Indus valley civilization

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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
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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).

References in periodicals archive ?
They said at the seminar organised by Larkano District Historical Society (LDHS) that Dokri was rich in historical and archaeological places like Moenjodaro, a once flourishing city of Indus civilisation, ancient villages and educational institutions which had produced great personalities.
He said that people of Indus civilisation who were speaking and writing their own language, still us are unable to read it and efforts are underway in this regard.
The Indus civilisation developed at about the same time as urban civilisations developed in Mesopotamia and Egypt.
EU delegation also visited Moenjodaro and went round the ruins of ancient Indus civilisation and the museum at the site.
It also provided further clues for studying the expansion of the Indus civilization in south-western Pakistan, she said adding that her team is currently focusing on details of transition linking pre-Indus and Indus civilisation periods.
TWORAINS will investigate the resilience and sustainability of South Asia s first complex society, the Indus Civilisation (c.
The resulting drought coincided with the beginning of the decline of the metropolis-building Indus Civilisation, which spanned present-day Pakistan and India, suggesting that climate change could be why many of the major cities of the civilisation were abandoned.
Five main themes including Paleontology, Archaeology of the Indus civilisation, Islamic Archaeology, Society and culture in the colonial and post-colonial period and contemporary studies were discussed at length in seminar.
Today, the most important site of the Indus civilisation lies in Pakistan.
C Mayo, Rotherham ARECENT archaeological evidence suggests that Tamil spoken in the Indian sub-continent could have been the language used by the Indus civilisation and even the Sumerians.
Finally, his work on Pakistan was synthesised in a book devoted to the Indus civilisation.
The Indus civilisation is believed to have existed from 2350-1800 BC, but the exact knowledge is difficult as no records have survived.