Indus Valley Civilization

Lesson 3
The Indus Valley Civilization
Page 32 in your textbook
What do these four sites have in common?
Cultural “Hearths”
Indus Valley Civilization
(2600 BCE – 1900 BCE)
The Indus Valley civilization flourished
around 2,500 BC in the western part of South
Asia, in what today is Pakistan and western
It is often referred to as Harappan Civilization,
after its first discovered city, Harappa.
Over the next two classes, we will discuss
different aspects of the Indus Valley
The Harappan civilization is among the least
well known ancient civilizations.
Thrived at the same time as Egypt and
Mesopotamian civilizations.
Not discovered until the late 19th century
during colonization of India by Great Britain.
Comparing Harappa and
1. Writing not deciphered yet
2. No monuments dedicated to gods/royalty
3. Modest burials
4. Little to no evidence of violence and war
5. Technologically advanced
Plumbing, engineering, complex city planning,
system of weights and measures, metal
Guiding Questions for Today
How did geography affect the development
civilization in the Indus Valley?
In what ways do civilizations influence each
Geography of India
•The Indian
subcontinent is shaped
like a triangle hanging
from the southern
ridge of Asia.
•Composed of a
number of core regions
•Mountain ranges
•River valleys
•A dry interior plateau
•Fertile costal plains
The Himalaya
Mountains form
the border of the
India subcontinent.
They are the
highest mountains
in the world.
Immediately south of the Himalaya is the Ganges
river valley, a chief region of Indian culture.
The dry Deccan Plateau stretches from the
Ganges valley to the southern tip of India
Monsoons are seasonal
wind patterns that cause
heavy rainfall in the
summer and winter.
The rainfall causes the
Indus and Ganges rivers
to swell and flood.
Indian farmers depend
on the monsoon rains to
grow crops.
Lush plains are found on
India’s eastern and western
To the west is the Indus River
valley, a plateau that forms the
backbone of the modern state
of Pakistan.
In ancient times, the Indus
valley enjoyed a moderate
climate, and served as the
cradle of Indian civilization.
Have homework open on desk for checking
In your notebooks, write 5 FACTS you recall
from yesterday’s class about Indian geography
and the Harappan civilization.
Roots of Indus Valley Civilization
Roots of Indus Valley Civilization
Earliest civilizations in
Indus Valley was
discovered in 1856 by a
railroad crew.
Both cities shared urban
design and architectural
3 miles in circumference with
populations of 40,000
Trade Contact between Indus Valley and Mesopotamia/Egypt
Page: 92
Roots of Indus Valley Civilization
Roots of Indus Valley began
as early as 7000 B.C.E.
Possibly began as herders who
moved into the river valley
during colder months.
Over time, they may have
decided to farm river-watered
lands of the valley.
They began trading by boat
along the Indus down into the
Arabian Sea, into the Persian
Gulf, and up the Tigris and
Euphrates into Mesopotamia.
Where is the Indus valley ?
The Indus Valley is on the border
between India, Pakistan and
Afghanistan. The main city may
have been Mohenjo-Daro but it
could have been Harappa.
Carefully Planned Cities
Originating around 2500 B.C.E. the thriving civilizations survived
for around 500 years.
These cities existed around the same time as the ancient
civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Crete.
Both Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, two of the largest among 500
sites, were three miles in circumference with around 40,000
Mohenjo-Daro Archaeological
To the north is a citadel or raised area.
In Mohenjo-Daro, the citadel is built on a platform about 45 feet
above the plain.
On the summit was a huge communal bath.
Next to the large bath was a huge open space—a granary where
food was stored from possible floods.
Fortified walls mark the southeast corner.
Indus Valley Archaeology
Ancient Harappan city Lothal
Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa
•The lower city was laid out in a grid
with the main streets about 45 feet
•Private houses, almost every one with
its own well, bathing space, and toilet
consisting of a brick seat over a
drainage area.
•Brick-lined drains flushed by water
carried liquid and solid waste, probably
to fertilize nearby fields.
Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa
•The regularity of plan and construction
suggests a government with organization.
•No monumental architecture clearly marks
the presence of a palace or temple.
•There is little sign of social classes in the
plan or buildings.
Indus Valley Burial Sites
•Heads pointing to the north
•Some grave goods, such as pots of
food and water, small amounts of
jewelry, simple mirrors, and some
•Not extravagant like royal burials of
Egypt or Mesopotamia.
