The Indus Valley
Home ] Paleolithic ] Aceramic Neolithic ] Before History ] Prehistoric warfare ] Rise of civilization ] [ The Indus Valley ] Composite Bows ] 1200 BCE ] Dead Sea Scrolls ] Mesopotamia ] Troy ] Alchemists ] Greek ] Rome ] Egypt ] India and China Medicine ]

Bloodaxe's Realm     The Medieval World  

There is no such thing as an accepted Indus dictionary

The Indus Valley Civilization

Indus Valley Civilization one of the world's oldest and greatest civilizations took shape around 3000 BC to 2500 BC in the valley of the INDUS River , one of South Asia's longest rivers. The name of the Indian subcontinent is taken from this river. Map of Indus Valley

Remains of more than 100 cities, towns, and villages of the Indus Valley civilization have now been found from north of the Hindu Kush down the entire length of the Indus and beyond into peninsular India.


Town Planing

Its settlements were similar in layout and culture. Each city was laid out on a grid plan with a high citadel and a lower city of domestic dwellings.

Urban planning is evident in the neat arrangement of the major buildings contained in the citadel, including the placement of a large granary and water tank or bath at right angles to one another. The lower city, which was tightly packed with residential units, was also constructed on a grid pattern consisting of a number of blocks separated by major cross streets. Baked-brick houses faced the street, and domestic life was centered around an enclosed courtyard.

The cities had an elaborate public drainage system, Sanitation was provided through an extensive system of covered drains running the length of the main streets and connected by chutes with most residences.
Except in outposts and in its most remote colonies, Indus Valley cities were all built of baked-brick blocks with a standard proportion of length to width to thickness of 4:2:1.


Major Centers

Harappa and Mohenjo-daro were its major centers. Mohenjo-daro is situated along the west bank of the Indus River while Harappa is located 640 km northeast of Mohenjo-daro. Another city Kalibangan, is situated farther east along the banks of the now extinct Ghaggar-Hakra River. Hundreds of other smaller settlements have also been discovered, including fishing villages, trading outposts, ports etc.

At Kalibangan excavation has revealed a pre-Harappan settlement that underwent drastic change when the site was incorporated into the expanding Indus civilization.
Southwest of Kalibangan along the same bed of the ancient Ghaggar-Hakra River, several more cities have been discovered, indicating that at the height of the Indus civilization multiple regional centers may have been built according to a standard plan.


Indus Culture

The Indus people supported themselves by irrigation-based agriculture. They grew rice, wheat, and barley, and cultivated dates and cotton. Among the first people in the world known to have domesticated animals, they reared chickens, buffalo, humped cattle and dogs. They may also have domesticated pigs, horses, camels, and, possibly, elephants.

Pottery forms and designs were remarkably similar throughout the vast area encompassed by the Indus civilization. Abundant remains have been found, of Gold Jewelry, Terra-Cotta figurines, Spears, knives, objects of copper, bronze, and other small sculptures of stone and bronze. Few large works of art and pieces of statuary Seal found in Indus Valley have also been discovered from Mohenjo-daro and Harappa.

Square stamp seals that depict various domestic animals, such as humped bulls, rhinoceroses, and elephants have also been discovered. These seals are the major source of the Indus Valley script. Attempts to decipher these symbols have so far been unsuccessful.



Seals discovered in Mohenjo-daro show a seated horned deity surrounded by wild animals, an image that may portray the Hindu god SHIVA as Pasupati, the Lord of Beasts. This and the emphasis on ablutions ( ritual washings ) that are suggested by the material remains, denote the influence of this early pre-Aryan civilization on religious practices in Hinduism.


Decline of Indus Valley Civilization

The Indus civilization appears to have declined rapidly in the early 2d Millennium BC. Archaeological evidences indicate intermittent and devastating floods around this time. and may be invasions by the ARYANS whose epics refer to their conquest of walled cities.