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Facts about Indus Valley Civilization you Should Know!
The Indus Valley Civilization is a rich civilization and one of the most important civilizations present in the world. Ancient India had the largest population in the ancient world during the Harappan era, far more than the Middle East or Europe. Check out these lesser-known facts about Indus Valley Civilization which are not only worth sharing but will also keep your curiosity.
Since the excavation of the ancient site, Harappa, in the 1920s, the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) has attracted archaeologists and history lovers alike. One of the three ancient civilizations (5,000 BC-1,500 BC), the others being Mesopotamian and Egyptian was the largest human settlement of its time.
Today, we know far less about technologically advanced civilization than other civilizations. The more you learn about them, the more you will be interested to know.
For the convenience of the readers, these facts are classified into the following broad headings.
General Facts about Indus Valley Civilization and their culture:-
The oldest among the World
Scientists of IIT-Kharagpur and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has recently revealed evidence that the Indus Valley civilization is at least 8,000 years old and not as old as 5,500 years ago.
The discovery, published in the prestigious Nature magazine on May 25, 2016, is not only older than the civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia, but also one of the oldest in the world.
Largest of the four ancient civilizations
The Indus Valley Civilization was the largest of the four ancient civilizations in the world.
In terms of geographical area, the Indus Valley Civilization was the largest of the four ancient civilizations in the world, namely Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China. Its area was 1,260,000 square kilometers. It was spread in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.
Indus Valley Civilization extended from the Ghaggar-Hakra river valley in the east to the Makran coast of Balochistan in the west, from Afghanistan in the northeast to Daimabad in Maharashtra in the south.
At its peak, it may have a population of over five million. The total population of the Indus Valley Civilization was more than five million. This is more than the current population of New Zealand. Most of its inhabitants were artisans and merchants
1056 Cities have been discovered so far
1,056 were found in Harappan cities and settlements, of which ninety-nine have been excavated.
They are mostly located in extensive areas of the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra rivers and their tributaries. Dholavaria, Rakhigarhi, Lothal, Kalibangan Harappa, and Mohenjo-Daro are some of the well-known urban cities.
Most of the population lived in villages
We have no record of archaeologists, it is believed that most of the population of Indus Valley Civilization lived in villages.
Unfortunately, archaeologists are having a hard time finding the hard conditions and the culture and society in which they lived due to the lack of any proper evidence.
Archaeologists believe, their residence was made of clay or wood which is easily damaged and therefore has no trace.
We still don’t know what we should actually tell them
The first settlements discovered were on the banks of the Indus River, so archaeologists called them the Indus Valley Civilization.
However, there are about one hundred sites named after the Indus and its tributaries. While more than 500 sites are explored along the Gaggar-Hakra River (which is considered the long-lost river, Saraswati).
Now, many archaeologists prefer to call them ‘Indus-Saraswati civilization’ based on two river systems. Others prefer the name of the app Harappan civilization, ‘based on the name of the first city called Harappa.
Meluha, the ancient place of foreign objects mentioned by the Mesopotamians
We know what the people of the Indus Valley used to call themselves. The glands of Mesopotamia wrote of a remote place called Meluha.
Archaeological evidence has proved that there was a long trade relationship between the Indus Valley Civilization and Mesopotamia. It is entirely possible that the place of Mesopotamia called Meluha is the Indus Valley Civilization.
Archaeologists previously thought they had discovered children’s cities
A car pulled by the Ox, or buffalo with the driver of Harappan evidence suggesting that people of the Indus Valley civilization preferred games and toys.
During the excavation, archaeologists found more and more toys and assumed that most of the inhabitants of this civilization were children.
Flat stones have been found with engraved grid markings and playing pieces, indicating that the people of the Indus may have played the earliest form of chess. Dice cubes and spots with six sides have also been found by archaeologists, suggesting that they may have also invented the dice.
British laid ninety-three-mile railway track with 4000-year-old Indus Valley bricks
During the British leadership in India, British engineers were constructing railway tracks from Karachi to Lahore. When they lacked materials to raise the track to the desired level, they collected bricks from the ruins around Harappa to make the track.
