Till now, we have learned 60 facts about Indus Valley Civilization spread across three different articles. However, we are not quite done with the same. There’s an awful lot still left to shared. So, in this article, we are going to share yet another set of 20 Indus Valley Civilization facts. From mysterious scripts, to absence of Kings and Ministers, from world’s first signboard to various methods of burial, Indus people really did leave a mark and honestly, today’s modern world owes a lot to this ancient and long-gone civilization. Let’s us begin with out list of 20 fascinating facts about Indus Valley Civilization… but before that…
Scientists from Archaeological Survey of India and India’s premier technology institute: IIT Kharagpur – have identified that Indus Valley Civilization is way older than what was thought previously. The scientists have noted, through carbon dating of various pottery and animal remains that the Indus Valley Civilization is at least 8,000 years old while the previously held notion is that the civilization was 5,500 years old. This means that Indus Valley Civilization came to existence before the Egyptian Civilization (dated 7,000 ka BP to 3,000 ka BP) and Mesopotamian Civilization (dated 6,500 ka BP to 3,100 ka BP). Also, those scientists have identified a Pre-Harappan Civilization which started 1000 years before Indus Valley Civilization properly started. This means that ‘Cradles of Civilization’ as we have been taught in history has to be rewritten. The whole world owes to Indus Valley Civilization – the oldest and the most ancient and highly advanced civilization of antiquity! In case you are wondering where to find the study, you can head for the renowned journal: Nature, where the study was published on May 25, 2016.
Please note: ka BP stands for Kilo Annum Before Present where Kilo Annum is a period of 1,000 years. So, based on the new findings:
Pre-Harappan period: 9,000 ka BP to 8,000 ka BP (7,000 BCE – 6,000 BCE)
Indus Valley Civilization: 8,000 ka BP to 2,500 ka BP (6,000 BCE – 500 BCE)
Dates are approximate estimates
Fascinating Indus Valley Civilization Facts: 1-5
1. It is thought that Hinduism started taking shape from IVC period. The multitude of images of Mother Goddess (Shakti or Kali), who was the most important deity of that period and many seals of Pasupati validate this.
2. They even revered plants, natural forces and animals just like Hindus. Peepal tree, pigeon and Swastik symbol found in Hindu religion were worshipped for the first time in IVC period. Pasupati seal caught everyone’s eye because it strikingly resembles Lord Shiva of the present-day Hindu religion.
3. Pasupati, with three horned head, is seen in a yogic posture with four animals – rhino, tiger, deer and elephant towards the four corners. Peepal tree, pigeon and Swastik symbol was also seen on the seal.
4. Burial of the dead was also of different types
- Complete burial – where the dead body was buried completely.
- Post-cremation burial.
- Fractional burial where dead body was left in open so that animals and birds could feed on the dead bodies and after that, the leftover body was buried (it is seen in some sections of Indian community even now).
5. Most of the economy ran on trade. There are evidences of different types of transport and just like any other field, they made good progress in the transport system as well.
Fascinating Indus Valley Civilization Facts: 6-10
6. There were two types of trade. The first one was inland trade – done through bullock carts and small boats and the other one was dock transport where they used ships to transport material to Mesopotamia, Persia and Egypt.
7. Men and women shared equal status in society. However, there was economic inequality seen in the society.
8. Just like any other section of life, little is known about the agricultural practices of this great civilization. But it is assumed that whatever agricultural practices farmers used made the civilization prosper because there always used to be surplus production.
9. Plough was used and fertile alluvial soil was used (which was brought by Indus, Ghaggar-Hakra rivers). However, presence of only fertile alluvial soil proves to be insufficient for sustaining such big cities.
10. This civilization refutes the hydraulic despotism hypothesis which talks how civilizations, cities and societies emerged.
Fascinating Indus Valley Civilization Facts: 11-15
11. According to this theory, for any city to sustain, it needs food; food comes from agriculture and agriculture, at such large scale, can only happen if there is irrigation system.
12. For the irrigation system to develop, the city should be centralized by all means where in the central head of the city or the state can suppress other minor rebellions and treat people as slaves.
13. But, in Indus Valley Civilization, there were no kings, no ministers, no slaves, no forced labor. How they achieved this great feat is still an unsolved mystery.
14. It is seen that they used to store water in dams, and make use of other water conservation systems like terrace agriculture etc.
15. They were the first people to test the purity of gold. They used some touchstone with gold streaks (excavated in Banawali) to test the purity of gold. Some goldsmiths make use of this method even now in India.
Fascinating Indus Valley Civilization Facts: 16-20
16. If archaeological evidences are to be believed, these were the people who domesticated and cultivated cotton way back in 6th millennium BCE. They made textiles by spinning and weaving.
17. They just didn’t domesticate and cultivate it, they produced it in huge quantities and cotton was one of the prime products (to be exported), which was in great demand.
18. They were the ones who invented buttons. Yes, buttons were invented long back, some 5,000 years ago. However, they were used for ornamental purposes and not for fastening. They were made of curved shells.
19. World’s oldest and most probably the first signboard is seen in the ruins of Dholavaria. The archaeologists excavated a 30-cm long signboard in Dholavaria in 1999. Indus script was used on the signboard.
20. As we have not deciphered this script till now, we don’t know what’s written on that signboard. It is believed that the signboard was placed at the portico of north gate of the citadel of Dholavaria.