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How advanced were the people of Indus valley civilization in engineering?

How advanced were the people of Indus valley civilization in engineering?

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How advanced were the people of Indus valley civilization in engineering aspects compared with other civilizations during or before their time?

It would be hard to compare with other contemporary civilisation at the time viz Egyptian or Sumerian as not much written information available of that time. However, archealogical finding suggests many technological advancements 1) Sanitation - use of covered drainage system, (what now called) WC, reservoirs, public bath, dams and step wells to name few (source wiki)

2) Maths : circulation of coins and weights suggests use of decimal system, accurate measurements

3) metallurgy : Civilisation had extensive knowledge of bronze, tin, copper and lead

Since whole Indust valley civilisation was residing near Rivers they must have knowledge on channelling water and building high wall to protect from floods.

I agree wih @SiddhantKumar's answer here. I want to add some points he has overlooked.

The Indus valley civilization was one of the most advanced civilizations during the bronze age.

1) Sanitation - There were underground sewage systems, flush toilets and a proper sewage drainage system which collects sewage fro individual houses. They were all first of their kind.

2) Architecture - Their Architecture is one of the advanced at the time and was well planned. They had parallel streets with crossroads. Their bricks were all of uniform size. The city walls were built in such a way to prevent flood from entering the city. They have also built docks.

The majority of the cities were constructed in a highly uniform and well-planned grid pattern

- Wikipedia

The facilities such as flush toilets and private wells were present in almost every houses. It should provide a way at how things were implemented there.

3)Water management - They had many reservoirs, step-wells, dams and even a public bath. Most of the houses had a private well too.

4) Maths :

The people of the Indus Civilisation achieved great accuracy in measuring length, mass, and time. They were among the first to develop a system of uniform weights and measures

The Indus valley people have used (most likely the first)ruler for measuring lengths. The smallest division found on their ivory scale is approx equal to 1.704 mm. The smallest ever in Bronze age. These people have followed decimal system for almost all practical purposes while other civilizations of this time used non uniforms weights.

5) Metallurgy : Civilisation had extensive knowledge of bronze, tin, copper and lead.


  1. Sanitation of Indus Valley civilisation - Wikipedia
  2. Indian Mathematics Prehistory - Wikipedia
  3. Indus Valley Civilisation - Wikipedia
  4. List of inventions and discoveries of the Indus Valley Civilisation
  5. Read Indussian: The Archaic Tamil from c.7000 BCE ISBN : 938073302X, 9789380733029
  6. Prehistory and Harappan Civilization

Complete Guide of Indus Valley Civilization

The Indus Valley civilization extends from modern-day northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and a major part of northwest India.

During the discovery of this civilization, numerous metals like copper and tin were discovered. So, the Bronze Age also began around 3300 BC with the start of civilization. The first city discovered was the Harappan City, so the other name for this civilization is Harappan Civilization.

Later the Bronze age changed to Iron Age, where numerous Iron materials were made and created. The phase was known as the Late Harappan Culture, which was during 1900 – 1400 BC.

Along with the discovery of this civilization came an extended amount of queries and facts. Out of which, the most frequently asked questions along with the facts are mentioned here.

10. The Indus Valley’s Size and Population

The Indus Valley Civilization covered an area of 1.26 million square kilometers throughout modern India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Over 1,056 Indus Valley Civilization urban centers and villages have been identified, 96 of these have been excavated. Many of the villages were primarily distributed within the wide area of the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra Rivers and their smaller streams. The biggest cities, home to more than five million people were Rakhigarhi, Harappa, Ganweriwala, Dholavira, and Mohenjodaro.

The earliest settlement in the Indus Valley, known as Mehrgarh, was established around 7000 BC . The majority of the Indus Valley’s inhabitants were craftsmen and traders who predominantly lived in villages. As these villages were constructed from easily destructible materials that included mud and wood, their everyday way of life and much of their culture was lost with little or no trace over the ages. From archaeological digs, we have, however, come to realize that the Indus Valley Civilization was an extremely sophisticated culture with a well organized way of doing things. Though heavily populated, its cities were not messy or disorganized, unlike most of its contemporaries in Mesopotamia and Egypt and, in some instances, would have put modern city planners to shame.

Socail studies

Why do scholars believe that the Indus Valley had a highly developed civilization?
A.It left behind many written records.
B.Its cities show a high level of planning.
C.It had a highly organized religion.
D.Its royal tombs hold many artifacts.

i took the test here all the answers and i promise this'll get you %100
2.A, C, D
3.people who perform dirty jobs-Dalits, priests-Brahmins, merchants-Vaishyas, labors-Sudras
7.1.Siddhartha sees sickness, old age
2.Siddhartha sees holy man
3.Siddhartha becomes religious seeker and ascetic
4.Siddhartha meditates under Bodhi tree
9.B, C
13. 1.Asoka holds power, then attacks Kalinga to extend kingdom
2.Asoka regrets bloodshed in Kalinga
3.Asoka converts to Buddhism due to suffering in Kalinga
4.Asoka creates pillars to tell subjects of three morals laws and makes kingdom a better place to live.
there you have it this will get u %100 on your practice test

First ancient DNA from Indus Valley civilization links its people to modern South Asians

Researchers have successfully sequenced the first genome of an individual from the Harappan civilization, also called the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC). The DNA, which belongs to an individual who lived four to five millennia ago, suggests that modern people in India are likely to be largely descended from people of this ancient culture. It also offers a surprising insight into how farming began in South Asia, showing that it was not brought by large-scale movement of people from the Fertile Crescent where farming first arose. Instead, farming started in South Asia through local hunter-gatherers adopting farming. The findings appear September 5 in the journal Cell.

