Indus valley civilization

(redirected from Harappan Civilisation)

Indus valley civilization,

ancient civilization that arose about 3300 B.C. in the valley of the Indus River and its tributaries, in the northwestern portion of the Indian subcontinent, i.e., present-day Pakistan, and was at its height from about 2600 B.C. to about 1900 B.C. At its greatest extent, its geographical reach exceeded that of Egypt or Mesopotamia. Since 1921 this civilization has been revealed by spectacular finds at Mohenjo-Daro, an archaeological site in NW Sind, and at Harappa, in central Punjab near the Ravi River. These sites, each of which measures more than 3 mi (5 km) in circumference, were once great urban centers, the chief cities of the Indus civilization. They had large and complex hill citadels, housing palaces, granaries, and baths that were probably used for sacred ablutions; the great bath at Mohenjo-Daro was c.40 ft (12 m) long and 23 ft (7 m) wide. Beyond the citadels were well-planned towns, laid out in rectangular patterns. Houses, often two-storied and spacious, lined the town streets; they had drainage systems that led into brick-lined sewers. The economy of the Indus civilization was based on a highly organized agriculture, supplemented by an active commerce, probably connected to that of the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia. The arts flourished there, and many objects of copper, bronze, and pottery, including a large collection of terra-cotta toys, have been uncovered. Most notable, however, are the steatite seals, exquisitely engraved with animal figures and often bearing a line of pictographic script. On some seals are depicted a bo tree or, as some authorities hold, a Babylonian tree of life, and others have as their central figure the god Shiva, who later became preeminent in the Hindu pantheon. The writing, long a riddle to archaeologists, has yet to be satisfactorily deciphered; the language appears to be structurally related to the Dravidian languages. The origin, rise, and decline of the Indus valley civilization remain a mystery, but it seems most probable that the civilization fell (c.1500 B.C.) to invading AryansAryan
, [Sanskrit,=noble], term formerly used to designate the Indo-European race or language family or its Indo-Iranian subgroup. Originally a group of nomadic tribes, the Aryans were part of a great migratory movement that spread in successive waves from S Russia and Turkistan
..... Click the link for more information.
.

Bibliography

See Sir John Marshall, Mohenjo-Daro and the Indus Civilization (3 vol., 1931); E. J. H. MacKay, The Indus Civilization (1935, repr. 1983); S. Piggott, Prehistoric India (1950); Sir Mortimer Wheeler, The Indus Civilization (3d ed. 1968); J. H. Hawkes, The First Great Civilizations (1973); N. Lahiri, Finding Forgotten Cities: How the Indus Civilization was Discovered (2013).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
References in periodicals archive ?
This Buddhist site dates back to Harappan civilisation and was discovered in an excavation.
On January 1, the Ministry of Heritage and Culture announced the discovery of pottery fragments dating back to the Harappan civilisation in Ras Al Hadd, as part of a joint archaeological excavation.
It turned out to be an important nucleated industrial site, especially the copper industries, of the Harappan civilisation."
Experts said his pot dated back to 1900BC, from the Indus Valley Harappan civilisation in what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.
India's relations with the Middle East can be traced to the earliest years of the ancient Harappan civilisation. Since thousands of years, our ancestors exchanged goods, ideas and experiences that have left an abiding mark on our civilisation ethos, giving our people similarities of perceptions."
It was the capital of the Harappan civilisation that disappeared for reasons unknown around 2,500BCE.
"After Rakhigarhi, we can say that the Harappan civilisation was at least 1,000 years older than earlier thought.
Based on isotope data from the sediment of an ancient lake, the researchers suggest that the monsoon cycle, which is vital to the livelihood of all of South Asia, essentially stopped there for as long as two centuries to wipe out the Indus Valley civilisation--also knows as the Harappan civilisation.
Lothal is one of the main sites of the Indus Valley or Harappan Civilisation, dating back to 2400BC.
The Indus or Harappan civilisation - more than 4,000 years ago - stretched from what is known today as Pakistan to eastern Afghanistan, covering more than 625,000 square miles, rivalling the ancient civilisations of Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Located in present-day Pakistan, the Harappan civilisation fell victim to shifting monsoon patterns, a new study has found.
While places such as Somnath and Gir continue to get tourists, it is the success of less-trod places such as the Little Rann and Dholavira (India's largest Harappan civilisation site, where excavation is still on) that has got Thakar excited.