Indus River Valley

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Indus River Valley

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Indus River Valley

The Indus River Valley is located southwest of the Indus River, with natural borders being the mountains of western Pakistan and the Arabian Sea.The fertile floodplain spawned settled farming for the civilization and several hundred communities appeared between 2600 to 1900 B.C.E.Pictured above is the remains of one of the two sites found by archaeologists today: Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.Harappa's population is speculated to have been 35,000, while Mohenjo-Daro probably held closer to 100,000. Both communities featured construction of high brick walls, a rectangular street layout, and evidence of an early sanitation system. Buildings arranged in an elevated, enclosed area give evidence of a citadel. Predominant crops were heat and barley, however rye, peas, cotton, and rice were also grown and animals domesticated for tool and food. Transportation consisted of carts and boats.

The Indus River Valley civilization was one of the first urban civilizations, lasting until its mysterious decline around 1900 BCE. The fertility of the plain by the Indus River on which the civilization grew provided a surplus of crops, as did the regular flooding of the Indus River. A stable, generous amount of food made it possible for a small group of people to expand into an urban civilization.Though the civilization ended thousands of years ago, historians today have been able to deduce several things from its remains. The lack of abrupt changes in population suggest that the Indus River Valley was never invaded; between that and the seeming preference for art over war, the civilization appears to have been a very peaceful one.

So-called "Priest King" status, found in Mohenjo-Daro, and is of the late Mature Harappan period (there were earlier and later Harappan time periods; Harappan Period is sometimes called Mature Harappan to avoid confusion). The statue can be seen today in the National Museum in Pakistan.

Jessica Dine, AP World p 7Sources:Map: www.timemaps.comVideo: TABOO, National Geographic Channel

Indus Valley pottery jar 2300-2000 B.C.E. currently in a gallery in AustraliaSource:

Famed 4500 year old statuette of a dancing girl from Harappan town of Mohenjo-Daro. The statue is evidence of the civilization's interest in the arts.Source:

Plates with script etchings on metals. The metal artifacts vary in ratios of copper and tin, indicating the civilation was aware of the chemistry behind different metal densities. The Indus Valley people had a language of over four hundreds signs, which are as of today indecipherable.

Early farm tools found in ruins of Mohenjo-Daro, where the high water level has made it nearly impossible to excavate.


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