Indus Valley Civilization

3 de Apr de 2018

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Indus Valley Civilization

  1. Ancient Civilizations • All major ancient civilizations were established along the banks of major river. • The abundance of agriculture due to fertile land helped the Civilization to thrive. • There is no credible evidence to establish anyone Civilization as the earliest/first Civilization to have been established. • Though it is widely assumed that the earliest civilization was in Mesopotamia.
  2. • Indus Valley Civilization was an ancient civilization that thrived along the course of Indus river in North-Western part of Indian subcontinent. • It was also the period of the Bronze Age. • It is also referred to as Harappan Civilization owing to the fact that this civilization was first discovered in 1921 at the modern site of Harappa situated in the Punjab province Punjab of current day Pakistan. • Time Duration of Indus Valley Civilization: As revealed by Radio-Carbon this civilization thrived during 2500-1750 B.C.
  3. Geographical Extent of Indus Valley Civilization • The Indus Valley Civilization was spread over a very large area which is today a part of Northwestern India and Pakistan. • It covered an area of 1299600 Sq.metre. This indicates that Indus Valley Civilization was the most extensive among all other ancient civilizations.
  4. Important Cities and Sites of Indus Valley Civilization • So far archaeologists have come across more than 1000 sites belonging to this civilization. • Out of these, only 6 can be regarded as cities: Harappa, Mohenjo-daro,Chanhu-daro, Lothal, Kalibangan and Banwali. • Largest site of Indus Civilization is Mohenjo- daro.
  5. Important Features of Indus Valley Civilization
  6. Indus Valley Civilization- Town Planning • Town planning was the hallmark of Harappan culture. • Harappan towns and cities were built as per grid pattern wherein roads and by lanes bisected each other at right angles. • Drainage system in Indus Civilization towns was very impressive. • Burnt bricks of uniform size were widely used across towns • Large places for communal bath were found as a part of the towns.
  7. Backed Brick Well at Lothal
  8. Agriculture • The Indus people sowed seeds in the flood plains in November when the flood water receded, and reaped the harvest in April before the advent of next flood. • They produced two types of wheat and barley. • They also produced rai, peas, sesamum and mustard. • Evidence of use of Rice has been found only from Lothal. • Indus people were the earliest people to produce cotton. • As cotton was first produced in this area Greeks called it ‘sindon’ which is derived from Sindh. • Irrigation was prevalent in the Indus Valley Civilization.
  9. Cotton Plant
  10. Domestication of Animals • Oxen, buffaloes, goats, sheep and pigs were domesticated. However, humped bulls were favoured. • Dogs were regarded as pets. Cats were also domesticated. • Asses and camels were used as beasts of burden. • Horses were not in regular use. • Harappan people were also familiar with Elephants and Rhinoceros. humped bulls
  11. Trade and Commerce • Trade and commerce was flourishing in Harappan age. Trade and Commercial activities were carried on through sea as well as land routes. • Carts, chariots and animals were means of transports as far as land trade is concerned. For sea trade, big boats were used. • Harappan people had trade relations within India, as well as with countries outside India. • The Mesopotamian texts of the same period refer to trade relations with ‘Meluha’ which was the ancient name given to Indus region. • With no clear evidence of currency/money being used the exchange must have been through barter system.
  12. Indus traders weighed their goods on scales, using stone weights. The scale pans here are made of copper.
  13. Art of Indus Valley Civilization • The Harappan Civilization belongs to the Bronze Age. Harappan people used many tools and implements of stone, but they were very well acquainted with the manufacture and use of bronze, which was made by mixing tin and copper. • Bronze smiths manufactured not only images and utensils but also various tools and weapons such as axes, saws, knifes and spears. • Brick-laying was an important craft at that time.
  14. •The Harappan people had the knowledge of boat-making, seal- making and terracotta manufacturing. •Harappans were experts in bead making. •Jewellery of gold, silver and precious stones was also made. •The potter’s wheel was in full use and the Harappans produced their own characteristic pottery, which was made glossy and shining.
  15. Seals of Indus Valley Civilization • Most commonly made of ‘steatite’ (soft stone), Seals were the greatest artistic creation of Harappan people. • The majority of the seals have an animal engraved on them with a short inscription. • ‘Unicorn’ is the animal most commonly represented on the seals. • Seals were extensively used during trading of goods
  16. Indus Valley Civilization Religion • The chief male deity was the Pashupati Mahadeva (proto- shiva), represented in the seals as sitting in yogic posture on a low throne, and having three faces and two horns. He is surrounded by four animals (elephant, tiger, rhino and buffalo), each facing a different direction and two deer appear at his feet. • Chief female deity was the Mother Goddess, who has been depicted in various forms. The Pashupati seal, showing a seated and possibly tricephalic figure, surrounded by animals
  17. Mother Goddess was worshipped in Harappa •Worship of fire is proved by the discovery of fire altars at Lothal, Kalibangan and Harappa. •Indus people also worshipped Gods in the form of trees (peepal etc.) and animals (unicorn etc.)
  18. Harappan Script • Harappan script is regarded as pictographic since its signs represent birds, fish and a variety of human forms. • The language of Harappan people is unknown as its script has not been deciphered till date.
  19. Social Structure • Social structure was primarily based on occupation and segregated in 4 main groups: • Brahmins (priests and the king) . • Kshatriyas (warriors and aristocrats - rulers) . • Vaishyas (cultivators, artisans, and merchants) . • Shudras (peasants and serfs) .
  20. Harappan Clothing Earliest evidence of Cotton Clothing was found in the Indus Valley Civilization and was used extensively for trading
  21. Harappan Food 1) The Indus Valley people has a balanced diet comprising staples, meat, fruit and vegetables. 2) Maize and Barley were the main staple food. 3)Domesticated animals like goats and cows provided milk and meat. 4) There is evidence of more fruit and vegetables as the preferred source of nourishment than meat.
  22. Political / Administrative Structure •One of the factors that make this civilization so unique and that has surprised the scholars is that there has been no mention of any ruler or powerful authority throughout the region. •Neither do we know anything about their governing system. •Although it is very clear that it is unlikely that such an organized and systematic society can exist without any local and central control, these cities show very little or no evidence of it whatsoever. •The closest depiction of a figure is a terracotta sculpture of what is believed to be the priest- king. •The king or the ruler is totally absent from the art or any other form of depiction. The ‘Priest-King of Mohenjo-Daro’ statue, from the Indus Valley Civilization
  23. Decline of the civilization • Scholars have put forward number of theories to explain the decline and the final collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization. Some of these theories highlight the natural causes whereas others mention human causes for the decline. • Three most prevalent theories for the decline of the civilization are: 1) Invasion by conquerors like the Aryans. 2) Ecological disturbances like low rainfall, floods, change in the course of the river. 3) Natural Disaster like earthquakes.
  24. Contribution Of Indus Valley To Modern Day Civilization • Irrigation. • Use of bricks. • Plumbing. • Social Structure. • Grid pattern of roads. • Cotton Clothing. • Use of seals and symbols. • Domestication of Animals. • Use of Clay and metal for art and craft.