"The Harappans were one of the earliest civilizations of the ancient world and a major source of Indian culture and traditions, and yet it has been a mystery how they related both to later people as well as to their contemporaries," says Vasant Shinde, an archaeologist at Deccan College, Deemed University in Pune, India, and the chief excavator of the site of Rakhigarhi, who is first author of the study.

The IVC, which at its height from 2600 to 1900 BCE covered a large swath of northwestern South Asia, was one of the world's first large-scale urban societies. Roughly contemporary to ancient Egypt and the ancient civilizations of China and Mesopotamia, it traded across long distances and developed systematic town planning, elaborate drainage systems, granaries, and standardization of weights and measures.

Hot, fluctuating climates like those found in many parts of lowland South Asia are detrimental to the preservation of DNA. So despite the importance of the IVC, it has been impossible until now to sequence DNA of individuals recovered in archaeological sites located in the region. "Even though there has been success with ancient DNA from many other places, the difficult preservation conditions mean that studies in South Asia have been a challenge," says senior author David Reich, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School, the Broad Institute, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Answering questions about the ancient people of the Indus Valley was in fact the primary reason Reich founded his own ancient DNA laboratory in 2013.

In this study, Reich, post-doctoral scientist Vagheesh Narasimhan, and Niraj Rai, who established a new ancient DNA laboratory at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences in Lucknow, India, and led the preparation of the samples, screened 61 skeletal samples from a site in Rakhigarhi, the largest city of the IVC. A single sample showed promise: it contained a very small amount of authentic ancient DNA. The team made over 100 attempts to sequence the sample. Reich says: "While each of the individual datasets did not produce enough DNA, pooling them resulted in sufficient genetic data to learn about population history."

There were many theories about the genetic origins of the people of the IVC. "They could resemble Southeast Asian hunter-gatherers or they could resemble Iranians, or they could even resemble Steppe pastoralists--all were plausible prior to the ancient DNA findings," he says.

The individual sequenced here fits with a set of 11 individuals from sites across Iran and Central Asia known to be in cultural contact with the IVC, discovered in a manuscript being published simultaneously (also led by Reich and Narasimhan) in the journal Science. Those individuals were genetic outliers among the people at the sites in which they were found. They represent a unique mixture of ancestry related to ancient Iranians and ancestry related to Southeast Asian hunter-gatherers. Their genetic similarity to the Rakhigarhi individual makes it likely that these were migrants from the IVC.

It's a mix of ancestry that is also present in modern South Asians, leading the researchers to believe that people from the IVC like the Rakhigarhi individuals were the single largest source population for the modern-day people of India. "Ancestry like that in the IVC individuals is the primary ancestry source in South Asia today," says Reich. "This finding ties people in South Asia today directly to the Indus Valley Civilization."

The findings also offer a surprising insight into how agriculture reached South Asia. A mainstream view in archaeology has been that people from the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East--home to the earliest evidence of farming--spread across the Iranian plateau and from there into South Asia, bringing with them a new and transformative economic system.

Genetic studies to date seemed to add weight to this theory by showing that Iranian-related ancestry was the single biggest contributor to the ancestry in South Asians.

But this new study shows that the lineage of Iranian-related ancestry in modern South Asians split from ancient Iranian farmers, herders, and hunter-gatherers before they separated from each other--that is, even before the invention of farming in the Fertile Crescent. Thus, farming was either reinvented locally in South Asia or reached it through the cultural transmission of ideas rather than through substantial movement of western Iranian farmers.

For Reich, Shinde, and their team, these findings are just the beginning. "The Harappans built a complex and cosmopolitan ancient civilization, and there was undoubtedly variation in it that we cannot detect by analyzing a single individual," Shinde says. "The insights that emerge from just this single individual demonstrate the enormous promise of ancient DNA studies of South Asia. They make it clear that future studies of much larger numbers of individuals from a variety of archaeological sites and locations have the potential to transform our understanding of the deep history of the subcontinent."

This work was supported by the NCP fund of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India, Deccan College, Deemed University, Government of Haryana the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, an Allen Discovery Center grant, and the John Templeton Foundation.D.R. is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The authors declare no competing interests.

Cell, Shinde and Narasimhan et al.: "An Ancient Harappan Genome Lacks Ancestry from Steppe Pastoralists or Iranian Farmers" https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(19)30967-5

Cell (@CellCellPress), the flagship journal of Cell Press, is a bimonthly journal that publishes findings of unusual significance in any area of experimental biology, including but not limited to cell biology, molecular biology, neuroscience, immunology, virology and microbiology, cancer, human genetics, systems biology, signaling, and disease mechanisms and therapeutics. Visit: http://www. cell. com/ cell. To receive Cell Press media alerts, contact [email protected]

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Civilization and Floods in the Indus Valley

In addition to Dr. Dales as Field Director, the official staff included the Museum’s architect Aubrey Trik and Stephen Rees-Jones of Queen’s University, Belfast, as Conservator. Helen Trik was Registrar and Barbara Dales was Administrative Secretary. Walter O. Heinze of Swarthmore served as volunteer photographer and field assistant for part of the season. The project was supported by the JDR 3rd Fund, National Science Foundation, the Penrose Fund of the American Philosophical Society, the Walter E. Seeley Trust Fund, and generous private donations.

One of the most intriguing aspects of archaeological research is the constant ebb and flow of our “knowledge” between fact and fiction. There is an ever present need to re-examine and re-evaluate the scattered bits of evidence with which we try to reconstruct the cultural framework of mankind’s climb to the modern world. It is not uncommon to find that yesterday’s “fact” is one of today’s discarded theories or that what is merely a calculated guess today may be a verified historical maxim tomorrow. Gradually this framework is strengthened and expanded as our factual knowledge of ancient problems increases.

