Indus Valley Civilisation (Harappan civilisation)

The Indus Valley Civilization was established around 3300 BC, it flourished between 2600 BC and 1900 BC (Mature Indus Valley Civilization) and started to decline around 1900 BC and disappeared around 1400 BC.

The source of knowledge about Harappan culture is - Archaeological excavations.

In 1912, Harappan seals with then unknown symbols were discovered by J. Fleet.

In the 1920s, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) carried out excavations in the Indus valley wherein the ruins of the two old cities, viz. Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa were unearthed.

In 1924, John Marshall, Director-General of the ASI, announced the discovery of a new civilisation (Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa) in the Indus valley to the world.

The first archaeologist who excavated Harappa, but could not recognize its significance, was - A. Cunningham.

Archaeologists have discovered usage of copper, bronze, tin, silver and gold.

It was the first time that silver was extracted and used in Indus valley Civilisation.

Iron was not known to the Harappan people.

The pottery found at Harappa is of the light red or brown colour, excepting some specimens which are black.

Idol workship in India can be traced to the period of Pre-Aryans.

The people of Harappa seemed to have worshipped the Mother Goddess and Shiva Pashupati.

Cow, camel, horse, and lion were not depicted on seals.

Unicorn (bull) was the animal most commonly represented on the seals.

In fact, horse was an animal that was unknown to the Harappan Civilization.

Site Excavated by
Harappa Daya Ram Sahni in 1921
Mohenjo-Daro (Mound of Dead) R.D. Banerjee in 1922
Sutkagendor Stein in 1929
Chanhudaro N.G. Majumdar (1931), J.H. Mackay (1935-36)
Amri N.G. Majumdar in 1935
Kalibangan Ghose in 1953
Lothal R. Rao in 1953
Surkotada J.P. Joshi in 1964
Banawali R.S. Bisht in 1974
Dholavira R.S Bisht in 1985
Kot Diji Fazal Ahmed in 1953
Rangpur Rangnath Rao in 1953-54
Ropar Yagyadat Sharma in 1953-56
Alamgirpur Yagyadat Sharma in 1956
Sotkah George Dale in 1962
Burzahom De Terra in 1939, T.N. and Khazanchi 1960-71

It was the first civilization to cultivate cotton and agriculture was the most important occupation.

No structures like temples or palaces have been found.

Site Province/State Country Excavations/Findings
Alamgirpur Uttar Pradesh India Impression of cloth on trough
Balu Haryana India Earliest evidence of garlic, several plant remains
Banawali Haryana India Barley, terracotta figure of plough
Dholavira Gujarat India chariot driven by a nude human, number of reservoirs, advanced water management, rock-cut architecture, site is divided in three parts
Hulas Uttar Pradesh India -
Kalibangan Rajasthan, Ghaggar river India earliest ploughed agricultural field, a horned deity, bones of camel
Lothal Gujarat, Bhogava river India port city, bead making factory, dockyard, ivory scale, button seal, boat, fire altars, painted jar, earliest cultivation of rice (1800 BC)
Manda Jammu & Kashmir India northernmost Harappan site in Himalayan foothills.
Mandi Uttar Pradesh India -
Rakhigarhi Haryana India largest site, terrecotta wheels, toys, figurines, pottery, large site, partially excavated.
Rangpur Saurashtra, Gujarat India Seaport
Rojdi Gujarat India -
Sanauli Uttar Pradesh India burial site with 125 burials found
Shikarpur Gujarat India Food habit details of Harappans
Sothi Uttar Pradesh India -
Surkotada Gujarat India Bones of a horse (only site)
Chanhudaro Sindh Pakistan Bead making factory, use of lipstick, only Indus site without a citadel
Harappa Punjab, Ravi River Pakistan Granaries, coffin burial, lot of artifacts, first town
Kot Diji Sindh Pakistan -
Mehrgarh Balochistan Pakistan Earliest agricultural community (7000-5000 BC)
Mohenjo-Daro Sindh Pakistan Great Bath (the biggest bath ghat), remains of wells, Great granary, Bronze dancing girl, Bull seal, Pashupati seal, a piece of woven cloth
Pirak Balochistan Pakistan -
Padri Gujarat India -
Ropar Punjab, Satluj river India -
Daimabad Maharashtra India bronze chariot
Dadheri Punjab India -

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