The Indus Valley Civilization (Pre-Harappan period: 3300–2500 BC, Mature period: 2600–1900 BC; Late Harappan period: 1900–1300 BC) is one of the world’s major civilizations of ancient civilizations.
It was one of the three earliest chronicles, mainly in the northwestern regions of South Asia, until today’s northeast Afghanistan, and of these three, the most widespread and most popular. According to research published in the respected journal Nature, this civilization is at least 8,000 years old.  It is also known as the Harappan civilization.
Period of Indus Valley Civilization
There are serious differences among scholars regarding the determination of the period of the Indus Valley Civilization. Scholars have divided the Indus Valley Civilization into three phases, these are-
- Early Harappan Culture or Pre-Harappan Culture: 3200 BC to 2600 BC
- Harappan Civilization or Mature Harappan Civilization: 2600 BC to 1900 BC
- Later Harappan Culture or Later Harappan Culture: 1900 BCE to 1300 BCE
Territorial expansion of the Indus Valley Civilization
- The Harappan civilization was spread in a triangular form in an area of about 1.3 million square kilometers on the land of India.
- It extended up to ‘Manda’ (Jammu and Kashmir) in the north, ‘Daimabad’ (Maharashtra) in the south, ‘Alamgirpur’ (Uttar Pradesh) in the east, and ‘Sutkagendor’ (Pakistan) in the west.
- This civilization was also widespread in the regions of Saurashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh etc.
Major sites related to the Indus Valley Civilization
- The site is located in the Montgomery district of the present-day Punjab province of Pakistan. The first excavation work was done here. It is situated on the banks of river Ravi.
- For the first time in 1826 AD, an English tourist, Charles Mason, gave information about the Harappan mound. After this, the duly excavation of the Harappan site was started in 1921 AD under the leadership of Shri Dayaram Sahni.
- A cemetery has been found at this site in the southern part of the populated area, which scholars have named ‘Cemetery H’.
- We have also found evidence of a huge granary from Harappa. It is the second-largest structure found in the excavations of the Indus Valley Civilization. In this granary, a total of 12 huge chambers have been found built in 2 rows of 6-6.
- We have got a brass ace cart from Harappa. A terracotta statue of a plant emerging from the womb of a woman has also been found at this site.
- In the entire Harappan civilization, we have got the most inscription seals from here.
- Mohenjodaro literally means ‘mound of the dead’ in the Sindhi language. It is located in the Larkana district of Sindh in present-day Pakistan. This site is situated on the banks of the river Indus. The excavation work at this site was done in 1922 AD under the leadership of Shri Rakhal Das Banerjee.
- From this site, we have got evidence of a huge bath. There was a network of roads here. Here the roads were made in a grid format. The biggest building found here is the huge granary.
- Most of the seals have been obtained from Mohenjodaro. It is noteworthy that most inscription seals have been found from the Harappan site.
- Other prominent relics found here include the bronze dancer statue, the idol of Pashupati Nath inscribed on the currency, the cotton cloth, the ornately bearded priest, etc.
- Chanhudaro is located on the banks of the Indus River in present-day Pakistan. The excavation work here was done in 1935 AD under the leadership of Ernest Mackay.
- There was a lack of urbanization here. Various types of beads, tools, seals, etc. have been recovered from this site. On this basis, scholars estimate that the work of making beads was done in Chanhudaro. That is why this site is also considered as the industrial center of the Indus Valley Civilization.
- Chanhudaro is the only site of the Indus Valley Civilization, from where we get evidence of curved bricks.
- The Kalinga site is located in the Hanumangarh district of present-day Rajasthan. It was situated on the banks of the ancient ‘Saraswati River. The site was discovered by Amalananda Ghosh in 1953 AD.
- From a site called Kalibanga, we have got evidence of plowing fields, sowing of two crops simultaneously, and a fire pit. There is no evidence of a drainage system from here.
- Evidence of cylindrical seals and ornate bricks have been found here.
- Lothal is currently situated on the banks of the Bhogwa River in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. This place is located very close to the Gulf of Khambhat.
- This site was discovered in 1957 AD by Shri S. R. Rao was done. This site was a major port site of the Indus Valley Civilization.
- A huge dockyard has been found at Lothal, a port site of the Indus Valley Civilization.
- Evidence of both paddy and bajra is found in Lothal. We also get the evidence of three couple tombs from this port site.
- Dholavira is located in Bhachau tehsil of the present-day Kutch district of Gujarat. This Indus Valley Civilization site is situated near the Manhar and Mansar rivers.
- Unlike other Indus Valley Civilization sites at Dholavira, the city is divided into three parts. Other cities during the Indus Valley Civilization were divided into two parts.
- We have found evidence of a dam or an artificial reservoir at Dholavira. This proves that there was an excellent system of water management in this city.
- Apart from these, other sites include Rakhigarhi, Sanghol, Ropar, Kotdiji, etc.
Town Planning in the Indus Valley Civilization
- The roads intersected at right angles and thus the town planning was based on a grid pattern i.e. mesh system.
- The drainage system also holds its own special importance in the Indus Valley Civilization. During this time a network of drains was laid in the city.
- Paved bricks were used for the construction of the building. In the Indus Valley Civilization, every house had a kitchen and a bathroom.
- The city was divided into two parts. One was the ‘Western Mound’, which was called ‘Durg’, while the other part was the ‘Eastern Mound’, which was called the ‘Lower Nagar’.
- Valley Civilization was peace-loving people. Evidence of a sword, shield, armor, armor, etc. has not been found from here.
Social status of the people of the Indus Civilization
- This society must have been matriarchal. According to historians, the society was divided into four classes- scholars, warriors, workers, and merchants.
- These people used both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. They used both woolen and cotton fabrics. Both men and women wore jewelry.
- The people of the Indus Valley Civilization were peace-loving people. Evidence of sword, shield, armor, armor, etc. has not been found from here.
The economic condition of the people of the Indus civilization
- These people used various agricultural commodities like barley, rice, wheat, peas, mustard, rye, sesame, watermelon, dates, etc.
- From the sites of the Indus Valley Civilization, we have got evidence of plowing fields, evidence of two crops being sown together, etc.
- The Harappan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization. To make bronze, copper and tin were mixed in a ratio of 9:1 respectively. The people of the Harappan civilization were not familiar with the use of iron and probably did not even know about the sword.
- During this time both internal and external trade was in a prosperous state. It is known from the writings of the Sumerian civilization that the merchants of the Indus civilization abroad were known as Meluha.
- We get the seals of Persia from the Indus Valley Civilization site called Lothal and the seals are obtained by rolling them from Kalibanga. All this evidence point to the international trade of the Indus Valley Civilization.
The decline of the Indus Valley Civilization
- There are many opinions of different scholars regarding how the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization happened. But none of them can be accepted unanimously as all these votes are given on the basis of conjecture only.
- Scholars like Garden Child, Mortimer Wheeler, Piggatt had considered the Aryan invasion to be the reason for the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization, but on the basis of various research, this opinion has now been refuted and it has been proved that Aryan outsiders They were not, but they were the original inhabitants of India. Therefore, the theory of the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization due to the invasion of Aryans cannot be considered valid.
- In addition, various scholars consider climate change, floods, droughts, natural calamities, ecological imbalances, administrative dysfunctions, etc. as factors responsible for the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Evidence suggests that the Indus Valley Civilization was a highly developed civilization, but so far no straight answer can be given as to how it may have collapsed. Moreover, the pictorial script of the Indus Valley Civilization is yet to be read. As such, until the script of the Indus Valley Civilization is read, it is too early to give a clear answer to its unresolved questions.