The beginning of Indus valley Civilization (3300-1700 B.C) or Harappan Culture coincided with the Bronze Age around 3300 B.C. The Bronze Age literally referred to the times when most advanced metal working used Bronze (an alloy of tin and copper).
The Indus Valley Civilization encompassed most of Pakistan, extending from Balochistan to modern day Indian states of Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Punjab. It also extends to Rupar and the upper Sutlej. The civilizations mainly flourished in the towns of Harappa and Mohenjadaro. The main inhabitants of the civilizations were from the Dravidians.
Indus Valley civilization was considered to be the first ever urban civilization. The towns developed during that time were well planned and well executed. Mohenjo-Daro was a scientifically constructed city. The streets laid out at right angles and they had a well developed drainage system which can be compared to any modern day drainage system. The Great Bath,the most important structure, was heated and the main meeting point for the community. The people of Mohenjodaro were adept in the use of metals such as copper, bronze, lead and tin which is evident from several seals and bronze statues like the Dancing Girl
The spectacular city planning of that time surpassed all present civilizations as well. The Harappan people knew the measuring tools of length, mass, and time. They were the first in the world in developing a system of uniform weights and measures. Their measurements were extremely precise.
In Indus valley civilization, the society was divided into three distinct social groups. One group ruled and administered the city; the other group included the merchants who were associated with trade and other business activities in the city. The third group was that of the labourers who worked in the city.
The people of the Indus Valley Civilization worshipped many gods and goddesses as statues of various deities like Indra and Shakti have been found. Discovery of fire altars at Kalibangan, Lothal and Harappa suggest the worship of fire god by the Harappans. Many people would also wear amulets at the same tme to protect themselves against evil forces.
By around 1700 B.C various factors like the invasion by Aryans, ecological changes resulted in the decline of Indus Valley civilization.
Major Sites of Indus Valley Civilisation
Important Features of Major Indus Valley Sites
- The Great Granary measuring 1 69 ft x 3 5 feet is the largest structure found at Harappa.
- Discovery of a red sandstone naked male torso shows traces of Jainism
- Slaves were also part of the Indus Valley Civilisation as there were crowded one room houses below the granary
- Mohenjodaro is the largest of all Indus cities
- The Great Bath measuring 39 feet in length and 23 feet in breadth and 8 feet in depth is the most important place of Mohenjodaro like the Great Granany of the Harappans
- The Great Bath also served as a ritual-bathing site
- Most of the houses in Mohenjodaro are made of kiln-fired bricks
- The streets are 33 feet wide and intersecting at right angles and run north-south and east-west.
- Presence of Indian ships can be found from seals discovered with figures of Indian ships on it
- Seal bearing figure of Pashupati suggest worship of Lord Shiva
- Excavation suggests that the city was flooded more than seven times