They laid bricks and built ninety-three miles (150 km) of the railway track using these 4000-year-old artifacts!
They had the first planned city in the world, depictions of the lost ancient city of Mohenjo-Daro
Although the grid pattern is used in town planning for the Greek urban planner Hippodamus (5th century BCE), the first grid planned city.
Almost all Indus Valley cities were designed in grid patterns with roads crossing at right angles.
The main roads followed the north-south direction and the east-west direction followed by secondary roads. The intersection of roads at the junctions formed, forming the right angle.
These cities had huge roads, especially in Mohenjo-Daro, roads up to 10.5 meters wide. It is believed that most of the activities of these roads as well as markets etc. were conducted which justified the width appropriately.
Harappa showed extraordinary levels of standardized archeological
The cities of Indus Valley Civilization showed extraordinary levels of standardized archeological remains in the lower city of Lothal.
They followed a level of standardization that no other ancient culture could achieve at that time. Almost all the cities discovered were constructed in a similar pattern. Town planning was not limited to cities only, every town, village, and the town had the same grid pattern and every house used the same brick, which was of a particular dimension.
Bricks were the same for all houses. They all had sophisticated water management systems. This particularly baffles researchers as no evidence of any central ruler or authority has been found so far. How did they achieve this level of standardization, without any central power to enforce these standards!
Cities were densely populated but not chaotic?
Given the systematic approach taken by the people of the Indus Valley in the level of city planning and sophistication, scholars believed that even though these cities were very densely populated, they were not chaotic.
Instead, they had a very organized way of living. This is in complete contrast to the chaotic cities of the same time from Egypt or Mesopotamia, making them very unique of their time.
Advance Sewage System
Their cleaning system and drainage system was very advanced compared to any other ancient civilizations of the washroom drainage system in Lothal.
Harappan is famous for its world-class drainage system. They used to specialize in this area – using flush toilets, draining wastewater, pouring fresh water into the bathroom.
The roads were constructed very carefully keeping in mind the grading for disposal of stormwater along underground pipes as well as running channels. The streets were filled with burning or burnt bricks for the convenient movement of bullock carts. City of Indus Valley Civilization
Largest and Smallest Site
Rakhigarhi is the largest site, and Allahdino is the smallest site. Rakhigarhi is known as the biggest Harappan site.
Spread over 550 hectares, the Nandesipat village is almost twice the Mohenjo Daro site, which was earlier considered the largest Harappan site ever.
Bhirana, Haryana is the oldest known Harappan site
Bhirana is now considered to be the oldest discovered Indus Valley Civilization site, where some of the oldest mounds date back to 7500 BC. It is situated on the banks of Ghaggar River in Fatehabad district of Haryana.
Many Cities were constructed with the same Pattern
Over a period of 800–1000 years, many Harappan cities were constructed due to the destruction of these sites by floods, deposition of silt, etc. Each time new construction was done above the original grid.
For example, archaeologists have found that Mohenjo-Daro was constructed at least 9 times and each time at the top of earlier levels. It also proves their understanding of the importance of grid patterns and their degree of standardization in planning.
Granular of Harappan
The Harappan had well-maintained granaries, citadels, burial grounds, and bathing platforms that have been found in all Indus Valley sites. The granular were huge in size and were very sophisticatedly designed. There were airways to remove any moisture and to keep the grains dry. Such advanced grains were found only in Roman brick grains after 2800 years.
Standard size Burnet Bricks
All the structures were made of standard size burnet bricks.
The bricks found were in two sizes: 7,14,28 centimeters and 10,20,40 centimeters. Smaller bricks were used to construct dwellings and other smaller houses while larger ones were used for public buildings, walls, etc. The ratio of both types of bricks was 1:2:4.
It also has rock-cut structures. Dholavira found that they were not limited to bricks as a construction material.
