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INDUS
VALLEY CIVILIZATION

 


Over View


     Forgotten to history prior to its rediscovery in the 1920s, the
Indus Civilization ranks with its contemporaries, Mesopotamia and
Ancient Egypt, as one of the three earliest civilizations. Civilization
is defined primarily by the emergence of cities, agriculture, writing,
architecture, etc.


 The Indus Civilization was not the earliest civilization; Mesopotamia
and Ancient Egypt both developed cities slightly before the Indus
Civilization did. Nevertheless, the Indus Civilization was by far the
most geographically extensive. To date, 1052 settlements have been
found. 140+ of these sites lie along the seasonal Ghaggar-Hakra river.
This system was once permanent, which once flowed as far as Fort Derawar
where it ended in an inland river delta. This area was the primary food
producing region of the Indus Civilization.


 Other Indus civilization settlements were situated along the Indus and
its tributaries or spread as widely as Mumbai (Bombay) to the south,
east of Delhi, the Iranian border to the west and the Himalayas to the
north. Among the settlements are numerous cities, including


Dholavira
,


Ganweriwala
,
Harappa, Lothal, Mohenjo-daro and Rakhigarhi. At its peak, its
population may have exceeded five million people.


 For all its achievements, the Indus civilization is still poorly
understood. Its very existence was forgotten until the 20th century. It’s
writing system remains undeciphered, and it is not known whether it gave
birth to the later Brahmi script. Currently, this is thought to be
unlikely. Among the Indus civilization’s mysteries are fundamental
questions, including its means of subsistence and the causes of its
sudden, dramatic disappearance, beginning around 1900 BC. We do not know
what language Indus civilization spoke. We do not know what they called
themselves. All of these facts stand in stark contrast to what is known
about its contemporaries, Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt.

 Predecessors


 The Indus civilization was predated by the first farming cultures in
south Asia, which emerged in the hills Baluchistan, to the west of the
Indus Valley. The best-known site of this culture is Mehrgarh,
established around 6500 BC. These early farmers domesticated wheat and a
variety of animals, including cattle. Pottery was in use by around 5500
BC. The Indus civilisation grew out of this culture’s technological
base, as well as its geographic expansion into the alluvial plains of
what are now the provinces of Sindh and Punjab in contemporary Pakistan.


 By 4000 BC, a distinctive, regional culture, called pre-Harappan, had
emerged in this area. (It is called pre-Harappan because remains of this
widespread culture are found in the early strata of Indus civilization
cities.) Trade networks linked this culture with related regional
cultures and distant sources of raw materials, including lapis lazuli
and other materials for bead-making. Villagers had, by this time,
domesticated numerous crops, including peas, sesame seed, dates, and
cotton, as well as a wide range of domestic animals, including the water
buffalo, an animal that remains essential to intensive agricultural
production throughout Asia today.

 Emergence
of Civilization


 By 2600 BC, some pre-Harappan settlements grew into cities containing
thousands of people who were not primarily engaged in agriculture.
Subsequently, a unified culture emerged throughout the area, bringing
into conformity settlements that were separated by as much as 1,000 km.
and muting regional differences. So sudden was this culture’s emergence
that early scholars thought that it must have resulted from external
conquest or migration. Yet archaeologists have demonstrated that this
culture did, in fact, arise from its pre-Harappan predecessor. The
culture’s sudden appearance appears to have been the result of planned,
deliberate effort. For example, some settlements appear to have been
deliberately rearranged to conform to a conscious, well-developed plan.
For this reason, the Indus civilization is recognized to be the first to
develop urban planning.

 Cities


 The Indus civilization’s penchant for urban planning is evident in the
larger settlements and cities. Typically, the city is divided into two
sections. The first area includes a raised, earthen platform (dubbed the
“Citadel” by early archaeologists). The second area (called the “lower
city”) contains tightly packed homes and shops, as well as well-defined
streets that were laid out to a precise plan. A system of uniform
weights and measures was in use, and streets and alleys are of rigidly
uniform width in virtually all Harappan sites. The main building
material was brick, both fired and sun-baked, of a rigorously
standardized shape. The largest cities contained as many as 30,000
people.


