Indus Valley Civilization – A Summary
One of the ancient Civilizations
One of the ancient civilizations is the Civilization of Indus Valley, which is also most commonly known as Harappa Civilization. This relies, at the first excavations that were made, for the cradle discovery of the civilization, which were held at the city Harappa-Pakistan. It was developed around 2600 B.C.-1500 B.C. Archaeological findings show that it probably significantly affected the Hindu culture. Being forgotten from the history until its discovery in 1920, this civilization is being filed among its contemporary civilizations, Mesopotamian and Egyptian, as the one of the three most ancient cultures on our planet, according to the elements of cities appearance, agriculture, architecture and writing.
We have indications for gradual culture reduction around 1800 B.C. Until 1700 B.C. most of the towns were abandoned. But the civilians were not disappeared completely. And many elements of their culture can be found in later civilizations. Indus Valley Civilization was mainly located around Indus River at the Indian subcontinent. Ruins discovered among Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Iran. Based on the excavations, it is estimated that its population fluctuated around 200,000 inhabitants.
The discovery of Indus Valley Civilization happened while manufacturing railway line, to connect the cities Karachi and Lahore. The brothers John and William Brunton were constructing that project. They searched for the ancient town, as they needed stones for the line quarry. They weren’t aware of being in front of a great discovery. And, when John Brunton visited the ruins, for the first time, he said that: here is the grand quarry for the ballast I want. This had as a result of caring away the city walls, for the needs of the railway constructions.
That happened in 1856. But excavations started in 1920, with the most important discoveries in 1999. That was the discovery of ceramics, with the first samples of writing. That fact brought up, the dispute of the theory that the discovery of writing, belonged to the Mesopotamians or Egyptians.
Other important findings in the excavations of Harappa were Krishna’s grave, and ceramics with the symbol of swastika.
Cultivation, harvesting and trade
Indus Valley Civilization, like every civilization of that era, was dealing with trade, mostly with the most important civilizations of that period, Mesopotamians and Egyptians. Its main source for trading raw materials was lapis lazuli and other materials for bead-making. Except trading they also had farms. Their main cultivation products, amongst others, were the peas, sesame seed and cotton. They also domesticated wild animals in order to use them for harvesting their farms. One of them is the water buffalo, which is still used in some provinces of Asia.
Another important thing in Indus Valley Civilization is their architecture. They used to create their houses, by using a unique urban characteristic, for that era. And, by saying urban, we mean the way of town planning in order to create a society, founding cities.
A house in Harappa is an amazing example of traditional people, without the advantages of technology with adaption to the local conditions and sensed to product a proper architecture for the climate. It was designed with cyclical rooms, which their doors faced in a central yard. This yard worked as source of light for the rooms, and because of the climate it absorbed the heat in the summer and worked also as radiator in the winter. It also provided space for external activities.
There were no openings towards the road for the safety of the private life. Literally, whatever openings they used to have at rooms, were small and were used for avoiding the heat-wave of the summer. That specific architectural type is contemporary for that era, having for typical example the Romans, who were the next people using that type, while an interval of 2500 years elapsed.
What we will never find…
Although the importance of Indus Valley civilization and the very important findings, we may not know anything more about this civilization and we may never find out what the scripts are written about, or any findings that have graphic elements. The reason is because this language does not exist anymore and it cannot be deciphered. Unfortunately, for the historians, the scholars and generally for all of us, this leads to acknowledge of an important civilization, which was the basis for several features of the current lifestyle.