Beneath the Himalayas, Northwestern sector of the Asian subcontinent was beginning stage of an evolved city life. It was the earliest known civilization in South Asia. It is called the Indus Valley Civilization. It was the first civilization to flourish in India. This lasted from 2500 BC until 1500 BC. It is sometimes referred to as the Harappan civilization, named for the site of Harappa, one of its major centers. Sir John Marshall
and his colleagues discovered this civilization. The Indus peoples used wheeled carts, designed creative jewelry and toys, and had written languages.
The Indus valley
civilization had reached it’s heights around 2500 BC “Among the indigenous people of ancient India
, the Indus valley civilization stands out particularly advanced an impressive (Ludwig pg.65.)”. Researchers say that the Indus Valley civilization is far more advanced that prehistoric Egypt, Mesopotamia or anywhere else in the Western Asia.
The Indus Valley stretches for thousands of miles. It had many cities, which included the two largest cities Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. These two cities had the population of more than 40,000 each while Sumerian cities only had 10,000 each. In the entire Indus valley civilization had about seven hundred towns and villages.
The Indus valley people lived off of agriculture, and trade. They grew barley, wheat, rice and etc. There was remarkable achievement on cotton. It was the earliest traces of cotton. Trade and agriculture was their source of wealth and survival. The Indus people used bronze and copper greatly. They use it to make spears, knives, short swords, axes and fish-hooks. Gold and silver was used to create ornaments, amulets, and charms. These were used to protect them from evil sprit or people that were going to be of harm to them.
There was also trade with domestic and international trafficking by water. “Archaeology and Ecology show that imports included gold from Southern India or Afghanistan, copper from Rajasthan or Afghanistan or even farther afield, turquoise from Iran and etc. (Wheeler pg. 64)”.
The Indus civilization had a polytheistic religion. The Indus people worshipped natural forces such as trees, animals, water, and mother goddess. These are also important in the Hindu religion. They believed that water had a purifying power. Many clay figurines of animals, women, and men were found. Sometime after 2000 B.C. the Aryans migrated into India from the northwest, it became dominant, but some of the Indus people and their religion ideas were absorbed into the Hinduism religion.
“Many terra-cotta figurines representing females have been discovered clearly associated with powers of fertility and the growth of plants (Ludwig pg. 65)”. They also had a religious emphasis with male creative power. They used powerful male animal figurines such as tiger, elephants, and bulls. Religious worshipping was done in homes or in public shrines. There would be offerings involving fertility figures, bathing and ritual purity.
The Indus Civilization was very advanced with their architect. “For example, the cities were all carefully laid out on the same plan, with major street crossings each other at right angles. They had large two story homes equipped with plumbing. The buildings of the Indus were made of mud-brick and were separated by streets and cities. They have buildings such as colleges, temples, palaces, and etc.
The Indus valley civilization began to decline around 1900 B.C. “Circumstances which affected it in the sub-montane lands of the central Indus may well have differed widely form those which it encountered south or east of the Indian Desert and in the watery coast lands of the Rann of Kutch (Wheeler pg72)”. Violent geomorphologic changes have been blamed for the end of the Indus civilization. They could have been declined because floods washed away villages, soil lost fertility, famine and drought caused people to flee, or ecological changes.
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