Indus Valley Civilisation: Where ruins speak history (Part 1/3: Tracing the Civilisation)

Indus Valley Civilisation is one of the early civilisations of South Asia. Its land cover suggests that the people of this civilisation were settled along River Indus. River Indus is one of the longest rivers of Asia, travelling from China (Tibet), India (Ladakh) and Pakistan and ending at Arabian Sea. History shows us that civilisations developed along river side like, Mesopotamia (based on Tigris-Euphrates river system) and Ancient Egypt (based on the lower river Nile areas). These older civilisations tell us stories about how humans have evolved over time, but a uniqueness in Indus Civilisation remains.

Indus civilisation was far more advanced than its time. Yet, other than structures and cultural remains found in dig sites, there is no link present today that can provide an accurate answer to what had happened to its people, why did they abandon these massive structures and why there is no language that can be traced back to this advance culture.Based on the remains found, a number of theories have been developed. These theories explore possibilities of what might have had happened.

The path of River Indus.

Indus civilisation was far more advanced than its time.

Evolution is a part of gradual development and is an inevitable process. Knowledge passes from the older generation to the newer generation who then adjust according to the needs of times. This implies that our knowledge must have evolved through time. Remains of Older civilisations are proof of our evolution.

The first ruins of Indus Civilisation were discovered at the site of Harappa in 1861. This happened during the construction of Lahore-Multan Railways under British Raj. At that time, people didn’t know about its importance and had used the ruins bricks for the construction of the railways track. It was clear that these bricks had different composition from the bricks from the ones used at that time (Under British Raj). Under John Hubert Marshal, the Archaeological Survey of India found these ruins are the remains of an older civilisations. Few accounts show that the ruins were initially found by Charles Masson during his tour of Punjab in 1829. Little did the people know at that time, that this site was a part of much bigger civilisation whose discovery and history still remains a mystery. As the first site discovered was Harappa, this civilisation also called Harappa Civilisation.

The remains of the civilisation exists in India and in Pakistan

The remains of the civilisation exisits in India ( major sites are Kalibangan, Dholovira, Lothal, Suktagendor, Ropar, Mittathal, Banawali, Alamgiripur, Surkotda, Rangpur, Rakhigarhi, and Bhagatrav) and in Pakistan ( major sites are Harappa, Mohenjo Daro, Ganeriwala, Chanhu-Daro and Kot-Diji). People sometimes debate that the site remains are not near river Indus. Theories developed suggests that the river Indus path must have changed with time. Few remains found far from River Indus, where the location shows they were based on Ghaggar-Hakra river system. Researchers suggest these remains as a part of Indus Civilisation, due to similarities in culture. Among these ruins, two sites hold the most fortified structures i.e. Mohenjo Daro and Harappa.

Archaeologists had uncovered these remains and have used methods like carbon dating to measure the age of these remains. This civilisation belongs to Bronze Age. These remains dates as old as 5500 BC. These show the religious practices, farming practices and also give a hint that farming practices must have started during 4000-3000 BC while 2500-2000 BC marks the peak of the civilisation. It was also observed among the ruins that the downfall of the civilisation must have happened after 1800 BC.

These remains dates as old as 5500 BC

The remains of once great civilisation still shock the researcher to this date. Firstly, based on how much advance they were of their time. Their highly developed structures still stand after 5000 years. These structures show their highly developed cities, underground drainage system and their well-planned urban system. Secondly, the connections of this civilisation goes as far as Near East (The area comprises of Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt). Sumerian Documents (Sumer civilisation existed in the southern Iraq) referred the people of Indus Civilisation as Meluhha. The documents show these cultures had commercial, religion and artistic connection.

Indus Valley people had unique way of writing their language. This was a combination of script and images which have been found on seals, ceramic items, pottery and sculptures. Even today, researchers have tried and failed in their attempts to translate the language. Researchers believe that language holds the key to understand this complex culture of the past. This is among one of the reasons that the mysteries of this civilisations still remains a secret.

Also Read Indus Valley Civilization: Where ruins speak history (Part 2: Understanding the Civilization)

16 thoughts on “Indus Valley Civilisation: Where ruins speak history (Part 1/3: Tracing the Civilisation)

  • June 5, 2020 at 9:35 am
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    Great job Mariyam! Very informative and precise…. Waiting for the next parts

    Reply
    • June 5, 2020 at 9:53 am
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      Thank you for your compliment.

      Reply
  • June 5, 2020 at 10:53 am
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    Informative and very well written.

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    • June 5, 2020 at 5:30 pm
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      Appreciate the compliment.

      Reply
  • June 5, 2020 at 5:28 pm
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    Very informative and interesting article . Waiting for the next part .

    Reply
    • June 5, 2020 at 5:30 pm
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      Thank your for the compliment.

      Reply
      • June 5, 2020 at 7:06 pm
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        This is brilliant piece of information. It has been structured perfectly for any person reading it. Impressive work Mariam Qudsia.
        Regards.

        Reply
        • June 5, 2020 at 7:10 pm
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          Appreciate the compliment.

          Reply
      • June 6, 2020 at 11:02 am
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        Trust me, this is very good. The way you explained things is amazing. Illuminating all the things related to that civilization. Good job! Looking forward to see your next part.

        Reply
        • June 8, 2020 at 12:15 pm
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          Appreciate the Compliment.

          Reply
  • June 5, 2020 at 5:32 pm
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    Very informative! Looking forward to upcoming articles.

    Reply
    • June 5, 2020 at 7:10 pm
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      Thank You for the compliment

      Reply
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  • June 9, 2020 at 12:11 pm
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    Very well written, I have checked the facts and almost all of them are accurate . The way you explain the topic is remarkable.I am waiting for your own theory about Indus civilization

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    • June 9, 2020 at 8:27 pm
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      Thank you for the compliment.
      (sneak peak)
      The last part of the series will be based on theories about this Civilization, including my own.

      Reply
  • Pingback: Indus Valley Civilization: Where ruins speak history (3/3 Downfall of Civilization) - SabFlix

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