HARAPPAN CIVILIZATION (INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION)

HARAPPAN CIVILIZATION (INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION)

  • It is called Harappan civilization because it was first site excavated in 1921 by Dayaram Sahni. It was larger than ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia civilisations.
  • Northern-most site àManda (Jammu-Kashmir), Southern-most site àDaimabad (Maharashtra), Eastern-most site à Alamgirpur (Uttar Pradesh), Western-most site à Sutkagendor (Pakistan-Iran border)
 

IMPORTANT

FEATURES:

  •          Systematic town-planning on the lines of ‘grid system’
  •         Use of burnt bricks in construction.
  •         Underground drainage system.
  •         Own characteristic pottery, seals and script.
  •          Fortified citadel (except Chanhudaro).

 

PHASES OF IVC:

 

  • Early Harappan Phasefrom 3300 to 2600 BCE
  • Mature Harappan Phasefrom 2600 to 1900 BCE
  • Late Harappan Phasefrom 1900 to 1300 BCE

 

SITE
(River)
FINDINGS
Harappa
(Ravi)
Granaries, Red sandstone Male torso, Stone symbols of Lingam and Yoni, Painted pottery, Mother Goddess, Dice
Mohenjodaro

 

Discovered by R D Banerjee in 1922. Largest site of Indus civilization, Post cremation burial, Great Granary, Great Bath (largest building of civilization), Pasupathi seal, Bronze dancing girl.
Chanhudaro
(Indus)
Discovered by N G Mazumdar in 1931. Inkpot, Lipstick, Metal workers, Shell-ornament makers and bead makers shop, dog’s paw imprint on brick, Terracotta model of bullock cart, Bronze toy cart.
Lothal
(Bhogava)
Discovered by S Rao in 1953. Important naval trade site, Cremation site, Dockyard, Granaries, Rice husk, Double burial (male female together)
Dholavira
(Luni)
Discovered by R Bisht in 1985. Unique water harnessing system and its storm water drainage system, only site divided in 3 parts, Megalithic stone circle.
Surkotada

(Gujrat)

Discovered – S Joshi (1964). Only site with horse remains, Oval grave, Pot burials, Soldiers sign on potsherd
Kalibangan
(Ghaggar)
Discovered – A Ghosh. Bangle factory, Ploughed field surface, Camel bones, Fire altars.

 

STATE IVC SITES
 

 

HARYANA (INDIA):

  •         Banawali (Ghaggar): Oval shaped settlement, Lack of systematic drainage system, Barley grains, Lapis Lazuli, Fire altars, Only city with Radial streets.
  •         Rakhigarhi (Ghaggar): Largest Indian site of Indus valley civilization. Granary, cemetery, drains, terracotta bricks
  •         Bhagwanpura
PUNJAB (INDIA)
  •         Ropar (Sutlej): Dog buried with human oval pit burials, copper axe, first site to be excavated after independence
UTTAR PRADESH (INDIA):
  •         Alamgirpur (Yamuna): Broken copper blade, ceramic items and impression of cloth on a trough.
  •          Manpur, Bargaon, Hulas, Sanauli
MAHARASHTRA (INDIA)
  •          Daimabad (Pravara): Bronze images (charioteer with chariot, ox, elephant and rhinoceros)

 

IVC IMPORTANT FEATURES
 

 

 

TOWN PLANNING AND
STRUCTURES

  •         The towns were in a rectangular grid pattern with roads at right angles.
  •          Used burnt mud bricks joined with gypsum mortar (contemporary Egypt dried bricks were used).
  •         The city was divided in two parts, the city on raised platform, Known as Upper citadel & the lower town known as lower citadel (working class quarters)
  •          Mostly buildings have private wells and properly ventilated bathrooms.
  •         Do not have large monumental structures such as temples or palaces for rulers unlike Egyptian and Mesopotamian Civilisation.
  •         Advanced drainage system.
 

 

 

 

AGRICULTURE

  •          Main crops: Two types of Wheat and Barley. Evidence of cultivation of rice in Lothal and Rangpur (Gujarat) only. Other crops: Dates, mustard, sesamum, cotton, rai, peas etc.
  •         First to produce cotton in the world so Greeks called them Sindon.
  •         Used animal drawn wooden plough, and stone sickles.
  •          Gabarbands or nalas enclosed by dams found but channel or canal irrigation was probably not practised
  •          Produced sufficient food grains and cereals were received as taxes from peasants and stored in granaries for wages and emergencies same as Mesopotamia.
 

DOMESTICATION OF ANIMALS

  •         Oxen, buffaloes, goats, sheep, and pigs, dogs, cats, asses and camels were domesticated. Humped bulls were favoured by the Harappans.
  •          Not horse centred but evidence in Surkotada, Mohenjodaro and Lothal. Lion was not known. Elephants and Rhinoceros (Amari) were well known.
 