Archaeology has had to expand its scope far beyond that of the traditional “dirt” approach to antiquity. More and more we hear of non-archaeologists, especially natural scientists, offering new insights into what were difficult or insoluble archaeological problems. These extra-archaeological specialists are increasing our ability to understand the broader significance of otherwise restricted and ofttimes esoteric questions. Just as a piece of three dimensional modern Op Art can be seen in its totality only by viewing it from many different vantage points, so must an archaeological problem be viewed from positions other than that of the dirt-archaeologist. The natural scientists can and are providing some of the desperately needed fresh viewpoints.

General view of Late period structures on top of HR mound.

An example of the potentials inherent in combined archaeological-natural science investigations is seen in the field program carried out this past winter by the University Museum in West Pakistan. The Museum, with the cooperation and assistance of the Pakistan Department of Archaeology, initiated a program of excavations and environmental studies centering around Mohenjo-daro, some 180 air miles north of Karachi in the Indus Valley. The environmental and geomorphological studies were conducted by Robert L. Raikes, a professional hydrologist who has also collaborated with the Museum’s project at Sybaris in Italy. Among other questions of a purely archaeological nature we were concerned with the problem of why and how the Indus–or Harappan–civilization declined and eventually vanished. One explanation which has been popular in recent years is that this earliest civilization of South Asia “wore out its landscape” and so weakened internally that it became easy prey for foreign invaders–namely, the Aryans. The idea of a massacre at Mohenjo-daro which supposedly represented the armed conquest of the city was disputed on purely archaeological grounds by the author in the Spring 1964 issue of Expedition. Other factors in the collapse of the Indus civilization have come to the attention of natural scientists during the past few years. Preliminary studies by Raikes suggested that a great natural disaster–a series of vast floods– could have been a major factor. Fresh evidence was needed from the field to test these new ideas. Thus the program of archaeological excavations at Mohenjo-daro combined with geomorphological studies of the lower Indus Valley was initiated.

Mohenjo-daro was selected as the focal point of the project for several reasons. It is the largest and best preserved of the Harappan period cities in the Indus Valley and should provide the most complete sequence of stratified materials. The earlier excavations at this site during the 1920’s and early 1930’s revealed abundant evidence for water laid deposits at several distinct levels in the ruins. Furthermore, it was hoped that new information could be obtained concerning the latest occupations of the city and the period of declining prosperity leading to the final abandonment of this once prosperous metropolis.

One of the first objectives of this year’s work was to determine the depth of occupation at Mohenjo-daro. The earliest levels have never been reached because of the present high levels of the sub-surface ground water. It is important for our studies into the history of flooding in the lower Indus Valley that we have a complete stratigraphic picture of the successive occupation levels of the city. A boring rig was obtained from a Pakistani engineering company and a series of test bores was made under the supervision of Mr. Raikes. Core samples were brought up and examined every foot or so. Pottery sherds, brick fragments, bangles and ash were found down to a maximum depth of thirty-nine feet below the present plain level. The borings were continued down some eight feet below the lowest trace of human occupation. The present ground water level is about fifteen feet below plain level. Thus it will be necessary to penetrate over twenty-five feet through water soaked levels to reach the earliest occupation. Raikes, in consulation with engineers in Pakistan, is designing a de-watering system for this purpose.

The boring rig in operation. Brick fragments, pottery sherds, bangles and ash were found to a depth of thirty-nine feet below the present plain level.

The excavations of the uppermost levels were conducted in a twenty-meter square area on top of the HR mound. Even this relatively limited exposure provided some new and interesting information on the latest period of occupation, an occupation which probably characterizes the general conditions which prevailed at the end of the Harappan period. Immediately below the surface of the mound we found at thin, poorly preserved level which suggests a squatter-type occupation. The buildings were crudely constructed of secondhand, often broken, bricks. The earlier excavators at Mohenjo-daro have reported similar remains from other areas of the site. No trace of foreign objects which could indicate the arrival of invaders of non-Harappan peoples was found. The few examples of pottery found in place on the house floors are of standard Harappan types. Noticeable, however, was the complete absence of the black-and-red painted pottery which so characterizes the mature Harappan period. Architecturally it is important to note that before the building of this latest squatter-level the abandoned rooms and alley-ways of the previous occupation were completely filled in with rubble and grey dirt. Also, crudely made packing walls were constructed to face portions of these fillings. When such fillings were removed during our excavation it was found that these structures so filled in were still in fairly good condition and should have been adequate for habitation. Why then did the last occupant of the city go to the trouble of packing these areas with from three to four feet of fill? If the overall picture we are obtaining from our other studies is correct, it becomes obvious why this elaborate filling and platform making was undertaken. It was the last of several attempts on the part of the Mohenjo-daro population to artificially raise the level of the city to keep above the height of the flood waters. The flood evidence will be described below. I mention it here merely to emphasize our impression that flooding was the principal enemy of the Mohenjo-darians, and of all the Harappan period inhabitants of the lower Indus Valley. Bands of raiders from the nearby Baluchistan hills could well have taken advantage of the chaotic conditions following the floods, but they were apparently not the cause of such conditions.

A squatter-type structure directly beneath the surface. Secondhand, often broken, bricks were used by these latest inhabitants.

A brick wash or toilet cubicle and plastered floor of the Late period. This area was completely filled up with dirt and debris to make one of the platforms upon which the latest in habitants of the city built their squatter-type houses.

