The Indus Valley Civilization: An Important Part of Indian History

The Indus Valley Civilization is an important part of the history of India during the Bronze period i.e. 3300 BC to 1300 BC. It mostly centered on the western part of the Indian subcontinent. The civilization reached its peak around 2600 BC and continued till 1900 BC. People of the civilization were heavily dependent on agriculture to support their livelihood. People of the civilization grew rice, peas, wheat and cotton. The Harappa and Mohenjodaro settlements that were part of the civilization, were mostly dominated by the priests who had a grip over the entire civilization. They were often considered as the intermediary between the gods and the masses.

Many gods of the civilization are depicted in the yet un-deciphered seals that bear testimony to ancient Indian history. The most popular of the seals is the one that features a dominant naked figurine with horned head and fierce facial expression. Some other seals have an inscription of a person in a cross-legged meditating posture which is quite similar to the lotus.

While there could have been warriors to defend the civilization, as suggested by the researchers of Indian history, the economy of the civilization was mostly agrarian. Besides, foreign trade was also encouraged as is evident from the port of Lothal.

According to experts on history of India and archeologists, the people of the Indus valley Civilization and Harappa in particular, had a centralized form of governance. They had a distinct political system. Despite the iconic structures like military forts and baths that suggest a thriving public life, the civilization had a coherent political system. However, much of the identity of their leaders still remains a mystery.

The people of Harappa mostly belonged to the merchant class. There were artisans, administrators and people involved in other profession. The lower class was mostly made up of the peasantry and farmers. Not much is known about the religious practices about the people and Indian history hasn’t been able to shed much light on it.

The people of the civilization hunted wildlife and caught fish as a profession. They were able to domesticate several wild animals from the wild species. These include cats, dogs, the humped cattle, buffaloes, camels, pigs, asses and horses. While some Indian history enthusiasts suggest that the Harappan people had also domesticated elephants, there has been no conclusive evidence to prove it.

The economy of the civilization mostly ran on trade and commerce. The rivers and coasts besides which the civilization was spread helped it to boost trade and commerce. Gold was imported from south India, turquoise from Iran and copper from Afghanistan. Researchers of history of India have also found that there existed trade relations with Mesopotamia as well. The discovery of Indus pottery in Mesopotamia ha proved it.