 As seen in Harappa, Mohenjodaro and the recently discovered Rakhigarhi
(the best-known and possibly the largest cities), this urban plan
included the world’s first urban sanitation systems. Within the city,
individual homes or groups of homes obtained water from wells. From a
room that appears to have been set aside for bathing, waste water was
directed to covered drains, which lined the major streets. Although the
well-engineered system drained waste water from the city, it seems clear
that the streets were far from fragrant. Houses opened only to inner
courtyards and smaller lanes.


 The purpose of the “Citadel” remains a matter of debate. In sharp
contrast to this civilization’s contemporaries, Mesopotamia and ancient
Egypt, no large, monumental structures were built. There is no
conclusive evidence of palaces or temples — or, indeed, of kings,
armies, or priests. Some structures are thought to have been granaries.
Found at one city is an enormous, well-built bath, which may have been a
public bath. Although the “Citadels” are walled, it is far from clear
that these structures were defensive. They may have been built to divert
flood waters.


 Most city dwellers appear to have been traders or artisans, who lived
with others pursuing the same occupation in well-defined neighborhoods.
Materials from distant regions were used in the cities for constructing
seals, beads and other objects. Among the artifacts made were beautiful
beads made of glazed stone (called faience). The seals have images of
animals, gods etc., and inscriptions. Some of the seals were used to
stamp clay on trade goods, but they probably had other uses. Although
some houses were larger than others, Indus civilization cities were
remarkable for their apparent egalitarianism. For example, all houses
had access to water and drainage facilities. One gets the impression of
a vast, middle-class society.

 Economy


 The Indus civilization’s economy appears to have depended significantly
on trade, which was facilitated by major advances in transport
technology. These advances included bullock-driven carts that are
identical to those seen throughout South Asia today, as well as boats.
Most of these boats were probably small, flat-bottomed craft, perhaps
driven by sail, similar to those one can see on the Indus River today;
however, there is secondary evidence of sea-going craft. Archaeologists
have discovered a massive, dredged canal and docking facility at a
coastal city.


 Judging from the dispersal of Indus civilization artifacts, the trade
networks economically integrated a huge area, including portions of
Afghanistan, the coastal regions of Persia, northern and central India,
and Mesopotamia. A Sumerian inscription appears to use the name
Meluhha
to refer to the
Indus civilization. If so, it is the only evidence we possess that might
suggest what Indus civilization people called themselves.

 Agriculture


 The nature of the Indus civilization’s agricultural system is still
largely a matter of conjecture due to the paucity of information
surviving through the ages. Some speculation is possible, however.


 Indus civilization agriculture must have been highly productive; after
all, it was capable of generating surpluses sufficient to support tens
of thousands of urban residents who were not primarily engaged in
agriculture. It relied on the considerable technological achievements of
the pre-Harappan culture, including the plough. Still, very little is
known about the farmers who supported the cities or their agricultural
methods. Some of them undoubtedly made use of the fertile alluvial soil
left by rivers after the flood season, but this simple method of
agriculture is not thought to be productive enough to support cities.
There is no evidence of irrigation, but such evidence could have been
obliterated by repeated, catastrophic floods.


 The Indus civilization appears to disconfirm the hydraulic despotism
hypothesis, which is concerned with the origin of urban civilization and
the state. According to this hypothesis, cities could not have arisen
without irrigation systems capable of generating massive agricultural
surpluses. To build these systems, a despotic, centralized state emerged
that was capable of suppressing the social status of thousands of people
and harnessing their labor as slaves. It is very difficult to square
this hypothesis with what is known about the Indus civilization. There
is no evidence of kings, slaves, or forced mobilization of labor.


