Special features of some Important Harappan Sites

SitesFeatures
Harappa (on Ravi River)

Special features of some Important Harappan SitesSpecial features of some Important Harappan Sites

  • 1st Indus site to be discovered
  • Two rows of six granaries
  • The largest number of wheat grains
  • Red sandstone torso of nude male
  • Evidence of Coffin burial
  • Two types of burial practice- R37type and cemetery H type

Special features of some Important Harappan SitesSpecial features of some Important Harappan Sites

Mohenjo-Daro (Indus river) (mounds of Dead)

Special features of some Important Harappan SitesSpecial features of some Important Harappan Sites

  • 2nd Indus site to be discovered
  • Great granary (the largest building)
  • Pasupati seals
  • Bronze dancing girl
  • Steatite image of bearded men said to be the priest
  • 3 cylindrical seals of Mesopotamia
  • Great Bath
  • Hordes of Skeletons found on stairs (indicating warfare)
  • Multi-pillar assembly halls
  • Mohenjo-Daro has no cemeteries and 5 tragic sites

Bronze mirror, needle, saw, and the Bronze statue of the bull

Special features of some Important Harappan SitesSpecial features of some Important Harappan Sites

Lothal (Bhogava River, Gujarat) (also means ‘mounds of dead’ like Mohenjo-Daro)

Special features of some Important Harappan SitesSpecial features of some Important Harappan Sites

  • Artificial dockyard (world’s 1st tidal port)
  • Evidence of double burial (male and female)
  • Cultivation of rice (at Lothal and Rangpur)
  • Beadmaker’s shop (also exported)
  • Terracotta model of boats
  • Ivory scale
  • Known for cotton trade (Manchester of Harappan Civilization)
  • Circular button seal (also called Persian Gulf seal)
  • Two terracotta models of Egyptian Mummies (shows trade relation with Nile valley civilization)
  • Painted story on Earthen jar resembling story of cunning fox in Panchtantra

Sacrificial Altar (at Lothal and Kalibagan)- Shows medical and surgical skills

Special features of some Important Harappan SitesSpecial features of some Important Harappan Sites

Dholavira (Khadir bet island in the Kutch Desert Wildlife

Special features of some Important Harappan SitesSpecial features of some Important Harappan Sites

  • Inscription of 10 alphabet signboard
  • Megalith burial
  • Warehousing settlement
  • Gold rings (also at Mandi and Daimabad)
  • Shows all three phases of Harappan culture
  • Located on Tropic of Cancer
  • Use of Sandstone and bricks
  • Evidence of dams, irrigation, water reservoir, water harvesting system and embankments
  • The town is divided into three parts (Upper, Middle, and lower). It was a walled city with heavy fortification
  • An important center of maritime trade (Dholavira declined with the decline of Mesopotamian civilization, showing the integration of the Trade economy)
  • Dholavira has been named as the UNESCO World Heritage Site(India’s 40th )

Special features of some Important Harappan SitesSpecial features of some Important Harappan Sites

Rakhigarhi (on Ghaggar –Hakra river, Haryana)

Special features of some Important Harappan SitesSpecial features of some Important Harappan Sites

  • Largest IVC site in India ( also claimed to be largest IVC site)
  • Evidence of Domestication of Dog
  • Manufacturing center of terracotta (Idly shaped terracotta)
  • Painted potteries in large numbers (show rich and dominant people lived)
  • Recent findings show Rakhigarhi doesn’t have the last phase of IVC ( earlier it was known to have all three phases of IVC)
  • DNA finding of Skeletal remains of a woman
  • Rakhigarhi’s sudden demise can be explained by the drying up of the Saraswati in 2000 BC

Government (2021-22 budget) will fund on-site museums (also at Hastinapur (UP), Shivsagar (Assam), Dholavira (Gujarat), and Adichanallur (TN)

Chanhudaro (on Indus river)
  • Known for cotton textile (Lancashire of IVC)
  • No Citadel (only IVC city)
  • The largest number of copper tools found
Kalibangan (on Ghaggar river, RJ) (means ‘Black Bangles’)
  • Wells found in every house
  • Evidence of mixed cropping
  • The earliest ploughed field in India

Fire altars (shows cult of sacrifice)

Bhirrana (Haryana)Now considered to be Oldest discovered IVC site dating back to 7500 BCE (earlier Mehargarh (Pak) was considered to be Oldest )

Special features of some Important Harappan Sites


Differences between IVC and that of Egyptian and Mesopotamian Civilization:

FeaturesHARAPPANEGYPTIAN/MESOPOTAMIAN
Urban PlanningPlanned towns with a grid-like patternTowns show haphazard growth
ScriptInvented their own typical pictographic scriptMesopotamia has a cuneiform script and the Egyptian script is known as hieroglyphics. Both scripts have been deciphered
Writing MaterialThe majority of the Script has been found on the sealsThe majority of the Mesopotamian script has been found on the clay tablets while Egyptians wrote on papyrus sheets made of reeds.
Extent of CivilizationSpread was 20 times that of   Mesopotamian and Egyptian CivilizationLess area as compared to IVC
Building MaterialBurnt BricksEgyptians used Dried Bricks, whereas Mesopotamians used Baked Bricks
ReligionNo temples or religious structures have been foundHad elaborate religious practices, magic spells, and dominance of priest
WeaponsNo clear evidence of war or weaponsClear evidence of wars and expedition in other two civilizations
Decline of CivilizationDeclined after 1900 BCEBoth the civilization continued to exist even after 1900 BCE.

Similarities in IVC and Egyptian / Mesopotamian Civilization:

  • Along river valleys: IVC was along Indus river basin, Sumerian developed between Tigris and Euphrates river basin while Egyptian civilization developed along Nile river basin.
  • Agricultural society: They all developed as an agrarian society with a large agricultural class that was responsible for growing food for large centralized urban populations of the city.
  • Egalitarian society: Women were relatively empowered in these civilizations with IVC showing evidence of mother goddess worship.
      • IVC had a large number of shrines of female deities showing women had a certain degree of independence.
      • Women in Mesopotamia and Egypt could make their own business and trade contracts and own property and could even become a ruler (e.g. female pharaoh Hatshepsut)
  • Developed trade, manufacturing, and Commerce: Being free from the burden of growing food, these civilizations had a large merchant and artisans’ base
  • Highly urbanized: They had sophisticated transport and economic networks. This enabled them to spread to larger areas and support advanced crafts, artistic production, sophisticated religions, technology, and government bureaucracies.
  • Nature worship: Although not much is known about IVC religion, however, other two civilizations had polytheistic religions, consisting of nature worship.
  • Writing and Script: All of them had well-established art of writing and script
  • Burial practices: All three civilizations buried their dead with items needed in the afterlife