Indus River Valley Civilization

Indus River Valley
The Geography of South Asia
 India is often referred to as a
subcontinent because the mountain
ranges- Hindu, Kush, Himalayaseparate it from the rest of the
 Flat, fertile plain formed by the Indus
and Ganges rivers = Indus-Ganges
 In center of peninsula is a high plateau
called the Deccan plateau, where
rivers flow
 Monsoons- seasonal winds- dominate
India’s climate
Environmental Challenges
 Indus river flows southwest from
the Himalayas to the Arabian
 Yearly flooding left silt but also
unpredictable flooding
 Had to deal with wet and dry
seasons of the Monsoon
 Natural boundaries with tallest
mountains- Himalayas- and
desert to west
 Traded with Mesopotamia using
links of the Arabian Sea
Civilization Emerges on the Indus
 Less known about this civilization
because no one has deciphered the
system of writing, so everything is
based on archaeological evidence
Earliest Arrivals
 Historians unsure of how settlement
began in India
 Evidence of agriculture and
domesticated sheep dating back to
7000 BCE
 3200 BCE people farming in villages
along the Indus
Planned Cities
 Kalibangan, Mohenjo-Daro, and Harrappa
were the largest settlements along the Indus
 Evidence of sophisticated city planning
 Precise grid system
 Fortified area called a citadel
 Separate residential districts
 Buildings constructed of oven-baked
bricks in standard sizes
 Plumbing and sewage systems
 All this suggest strong central
Culture and Trade along the Indus
 Social divisions not great because of
uniformity in housing
 Wooden toys suggest prosperous society
that produced non-essential goods
 Few weapons found, suggesting limited
 Religious artifacts show links to Hindu
culture, figures of fertility goddess,
mother goddess
 Stamps and seals suggest long-distance
 Trading began as early as the reign of
Sargon of Akkad around 2350 BCE
Mysterious End to Indus Valley Culture
 Around 1750 BCE quality of building
 No one knows what happened but it
could have been that the river
changed course or the land was
 Around 1500 BCE could have been a
natural disaster or invaders, since
unburied bodies were found and we
know that the Aryans invaded India
at this time