 It is often assumed that intensive agricultural production requires
dams and canals. This assumption is easily refuted. Throughout Asia,
rice farmers produce significant agricultural surpluses from terraced,
hillside rice paddies, which result not from slavery but rather the
accumulated labor of many generations of people. Instead of building
canals, Indus civilization people may have built water diversion
schemes, which — like terrace agriculture — can be elaborated by
generations of small-scale labor investments. In addition, it is known
that Indus civilization people practiced rainfall harvesting, a powerful
technology that was brought to fruition by classical Indian civilization
but nearly forgotten in the 20th century. It should be remembered that
Indus civilization people, like all peoples in South Asia, built their
lives around the monsoon, a weather pattern in which the bulk of a
year’s rainfall occurs in a four-month period. At a recently discovered
Indus civilization city in western India, archaeologists discovered a
series of massive reservoirs, hewn from solid rock and designed to
collect rainfall, that would have been capable of meeting the city’s
needs during the dry season.

 Writing


 The Indus civilization remains mysterious in another way: Despite
numerous attempts, scholars have not been able to decipher the Indus
script. One problem is the lack of evidence. Most of the known
inscriptions have been found on seals or ceramic pots, and are no more
than 4 or 5 characters in length; the longest is 26 characters. There is
no evidence of a body of literature.


 Because the inscriptions are so short, some scholars wonder whether the
Indus script fell short of a true writing system; it has been suggested
that the system amounted to little more than a means of recording
identity in economic transactions. Still, it is possible that longer
texts were written in perishable media. Moroever, there is one, small
piece of evidence suggesting that the script embodies a well-known,
widespread, and complex communication system. At a recently discovered
Indus civilization city in Western India, evidence has been found that
appears to be the remnants of a large sign that was mounted above the
gate to the city. Perhaps it was designed to inform travelers (who would
have been numerous) of the city’s name, analogous to the welcome signs
seen today along highways leading to major cities.

 Decline
and Collapse


 For 700 years, the Indus civilization provided its peoples with
prosperity and abundance and its artisans produced goods of surpassing
beauty and excellence. But nearly as suddenly as the civilization
emerged, it declined and disappeared. No one knows why, but it may have
coincided with the arrival of nomadic Indo-European speakers in the
area.


 Around 1900 BC, signs began to emerge of mounting problems. People
started to leave the cities. Those who remained were poorly nourished.
By around 1800 BC, most of the cities were abandoned. In the centuries
to come — and again, in sharp contrast to its contemporaries,
Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt — recollection of the Indus civilization
and its achievements seemed to disappear from the record of human
experience. Unlike the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians, Indus
civilization people built no huge, stone monuments to attest to their
existence. One could argue that they could not do so because stone was
hard to come by in the Indus Valley alluvium. One could also argue that
the concept of an enormous, intimidating monument was foreign to their
view of the world.


 To be sure, Indus civilization people did not disappear. In the
aftermath of the Indus civilization’s collapse, regional cultures
emerged, all of which show the lingering influence — to varying degrees
— of the Indus civilization. In the formerly great city of Harappa,
burials have been found that correspond to a regional culture called the
Cemetery H culture. Some former Indus civilization people appear to have
migrated to the east, toward the Gangetic Plain. What disappeared was
not the people, but the civilization: the cities, the writing system,
the trade networks, and — ultimately — the ideology that so obviously
provided the intellectual foundation for this civilization’s
integration.