I mentioned that directly beneath this shoddily built squatter level there are the remains of substantial buildings of baked brick with the paved washing (or toilet) areas and the elaborate drainage facilities typical of this civilization. Three to four closely interlocked building and rebuilding levels were uncovered this season. These levels belong to what has been called in the earlier excavation reports the Late period of the city. It has always been difficult when using these reports to define exactly what characterizes the Late period from the Intermediate and earlier periods of the city and the civilization it represents. Certain details relative to the decline in material prosperity of the population of these late levels were noticeable, however, in the new excavations. Pottery, for example, was of typical Harappan shapes but the proportion of painted to plain wares was very low. The luxury of decorating pottery with elaborately painted designs was apparently beyond the means of the late inhabitants of the city. One type of pottery vessel, usually called the Indus Valley goblet, was found in great abundance in these late levels. This confirms the earlier reports and those from other sites which maintain that this distinctive vessel was used only during the late declining years of the civilization. Other evidences of stylistic change and preferences attributable to the Late period were also found with other classes of objects. Stone stamp seals with exquisite animal representations executed in intaglio are one of the hallmarks of the mature Harappan civilization. Several of these seals were found in our late levels but it is fair to assume that such beautiful–and no doubt expensive–objects were kept by families and individuals long after the time when they were manufactured. Another type of stamp seal, cheaply made of paste or frit, with only geometric designs, appears to be common only to the later period of the city. A few scattered examples have been previously recorded (with reservations by the excavators) from Intermediate levels at Mohenjo-daro but they are rare indeed. The geometric seals would then appear to be a potentially useful dating object. Clay animal figurines provide another relative dating criterion. The figurines of the mature Harappan period–mostly of bulls–are superb examples of ceramic artistry. The sensuously modeled bodies, the sensitive faces, and the attention to detail place the best examples of these figurines in a class of artistic excellence with the intaglio representations of animals on the stone stamp seals. In our Late period levels on the top of HR mound not a single example of these excellent animal figurines was found. Figurines were abundant but they were of a crude, almost toy-like quality. The bodies are poorly proportioned and the faces range in appearance from the comic to the grotesque. From the published reports on the earlier excavations at Mohenjo-daro and other Harappan sites it is clear that such figurines are found throughout all levels of the civilization. Our excavations this year seem to show, however, that this is the only style of animal figurine made during the declining years of the civilization. Examples such as those just cited can be helpful for relative dating purposes but cannot tell us anything about the actual year-dates of the city or the civilization. For this purpose carbon samples of wood and grain were collected and will be tested by the radiocarbon dating procedure.

The so-called Indus goblets. These are known only in late levels at Harappan sites and provide one of the few reliable dating criteria for the internal chronology of the Indus civilization.

Stamp seals from the Late period levels. Such seals appear to be products of the waning years of the Indus civilization.

One of the most unexpected finds of the season came on the second day of excavations. Only about two feet below the surface of the mound was found a group of three human skeletons–a middle-aged man, a young woman, and a small child. A few feet away, in the same stratum, were later found two more adult skeletons. These were obviously not burials in the formal sense of the word. The skeletons were enmeshed in a thick accumulation of bricks, broken pottery and debris and were definitely not resting on a street or floor level. This accumulation did not apparently belong to the time of the structural remains in close proximity to the skeletons. What actually happened to these unfortunate persons must remain an enigma. All we can safely say is that their skeletons were found in an archaeological context which must be dated to some undetermined time after the so-called Late period at Mohenjo-daro. They may belong to the time of the latest squatter settlement but too little of this uppermost level was preserved to allow dogmatic claims for dating. It is reasonable to believe that the thirty-seven or so skeletons found in the earlier excavations were also found under similar circumstances. Certainly no fuel has been added by the new discoveries to the fires of they hypothetical destruction of the city by invaders.

A clay bull figurine of the superb quality typical of the mature Harappan period. Such figurines were not found in the Late period levels at Mohenjo-daro. An animal figurine of the crude handmade variety typical of the Late period at Mohenjo-daro.

It must be admitted that further excavations at Mohenjo-daro, or any other Harappan period site, stand little chance of answering the vital question of why and how this most extensive of the earliest Old World civilizations vanished from the historical scene. Different types of research, such as the geomorphological studies of Mr. Raikes, may hold the key to this vexing problem. His attention was first drawn to this problem by published descriptions of thick deposits of alluvial clay at various levels in the ruins of Mohenjo-daro. The highest of these “perched” strata of flood deposit is now some thirty feet above the plain level. Up until now there has been no satisfactory explanation for the presence of such deposits. Raikes recorded some 150 exposed clay deposits at widely separated locations in the Mohenjo-daro ruins. Some of these proved to be decayed mud-brick fillings and platforms rather than flood deposits. They are, nonetheless, important because we can now see that the construction of such high platforms at this and other sites was closely connected with the whole problem of flooding. Mention has already been made of the artificial packing and platform building in the latest levels at Mohenjo-daro. Overwhelming evidence for such building practices was uncovered in our clearing of the western edge of the HR mound.

The first of five human skeletons discovered just beneath the surface of the HR mound.

