Lecture 3- Indus Valley Civilization

Lecture 3- Indus Valley Civilization

Hello friends! Welcome to PrepMate Classes. In this lecture we will learn about Indus
Valley Civilization, its unique features and the factors that ultimately led to its downfall. So, let us begin. Indus Valley Civilization started emerging
in around 3300 BC at the banks of river Indus and its tributaries. Discovered in 1921 by archeologists Dr. Daya
Ram Sahini and John Marshall, the civilization was named Harappan civilization because the
first ruins were discovered near the village of Harappa, in modern day Pakistan. Mohenjodaro was discovered by R.D. Banerjee
in 1922. Indus Valley is said to have existed in the
Bronze age and its residents extensively used Bronze in their daily lives. IVC extended from Jammu & Kashmir in the north
to river Narmada in the south and from Makran coast in the west to river Yamuna in the east. Some important sites of IVC are:
Harappa in Punjab, Pakistan; Mohenjodaro in Sindh, Pakistan;
Chanhudaro in Sindh, Pakistan; Lothal, Dholavira and Surkotada in Gujarat;
Banawali and Rakhigarhi in Haryana; and Kalibangan in Rajasthan. The greatness of this civilization lied in
the fact that many of its features and practices are still relevant and existent in the modern
world. We will now one by one discuss all those features. Town Planning
The cities in IVC were divided into two parts namely: a citadel which was elevated and fortified
and the lower residential town. Citadel was built on a 12m high mound of bricks
and housed large buildings with a few exceptions of small residential buildings. This goes on to prove that citadel was used
for public or religious gatherings or was a seat of administration. The lower town served as a residence for common
people. The houses in this part of city were arranged
in a grid pattern and were made of burnt bricks. Houses were constructed on a slightly raised
platform indicating flooding in rainy season. They consisted of a strong staircase to access
the rooftops. The main streets of Indus Valley ran from
north to south and east to west intersecting one another at right angles. Sub streets joined the main streets. Drainage system
Every house was equipped with a bathroom. The drains in the bathrooms were directly
connected to the drains in the street which ran underground and were covered with slabs. Manholes were provided at regular intervals
for maintenance of the drainage system. Architecture
Two major architecture structures were found at IVC namely: The great bath and the Granary. The Great Bath at Mohenjodaro was a large
water tank which may have been used for religious ceremonies and gatherings. The floor and walls of the tank were water
tight due to finely fitted bricks and subsequent coatings of Bitumen. There were several large rooms on the eastern
side of the tank. The provision of water may have been made
through a well or by harvesting rainwater since there were no inlet drains. The Granary at Harappa, was used for storing
Wheat and Barley, which is evident from the traces of the grains found at the discovered
site. Apartments with common courtyards were found,
attached to the granary, which may have belonged to the workers or slaves. Social Practices and Lifestyle
People of IVC were indulged in a modern lifestyle. Clothes were made from wool and cotton, with
men wearing robes and women wearing skirts. People of higher classes wore dresses with
elaborated designs. Men and women both sported long hair. Women tied their hair into pigtails and men
wore beards and moustaches. Vanity items like mirrors, eye-liners, lipsticks
and razors also existed. Ornaments and amulets were donned by both
men and women. Ornaments included rings, armlets, necklaces,
etc. girdles, earrings and anklets were exclusive to women. Modes of amusement included toys and marbles
for children. Adults often indulged in dice gambling. Music and dance were popular sources of entertainment. People also enjoyed hunting and fishing as
an activity. Animal domestication was prevalent in IVC. People tamed dogs, cats, oxen, buffalos, elephants,
etc. Humped bull was among the favorite animals
of people of IVC. Instances of Horses being tamed have also
come forward in recent years. The people of IVC buried their dead in cemeteries
in one of the three fashions: 1. Complete burial or burying entire body with
grave goods. 2. Fractional burials or burying bones after
exposure to wild animals and forces of nature. 3. Post cremation burials or burning the body
before burying it. Another unique burial with a pair of male
and female skeleton, has been found at Lothal. Religious Practices
The only religious structures found at IVC were great bath and some fire altars at Kalibangan
and Lothal. People of IVC worshipped both male and female
gods. The terracotta figure of mother goddess found
at Harappa, shows a plant growing out of her womb, indicating she is the goddess of Earth. The male deity on the Pashupati seal, is shown