 In the early twentieth century, scholars argued that the collapse was
so sudden that it must have been caused by foreign conquest, in an
“Aryan invasion”. This idea was based on the longstanding claim that
“superior” Aryan invaders, with their horses and chariots, conquered the
“primitive,” “dark,” and “weak” peoples they encountered in ancient
South Asia. Subsequently, these “white” invaders intermingled with the
indigenous “dark” population, and grew “weak” — and therefore ripe for
repeated conquest. It was part of a larger, mythological narrative that
was used to legitimize the English colonization of the “weak” and “dark”
peoples of India. These ideas were developed before the discovery of the
Indus civilization itself, when it was assumed that the pre-Aryan Indian
populations lived primitive lives. When the civilization was discovered
in the 1920s, these arguments were adapted to present the Indo-Aryans as
energetic barbarian warriors who overthrew a passive or peaceful urban
culture. In the words of the archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler, the
Indo-Aryan war god Indra ‘stands accused’ of the destruction.


 Current thinking does not give much credence to the view that the
Indo-Aryans were responsible for the collapse of the Indus civilization.
What caused the collapse? It seems undeniable that a major factor was
climatic change. In 2600 BC, the Indus Valley was verdant, forested, and
teeming with wildlife. It was wetter, too. Floods were a problem and
appear, on more than one occasion, to have overwhelmed certain
settlements. A point in fact: Indus civilization people supplemented
their diet with hunting, a fact that is all but inconceivable when one
considers today’s desiccated, denuded environment. By 1800 BC, the
climate is known to have changed. It became significantly cooler and
drier. But this fact alone may not have been sufficient to bring down
the Indus civilization.


 The crucial factor may have been the disappearance of substantial
portions of the Ghaggar-Hakra or Sarasvati river system. A tectonic
event may have diverted the system’s sources toward the Ganges Plain,
though there is some uncertainty about the date of this event. Such a
statement may seem dubious if one does not realize that the transition
between the Indus and Gangetic plains amounts to a matter of inches, and
is all but imperceptible. The region in which the river’s waters
formerly arose is known to be geologically active, and there is evidence
of major tectonic events at the time the Indus civilization collapsed.
It is apropos that until 1998 the blind Ganges River Dolphin and Indus
River Dolphin have been considered two different species, partly because
of their apparently discrete distribution. Now the two populations have
been identified as belonging to a single species,


Platanista gangetica
.


 The legendary Sarasvati River’s historical existence was unknown until
the late 20th century, when geologists used satellite photographs to
trace its former course through the Indus Valley. If the Sarasvati river
system dried up when the Indus civilization was at its height, the
consequences would have been devastating. Refugees would have flooded
the other cities. The “critical mass” needed for economic integration
would have collapsed.


 The most likely explanation is that the causes were multiple — and, in
their aggregation, catastrophic. In the declining years, Indus
civilization people tried to hang on to their old way of life, but in
the end, they gave up. By 1600 BC, the cities were deserted. In the 19th
century, British engineers discovered that the abundant bricks found in
the ruins — in which they expressed no evident curiosity — provided
excellent raw materials for railway construction. They proceeded to
destroy much of the available archaeological evidence.

 Legacy


 The relationship between the Indus civilization and the early Sanskrit
language culture that produced the Vedic texts of Hinduism is unclear.
Due to language evolution it seems unlikely that the Indus civilisation
was Indo-European. It is puzzling that the most ancient Vedic texts
speak of a beautiful river, the Sarasvati. They recall a thriving,
utopian lifestyle that emerged along its banks. Later texts also
describe the sad story of the river’s disappearance.


 Are the ancient Vedic references to the Sarasvati River purely
mythological? We are in the realm of conjecture. According to
comparative linguistics the Indo-Europeans who arrived in India were
related to other peoples who migrated to the Middle East and Europe
during the same period; all these peoples brought with them a
patriarchal polytheistic religion related with Norse mythology and Greek
mythology. In India, these beliefs evolved into the sophisticated
religious tradition, Hinduism, which looks to the most ancient Vedas as
a source of legitimacy. It is clear that the Indus civilization’s legacy
contributed to Hinduism’s development. As several archaeologists have
noted, there is something ineffably “Indian” about the Indus valley
civilization. Judging from the abundant figurines depicting female
fertility that they left behind, Indus civilization people — like
modern Hindus — may have held a special place in their worship for a
mother goddess and the life-affirming principles she represents (see
Shakti and Kali). Their seals depict animals in a way that seems to
suggest veneration, perhaps presaging Hindu convictions regarding the
sacredness of cattle. Like Hindus today, Indus civilization people
seemed to have placed a high value on bathing, personal cleanliness, and
residing with one’s extended family.


