|Indus Valley Civilization | Age, Origin and Decline of the Indus Valley Civilizations|
The ruins of Mohenjodaro provides evidence to confirm the existence of a system of planning in the city. The streets were broad and straight cutting each other at right angles. The drains were lined with bricks and manholes to facilitate regular cleaning. This speaks highly of the civilization's advanced nature.
The citadel was the main part of the city built on a raised platform. It consisted of public buildings, a bath, granaries and quarters for providing shelter to the persons propagating religion. The planning of the city brings to light the existence of an active and efficient bureaucracy to administer the activities of the city.
Around the citadel was spread the remaining part of the city where the common people dwelt and pursued their profession. Houses were well planned and was built on both sides of the street. it had flat roofs and were connected by stairs to the upper storeys. They had thick walls and windows were few. Every house had a kitchen with a fireplace and large jars for storing grains or keeping other articles of use. The roofs of houses were flat. each house had bathrooms with a system of covered drains connected to the main drain of the street. A courtyard and a well were the special. features that brings to light the system of planning existing then.
Society in the Indus valley civilization is said to have comprised of three distinct social groups. One group ruled and administered the city, the other group included the merchants who were associated with trade and other business activities in the city. The third group were the labourers who worked in the city. They also included the farmers who cultivated wheat and barley as their main crops. Animals like the buffaloes, sheeps and pigs and the humped bull were bred. Fish, mutton, beef, poultry and pork consisted the food they ate. Animals like the elephant, camels and dogs were also domesticated. The discovery of a large number of clay spindles suggest the use of cotton besides woolen and linen fabrics.
Men also seemed to have worn ornaments like fillets, necklaces, finger rings and armlets. Women were fond of ornaments like earrings, bangles, bracelets, necklaces, girdles and anklets made of shell, beads, gold and silver and copper. Razors, bronze mirrors and combs made of ivory speaks of the people interest in personal upkeep. Toys like the whistle and carts besides puppets, rattles and dolls made of terracotta speaks greatly about the attitude of the people in child care. People enjoyed playing in dice and marble. Gambling was a favourite past time of the elder members in the society.
The discovery of various equipments such as axes, knives, spears and daggers made of bronze and copper suggest metal work as a major profession commonly pursued in the towns. Copper was used for making weapons and utensils besides ornaments. Spinning, weaving and pottery also formed important occupation. Pottery in red with designs painted in black resembling shapes such as interesting circles, pipal, leaves, peacocks were on it. The discovery of numerous seals made of clay with figures of animals like the tiger, rhinoceros, elephant and crocodile gives us more information of the significance of these animals in the Harappan society. These seals also have inscriptions in pictographic script.
Agriculture with domesticating animals was a major occupation. The location of granaries near river, where the civilization itself flourished was an important feature. The ornaments of these period worn by both men and women reflects the skilled craftsmanship of the people in the Harappan culture.
The Indus valley people maintained commercial contacts with Egypt and Crete, Mesopotamia and the towns in the Persian Gulf. Excavations at Lothal reveals the existence of a dock supporting the activities of trade in that period. Trade also existed with Northern Afghanistan from where the Harappans bought the famous blue gemstones,' Lapiz Lazuli'.
The clay seals discovered during excavation
reveals the presence of a male god. The figure of a female god
also suggest their
beliefs on the female was source of
creation. The seal with a male god wearing a head dress surrounded by
various animals exhorts the belief in the male symbol of strength. The Indus valley people cremated their death. This
idea has been established owing to the discovery of many urns containing human
bones and ashes. In general it can be derived that worship of the forces of
nature in its lively forms such as stones, strong animals was the religion they
followed. This must have been the principles upon which the present day Hinduism has prescribed
as its principles.