A monumental solid mud-brick platform, or embankment, lines the edge of the city mound. An exploratory excavation showed that it is at least twenty-five feet in height. At present plain level it is faced with a solid fired brick wall, five to six feet thick, which was traced for a distance of over three hundred meters along the base of the mound. This enormous complex, especially if it surrounds the entire lower town area of Mohenjo-daro, cannot be explained merely as a defensive structure against military attack. It appears that the walls and platforms were intended to artificially raise the level of the city as protection against floods. It is still too early to outline in detail the sequence of natural events which could have produced the flooding around Mohenjo-daro but some tentative suggestions should be made. “That the prime cause of the floodings was of a tectonic nature cannot, on present evidence, be reasonably doubted,” says Raikes in his Interim Report. These uplifts, or rather series of uplifts, occurred between Mohenjo-daro and the Arabian Sea, possibly near the modern town of Sehwan. Whether these uplifts were the result of bedrock faulting or of eruptive extrusions of “volcanic” mud remains to be seen. Geologists agree, nonetheless, that the uplifting did occur. The “dam” created by this uplift process backed up the waters of the Indus River. The degree of evaporation, sedimentation, and water losses through the “dam” itself are technical matters requiring much more study. These factors are important in estimating the rate of water rise and spread in the reservoir created behind the “dam.” What is apparent even now, however, is that–again in Raikes’s words–“flooding would have been by gradual encroachment from downstream with plenty of warning.” As the Mohenjo-darians saw the waters gradually approaching from the south they would have had ample time to construct the massive brick platforms such as exist throughout the city. Eventually the reservoir, which could well have been over a hundred miles long, engulfing all the towns and villages in the lower Indus Valley, would have become silted. The inflow of water would have exceeded the losses resulting from seepage and evaporation, and the rising waters would have overtopped the “dam.” A period of rapid water loss and down-cutting of the sedimentation in the valley would follow.

The poor state of preservation of the newly discovered skeletons is illustrated by these two examples. Their decayed and battered condition is partly explained by the fact that they were found almost directly beneath the surface of the mound.

It can be only a guess but it has been estimated that the time required to silt up the reservoir could possibly be as little as one hundred years. During this period, places like Mohenjo-daro may have been temporarily abandoned but this has not yet been displayed archaeologically. At any rate, once the waters began to subside, rebuilding was undertaken. Unfortunately the uplifting-flooding cycle repeated its destructive course, possibly as many as six times. As Sir Mortimer Wheeler, who excavated at Mohenjo-daro in 1950, has recently put it, the population was being worn out by the natural environment (opposite to his original suggestion that the population was wearing out the landscape). A study of silt deposits at other sites near Mohenjo-daro, such as Jhukar and Lohumjo-daro, suggests the same flooding regime. It is essential that detailed surveys and test trenchings of other sites in the lower Indus Valley be made. If consistent patterns of siltation and rebuildings can be worked out for other sites in this area, we will have gone a long way toward substaining the crucial role of tectonic movement and flooding in the life and death of at least the southern part of the Harappan “empire.”

The five human skeletons uncovered this year were associated with the thick accumulation of bricks and debris between these parallel walls near the surface of the HR mound.

Other factors were involved in the decline of the Harappan fortunes in the north. Flooding may have been a problem there too but not to the overwhelming degree it was in the south. Unfortunately, the archaeological evidence for the end of the northern cities is even more laconic than that for the south. There is an apparently consistent pattern, however, that is common to each of the few Harappan settlements which has been excavated in the north. There seems to be a sharp termination of occupation at these sites during what is recognized on present evidence as the mature phase of the Harappan civilization. Then there was a long period of abandonment followed after several centuries by the settlement of entirely new cultural groups. Most common seem to be the makers of a distinctive painted grey-ware pottery.

A gigantic solid mud-brick embankment was found along the edge of the HR mound. A pit was dug twenty-five into the brickwork without reaching the bottom of the structure.

The southern regions would seem to hold out the best promise of archaeological answers to the question of what happened to the Indus population after their civilization was defeated by the relentlessly re-occurring floods. Over eighty Harappan period sites have been located by Indian archaeologists in the Gujarat area of western India. Many of these sites are of the Late period and clearly preserve evidence suggesting a gradual transition of the once proud Harappan traditions into those which were indigenous to that part of India. The strength and vitality of the Harappan culture was vanishing ot the point where even the use of writing lost its importance. It is perhaps hopeful to reflect on the possibility that at least in the days of four thousand years ago man’s most overwhelming and stifling enemy was to be found in the forces of nature rather than in the vagaries of his fellow man.


When the world didn’t wake, we measured to 20 th part of a gram. when the world didn’t know where to live we constructed two stair buildings. Suddenly, what happened to the largest ancient civilization, the most advanced Bronze Age civilization and the civilization which has accounted for over five million population at its peak. Scientists said that the civilization existed between 3300BCE-1300BCE. What happened after that?? Does anybody knows?? The contemporary civilizations to the Indus valley civilizations, Egyptian and Mesopotamian, left some clues while the Indus valley left questions… let us dig deep into the earth to unearth the secrets of ‘the greatest civilization world has ever seen’…

We need to go back as less as 7000 BC to unearth the secrets. But the early Harappa civilization was dated back to 3300BC. From that time it has existed for over two millenniums. The mystery that unrevealed is that what made them to extinct without leaving any traces to future races.

Prosperity of Indus civilization:

Harappa civilization has well flourished by the year 2600BC. By that time there was many no of cities out of which 1052 cities were found as of now. And the historians say that the population in the cities like Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro crossed one million each, You can imagine how big they were in that period. The cities were very well planned including drainage facilities. The ancient Indus systems of sewerage and drainage that were developed and used in cities throughout the Indus region were far more advanced than any found in contemporary urban sites in the Middle East and even more efficient than those in many areas of Pakistan and India today.

One of the most debatable topic is the monuments. Harappans didn’t build any great monuments unlike its contemporaries (Egyptians). There is no conclusive evidence for that. The trading was taking place at very good levels with the contemporaries.

People of Indus civilization achieved great accuracy in measuring length, mass and time. They measured weights as low as 0.05 kg, they measured lengths as less as 1.074 mm. They extracted several metals like copper, bronze, lead, tin etc. their engineering skills were remarkable.

