The Harappan Civilization - Its Origin to Its Peroration




Harappan Civilization is also known as Indus Valley Civilization because this first urban center(contemporary to Mesopotamia) lies on the bank of river Indus and some other sites of this civilization lies in the Indus valley. This was first briefly excavated by Alexander Cunningham in 1872-73.


But How can we call that Harappan civilization an urban Centre?

It is on the basis of evidence found by the archaeologist, that are made up of copper, bronze and clay we have also found the evidence of first undeciphered writings of the subcontinent in the form of seals, script, inscriptions etc.

The emergence of the city has been viewed as a part of the longer history of human settlement both rural and urban. The story of the organization of the Indus valley civilization is one of the increasing cultural complexity of widening food resource base, greater technological sophistication, expanding craft production and social stratification.


Discovery of the civilization

Newspapers and magazines some times announced the discovery of new site of the Harappan Civilization this is done on the basis of the checklist of archaeological features for example pottery is an important marker the typical Harappan pottery is decorated with designs painted on in black and have certain range of forms and motifs.


Other trade that can be associated with Harappan culture includes terracotta cakes standardized bricks size and certain type of stone and copper artefacts And when the basic set of Harappan material trait are found associated with each other at a site it is described as a Harappan site.


Describing the Civilization

The Harappan culture was actually a long and complex cultural process consisting of at least three phases -

The Early Harappan - This phase was the formative proto urban phase of the culture.

Mature Harappan - This phase was the urban face the full-fledge stage of urbanization.

Late Harappan - this phase was the post urban phase when the cities declined.


Origin of of the civilization 

The issue of the origin is very Complex and contentious; many different scholars on the basis of their excavation at different sites give many e theories regarding the origin of Harappan civilization.

For instance one Scholars give the theory of migration of people from sumer or the southern Mesopotamia may have led to the Harappan civilization another scholar give explanation to this migration theory and says that the migration of Ideas had happened and not people the idea of civilization was in the air of West Asia and the founders of the Harappan civilization had a model of Civilization before them that is the Mesopotamian Civilization.

But many differences can be noted between The Harappan and The Mesopotamian Civilization had a completely different script, a much greater use of bronze, different settlement layout and a large-scale Canal system that seems absent in the Harappan civilization.

Also on the base of the excavation at some sites like the Mohenjo Daro that when the Harappan Civilization gives us an example of much more advanced culture in form of the drainage system.


Exciting Features of the Civilization

  • The fact that Harappan civilization was urban but does not mean that all the sides in the Harappan civilization has urban character a majority were in fact villages.
  • In Harappan culture we have large cities to small asterisk amps the largest settlements include Mohenjodaro, Harappa, Rakhigarhi, Dholavira and lurewala in Cholistan.
  • All these sites have proper drainage systems and streets and houses were laid on a grid pattern though the roads were not completely straight and did not always cross one another at right angles. People here lived in houses of different sizes mostly consisting of rooms arranged around a central courtyard.
  • In one of the excavations at Mohenjodaro indicates that the town was divided into two parts upper and the smaller one as the Citadel and the larger one but lower is known as the lower down.
  • The subsistence pattern in all the Harappan sites is closely related to the environment but there are many more resources for sustaining like fishing, hunting and gathering and this diversity of resources is because the Harappan Civilization covered an anonymous area within which there was great ecological variety.
  • In many sites of the Indus valley civilization different types of craft work was also found like making stone tools and a wide use of copper objects making terracotta sculptures and seals with standard diameter of 5.5 to 6 CM and usually had tiny letters written on them.


Decline Of the Civilization

There are many reasons for the decline of the Harappan Civilization but none hand got complete support from different scholars- One assumption was that people might had migrated to the Ganga valley leaving the fertile area of the Indus valley another reason given by different Scholars is that many of the Harappan sites might have been flooded with the water from the rivers so just like these there are several assumptions given as a reason to the decline of this huge civilization.


Written By - Vanshu Verma

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