Kerala Plus Two History Notes Chapter 1 Bricks, Beads, and Bones
1. 4500 years ago, in the North-West region of the Indian Sub-Continent there existed a great culture. In 1921, at the Harappan site, this culture was first discovered. It was known as the “Sindhu River Basin Culture”.
2. Before the coming of the Harappan Culture, there had been many other cultures. They are collectively known as Early Harappan Culture. This was the formulation of the Harappan Culture. Harappan Culture begins from here.
3. The most important feature of the Harappan Culture is the development of Urban Centres. It was during the time of the Harappan Culture that the First Urbanization began. Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, Chanhudaro, Kalibangan, Lothal, Banwali, and Dholavira were some of the important cities of those times.
4. The most important site in Harappan Civilization is Mohenjo-Daro. This was discovered After Harappa. It was from Mohenjo-Daro most information regarding urban planning, houses, seals etc. of the Harappan Civilization were obtained. This big city was situated in the Larkana district of Sindh, on the banks of the Sindhu River. The word Mohenjo-Daro means The Mound of the Dead’. The excavations made here revealed the remains of a planned urban centre.
This city was divided into two parts:
- The Citadel, and
- The Lower Town.
5. A significant feature of the Harappan Civilization is the drainage system found in the cities.
6. The Harappan people earned their livelihood through agriculture and animal husbandry.
7. Archaeologists point out that there were social and economic inequalities among the Harappan society. It is all clear from the way they buried their dead, luxury items, and different types of residences.
8. The Harappans collected raw materials for their manufactured goods (artifacts) from faraway places. This was done mainly through commerce. The Harappan people had commercial ties with Oman, Mesopotamia, Afghanistan and Persia.
9. Seals were great artistic creations of the Harappan people. It is from these seals that we learn about their agriculture, animals, birds, trees, dress, ornaments, religious faiths, arts and foreign trade.
10. Seals are the sources from which we get information from the Harappan Script.
11. By BCE 1800, the Harappan Culture began to crumble. Most developed sites like Kolistan were abandoned. People began to migrate to new habitats in Gujarat, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh. The remaining habitations were subjected to great changes. The main symbols of the Harappan Civilization like the weights, seals and special beads began to disappear.
Writing, Long-distance trade, specially hand-crafted goods, etc. also disappeared. The technical skills in the building of houses also deteriorated. The construction of a huge building came to a complete stop. Urban life also changed.
A rural kind of life came in its place. The goods made and the habitations give indications of this rural life. The civilizations that came up after the min of the Harappan Civilization are called “Late Harappan” or “Successor Cultures” by scholars.
12. The first person to observe things about the Harappan Civilization was Charles Masson, who was an English official. He happened to visit Harappan village in 1826. There he observed the remains of an ancient city.
In 1856, when the railway line was being built between Karachi and Lahore, the Railway Engineers also found the remains of some ruined cities of the Harappan Civilization.
TimeLine Harappan Archaeological Studies
1875: Report of Cunningham regarding the Harappan Seals.
- 1921: M.S. Vats starts excavating (digging) in Harappa
- 1925: Digging starts at Mohenjo Daro
- 1946: Digging in, Harappa under the leadership of Mortimer Wheeler
- 1955: S.R. Rao starts digging at Lothal
- 1960: B.Bv Lai and B.K. Thapar begin digging at Kalibengan
- 1974: M.R. Mughal starts digging at Bahawalpur
- 1980: A group of German and Italian archaeologists starts research in and around Mohenjo Daro.
- 1986: An American team begins digging at Harappa
- 1990: R.S. Bisht starts digging in Dhotaveera