They had very sophisticated writing system. Archeologists have found up to 600 different indus symbols from the things they unearthed. Though their script is not able to understand properly, it is quite similar to Dravidian languages. Even some of the symbols in that script were found in Dravidian languages.

The roots of Hinduism lies in indus civilization, the seal found resembles the god Shiva. And there was a clear evidence that those people worshipped mother goddess, name includes Parvati, Sakti. Shiva lingam and Swastick symbols were found from excavated area.

Can mystery be solved…..

The reasons behind the decline of Harappa civilization are clearly unknown. There are many theories, among which ‘Aryans invasion’ was the most popular one. According to that theory, Aryans are the people belong to central Asia, who were able to ride horses, invaded indus people. And historians say that those were Sanskrit speaking people, those are the ones who wrote Vedas, sacred texts of Hinduism. Interestingly Rig-Veda, first of all four, was written in the period ranging from 1700BC-1100BC, after the decline of indus valley civilization. However, there is no evidence from Vedas about the invasion theory. In Sanskrit Aryas means nobles but not the invaders. However, how can they portray themselves as villains in the entire episode, not to say, Vedas were written by Aryans only. Theories of violent ends have been partly proved by the discovery in Mohenjo-Daro of human remains that indicated a violent cause of death. However such evidence was not consistent as most other cities showed an absence of a massacre.

Another popular thesis or speculation is the climatic changes and the change of direction of Indus River. It is said by the historians that major ecological changes had happened around 2000 BC, like tectonic changes caused the creation of a dam in the lower Indus, thus flooding the plains and cities. Evidence to prove this hypothesis has been found. But here the question is, how can that adverse ecological changes can happen in just one century, like changing the course of the river. Also the average rain fall began decreasing, eventually created a desert.

One more thing one needs observe is about River Saraswathi. According to the Rig-Veda and other literature available, there was three major rivers named Saraswathi, along with Ganga (Ganges) and Yamuna. But now we can’t find river Saraswathi, instead, there is a desert (Thar). According to the Mahabharata, the Saraswathi dried up in a desert (at a place named Vinasana or Adarsana)after having disappeared in the desert, reappears in some places and joins the sea "impetuously". Might those climatic changes created a desert, in a well flourished land.

As the Indus civilization was the very recently excavated one (1842), it still needs much more research to find any clues about the fall of that civilization and to give any conclusive statements regarding that. Till then, it’ll be one among the great untold mysteries of the world…

How Extensive Was the Indus Valley Civilization’s Influence?

The Indus Valley Civilization – also sometimes referred to as the “Harappan Civilization” for one of its primary cities – was one of the world’s first civilizations, along with Egypt and Mesopotamia. Beginning about 3200 BC, groups of people in the Indus River Valley of what are today northwest India and southeast Pakistan began to form cities, eventually coalescing into a defined culture and reaching all the hallmarks of civilization.

Although the Indus Valley people developed writing, the script remains undeciphered so details about their civilization remain enigmatic. Modern scholars do not know if the civilization was ever under the rule of one king or ruler as ancient Egypt and as ancient Mesopotamia was at different times, and details about the Indus Valley religion, social structure, and economy also remain a mystery. With that said, archaeologists have discovered that that the Indus people had well-built and organized cities and that they developed intricate trade networks throughout south Asia and into the Near East.

By the period modern scholars know as the Mature Harappan Phase (ca. 2600-1900 BC), the entire Indus Valley was part of complex system. Archaeological evidence shows that the people of the Indus Valley exerted great cultural and economic influence not just around the Indus River, but throughout what are today Pakistan and India. Contemporary texts from Mesopotamia also demonstrate that the Indus Valley/Harappan people also had trade ties with the Near East and may have had some influence on that region.

The Indus Valley/Harappan Civilization

The Indus Valley Civilization began around the modern sites of Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Ganweriwala, and Kalibangan, among other places, beginning around 3200 BC. The first phase of the civilization is known as the “Early Harappan phase” and lasted until about 2600 BC. This era of Indus Valley Civilization is known as an “era of regionalization,” were the various important sites in the Valley developed somewhat independently, but a clear Harappan cultural identity was emerging as evidenced by unique pottery. Because of this, some scholars view the Early Harappan phase as a transition from the Neolithic Period to the Mature Harappan phase. [1]

The “Mature Harappan phase” of the Indus Valley Civilization took place from about 2600 BC until around 1900 BC. Although there was continuity of Indus Valley cultural traditions from the Early to the Mature Harappan phases, many of the unique hallmarks of the civilization were established after 2600 BC. All of the larger cities and many of the smaller villages featured street layouts according to the cardinal directions, which suggests that the cities were built with some type of advanced astronomical knowledge. [2] Advanced drainage systems and elaborate baths were also a common feature in the larger cities and the three largest cities – Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, and Ganwierwala – are believed to have had 30,000 to 50,000 people, possibly being capitals of regional kingdoms. [3]

There is no question that it took an incredible amount of technical and political sophistication to build the cities of the Indus Valley, but unfortunately, the inability to read the Indus texts has left scholars guessing as to the type of government that existed. Since there are no known kings or dynasties that ruled in the ancient Indus Valley, some archaeologists believe it was a “stateless” civilization. [4] The Indus Valley Civilization may have lacked a central government and existed more like a collection of city-states as with the Maya in Meso-America or during some periods in Mesopotamia, but the collection of cities wielded an immense amount of influence culturally in south Asia and economically in the Near East.