 Perhaps the most important legacy of the Indus civilization, if such a
legacy exists, was its apparent nonviolence (in contrast to the warlike
Indo-Europeans). Unlike other ancient civilizations, the archaeological
record of the Indus civilization provides little evidence of armies,
kings, slaves, social conflict, prisons, and other oft-negative traits
that we traditionally associate with early civilization although this
could simply be due to the sheer completeness of its collapse and
subsequent disappearance.


(Full Article Link – 



Wikipedia.com

– An Open Source Project)


 


 
There are some vague references in the Old Testament also to the
Ancient Cities of ‘Rama’ which extended from the southern border of
Mesopotamia To farther south into the now Afghanistan region.

 The
following Excerpt is taken from the Book Of Joshua- 18:21 To 19:8

” Now
the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their
families were Jericho, and Bethhoglah, and the valley of Keziz, And
Betharabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel, And Avim, and Pharah, and Ophrah,
And Chepharhaammonai, and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve cities with their
villages: Gibeon, and

Ramah,and
Beeroth, 18:26 And Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah,And Rekem, and
Irpeel, and Taralah, 18:28 And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is
Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages.
This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their
families.

 And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the
children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance
was within the inheritance of the children of Judah.
 And they had in their inheritance Beersheba, and Sheba, and Moladah,
And Hazarshual, and Balah, and Azem, 19:4 And Eltolad, and Bethul, and
Hormah, 19:5 And Ziklag, and Bethmarcaboth, and Hazarsusah, And
Bethlebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages: Ain,
Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages: And all
the villages that were round about these cities to Baalathbeer,
Ramath of
the south
.”

 

-The
King James Version, Project Gutenberg Collection

 

 

 

 

