Indus River Valley Civilization

Indus River Valley
City life and Civilization:
Harappa & Mohenjo-Daro
3,300-1,700 BCE
Ancient River Valley Civilizations
Comparative Timeline
Indus River Valley
• Harappan culture existed along the
Indus River in what is now Pakistan.
• The cities of Harappa & Mohenjo-Daro
were important centers of the Indus
valley civilization.
• The cities were part of larger
socioeconomic networks and interacted
with other peoples and cultures.
Across Civilizations:
Trading Networks & Routes
Why would living near the
Indus River make these
settlements possible?
Think Egypt…
Think Mesopotamia…
Regional Trade
Imports and Exports
• Imports: gemstones, gold, silver, textiles
• Exports:
– Agriculture: peas, sesame seeds, dates, & grains
– Raw Materials: wood, cotton, livestock, copper,
ivory, & shells
– Finished goods: beads, ornaments, tools, &
• Methods: river boats, animal-pulled carts
Terraced Fields for Agriculture
Jewelry for Export
More Jewelry!
Pottery for Export
Harappan Socioeconoimc Integration
• By 2500 BCE, small communities became
cities (integration).
• In total, over 1,052 cities and settlements
have been found.
• Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were the
largest cities.
Indus Valley Integration
Characteristics of
• Cities (dense populations)
• Centralized Government (Leaders and laws)
• Job specialization
• Social Classes
• Organized religion
• Art/architecture (how did they use art?)
• Writing System
• Public Works (streets, defense & irrigation
Based on what you have
learned so far…..
Was the ancient Indus River
Valley a true “Civilization”?
Discuss & Explain!
Problems with Evaluating the IRV:
• We do NOT have important information:
–Their language remains undeciphered
• No tax records or literature
• No record of religious beliefs and rituals
–No names of kings, grand palaces,
large temples, or ornate tombs
–No warrior class or monuments to
military conquests
• Little evidence of divided social classes
Indus Writing
• The origins of Indus writing can now be traced to c.
3,300-2,800 BCE at Harappa.
• Some inscriptions were made on the bottom of
• This inscription appears to be three plant symbols.
Ancient Indus: Why no Translation?
The IRV had major cities
sophisticated infrastructure
Mohenjo-Daro & Harappa
• The cities had:
secure walls,
good plumbing,
indoor plumbing, sewers, and drainage systems
public squares and gathering places.
• Mohenjo-Daro & Harappa had more than
35,000 residents.
• The cities serviced more than 1,000 other
towns and villages in the region.
Note the high walls and use of mud bricks.
The Great Bath
did it
12 meters high, 7 meters wide, 2.4 meters deep
The Great Bath
• The "great bath" is the earliest public water
• Two staircases lead down into the tank from
the north and south.
• At the foot of the stairs is a small ledge with a
brick edging that extends the entire width of
the pool.
• Archaeologists believe it was for ritualistic
Streets & Alleyways
• At MohenjoDaro streets
and alleyways
led to private
An Artist’s Conception of Harappa
• Private wells were
rebuilt over many
generations for
large households
and neighborhoods.
• This well stands like
a chimney because
the surrounding
earth has been
removed by
Bathing Areas
• Public bathing areas may also have been used
for washing clothes as is common in many
traditional cities in Pakistan and India today.
Granary: What was it for?
• This "granary" in Harappa is a brick structure that
was built on a massive foundation over 45 meters
north-south and 45 meters east-west.
Harappan Workshops
• Large quantities of manufacturing debris have been
found in this area indicating the presence of workshops
for making beads, ornaments, pottery, & tools.
Harappa’s Layout
Choose a prompt & write!
1. The Indus River Valley amounts to a true
civilization because….
2. The Indus River Valley does NOT
amount to a true civilization because…
Prepare a well developed paragraph
with a completed topic sentence AND