Ancient India(2500 BC to 7th AD)

  1. Ancient India(2500 BC to 7th AD):-

Indus valley civilization/Harappan civilization:-

  • Most of the cities discovered around Indus River so known as Indus Valley civilization.
  • Indus civilization is also called as Harappan civilization because Harappan was the first site to be discovered under the supervision of Daya Ram Sahani in 1921.
  • Geographical extent of this civilization is :-




Important sites Harappan civilization:-

SitesRiver BankLocation
HarappaRaviMontegomari, Punjab (Pakistan)
MohenjodaroIndusLarkana, Sindh(Pakistan)
RangpurMeedarAhmadabad (Gujarat)
LothalSabarmati & BhogvaAhmadabad (Gujarat)


Facts about some sites

  1. Harappa:-
  • Houses made of burnt bricks and mud.
  • Sixteen agniundas (fire pits) & six granaries have been found here.
  • Terracotta figurine of Mother Goddess has been found here.
  • The entry gates of houses were in north direction.
  • Harappan people never used iron they used bronze.
  • Cemetery named as R-37


  1. Mohenjodaro:-
  • It was discovered by D. Bannerji in 1922.
  • The literal meaning of Mohenjodaro in Sindhi language is mound of dead.
  • The great bath, drainage system, a granary, a big hall, a bronze statue of a dancing girl, a idol of a yogi and numerous
  • More than ground floor construction and kitchen in house found here.
  • It is the only city which constructed 7 times and destructed 7 times (7 layers discovered).
  1. Lothal:-
  • Lothal was discovered in Gulf of Cambay (Gujarat) by R. Rao in 1957.
  • A dockyard has been found here.
  • Maximum seals of Mesopotamia has found here.
  • Linear scale of bronze has been found here.


  1. Kalibangan:-
  • It was discovered in Rajasthan in 1953.
  • It was not well planned as Mohenjodaro
  • Drainage system did not found here.
  • A large no. of agnikundas (fire pits) found here.
  • A ploughed field found here.


  1. Dhulavira:-
  • Discovered byP. Joshi in Gujarat in 1922.
  • It saw all three phases of Harppan civilization.
  • A script consists of big alphabets found here.


Important features of Indus valley civilization:-

  • Town planning was the most distinguishable of Harappan civilization. Hence, it is also called first urbanized civilization.
  • Towns were divided into two parts except Dhulavira because it was existed in three parts. First part called citadel and second lower town. Citadel was occupied by members of ruling class and lower town was inhabited by common people.
  • Drainage system was the most peculiar feature of town planning of Harappan civilization. Drains were built of burnt bricks and covered by stone lids. It shown that Harappan people were conscious about hygiene
  • Harappan citied were developed in block pattern or chess board pattern because roads of these cities cut each other at 90 degree angle
  • Complete burial was the most common method of the disposal of the dead body.


Economy of Harappan civilization:-

  1. Agriculture:-
  • The main basis of Harappan economy was agriculture. They grew wheat and barley on large scale. Other crops like pulses, cereals, cotton, melons, pea, and sesamum and mustered.
  • No clear evidence of rice has been found except Rangpur and Loathal where some grains of rice were found, but they may be of later period.
  • Evidence of hoe and plough has been found in Kalibangan and Banawali.
  • Harappans domesticated sheep, goat, buffalo and pig. They also knew about tiger, elephant, camel, deer, and various birds. But, they didn’t know about loin.
  • Humpless bull or unicorn were also known and used by Harappans.
  • They didn’t know about horse, but a jaw bone of horse was found in Surkotada (Gujarat).
  • Harappans were the first at that time who know about cotton and produce it. The Greek called it sindon, which drived from sindh
  1. Crafts:-
  • Harappan belongs to Bronze Age so they know very well about the manufacturing and uses of bronze.
  • They use various tools and weapons such as axes, saws, knives and spears.
  • Leather was also known to them but no evidence of silk has been found.
  • Harappans did not know about iron.
  • The potter’s wheel was used to produce their characteristics pottery.
  • They knew about boat making also, as it is evident from their seals.
  • Seals are the most important artistic work of the Harappans. Seals are made of steatite and they are in square shape.
  • The depicted signs on seals were bull, Ram, elephants, tigers, and rhinoceros.
  • About 2000 seals have been found on Harappan sites.
  • Some seals have been found in Mesopotamia also.
  • Making of bangle and shell ornament was also practiced by Harappans.
  1. Trade :-
  • Land and oceanic roots were used by Harappans.
  • Mode of trade was Barter (Goods transfer) system
  • A dockyard has been found at Lothal (Gujarat), which was the longest building of the Harappan civilization.
  • Maximum trade was with Mesopotamia. Other trading partners were Afghanistan, Persia, central Asia and various part of India.
  • Two intermediate trading stations called Dilmun and Makan are identified with Bahrain and Makran coast (Pakistan) respectively.

Religion of Harappans:-

  • Harapans worshipped Mother Goddess. It is evident from the terracotta figurine recovered from Harappa.
  • A building called great bath found at Mohenjodaro used for ritual bathing.
  • Harappans worshipped Pipal
  • Pashupati seal has been found from Mohenjodaro on which a Yogi has been depicted.
  • The Yogi on seal surrounded by animals (tiger, elephant, buffalo, deer, rhinoceros). Hence, yogi is said to be proto-Shiva (Lord Shiva).
  • No evidence of temple found.
  • They were superstitious as they wore amulets


Script of Harappans:-

  • The harappans were known about the art of writing. There are nearly 4,000 specimens of harappan writing on stone seals and other objects
  • The Harappan script is pictographic not alphabetical.
  • The Harappan script is not deciphered so far.
  • Script was consisted of about 400 symbols, out of which 75 were original and remaining their variants.


Decline of harappan civilization:-

  • There are various views of historians on the decline of Harappan civilization like flood, earthquake, ponding, climate changes, Aryan invasion etc.
  • James Marshall stated that natural calamities are responsible for the decline of Harappan civilization. And this theory is widely accepted for the decline of Harappan civilization.


Important items of import:-

GoldSouth India ,Afghanistan
CopperKhetri (Rajasthan), Baluchistan
TinBihar, Afghanistan
Lapis LazulliAfghanistan, Central Asia


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