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Indus Valley Civilization

Written by Bedirhan Atabay


Indus Valley Civilization was one of the earliest civilizations in human history. It was among three dominant superpowers which existed in that timeline: Egyptian and Mesopotamian. It was the strongest of the three. It was the first civilization that existed on Indian Peninsula.


Indus Valley Civilization was first created at Harappa, modern-day Pakistan. It had 100 cities/towns in total, however, two of them were significantly more populated than the others: Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. Harappa had a population of 25.632-35.000 and Mohenjo-Daro had a population of 35.000-41.250 [1]. The numbers can seem relatively small to you, however, this population was huge at that time. It stretched from Balochistan in Iran to the Kathiawar Peninsula in Gujarat, India [1]. We don’t exactly know why this civilization ended, however, we know how the Mohenjo-Daro was destroyed: Indo-Europeans raided the city and killed everybody. Civilization in Northwest India remained undeveloped for a long time, however, their culture remained in the Kathiawar Peninsula and they spread their culture into a huge region, therefore their culture helped the people there to create their own civilizations, which caused the creation of new civilizations in Copper Age and Iron Age in the rest of the peninsula.


Agriculture in Indus Valley was important. It was their main food resource [1]. They used irrigation systems to grow more crops to a mass extent [2]. They had a successful agricultural policy, which allowed them to survive for a long time. Trading was also one of their main economic areas. They were using carts and boats to trade, and they were trading in tons of different regions such as Mesopotamia, the Rest of India, Persia, China, Central Asia, and Afghanistan. Animal breeding was common in Indus, thus they used animals in many areas. Dogs were used to maintain security. Cats were used to keep rodents away from fields. Buffaloes were kept because of their milk and butter. Meanwhile, cattle were the main domestic animals in the Indus civilization. Cows were kept because of the same reason as Buffaloes. Bullocks were kept to drive carts, harvest, and raise water [3]. They had their own sculpturing culture. They crafted figures for worshipping. They were using stone and bronze to craft sculptures, but the main resource for figures was terra-cotta. The outstanding majority of sculptures were female, but there were male sculptures and animal sculptures. They were using copper and bronze to craft tools such as axes, spears, or chisels. Copper was more common than bronze. Their crafting abilities were unquestionable, still, it was far behind those in Mesopotamia. They were using gold, silver, and lead too. Gold was extremely rare, and it was used to craft smaller things. Silver was a bit more common than gold. They had their own language and alphabet, however, we still don’t know so much about its roots [2].


As you can see, Indus was one of the most important civilizations that existed. Without them, Indian culture wouldn’t become one of the most important ones in the world.



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