Society

FeaturesDescriptionSignificance
Division in SocietyHarappan society was an urban society and comprised of at least three distinct social groups: Ruled, rich merchants, and poor laborers who lived in the lower part of the cityIt shows the division of labor and specialization in Harappan society. It also shows that Harappans had well organized administrative machinery
ClothingHarappan people generally wore garments of cotton and woolIt shows advancement in the weaving of cotton and wool and diversification of choices
Food HabitsThe Harappan societies of Sindh and Punjab largely consumed wheat and barley while those of Rangpur and Surkotda consumed rice and millets. Fish and Molluscs eating was also common

Dairy production evidence has been found by the recent molecular study at the Kotada Bhadli (Gujarat)

The urban settlement near river valleys provided fertile ground for a variety of crops to be grown. Harappans were advanced in their agriculture practices.
ReligionHarappan believed in Nature Worship– Gods in the form of trees such as Peepal and animals (bull). Idolatry was prevalent, they also worshipped Mother goddess, Pasupati yogi (lord of cattle), and Phallic symbolsHarappans were called secular society as no temple (except for the great bath) or religion have been found (unlike in other contemporary civilizations)
Script and Languages

Script and LanguagesScript and Languages

  • Harappan Script is Pictographic and Logo syllabic (each symbol stood for a word) – using signs of birds, fish (most repeated), humans, etc.
  • Harappan writing was Boustrophedon (right to left and then left to right in alternate lines)

Harappan script disappeared by 1700 BCE, showing the lack of percolation of the writing of IVC to other civilizations

Recent theories have pointed out the similarity between ancient Tamil and Harappan scripts. But until the Harappan script is deciphered, the conclusion cannot be made
    • Also, The various evidence of a common script points to great cultural integration during IVC
BeliefsHarappans believed in evil forces and ghosts  and used amulets as protection against themThis was true about most of the primitive society
Burial practices

Dead bodies were placed in the North-South direction (extended inhumation) and were accompanied by food, pottery, jewelry, etc. The graveyard was within the settlement. They practiced three types of burial:-
    • Complete burial
    • Fractional burial (burial of bones after exposure of the body to birds and beasts)
    • Cremation followed by burial of the ashes
It shows their strong belief in life after death, which was similar to the belief system of other contemporary civilizations, however; the items kept were not as expensive as other civilizations.

Society