The Indus Valley’s Cultural Influence

Although the Indus Valley mysteriously collapsed in the early second millennium BC, many scholars believe that some of its cultural traditions were continued by the later peoples and kingdoms of India. Ritual bathing was an important aspect of Indus Valley culture that may have been one of the many features of Harappan religion that were incorporated into the later Vedic and Hindu religions of India. [5] The many seal impressions excavated from Indus Valley sites also indicate religious influences that later Indians possibly adopted. One of those seals, known today as the “Shiva seal,” depicts a human figure wearing an elaborate headdress seated in a yogic position.

Although not all scholars are convinced that the figure represents Shiva or that it is even religious in nature, those who believe it is and that it represents a Harappan religious influence on later Indian religion point to other examples in the Indus Valley that may indicate origins for some Vedic traditions. Structures discovered at the site of Kalibangan have been interpreted by some as being fire altars, which would predate those used by the Aryans at a much later period. [6] Unfortunately, in the absence of a written text, it is impossible to confirm how much, if any, religious influence the Harappans had on later Indian religions.

The Harappans were the first people to develop writing on the Indian subcontinent. Archaeologists have discovered more than 4200 inscribed objects in the Indus Valley, most from Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. The Indus writing system employed 419 signs, but unfortunately, even after several valiant attempts to link the writing and language to known languages scholars are still left wondering as to its origins. [7] Some scholars have attempted to link the later Sanskrit language or Dravidian languages to the undeciphered Indus script, [8] which if proven would confirm that that Indus people had an even greater influence on later Indian culture than previously believed. Still, even if the Indus language and script is discovered to not be related to any of the later Indian languages – Indo-European or Dravidian – it was the first written language on the subcontinent and may have influenced the concept of later writing in India.

The Indus Valley and International Connections

Geographically speaking, the Indus Valley Civilization’s greatest influence can be seen in far away Mesopotamia. The Mature Harappan phase of the Indus Valley Civilization coincided with the Akkadian and Amorite dynasties in Mesopotamia and the Middle Kingdom in Egypt. [9] Several cuneiform inscriptions in the Akkadian language describe how King Sargon of Akkad (ruled ca. 2296-2240 BC) received ships from the land of Meluhha, which modern scholarly consensus places in the Indus Valley. The interaction between the two civilizations became so common that Akkadian texts document Indus interpreters in Mesopotamia. [10] A cuneiform text from the city of Lagash from the same period demonstrates that the Indus Valley people were also involved in trade with that Mesopotamian city.

“When he (Gudea) was building the temple of Ningirsu, Ningirsu, his beloved king, opened up for him (all) the (trade) routs from the Upper to the Lower Sea. . . He imported (lit.: brought out) esi wood from the mountains of Meluhha and built . . . He imported nir stone and made it into a mace with three lion-heads from the Hahhum mountains, he imported gold in dust-form and mounted with it the mace with the three lion-heads. From the mountains of Meluhha, he imported gold in dust-form and made (out of it) a container (for the mace).” [11]

Other texts from Mesopotamia also mention how red stone from the Indus Valley was sent to Mesopotamia, proving that the two civilizations had deep economic ties. Archaeological evidence from the Indus Valley, though, indicates that the connections between the regions may have been even earlier and stronger than previously thought. Excavations of the cemeteries at Harappa and examinations of the human remains indicates that the Harappan people may have been involved in an economic and cultural sphere that was centered in the Iranian Plateau. [12] The human remains from the Harappa cemeteries were compared with other samples from Bronze Age Near Eastern peoples and showed that the Harappans had some biological affinities to Mesopotamian peoples. This discovery seemed to confirm for some scholars the unproven theory that the Sumerians were originally from India, while other scholars believe it may show a link between the Elamites and the Dravidians, although it is not known if the Harappans actually were a Dravidian speaking people. [13]

Excavations at Harappa have also uncovered standardized weights, etched carnelian beads, and different pottery that suggest a connection between the Indus Valley and the people of the Bronze Age Persian Gulf. [14] When all of the archaeological evidence from the Indus Valley is considered along with the archaeological and textual evidence from Mesopotamia, then it is clear that the Harappans exerted an influence that went well beyond the marches of their civilization.


The Indus Valley Civilization has the distinction of being one of the world’s true primary civilizations, but it is also perhaps the most enigmatic. Unlike ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley was unknown until the nineteenth century and even now it remains somewhat elusive due to its so far undeciphered script. Despite the obstacles of uncovering the Indus Valley Civilization, archaeologists have been able to make great headway over the last several decades and have revealed a civilization that was very influential not only in south Asia but throughout the Bronze Age Near East. Harappan merchants and traders established trade links with Mesopotamia and in the process, there also appears to have been significant genetic and cultural interaction as well. All of these factors ensured that the Harappan people’s influence would continue long after their cities were gone.

El Mirador, Guatemala

El Mirador is the largest pyramidal structure in the world by volume and the largest of five Pre-Classical Mayan cities identified to date. It is located inside the Mirador-Rio Azul National Park and it was completed in 300 BCE. Archeologists and historians who have studied the site reckon that the architectural design and culture proves that the Mayan civilization dates back 1,000 years earlier than thought. The entire site spans 500,000 acres and consists of a 10 square mile civic center and 35 triadic pyramids. Out of these pyramids, the largest &mdash La Danta &mdash is 230 feet tall and it has a volume of 2,800,000 cubic meters. The site also has remains of an elaborate transport network that is billed to have been the world&rsquos first highway system. It is estimated that 15 million man-days went into building La Danta alone.

Ancient civilizations were more sophisticated societies than what has been portrayed in some mainstream Hollywood films. In fact, some past civilizations left behind structural marvels that have stumped modern mechanical and civil engineering experts up-to present day.

