Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro
Harappan metropolis is located on the left bank of the present dry course of the river Ravi in Punjab, covering about 800,000 square miles. The earliest cultural level at Harappa dates back to 2300 B.C. Its influence has been marked up to Makran coast in the east, Alamgirpur on the west, and Rajasthan in the south, Vindhya Mountain being its southern limit.
Mohenjo-daro is situated in the riverine fertile plains between the main-bed of the Indus River and the western Nara canal. The surrounding area is known as Nakhlistan or the ‘Garden of Sind’.
This ancient citadel of urban civilization at Mohenjo-daro was successively destroyed and rebuilt no less than seven times, the inundation of the Indus being the probable cause of destruction. The re-building did not always follow immediately after destruction, but sometimes remained in ruins for a considerable period before a new city rose upon them. About five thousand years ago, this metropolis was founded, inhabited and after the lapse of many centuries it was finally deserted and abandoned.
Harappa and Mohenjo-daro Civilization
Cities: The cities of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa were fairly big. They contained many dwelling houses of varying sizes, ranging from small buildings with two rooms to big palatial constructions having a frontage of 26 meters and a depth of 20.5 meters. The thickness of the outer walls has been estimated as 1.25 to 1.5 meters. They were made by well-burnt bricks having the measurements of 51’5 centimeters in length and 21.5 centimeters in breadth and 9 centimeters in thickness.
Some of the big dwellings are found to have two or more stories and to contain paved floors, courtyards, doors, windows and narrow staircases. Almost every residential building had wells, drains, and bathrooms. The ruins of some especially spacious buildings have been excavated which are found to possess elaborate structure and design. Some of such buildings contain large central halls, each measuring about 24 meters x 24 meters. The roofs of such halls rest on large number of pillars. The exact purpose of such halls has yet to be ascertained. They could have been used as temples, palaces or municipal halls.
Great Bath: The Great Bath at Mohenjo-daro is 55 meters long and 33 meters wide.
Streets: A net-work of streets is found to connect the different corners of these cities; most of the sweets were wide and straight.
Drainage System: An elaborate underground drainage system along with soak-pits speaks highly about hygienic notions and civic taste of Indus valley people. Moreover, the architectural designs have reached a superlative order of perfection.
Category: History of Ancient India
Archaeological Discovery of Harappa
Archaeological investigations had been conducted in the third decade of the present century at Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa situated in the Montgomery district of the Punjab, and the Larkana, situated in Sind.
The civilization at Mohenjo-Daro, and Harappa, Nal and Kulli grew up in the valley of the river Indus and that is why it is referred to as the “Indus Civilization.”
Though the Indus civilization is considered to be one of the oldest culture in the world, but it was of urban nature. The town planning of harappa and mohenjo-daro was systematically done. Civic organisation was in place.
The Ruins of Harappa
It seems that the city at Mohenjo-Daro was destroyed and rebuilt several times. Traces of seven different layers have been found. The Harappan Civilization was city based, and this explains the remarkable progress of the city life at the time.
Life of Harappan People
The majority of the Harappan people were peasants, and they lived in villages. To the ruling community they were not dangerous at all, but were indispensable to them for economic reasons. But at the same time, the peasants were treated as slaves.
Towns Planning of Harappan Civilization
Remains of many travelling house have been discovered in the big city. They range from two-roomed house to large buildings which five feet in length and ninety seven feet in width.
Houses were built in rows on both sides of the road. Burnt bricks were used for building. There was no road obstruction by house-building. There were houses in lanes also. The houses of rich people were large with several rooms. The poor people, however, lived in smaller houses.
Granary of Harappan Civilization
A granary has been discovered. The granary was constructed on the high foundation of the burnt bricks. A bath has been discovered at Mohenjo-Daro. This bath can be called one of the chief features of the Indus Civilistaion. This bath was for the use by the public.
Bricks made of burnt clay were used for construction of the reservoir to prevent outflow of water. The bath was probably constructed for religious purposes. After their bath, the worshippers probably used small rooms for change of dress, and offered worship to the temple of Mother Goddess which was adjacent to the public bath.
Civic Organisation of Indus Valley Civilization
The ruins of forts, one each at Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and Kalikangan have been discovered.
The drainage system of Indus Valley Civilization was build in systematic order. Drains made of bricks of burnt clay were used for outlet of water from each house. Water flowing along the drain used to pour into the main gutter. A cover made of stone was put on the drain. There were underground drains along the roads. The drains of the houses were connected with the road drainage.
Also read:Drainage System of Harappan Civilization (Indus Valley)
Town Planning of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa
The Town Planning of Indus Valley Civilization very much systematic. The civic organisations of two cities were highly developed. Roads, dwelling houses, forts or large buildings confirmed to the same pattern. This compels the conclusion that the system of centralised administration had been in vogue in the cities for ages.
Also read:Town Planning of Indus Valley Civilization
The town planning of Harappan Civilization was observed by the scholars, and they assume that in building houses of the cities, close attention was given to their practical advantages. They built their houses in such a manner as they could last long, but the architectural and sculptural works of the dwellings were of low order.
Dress of Harappan People
The Indus people used garments made of cotton and wool. But much is not known about their garments. Perhaps, they used two separate pieces of cloth to cover upper and lower portions of the body. Men had beards, but generally got their moustaches shaven. They combed up their locks of long hair and got them tied by ribbons. Women preferred to dress their hair. Both men and women liked to use ornaments.
Also read: Harappan Culture (Culture of Harappan Civilization)
Harappan Civilization Art
Various painted and polished earthen pots were made here. Various toy-goods for children such as cow, lamb, elephants, buffaloes, monkeys, boars, heno etc. have been in addition to various forms of potteries, discovered here. Among the terra-cotta works, toy-carts have been found. They look like bullock-carts of the modern age.
Various containers and pots made of silver, copper and bronze, combs and needles, , mirrors, various weapons have been found in large number in the ruins of Mohenjo-Daro.
Seals made of soft sandstone have been found both at Mohenjo-Daro and at Harappa. Many terra-cotta, bronze and copper seals have also been discovered.
The writing on seals is perhaps their main scientific attainment. The language and meaning of these writings are yet to be deciphered. The inscription of the seals indicate that the people were literate. The writing techniques were more or less uniform.
Domestic Animals at Harappa Civilization
Domestic animals such as – cow, boar, buffalo, dog and lamb have been referred to in the writings of the scholars.
Food of Harappan People
Discovery of granaries prompts assumption that the Indus men were mainly agriculturists.
Cultivation was carried on the plains which lay by the side of the two cities. Corns as revenue were exacted from the side of the two cities. Wheat, barley and almonds of different kinds were the main food of Harappan People.
Religion of Harappa
No reliable materials by means of which scholars can ascertain the religious belief of the Harappan and Indus people have, as yet, been available. Neither temple nor any image of any deity has been discovered at Mohenjo-Daro and other places.
Authors often suggest that the worship of the Mother of the world and of Shiva Pashupati was in vogue. They also worship the “Linga”. Worship of tree, snake, and animal was prevalent also.
Ornaments and Jewelry
Ornaments and jewelry made of gold and other metals were in much use. The women dressed themselves with gold ornaments with stone-pieces being set on the same.
Category: History of Ancient IndiaTagged With: Indus Valley Civilization