September 18, 2014

Indian history about Indus valley civilization hand notes for Group-I, Group-II, Group-IV, Jr. Lecturers and Degree Lecturers and Civil services prelims

Different Names
  • Harappan civilization:- 
    • Harappa is the Type site of civilization because it is first site discovered (1921) in entire civilization.
  • Bronze age civilization
  • Porto-Historic civilization
  • This civilization had script, but it is not studied by any archaeologist. So, it is called Porto-historic.
  • There are another 3 important civilizations contemporary to the Indus-civilization in the world.
  • Sumerian civilization (Mesopotamia)
  • "Mesopotamia" means land between two rivers
  • Two rivers are Tigris, Eupratese
  • Egyptian civilization (Nile valley)
  • Chinese civilization (Hwang HO valley)
* Extent of IVC (Indus-Valley Civilization)

                                        MANDA (Jammu & Kashmir) chenab river
(Afgo Iran border) SUTKENJENDARO Dashk river<-------|------>ALANGIRPUR (U.P) Hindon river
                                    DIAMABAD(Maharashtra), Pravara river

Fig: Indus-Valley Civilization

Total areal of civilization is 1.3 million Sq.Km.

* Authors of IVC

Archaeologists discovered 4 different races of people were built this civilization.
  • Mongoloids
  • Proto-Austroloits
  • Albinoids
  • Mediterranean/Dravideans
  • North - Indian languages - Aryan group of languages
  • South - Indian languages - Dravidean group of languages
* Important sites of IVC

Total = 1400 sites
India = 900 sites
Pakistan = 600 sites
Mohenjodaro means "mound of dead" (Sindhi)
Lothat means "mound of dead" (Gujarati)

* Important characteristics of IVC
  • Town planning:
    • Every city is divided into 2 parts:
      • Upper (citadel)
      • Lower
  • Chanhudaro --> Only city doesn't had citadel.
  • Bholavira --> The city was divided into 3 parts.
Following is the Periodization chat of the Indus-Valley Civilization
Name of the City
Findings or Significance
Dayaram Sahani
Punjab (in Pak)

  • 6 Granaries
  • Wooden coffin - Box where dead bodies kept.
  • From a Grave - 12 Bronze mirrors, many Jems and Jewelry.
Sindh (in Pak)
  • Great granaries
  • Great bath (so big in area) 39*23*8 feet.
  • A bronze dancing girl, satiate bust of a priest.

  • Lipsticks
  • Evidence of cat
  • Yard (రేవు)
  • Fire alter
  • Twin burial
Ghagger (Branch of Saraswathi)
  • 7 Fire alters (around some bone of cattle's)
  • Largest site in India
  • A reservoir
  • Stadium was found.
The cities built on Grid pattern (chess board pattern).

Chandigarh, only city built on Grid pattern in India.

Every city in IVC is built on Grid pattern except Banavali.
  • Under ground drainage system along with manholes.
    • Every city had this drainage system except Banavali.

* Social Structure of IVC: society is class divided based on wealth.

class - mobility is allowed.

caste - mobility is not allowed.

John Marshall, Director - General of ASI at the time of Indus-Valley Excavation.
  • According to him, Indus Society is Matriarchal society. i.e., Mother is head of family.
  • Religion is the reflection of society. IVC society was highly matured.

* Political System: This system is difficult to study.

D.D.Kaushambi - The priest class people are rulers. i.e., Theocracy.

R.S.Sharma rejected this hypothesis, because there were no religious symbols (i.e. temples) in IVC. If priests were the rulers then they built temples which reflects their religious culture.
According to him, merchants are rulers.

* Economy of IVC

Agrarian economy - Economy to which agriculture is backbone.

Important food grains - Barley & Wheat.

Commercial crops - Cotton, Mustard.

Rice was rarely cultivated.

In Lothal, a rice grain was found.

In Rangapur, rice was found.

Hoe was used by Indus people instead of Plough.
  • Plough usage evidences were found in two places:
    • Thalibangan - Furrows (a field which has plough marks).
    • Banavali - Terrakota replica of plough.
  • Evidences of Horse
    • Lothal (a doubtful terrakota horse was found).
    • Surkotado (Gujarat) - Skeleton of horse was found.
* Industries
  • Textile Industry (cotton)
  • Brick Industry
  • Metalogical Industry (Copper & Bronze)
  • Ship building Industry (only at Lohal)
  • Jewelry Industry (breads & shell ornaments) - located in 3 sites.
    • Chanhudaro
    • Lothal
    • Bholavira
* Trade and Barter

Trade is divided into 2 categories:

  • International (Lothal)
  • Internal
* Sumeria is important trading partner.
* The Indus valley seals were found in Mesopotamia.
* Seal - The small pieces of Steatite (1 cm).
* Seal consists the pictographs, animals etc.,
* 4000 seals found.
* Shape - Rectangle or Square.

* Mesopotamian seals were always in cylindrical shape
* Mohenjodaro - 3 seals of Mesopotamia were found.
* Indian cotton was found in "UMMA".
* In 2300 B.C. SINDON (means cotton) from Melura.
* Mesopotamia scripts were in cuneiform.
* Barter system - Exchanging the goods.

* Religious beliefs of IVC people

  • Mother Goddess.
  • Pashupati Mahadeva.
In Mohenjodaro, a seal was found consists the Pashupati Mahadeva image (with 3 heads, 2 horns) surrounded by animals.

In the opinion of John Marshal, Pashupati Mahadeva was "Proto-Shiva" and most of scholars accepted it.

  • Evidence of Linga-Yoni.
  • Bull, Snake, Tree,...worship.
  • Clear evidence of rituals along with animal slattering.
  • Large number of amulets (Talismans) were found in many sites.
* Causes for the end of IVC

Opinions of different scholars

  • Mortimum wheeler - Aryans invasion
  • Evidences - 13 skeletons were found at one place (including women and children), those are scattered and has some knife marks. Many scholars opposed this because the Aryans came to India in 1500 B.C.
  • Some scholars said, floods were the cause of end of IVC. Mohenjodaro, Chanhudaro cities were destroyed many times by floods and those cities were rebuilt. But there was no evidence of floods.
  • Earth - quakes.
  • Drying of rivers or the direction of flow of rivers was changed. Today, Indus rivers 40 KM away from the Mohenjodaro but in ancient period, this city was built on the banks of Indus.
  • Ecological Degradation.
  • Indiscriminate use of natural resources.
* Weights and Measures of IVC

16 is base for weights and measures
Today, 1 Rs = 16 anas.
1 Sare = 16 chakats.

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