House with Sufficient Space
Most of the houses were two-story and even three-story with sufficient space. The Indus Valley Civilization too has excellent masons who were able to build load-bearing brick structures seamlessly up to two stories. These houses had a central courtyard and a flat accessible terrace.
Harappan houses had the luxury of an attached bathroom with a flush toilet
Almost all the houses of the Indus Valley Civilization had toilets with running water and accessible drainage facilities. This technology is ahead of its time and first appears in this civilization.
Complex Water Management Systems
They were experts in building complex water management systems, an ancient well, and the city’s drainage canals; Image by Wikipedia In Mohenjo-Daro, the archaeologist found a very advanced water management system with eighty public toilets and more than seven hundred wells. Each house had its own bathroom and wells were strategically located to supply water in every area. There was also a system to store rainwater. The discovery of the first public water tank, now known as the Great Bath, reflects his skill in architecture. There used to be great baths in the towns. Although the exact purpose of bathing is not clear, it is believed that they can be used for religious bathing.
Awareness about Cleanliness
It is clear that the people of Indus Valley were well aware of the importance of living and maintaining a clean life. They had put in a lot of effort into personal and public bathrooms, stormwater runoff channels, underground wastewater systems, and even garbage disposal for all. These facts are quite clear in their efforts to create a healthy and clean life. Archaeologists have found several brick containers that were strategically located along the road junction of Mohenjo-Daro specifically for garbage disposal.
Lothal, the world’s first known Dockyard
An important and thriving trade center of the Indus Valley Civilization, Lothal had the world’s first known dockyard. Stretching over an area of 37 meters from east to west and about 22 meters from north to south, the dock connected the city to an ancient course of the Sabarmati River, which was the trade route between the Harappan cities in Sindh and Saurashtra Peninsula. Balakot, Sutkagandor, and Allahdin are the other major port cities that give us an idea of the horrors of maritime trade that exist with other businesses.
Storing Water for Dry Season Water Tanks
Dholavira had a complex water management system for storing water for dry season water tanks at Dholavira; Image source cities like Dholavira build dams to control the flow of water so that they can store water in huge reservoirs. They used to store water for irrigation and household supplies throughout the year. Dholavira had sixteen reservoirs around the city. These dams and reservoirs served two purposes — first, they saved the city from flooding; Second, they ensured water supply throughout the year. Technological achievements of Indus Valley Civilization
Knowledge of Metallurgy
The people of the Indus Valley had excellent knowledge of metallurgy, a hoof-laden Harappan figure in Daimabad, two thousand BC, Image Wikipedia people were quite aware of some new techniques in metallurgy. He used these techniques to produce lead, copper, tin, and bronze. These metal products were popular items for export to oversea civilizations.
First Dentist in the World
Discovering that people of the Indus Valley civilization had knowledge of proto-dentistry during the Early Harappan period. Later, in April 2006, it was announced in the scientific journal Nature that the first evidence of human teeth drilling in a living person was found in Mehrgarh. Eleven drilled molar crowns from nine adults were found from 5,500 BCE – 7,000 BCE in a Neolithic period cemetery in Meghgarh. According to the authors, their discoveries suggest a tradition of proto-dentistry in the region’s early farming cultures.
The people of Harappa developed the most accurate measurement of mankind at which time Indus merchants used the weight of stone by weighing their goods on scales. The scale pan here is made of copper.
Indus merchants weighed their wares on scales, using stone weights. The scale pan here is made of copper. Archaeologists have found stone cubes that are clearly intended to be weights that are 5: 2: 1 with weights of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200. Increase in proportion to. And five hundred units.
The actual weight does not correspond to any existing systems in Egypt or Mesopotamia. It is, therefore, safe to conclude that it is a locally invented system. Their smallest division on the ivory scale found at Lothal in Gujarat is about 1.704 mm, the smallest partition recorded on the Bronze Age scale.
