Chapter 3: HARAPPAN AND INDUS
Harappan civilization [since Harappa was the
first place to be discovered] or Indus valley civilization
[it is located on the banks of Indus River] is 5000 year old
civilization. 80% of the settlements were on the banks of the
now lost Saraswati River. The civilization was first discovered
in 1920 while laying of the Lahore Multan railway line.
The capital cities: Harappa [banks of Ravi
River] and Mohenjo-Daro [banks of Indus River].
Harappa was discovered by Dayaram Sahni and
Mohenjo-Daro by Rakal das banerjee.
John Marshall the head of Archaeological
survey of India played an important role.
Alexander Cunningham, the father of Indian
archaeology was the first director of Archaeological survey of
Carbon dating uses C-14 isotope to find human bones
age. Inventor is Libby.
Findings at the cities:
Male and female gods
Wheat and barley
Mohenjo-Daro – Largest city of the civilization spread
over 200 hectares.
Public granary; Bath [largest structure
3. Lothal – Port
Fire altars and dockyard,
surrounded by a brick wall for flood protection.
– elaborate town planning and urban features
Water and drainage system
System of Harappan civilisation:
- Progress in agriculture, industry, crafts and
- System of grid shaped roads – streets
and lanes cut at right angles, citadels – political authority
was present, walled cities, burned bricks – absence of
- Houses with no windows; Made of stone
and wood, every house had a bathroom.
areas for upper classes and non citadel areas for lower
- Drains adjacent to the house covered with
stone slabs or bricks.
- Seals, script [not yet been deciphered]
written from right to left and left to right in alternate
lines, standard weights and measures.
- Wheel based pottery, practice of burying
the dead in north south direction.
- Cotton and woolen clothes.
- Male and female goddesses. Tree worship. Snake
worship. No temples found, religion and castes did not
exist in this civilization hence it was predominantly secular
- Vegetarian and non Vegetarian eaters.
- Cosmetics and weapons were used.
- Horses were not known but domesticated
animals were cows, bulls, dogs, elephants.
- Iron was not known but bronze was used.
- Knowledge of tides and medicines.
- No currency so barter based exchange.
Trade with other civilizations both internal and foreign.
- Agriculture based on wheat and barley.
- Fishing, hunting and bull fighting, music were
common pass times.
- Bronze, stone and terracotta sculptures.
- Granaries show organized collection and
distribution. Great bath show importance to ritualistic
Causes of decline:
Climate change led to change in river course.
Invasion by Aryans.
By 1500 BC the civilization began to decline. The
Sanskrit speaking Indo – Aryans entered the subcontinent in this