Pots from The Indus valley
Many pots, pans and cooking vessels have been
found in the ancient civilization of the Indus
valley. Each of them have had their own
decorative, unique design, with some of them
just plain. The pictures to the right are also
evidence that they used, and had a strong
connection with animals.
The pots have shown that they were skilled
and put a lot of time into making them. Most of
the pots were made of terracotta but some of
the ones used for cooking were made of bronze.
They used fire to harden the terracotta pots.
Decorated pots can also be a sign of wealth
because they would cost a lot to trade. The
pots were mostly used for storing foods and
drink. Some of them were more ornamental
rather than practical .
Indus valley toys
These toy figures are made out of clay . They were for children to
play with. These are ceramic sculptures of a small cart with vases
and tools pulled by oxen, from Mohenjo-daro.
These carts show they had a strong connection with animals because many
of the toys feature animals pulling the carts.Some of these animals
are:oxen,cows and horses.
These are terracotta toy
carts from the Harappan
I used to enjoy playing
with these.
Physical and written evidence of dice and
dominoes have been uncovered by
archaeologists studying the Ancient Indus.
Also they were studying ancient China,
Meso-America, Egypt, Greece and Rome.
A board, uncovered in the area of
Mohenjo-Daro, was said to be the oldest
chess board discovered in the world.
Gaming pieces
•The oldest gaming pieces in the world, somewhere in the range of
5,000 years old where found in the Indus Valley, in the range of
3000 – 2500 BC.
Models and Figurines
Many archaeologists think
that Harappan people used
figurines when they prayed.
Maybe the Harrapan people
worshiped a female goddess.
If they did, do you think it
would affect the women in the
Indus Valley civilization?
Seals of the Indus Valley
•Seals are one of the most commonly found objects in Harappan cities. They are
decorated with animal motifs such as elephants, water buffalo, tigers, and most
commonly unicorns. Some of these seals are inscribed with figures that resemble
later Hindu religious figures, some of which are seen today.
•There were two seals found in 1924 in two different ancient cities six hundred km
apart which proved the two cities were linked. The seals were used for part of
trade and some seals have their family names carved on.
This is a unicorn seal
found in Morhenjo
daro in 1931 and
proved they believed
in mythical creatures.
This seal was
found seventeen
feet and four
inches below the
The goods that were
traded are pots, jewellery
and other valuables
explained in other slides.
There were more than 2,000
seals discovered by
archaeologists in different
ancient Indus cities. We think
that the symbols on the seals
may have been a way of writing
and the animals showed that
maybe the people kept animals.
This seal of a bull is about
the size of a large post
Terracotta Seal
This is a terracotta seal from Mohenjo-daro depicting a
collection of animals and some script symbols.
This sealing may have been used in specific rituals as a
narrative token that tells the story of an important myth.
Indus valley’s jewellery
People of the Indus Valley
really loved they're
jewellery ,one of the Indus
valley civilization best
features is its jewellery. We
have evidence of the amount
of jewellery found in the
Indus valley.
The Indus valley is
rich in many metals
and worthy stones
such as Carnelian,
gold, copper,
turquoise and other
precious stones
We think this ring is made out
of carnelian and a precious
Each bead in the Indus
valley is approximately 2-3
centimetres long.
Fate of the Harappan
During the 2 millennium BCE as Harappan society
declined, bands of foreigners filtered into the Indian
subcontinent and settled throughout the Indus valley and
These migrations took several centuries (1500 BCE).
Most prominent were nomadic and pastoral peoples
speaking Indo European languages who called themselves
Aryans or “noble people”.
They established small herding and agricultural
communities throughout northern India.
Literary records
Interchange between the resident Harappans and the invading Aryans produced new,
hybrid culture that we know from the Aryan records. Ironically, these records are almost
entirely literary and artistic.
Reversing the Harappan pattern, the early Aryans have left a treasure of literature, but
virtually no architectural or design artifacts. Over time, their language became what we
know today as Sanskrit, the ancestor of the 22 official languages of India.
Others: Bengali · Bodo · Chhattisgarhi · Dogri · Garhwali · Garo · Gujarati · Hindi ·
Kannada · Kashmiri · Khasi · Kodava Takk · Kokborok · Konkani · Kumaoni · Maithili ·
Malayalam · Manipuri · Marathi · Mizo · Nepali · Oriya · Punjabi · Rajasthani ·
Sanskrit · Santali · Sindhi · Tamil · Telugu · Tulu · Urdu ·
Early Sanskrit on palm
leaf, found in Nepal
Dated 11th century BCE
Indian Languages