro civilization was used mainly for the practical purpose. The people in the Harappan civilization were scientifically enriched civilization and this was known by looking at the bricks that are found in the ruins of the Harappan civilization. The bricks have the perfect ratio of 4:2:1, and in these civilization only metals like copper, tin was used. Therefore, it is said that the Harappan people, was the first among the ancient people, who used the metallurgy techniques for producing these metals.

The figures or rather the figurines that are found in the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, states that the Harappan people used to, worship the Mother Goddess. The archaeologist believes that the Mother Goddess used to signify something that is equality to fertility. Moreover, in the Harappan seals there are a presence of human figure in a yoga posture, who, is surrounded by all the animals. The figure looks similar to the Indian God “Pasupati”, who is also being surrounded by all the animals. Lord Pasupati too is regarded as the “Lord of Creatures.”

Culture and Technology of Harappan Civilization

The Late Harappan Civilization had its beginning from the 1800 BC and till the 1700 BC almost all the cities in the Indus civilization was abandoned. Among all the reasons one of the most important reason that is being laid by archaeologists, for the destruction of the Indus Civilization, is climatic change. The experts believe that during this period the climate became cooler and along with it the climate also became drier as well. Not only the climate change was one of the most important reasons for the decline of the civilization, but then the archaeologists also believe that the River Ghaggar and the river Indus too, disappeared from the civilization and thus it is also another reason for the decline and the destruction of the civilization.

The destruction and the decline of the Indus Valley civilization has many thoughts related to it and if among them one of the major thought is the natural calamity that forced the people of leave their old settlements and habitation then the other is the myth of Aryan invasion. The word Mohenjo-Daro means “Mound of death”, and it was named so because of the skeletal that were found in the city of Mohenjo-Daro. Therefore, the archaeologists believe that there had been some violent destruction in the city of Mohenjo-Daro, which lead to the fall of this civilization. If one have a look at the Vedic scriptures and at the Vedic Upanishads, then one will find the destruction of the walled city by Indra, in those scriptures. The archaeologist believe that the walled city is the city of Mohenjo-Daro, that was guarded by the big walls, which were prepared and constructed and prepared under the guidance of the priest in the cities, who hold the position of the highest authority in the Indus Valley civilization and they were being given the highest respect during the time. Although, the thoughts may differ, the archaeologists agree in one important point and that is the Harappan people moved from their settlements in a hurry, from around 1900 BC. Therefore, it can be assumed that some great calamity might have forced them to move from the river Ghaggar towards river Yamuna. Some of the Harappan population move towards the Saurashtra, and this include the people from the city of Mohenjo-Daro and also those who used to live along the side of the Sind. The other major population of the Indus civilization, move towards the peninsular and took refuge there.

Conclusion

The archaeologists believe that it is the city of Mohenjo-Daro, which was violently destructed. They believe that the Aryan invasion was one of the major reasons, for the destruction of the city of Mohenjo-Daro, and they state that the skeletal remnants that are found in the ruins of Mohenjo-Daro prove the fact it was violently destructed. Although, the archaeologist believe that for the destruction of the city of Mohenjo-Daro the Aryan invasion is not responsible. The problem of the Indus Valley civilization is that most of the scriptures of this particular civilization have not been deciphered yet, as a result of which, very little is known about this particular civilization. Although, scholars and the archaeologists have interpreted a lot about this civilization; but then there are not enough prove to justify those thoughts of the scholars and the archaeologist. The Indus Valley civilization still remains one of the most sophisticated and technically sound civilizations, with the presence of great work of art and artefact, and it still remains as a mystery for most of the scholars and the archaeologist.

Reference       

Korisettar, Ravi. "Book Review: Irfan Habib, Prehistory and Irfan Habib, The Indus Civilization." Studies in People's History 2, no. 2 (2015): 247-250.

Rao, J.S., Bhonsle, B.R. and Kumar, B., 2016. Hindu temple carts—Rathams. In Essays on the History of Mechanical Engineering (pp. 367-388). Springer International Publishing.

Recchia, Gabriel L., and Max M. Louwerse. "Archaeology Through Computational Linguistics: Inscription Statistics Predict Excavation Sites of Indus Valley Artifacts." Cognitive science (2015).

Korisettar, Ravi. "Book Review: Irfan Habib, Prehistory and Irfan Habib, The Indus Civilization." Studies in People's History 2, no. 2 (2015): 247-250.

Recchia, Gabriel L., and Max M. Louwerse. "Archaeology Through Computational Linguistics: Inscription Statistics Predict Excavation Sites of Indus Valley Artifacts." Cognitive science (2015).

Rao, J.S., Bhonsle, B.R. and Kumar, B., 2016. Hindu temple carts—Rathams. In Essays on the History of Mechanical Engineering (pp. 367-388). Springer International Publishing.

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