sitting cross legged in a yogic posture. He is surrounded by a tiger, an elephant,
a rhino and a buffalo with 2 deer beneath his feet. The surrounding animals may have coined the
name of the deity (Pahupati=Lord of the animals). This deity appears similar to lord Siva who
appears in Hindu mythology. People of IVC also worshipped Lingam – a
symbol for lord Shiva, Peepal tree and Humped Bull. Trade and Economy
Agriculture was the main occupation of people of IVC and was practiced mainly during the
winters. There was an absence of canal irrigation and
wooden ploughs were used because iron was not discovered at that time. The main crops cultivated were: Wheat, barley,
rai, sesame, peas, mustard, rice and cotton. Cotton was named Sindon by the Greeks because
it was first cultivated in the Sindh area. IVC was a trading society. Due to non-availability of technology for
minting coins, they followed Barter system. Trade links existed within India and even
outside India extending till Mesopotamia and Turkey. Imports included metals and non-metals and
exports from IVC included agricultural and finished products such as cotton, goods, beads,
pottery, shells, etc. Science and technology
There was an accurate weighing and measuring system in place. Discovery of numerous weight-like articles
suggest that the weights used were in the multiples of 16. The length of a foot was 13.2 inches and that
of a cubit was 18 inches. Several measuring sticks made from bronze
have been discovered. Although well acquainted with use of Bronze
people of IVC also used gold and were the first to employ silver in everyday use. Arsenic, lead, antimony and nickel were also
used by them. They were also familiar with and practiced
boat making techniques. Seals of accurate sizes and designs were made
out of materials like copper, clay, gold, silver and ivory. Seals were rectangular or square shaped and
were used for commercial or educational purposes. People of IVC were familiar with the manufacturing
and use of terracotta which is a clay based unglazed ceramic. The script was phonetic but in the later periods,
it evolved towards an alphabetic pattern. The script is yet to be deciphered by modern
historians. Art
Statues of Dancing Girl made in bronze, the priest made in limestone and a male torso
forged in red sandstone exhibit the knowledge and intricacies in art possessed by the artists
of those times. The art of pottery made great advances during
IVC period. 4 kinds of pottery existed namely: Plain pottery
for household use, painted and polychrome pottery for decoration and perforated pottery
for liquor straining. Decline
The IVC came to a sudden end. The reason for the decline of IVC are unclear
but many theories have been put forward by historians based on the evidence found during
excavation: 1. IVC may have collapsed due to heavy floods
since early civilization were established near water bodies. 2. The region occupied by the IVC was prone to
earthquakes. Repeated earthquakes could have been a reason
behind decline of the civilization. 3. IVC society was a trading society and was
not trained in warfare. An invasion by hostile tribes may have led
to the sudden disappearance of the civilization. Unburied skeletal remains found at Mohenjodaro
substantiate this claim. 4. Other possible reasons behind end of this
civilization may have been large scale epidemic or drought. Now, Let us analyse what we have learnt from
the above discussion by attempting a couple of questions. Q1. Which of the following may not be a reason
for the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization? 1. Foreign Invasion. 2. Heavy floods. 3. Volcanic eruption. 4. Frequent earthquakes. Option (b) is the correct answer because no
volcanoes existed in the periphery of the civilization. Q2. Consider the following statement:
1. Weighs in IVC were measured in multiples of
10. 2. The script of IVC was alphabetic in origin. Which of the statements given above is/are
correct? The correct answer is D, because both the
statements are incorrect. Statement 1 is incorrect because weights in
IVC were measured in multiples of 16. Statement 2 is incorrect because script of
IVC was pictographic in origin. We hope you enjoyed this video. Thank You! For Best learning you can watch this video along with Prepmate-Cengage UPSC series which is available online as well as offline. Book feature: complete subject in a single book with practice and past year questions at the end of the chapters. Model answers for UPSC Mains from authors. Using the application Prepmate and web portal Prepmate.in you can access comprehensive digital support in form of videos, mock prelims, answer writing practice and regular updates.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

4 thoughts on “Lecture 3- Indus Valley Civilization

  1. Soon prepmate goin to change the way we learn. Awesome initiatives..all other inst materials will b replaced by prepmate soon.! books are lucid and great. thanks !

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