 

 

TECHNOLOGY AND CRAFT

  •         This is known as the first urbanization in India.
  •          Along with stone, but were well acquainted with bronze (occasionally mixed arsenic with copper instead of tin).  As neither tin nor copper was easily available, bronze tools do not abound in the region.
  •         Iron was not known to the people.
  •          Important crafts: spinning (Spindle whorls), bricklaying, boat-making, seal making, terracotta manufacturing (potter’s wheel), goldsmiths, bead making.
  •         They were aware of the use of the wheel.
 

 

 

TRADE AND COMMERCE

  •         Trade importance supported by Granaries, seals, a uniform script, and regulated weights and measures.
  •          Engages in inter-regional as well as foreign trade.  Sumerian texts refer trade relation with Meluha ie. ancient name given to Indus region & mentions 2 intermediate trading stations- Dilmun (Bahrain) & Makan (Makran coast).
  •          Used boats and bullock-carts for transportation.
  •          Carried exchanges through a barter system.
  •          IMPORT: Gold, Silver, Copper, Tin, Jade, Steatite
  •          EXPORTS: Agricultural products, cotton goods, terracotta figurines, bead from Chanhudaro, counch-shell from Lothal, ivory products, copper.
 

 

 

SOCIAL ORGANIZATION

  •         Hierarchy in urban habitation. Merchants and priests were important class of this period
  •          Harappans were fashion conscious. Different hairstyles and wearing beard were popular. The use of cosmetics was common (Cinnabar, lipstick and collyrium)
  •         Necklaces, fillets, armlets and finger rings were worn by both men and women but bangles, girdles, anklets, ear-rings were worn by women only.
  •         Beads were made from gold, copper, bronze, cornelian, quartz, steatite, lapis lazuli etc – naturalistic animal models as pin-heads and beads.
  •         Fishing, hunting and bull fighting were pastimes.
 

POLITY

  •         Central authority may have contributed to uniform culture.
  •          No clear idea of an organized force or standing army.
  •         Priests did not rule in Harappa as they did in the cities of lower Mesopotamia but was possibly ruled by a class of merchants.
 

 

 

 

RELIGIOUS PRACTICES

  •   Seal-Male deity Pashupati Mahadeva (proto-siva)-three-horned heads, and is represented in the sitting posture of a yogi, with one leg placed above the other surrounded by an elephant, a tiger, a rhinoceros, and below his throne there is a buffalo, and at his feet two deer.
  •   Prevalence of the Phallus (lingam) and Yoni worship. The Rig Veda speaks of non-Aryan people who were phallus worshippers.
  •  Chief female deity was mother Goddess. They also worshiped fire.
  •   The people of the Indus region also worshipped trees (ex: pipal) and animals (unicorn, humped bull etc).
  •          Harappans believed in ghosts and evil forces and, therefore, they used amulets against them.
 

SCRIPT

  •         Oldest script in Indian sub-continent.
  •          Pictographic script (yet to be deciphered).
  •          Writing was boustrophedon -writing in right to left in one line & then left to right in the next line.
 

 

 

 

POTTERY

  •          Plain pottery is more common than painted ware and is generally of red clay, and is uniformly sturdy and well baked.
  •          The painted pottery is also known as Red and Black Pottery as it used red colour to paint the background and glossy black paint was used to draw designs and figures on the red background. Trees, birds, animal figures and geometrical patterns were the recurring themes of the paintings.
  •          Most of the potteries are wheel-made.
  •          Rare polychrome pottery has also been found (geometric patterns in red, black, green, rarely white and yellow).
 

 

SEALS AND SEALINGS

  •          Most of the seals are square plaque (2×2 square inches) made mostly from Steatite.
  •          Seals had an animal (no Cow) or human figure on one side and an inscription on the opposite side or inscriptions on both the sides.
  •          Seals were primarily used for commercial purposes, as amulets, as form of identification, for educational purposes as well.
  •          Seals with symbol similar to ‘Swastika’ design have also been found.
  •          Types – Square OR Rectangular.
 

 

 

 

 

ART

BRONZE CASTING:

  •          Practised on a wide scale using the ‘lost wax’ technique or Cire Perdue.
  •         They mainly consist of human and animal figures.  Example: ‘Dancing Girl’. She stands in a ‘tribhanga’ dancing posture.

 

STONE STATUES:

  •          Bearded man– (found in Mohenjo-daro and made of Steatite), interpreted as a priest
  •          Red sandstone – figure of a male torso (found in Harappa and made of Red sandstone).

 

TERRACOTTA FIGURES

  •         Found are less in number and crude in shape and form. Examples: Mother Goddess, mask of horned deity, toys, etc
 

DECLINE

  •          After 2000 BC IVC declined & gradually faded away.
  •          Possible reasons – declined soil fertility, depression in land, Aryans invasion, decline of trade, Floods, Earthquake etc.
  •          Most acceptable reason is ecological imbalance.
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