Indus Valley Civilisation – UPSC GS1

About Harappa:
  • Harappa was an Indus Valley civilization’s urban centre.
  • It lies on an old bank/bed of the River Ravi in Punjab Province of Pakistan.
  • It was the first site of the civilization to be excavated in 1921 by a team led by Daya Ram Sahni.
  • The civilization had diversified social and economic system.
  • Its main feature was town planning. It had well grid locked pattern, planned straight roads and a system of drainage.
  • There was use of baked as well as sundried bricks.
  • It had a fortified citadel.
  • Houses with kitchens and wells, tanks or water reservoirs were also found.
  • Presence of wheel made pottery and practice of burying the dead is also seen
Urban Planning avoided conflicts in Harappa:
Harappa was peaceful in comparison with all other first civilisations cities because of its urban planning. The efficient water supply, proper sewage treatment and good drainage systems in Harappa were main reason for conflict avoidance. Experts believe that this strategy is an important lesson to be learnt from the Harappans. Thus, it suggests that Harappan concept of cleanliness and wells and drains is not so much about hygiene but also conflict avoidance.
Examine how recent excavations of remnants of the Harappan Civilization in India have helped historians to understand Harappan culture. (200 Words)
The remnants are the only sources to study Harappan civilization which had flourished 3000 BCE and vanishes around 1500 BCE. Recently during excavation at Rakhigarhi Haryana 4 skeletons and lot of terracotta‘s and potteries were found.
  1. Reconstruct facial Software and DNA test would reveal the physical structure of the harrapan people, their height and skin colours, eye colours etc.
  2. Idli shaped terracotta found in Rakhigarhi are in more than in other harrapan sites and perhaps which shows the terracotta may be manufactured in Rakhigarhi.
  3. The size of burial pit and the quality & quantity of goods kept with burial pit would perhaps reveal the socio economic condition of the harrapan people.
  4. Huge amount of painted potteries were found at the rakhigarhi site so the site may be the home of rich and dominants people of society.
  5. Excavation near burial pits has revealed about the Burial customs and rituals, being followed.
  6. The chemical tests will give insight about the diet of Harrapan people and health status. The people were either vegetarian or non-vegetarian. It will also tell about the cause of death whether they died due to malnutrition.
  7. The finding of a lot of broken pottery and charred animal remains outside the burial pits point to some ritual been done before the body was placed inside the pit at Rakhigarhi.
  8. Hearths, furnaces, broken bangles and burnt bangles, all made of faience, found in the trenches at RGR-4 indicate the presence of an industrial unit there. Bangles made of shell point to the Harappans‘ trade contacts with the Saurashtra region in present-day Gujarat.
  9. Figurines of dogs with a belt around the neck show that the Harappans kept dogs. A seal with the carving of a tiger and the impression of a similar one on a “terracotta sealing” points that such seals were used for trade.
  10. Since no evidence has been found of a Late Harappan phase having existed at Rakhigarhi, it is possible that the rivers Saraswati and Drishadvati were not active as they were during the Early and Mature Harappan phases. The Saraswati could have gone dry around 2000 BCE and so the Late Harappan people moved away from the Saraswati river banks. So the Early and the Mature Harappan sites are mostly on the banks of the Saraswati and the Drishdavati.

1 thought on “Indus Valley Civilisation – UPSC GS1”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top