The Lost Indus Valley Scrolls Background Information Harappa The

The Lost Indus Valley Scrolls
Background Information
The Indus Valley civilization is often referred to as the Harappan civilization because Harappa
was the name given to the first city discovered in the 1920’s. It was probably established
around 2500 BCE and lasted for nearly 1000 years, before disappearing suddenly in about
1700 BCE. Many explanations have been given for the fall of the Indus Valley civilization.
Review these reasons on pages 98 – 99.
Written Language
There is little information available from written sources. Although Indus Valley people had a
written language, few samples have been found. Experts, therefore, have not been able to
decipher the writings. See page 98 for samples of writing.
A seal is a small stone or pottery device that has a design carved into it. Indus Valley people
often wore a seal on a leather cord around the neck. When a “signature” was necessary, the
seal was pushed into soft clay. The imprint of the design was a permanent record of a person’s
signature. The seals of the Indus people had designs of animals, plants, and birds carved into
them. See page 98 of your textbook for examples.
Your Task
You are a resident of Harappa in 1700 BCE, just before its disappearance. You know that
your city is in trouble and you are taking the time to record what is happening to your city
in a detailed letter.
Examine all of the explanations for the decline (p. 98-99), choose one that you agree
with, and research enough information to write a detailed explanation OR
Come up with your own theory on the disappearance of the Indus Valley civilization.
Write a letter in your own words (minimum 250 words) explaining your theory.
Remember this is a very emotional time for you. There should be lots of detailed
information and emotion in your letter. The letter is intended for someone in the
future to find and learn about your civilization.
Create your scroll so it looks ancient (the paper, writing utensil used, etc.)
Create your language based on the types of symbols found on page 98.
Design your own seal and use it as your signature in your letter.
You will need to hand in three items:
Your ancient scroll written in the language you created with your seal as your
A translated letter typed in English
A legend with the corresponding English letter and Harappan character
 Did I choose a theory and research it? OR
 Did I come up with my own theory?
 Is the theory in my own words?
 Does my scroll contain the following?:
o A salutation (Dear John)
o An introduction of who I am (mother, brother, etc./what caste do I belong to
-p. 100)
o A body paragraph explaining your theory for the decline of your city
o A conclusion – your choice. It may be a prayer to your god (include the idea
of karma and reincarnation); it may be your legacy (what you/your
civilization should be remembered by – see p. 101); it may be advice to a
future civilization so they don’t make the same mistakes
 Does the writing I created resemble the examples found on page 98?
 Does my scroll and what I used to write with look ancient?
 Did I hand in these 3 separate items on due date?:
o My ancient scroll written in my created language with my seal
o A translation of the letter typed in English
o A legend of English letters and my corresponding Harappan characters
 Did I practice my presentation several times before I present to the class?
Due Dates
Due date for scroll, letter and legend:
Due date for presentation: