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Civilization of mankind is the transition phase during which man developed science, politics, law, agriculture and architecture. Earliest civilizations are found to have occurred in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Indian sub-continent. The Indus valley civilization happened along the extent of Indus river bed and this region covers parts of present day Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

Indus valley civilization photoPhoto by travelling slacker

The remains of Indus valley civilization was discovered during British rule when India and Pakistan were a single country. This civilization is an extremely important factor contributing towards significant social and economic development of the Indian sub-continent. Being one among the three major civilizations of the entire world, the Indus Valley Civilization, also known as IVF, highly boasts of amazing discoveries very much ahead of rest of the world during the same period.

Period

The period of Indus valley civilization is roughly estimated from 34th century B.C. to 14th century B.C. Food and water are the primary needs of humans which drive them towards development. As the proverb goes, “Necessity is the mother of inventions”, man formulated methods of farming to balance the growing gap between supply and demand of food.
Agriculture started to thrive along river beds. As time passed by, people developed further to form towns and cities. They exchanged goods and mastered trade. Such a phase describes the peak of civilization. The Indus valley civilization includes three phases – Early Harappan (3300 B.C. – 2600 B.C.), Mature Harappan (2600 B.C. – 1900 B.C.) and Late Harappan (1900 B.C. – 1300 B.C.)


Sites

Well known sites of Indus valley civilization are Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. They are currently in Pakistan. The notable Indian sites are Lothal, Babar Kot, Sanauli, Balu, Baror, Daimabad, Kalibangan, Pabumath etc. Most of the Indian IVC sites are in the states of Gujarat and Haryana.

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Language and politics

The artefacts found from IVC sites bear a unique style of codes which remain unable to decipher till date. This proves the intelligence level of a well-developed society which formulated letters and numbers which was alien to other communities.

It is difficult to determine the nature of rule under which the Indus valley societies developed. They might have been under a single ruler or democracy. There are chances of each city functioning independently too! As the symbols of artefacts cannot be decoded, this still remains a mystery.

Metallurgy

The artisans of Indus valley used Bronze extensively. They were able to melt metals at extremely high temperatures. Copper, gold and silver were other metals used mostly as ornaments, sculptures and tools. A unique style of sealing was used with pictures of animals and other creatures. They even had measuring tools with accurate measurement of length and mass, needed for trade and other purposes.

Architecture

The cities of Indus valley civilization had an amazing architectural design, some of which resemble present day villages around the same area. There were well-built brick houses, arranged along with pathways, public buildings, warehouses, metallurgical factories etc.

Waste water management

The IVC sites have an amazing water management structure, few of which do not exist even in current India. The latest clean India campaign “Swachh Bharat” worked to introduce drainage and toilet systems in remote rural areas. But Indus valley citizens were more modern than the 21st century Indians. They had an amazing waste water management system and well-built toilets around more than 3000 years ago. The archaeological findings from excavated sites reveal public bath systems, wells, houses with separate bathrooms, drainage canal for waste water which run underground etc.

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Decline

Though the exact reason of fall of IVC is not yet determined, a number of theories exist. They might have collapsed due to an epidemic or rare diseases as their mortal remains suggest. There are even chances of drought, famine or invasion which disrupted the community.

We may take pride in our smart cities, but smarter people existed in our land even 3000 years ago. A society is not fully developed until it learns to satisfy its needs without disturbing the environment. In that aspect, the real heroes are our ancestors and not us.

Indus Valley Civilization

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