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Amazing Facts from Historic Journey of Toilets from Indus Valley Civilization to Modern India

Today is the World Toilet Day. The world celebrates the day to get rid of insanitation, deliver lessons of personal hygiene and save environment from open defecation. Evolution of toilet as a basic need of existence is a most important chapter in the history of human civilization. This basic sanitary system is a link between life and health, society and environment. In India, the journey of toilets began from the Indus Valley Civilization and has been continuing till date.

The history of toilets in India is as old as the Indus Valley Civilization, which had grown in and around Harappa and Mahenjodaro. The archaeological remains of the Indus Valley Civilization bear evidence to the use of water-borne toilets by the Harappan people living at Lothal, which is only 62 km from Ahmedabad. Each house in Harappa had a private toilet with link to the covered drains outside. The architects of the Indus Valley were in the know of sanitary engineering science, which got buried in the grave of the Indus Valley Civilization, thereby leading to the practice of open defecation.

According to some historians, the invention of sitting-type toilet dated back to the Minoan Civilization in Greece, which is older than the Indus Valley Civilization. The Minoans of Crete are credited for the first flushing human waste management system. Rome has its own history of public and private toilets in the bygone times. In ancient Rome, the public toilets had side-by-side seats without any partition. Each seat had a hole, and water kept flowing to flush away excreta. Archaeologists have confirmed the existence of the same toilet system in the Egyptian Civilization, too.

Legend says that the slaves in Rome used to hold urine pots made of silver whenever the members of the royal / aristocratic families felt like urinating while playing cards at dinner parties. Evidences of the use of stools with keyhole for urination and defecation have been unearthed in Thailand and Sri Lanka. The ruins of the Housesteads Roman Fort in Britain have the remains of public loos consisting of seats with holes and without partition. The men used to gossip about everyday matters while using the loos and had sticks padded with sponge to clean the behind.

England witnessed a major development of toilet system in the late 1500s. The invention of the first modern indoor flushing system is credited to John Harrington, who devised the toilet flushing mechanism and installed it for Queen Elizabeth 1. In the 1800s and 1900s, flushing toilets were no longer confined in the royal households. It was gradually reaching out to the common man.

Some stories in the scriptures of India refer to the close relation between men’s frequency of using toilets for defecation and their saintliness / manliness. In those days, wrestlers were believed to be weak if they defecated frequently due to their poor digestive system. Similarly, saints were not expected to defecate much because they were supposed to eat as much as needed. Infrequent defecation was considered a saintly habit in some communities of ancient India, while it was a sign of manliness in some other communities. It is said that the menfolk of the Chaga tribe blocked their anus when they attained manhood, in order to exercise their superiority over the fair sex. The ancient Greeks used to believe in the practice of swallowing something and not taking it out.

It was a dark period of human hygiene in the history of civilization from 500 AD to 1500 AD. Protrusions were used for defecation in aristocratic households and forts across India. The excreta were dumped on to the ground and into rivers. The fort of Jaisalmer bears testimony to this offbeat reference to the Indian history of toilets and defecation. In the medieval period, toilets were simple pits with wooden seats on ground. Besides, the primitive practice of covering human waste with earth was prevalent in some parts of the Mughal Empire. In the medieval castles of Europe, toilets were vertical chutes with stone seats on the top. These were called “garderobe,” which became wardrobe in the course of time. In Europe, the well-to-do people would wipe their behinds with rags.

The history of toilets for public use is full of twists in several countries. Poor maintenance of public toilets has always been a concern about the wellbeing of people. The Mughal Emperor Jehangir had commissioned the construction of a public loo to be used by as many as 100 families, 125 km away from Delhi, in 1556. But poor maintenance drove the people to defecate in the open. In 1872, the French municipalities mandated private organizations to fund maintenance of public toilets for 20 years.

Several countries implemented measures to improve sanitary conditions. Provision of toilets and construction of cesspools were made compulsory in 1519. The British issued the first sanitation law in 1848 in England. The first sanitation law came to effect in India in 1878. The municipalities were mandated to construct toilets in the slums of Calcutta (now Kolkata), the capital of British India. Toilets got curtains in 1880. The trend came to be known as Belleepoque in France and Edwardian in England. With the onset of 1900, bathroom with loo became an institution all over Europe. It was called Gushalkhana by the Mughal kings in their times.

The history of toilets has come a long way with evolution of human living and hygiene. Though the developed countries of the world have put an end to open defecation, the developing countries including India, Indonesia, China and Korea are still grappling with the challenges of controlling open defecation. In 2001, the World Toilet Organization was formed to encourage construction of toilets for the sake of public well-being in the developing nations. The journey of toilets will continue in India until every household has access to basic sanitary facilities.

The capital of India got a museum of toilets in 1992. It exhibits different toilet models from 50 countries across the world in three sections – Ancient, Medieval and Modern – spanning from 3000 BC till the 20 th century end. The Sulabh International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi is one of the most offbeat places to visit in India. – Indian Eagle

This story about the history of toilets in India is brought to you as part of the campaign, “Explore India with Indian Eagle”, aiming to promote what is lesser-known about India through our overseas Indian community portal, Travel Beats. Travel Beats is a subsidiary of Indian Eagle Travel, a leading international air travel booking partner of Indians abroad.

2 thoughts on &ldquo Amazing Facts from Historic Journey of Toilets from Indus Valley Civilization to Modern India &rdquo

Minoan civilization is not older than Indus Valley Civilization.

Please mention INDUS TOILET as WORLD first PERSONAL TOILET SYSTEM with a drainage & multiple personal toilets ending in a common space for final exit. ( not public or common village toilet or public toilet with no draiage ) . Otherwise a JUNGLE TOILET IN STONE AGE become WORLD FIRST TOILET.