A Bronze Age Civilization but so highly advanced that the modern day scientists and historians remain baffled to this day! No one knows how the people of Indus Valley Civilization achieved such technological and scientific superiority during the times when most of the other civilizations were only trying to survive through simple means. In this article on Indus Valley Civilization facts, we are going to find out some interesting and mind-boggling facts about the ancient civilization. Are you ready? But before we start…
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
Indus Valley Civilization Facts: 1-5
1. Mohenjo-Daro was built 9 times and every time the new city on the remains of the old one. The cities which were destroyed were reconstructed again in the similar fashion but the cities were constructed on the remains of the previous one.
2. The cities were divided into blocks which followed a particular profession and all the blocks shared the materials produced within that city. Transportation outside the city was also seen.
3. The cities were divided into east and west parts – west part had a higher platform and there was a citadel present and it was fortified to protect from invaders and floods. This part was reserved for priests and administrators.
4. The east part was at a lower platform and the common folks of different profession lived there.
5. The purpose of citadels of Indus Valley Civilization was quite different from the citadels of other civilizations. They mainly served for diverting the water from floods.
Indus Valley Civilization Facts: 6-10
6. The houses used burnt bricks and every house had the same planning (construction) but the rich people had 3 storied houses while the normal ones had 2 storied houses. Those houses had courtyards and terraces too.
7. The houses were built in such a way that there was minimal noise, air pollution getting inside the house. For this, there was only one door which faced the main street, so, only one entrance for noise and pollution to enter.
8. Harappa was the first city to be discovered and it was discovered by Dayaram Sahni in 1921. Its present location is in Punjab (Pakistan). It was present on the banks of River Ravi.
9. The seals made out of stones, chariot made out of copper, and cemeteries (H and R 37) were excavated here (Punjab, Pakistan).
10. The second city to be discovered was Mohenjo-Daro. It was discovered by R.D. Banerjee. Its present location is in Sindh (Pakistan). It was present on the banks of River Indus.
Indus Valley Civilization Facts: 11-15
11. The word Mohenjo-Daro literally meant the “mound of dead”.
12. It may be surprising to many when we say that the cities of Indus Valley Civilization were akin to present-day New York.
13. The archaeologists excavated statues of “dancing girls made of bronze”, a “man with beard till his bust”. They were amazed at the precision and perfection of those statues.
14. Great Bath, Great Granary, Assembly Hall were the architectural structures excavated in Mohenjo-Daro. Great Bath’s use is still not known but the archaeologists assume that it served some religious purpose, so used only during ceremonial occasion.
15. Great Granary was where all the grains were stored of that city. Every city maintained their own granary. Granaries were highly advanced with air duct feature to prevent moisture formation. This kept the grain dry. This type of advanced granary was next seen some 2800 years later in the Roman Civilization.
Indus Valley Civilization Facts: 16-20
16. In Lothal (Gujarat), ruins of dockyard were excavated. Rice was cultivated there and there was a game similar to Chess. People of IVC traded with Mesopotamian Civilization from there.
17. How did we know that Mesopotamian Civilization traded with Indus Valley Civilization? The answer is simple. The seals used by Mesopotamia was seen in Indus Valley Civilization and vice versa. Mesopotamians referred to the word “Mel-lah-ha” which many consider that it referred to Indus Valley Civilization people.
18. The word “Me-lah-ha” is identified with “Met-akam”, a Tamil word which meant “high country”. The Sanskrit word, “Mleccha” (foreign, barbaric etc.) is also identified with “Me-lah-ha” word.
19. In a city called Chanduraho (Indus), evidences of cosmetics were found. Women used lipsticks and other cosmetics. Even small dressing tables were found.
20. In Kalibangan (Rajasthan), fire altars were found which meant sacrifices were made. In Surkotda (Gujarat), remains of horses and chariots were found but of inferior quality. In Ropar (Punjab, India), pit dwellings (for warmth and defence) were seen and pets were buried along with the owners i.e., they believed in afterlife. In Rangpur (Gujarat), rice husk was excavated.