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virus.jpg Virus
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Jamie Lee Curtis, William Baldwin and Donald Sutherland face an unstoppable alien terror when they board a seemingly deserted research ship in this science fiction thriller. source
go-figure.jpg Go Figure
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Katelin Kingsford dreams of becoming a champion figure skater so when a famous Russian skating coach offers to train her, she jumps at the opportunity. The catch is, to attend the exclusive boarding school for training, she has to join their hockey team to maintain a scholarship. Katelin tries to… ∞
Thumbnail Meditation for New Beginnings – How To Meditate for Beginners – You Have 4 Minutes – BEXLIFE
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FREE EASY MEDITATION TIPS: http://bit.ly/bexpeace ? SUBSCRIBE FOR NEW VIDEOS: http://bit.ly/SubBexLife ------- GET MORE GOOD STUFF BELOW ------- ? GET MY T... http://www.youtube.com/v/YoFgQ9bCovc?version=3&f=videos&app=youtube_gdata More here: Meditation for New Beginnings - How To Meditate for Beginners - You Have 4 Minutes - BEXLIFE
head-full-of-honey.jpg Head Full of Honey
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Matilda tries to help her grandfather, Lucas, who is suffering from Alzheimer's, to navigate his forgetfulness, and ends up going on a remarkable adventure with him. source
pravarakyudu.jpg Pravarakyudu
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Sasi (Jagapati Babu) and Sailaja (Priyamani) are good friends during their post-graduation time. They think they are in love. But Sasi’s ideology about love irritates Sailaja and both of them separate their ways. Sasi settles as a professor in Harvard University. He comes to Hyderabad to look out for a… ∞
the-sunshine-makers.jpg The Sunshine Makers
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The fascinating untold story of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully, the unlikely duo at the heart of 1960s American drug counterculture. United in a utopian mission to save the planet through the consciousness- raising power of LSD, these underground chemists manufactured a massive amount of acid, all while staying one… ∞
transgender-nation.jpg Transgender Nation
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Gender identification is changing rapidly and is causing heated division between the left and the right. From LGBTQ, gay, transsexual, transgender and more, lift the veil on the world of the Transgender and explore the secrets of a world most misunderstand. source
bhadram-be-careful-brotheru.jpg Bhadram Be Careful Brotheru
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Karthik (Charan Tej) is a shortfilm maker who aspires to become a feature film director. He falls in love with Shruti (Hameeda) but her father (Surya) refuses to get his daughter married to Karthik.Karthik and Shruti plan to run away and tie the knot in a temple. However, Shruti’s dad… ∞
bomb-city.jpg Bomb City
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Winter 1997. Amarillo, Texas. Brian Deneke is known for his green mohawk and undying passion for punk music. He throws punk shows with his friends at a rundown venue known as “Bomb City.” And Brian, along with many of his fellow “punks,” refuses to conform to the conservative culture that… ∞
deep-ocean-impressions-tranquil-world-relaxation-with-music-nature.jpg Deep Ocean Impressions: Tranquil World – Relaxation with Music & Nature
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Meditative impressions from diving paradises of the Maldives. Enjoy a meditation journey to the colorful Coral Reefs and listen to the mysterious sounds of the seas. Water is a fascinating element, as a sea, always in motion and seemingly unfathomable in its depth with a world of life all its… ∞
what-i-would-give-to-live-a-fantastic-love-story-cinderella-episode-11-english.jpg WHAT I WOULD GIVE TO LIVE A FANTASTIC LOVE STORY | CINDERELLA | Episode 11 | English
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Cinderella and Jan, the fortune teller, try to help Nicolas (the violinist) convince the parents of his beloved Variel (the Marquis and Marchioness), to let him marry their daughter in spite of the class difference. Unfortunately, this attempt fails miserably. However, with a convincing speech, Charles persuades the two lovebirds… ∞
city-of-joy.jpg City Of Joy
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In the best performance of his career, Swayze stars as Max Lowe, a disillusioned surgeon who travels to India after a young patient dies on the operating table. But Lowe's determination to quit medicine is challenged when he meets a committed British nurse who runs a free clinic in Calcutta's… ∞
miso-hungry.jpg Miso Hungry
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Imagine eating nothing but traditional, authentic Japanese cooking for 12 weeks. What sort of health benefits would this kind of diet have on one's body? It is widely known that the Japanese live the healthiest and longest lives in the developed world. But what is it about their lifestyle, diet… ∞
dick-tracy-vs-cueball.jpg Dick Tracy vs. Cueball
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Luxurious diamonds are stolen but before the thief can safely hide them aboard an ocean liner he is strangled by ex-conman Cueball. He takes the gems and then continues on murdering people that he believes are trying to swindle him. Tess, the attractive girlfriend of Dick Tracy acts on his… ∞
thomas-keating-a-rising-tide-of-silence.jpg Thomas Keating: A Rising Tide Of Silence
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Thomas Keating: A Rising Tide of Silence is a reflective portrait of Father Thomas Keating, one of today's most influential spiritual leaders. Interweaving historical footage, interviews, and extensive conversations with Father Thomas, the film traces his spiritual journey from an affluent New York City childhood, to an austere Trappist monastic… ∞
wisdomkeepers-paqo-andino.jpg Wisdomkeepers, Paqo Andino
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Wisdomkeepers, Paqo Andino is an inspirational film conveying the heart-based intelligence and celestially integrated lifeways of the Andean Holy Mountain Tradition. Recorded on location in the Peruvian highlands, this intimate documentary takes viewers on a journey into the heart of an ancient spiritual lineage to experience the practical and mystical… ∞