First People to use Cotton Domestically
The first people to use cotton domestically are the earliest archaeological evidence for the use of cotton from Mehargarh, in the Kutch plain of Baluchistan, Pakistan, in the sixth millennium BC. The people of the Indus and Gaggar-Hakra river valleys were, without a doubt, the first to produce cotton on an industrial scale. Cotton was one of the major export commodities, which helped in the development of civilization’s trade and economy.
IVC people invented the world’s first button!
In the Indus Valley Civilization, buttons made from the seashore were used for decorative purposes rather than fasteners. The first examples were found dating around c. 2800–2600 BC Some buttons were engraved in geometric shapes and pierced into them to attach them to the thread with a cloth.
They made the world’s oldest signboard!
In 1999, at Dholavira, archaeologists discovered what is apparently the world’s first signboard. The board contained stone symbols/letters more than thirty centimeters in height in a wooden frame. Since the Indus script has not yet disintegrated, we still do not know what it means. But it is believed that it was placed in the façade of the royal north gate of the city’s citadel.
Invention dice games
The Harappans also made various toys and games, among them cubic passe (one to six holes on the faces), which were found in sites such as Mohenjo-Daro. Other toys include bullock carts, pottery, pottery, etc. clay shapes, spinning tops, marbles, and more. Thus, we can say that not only children but also adults were playful by nature.
Advanced in the arts and crafts
Harappa Arts and Crafts achieved a level of sophistication beyond her time. This can be seen from their ceramic and terracotta potters; Bronze, copper, and other metal artifacts; His skills in bead making, and other crafts. This can be understood by the fact that the British archaeologist, Sir John Marshall, who found the bronze dance girl statuette, could not believe that it preceded Greek sculptures for thousands of years. Mysteries that are yet to be solved
What happened to inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilization?
We are not sure what has happened to them there are many theories with the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilization. But scholars are sure of one thing – it was not an invasion, disease, or similar catastrophe that wiped out the entire civilization. Instead, the population of these cities gradually decreased, until they were eventually deserted. It is very possible that these residents moved to different areas in search of better land and resources. There are various reasons which have led to the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization.
The exact use of seals is still uncertain
A collection of seals of the Indus Valley Civilization has been found in more than four thousand flat, rectangular stone tablets called seals. Seals made of at least a dozen other materials are also found. The seals have images of animals, god-like figures, etc. and inscriptions. Some seals were used to seal clay on trade goods, but they probably had other uses as well. It is difficult to say what the purpose of these ‘seals’ was when inscriptions have not yet been displaced.
The Indus Valley script has not yet been eliminated
With at least four hundred different symbols inscribed in various objects. These symbols usually appear in strings of 3–20. Despite best efforts by scholars, they have not been interpreted or translated in any way. This is one of the most important reasons that we know so little about this civilization. Some scholars also argue whether these symbols should also be considered as a script as no examples of any text have been found so far as compared to twenty symbols. Others believe that these symbols refer only to names and do not give any real meaning. Computer analysis of these scripts has revealed that these symbols are a mixture of sounds and concepts such as Egyptian hieroglyphs. However, due to no medium to translate the language, it still remains a mystery.
Ruler of the Indus Valley Civilization
The invisible ruler of the Indus Valley Civilization is one of the factors that make this civilization so unique and which has surprised the scholars that there is no mention of any ruler or powerful authority in the entire region. Nor do we know anything about their system of governance. While it is very clear that it is unlikely that such an organized and orderly society can exist without any local and central control, these cities show little or no evidence about it. The closest depiction of a figure is a terracotta sculpture believed to be of a priest-king. The king or ruler is completely absent from any other form of art or illustration.
No Evidence of War
No evidence of any war-like activities has been found during civilization nor any weapons were found in cities. This makes us think that they were probably a peaceful society. Compared to the Mesopotamian city-states, which were constantly at war with each other and depicted their battles in their art and written works, no such image of Harappan cities has been found.
Political structure or religious Beliefs
Very little knowledge of their political and religious hierarchy has been found. We do not know who they worship or how they worship them. There have been various debates regarding the same but for some, it is difficult to say anything. Hope you have learned something from this post. Don’t forget to share it with your friends!
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