Several years ago archaelogists discovered the remains of the two ancient cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro on the banks of the river Indus. The cities were in ruins. But it was easy to see that 4,500 years ago they had been the centres of a flourishing civilization. Who were the people of the Indus Valley? Where did they come from? no one knows. Yet we do know they were master-builders. The cities they built were well-planned with wide parallel roads running through them. The roads were lined with flat-roofed houses made of burned red bricks. The houses were large with many rooms surrounding a court-yard. Each house had a well to supply the people with plenty of water and each had its own bathroom and excellent system of drainage. The largest building in Mohenjo-Daro was a great bath house. It had a swimming pool, dressing room and even a sauna.
       All this seems incredible when we realize that in most parts of the world, at that time, people were still living in caves. The people of the Indus Valley were Very advanced. They discovered the use of the wheel and used it on ox-drawn carts. The wheel was also used by potters to make shapely pots. The surrounding area was rich in mineral ore. These early people learned to smelt the ores into metals to be used for making tools and weapons. The tools were used to farm the land where wheat, millet and fruits were cultivated. After the harvest, the farmers weighed their produce with scales and weights. Some produce they kept for themselves and the rest was stored in a large granary in the centre of the town to be used in times of flood or famine.
       The people of the Indus valley kept a careful record of things. Several clay seals have been found with writing on them. The Russians claim to have deciphered the script. The people of the Indus valley were also the first to discover that the fibres of the cotton plant could be woven into cloth. The cloth was fashioned into colourful clothes. It was so admired that it was even exported to foreign lands.
      For though the Indus valley was one of the earliest civilizations, it was not the only one. Further to the west there flourished the civilization of Sumer. And it was to Sumer that ships from the indus valley carried the cotton.
      To relax, the people liked to play dice games or hunt in the forest around and for the children they made little toys out of wood and clay. For many centuries the civilization flourished. Then it slowly began to decline. every year the river Indus would flood its banks causing great damage. Around the year 1500 B.C. the land was stormed by invaders from the North-West and they destroyed what was left of the declining civilization.

Indus Valley Excavation


Post a Comment