Agricultural economyMain crops were Wheat, Barley, Rice (found in Lothal and Rangpur only), Dates, Mustard, Cotton (1st in the world)It shows the advancement of Harappans in agriculture technology – used wooden plowshare, Well irrigation (Alladinho), Dams, and irrigation canals  (Dholavira)
  • Terracotta: figurines of animals, humans (more female figurines than male figurines), Bangles, seals
  • Art of Bead-making (Chanhudaro and Lothal), jewelry- gold and silver jewelry
    • g. at Allahdino a lot of necklaces made of gold, silver, and semi-precious stones have been found
  • Harappans did not use Iron but used Copper, bronze, silver, and gold
    • The number of pure copper artifacts was found in far greater number than alloyed bronze ones
  • Harappans were the first to use silver in the world
  • A large number of terracotta articles show that it was used by common people.
  • Also, Harappans were good at metallurgy and producing alloys.
  • There was specialization of tasks- Goldsmiths, bronze-smiths, brick-makers
  • More copper artifacts don’t mean technological backwardness but it was their cultural preference in all likelihood.


The Harappans used Red and Black pottery (Redware painted with black designs) and also knew the use of Potter’s wheel with easeIt shows the expertise of Harappans in pottery making e.g. Glazed pottery (Harappa), incised pottery, perforated pottery, etc.

Harappans had trade with Mesopotamia (Sumeria), Central Asia, Persia, Afghanistan Makan (Oman), and Dilmun (Bahrain). Trade was through the barter system.
    • Export items: Teak ( obtained from Gujrat), Amazonite (Hirapuri, GJ), Slate (Kangra), Lead (Kashmir and South India), Copper (from Baluchistan and RJ(Khetri mines))
    • Import Items: Jade (from Central Asia); Turquoise (from Khorasan); Lapis Lazuli, Gold, Silver, Tin ( from Afghanistan) (Gold was also obtained from Iran and Kolar mines in Karnataka); Steatite (Iran)
It shows the advanced trade relation of Harappan civilization with other parts of India as well as also with other contemporary civilizations.
    • Harappan seal found at Susa, Ur, and Nippur (Mesopotamia), Failaka, and Bahrain (Persian Gulf).
    • Mesopotamian three-cylinder seals have been found in Mohenjo-Daro
Weights and Measures

  • Weights followed a binary system — 1, 2, 8, 16, 32 to 64, 160, 320, 640, 1600, 3200, and so on.
  • Weights were made of chert, limestone, and steatite and were generally cubical

The measure of length was based upon a foot of 37.6cm and a cubit

The standardization and accuracy of weights and measures throughout the IVC were remarkable.

  • Harappan seals are made up of Steatite (soft stone)
  • Size- half an inch to 2.5 inch
  • Shape-generally Square and Rectangular seals with carved animal and inscription was used

Humpless bull is the most used animal in seals

Harappan seals are the greatest artistic creation and were used to mark ownership of property and in trade