Key Features of Indus Valley Civilisation

Indus valley civilisation represents the earliest extant urban culture of the Indian subcontinent. It was identified in the year 1921 at Harappa in Punjab and then in 1922 at. Mohenjodaro, near the Indus river in Sindh, both now in Pakistan. Subsequently, relics of the civilization were found as far as in Sutkagen Dor, near the shore of the Arabian Sea west of Karachi, and in Rupnagar at the foot of the Shimla hills about 1,600 km to the northeast.

Exploration carried out later established its existence southward down the west coast of India as far as till the Gulf of Khambhat, and as far east as till the Yamuna basin. It is now considered the most extensive of the world’s three earliest civilisations; the other two were those of Mesopotamia and Egypt, both of which were almost contemporaneous with it.

Some of the key features of the Indus Valley civilisation were

  • Indus culture or the Harappan culture precedes the Chalcolithic culture and is the best developed one among all other cultures in ancient India. The existence of the Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) was first discovered by Charles Mason in 1823.
  • IVC evolved in three stages, viz, Pre-Harappa stage (4500–3500 B.C), Proto-Harappan stage (3500–2500 B.C.) Harappan stage (2500–1750 B.C.).
  • In the first stage, village culture was found in Baluchistan viz. Kuli, Quetta, Zhob, Nul, Ranaghundei, Zalilpur, Rehman Dehri and Sarai Kola.
  • In the second stage the Baluchi cultures entered into Sindh which resulted in the practice of extensive cultivation. This economic prosperity led to urbanisation. Some representative cities of this stage of development were Kot Diji, Amri, Kalibangan and Banwali.
  • It was in the third stage that IVC reached its pinnacle. It extended from Sutkagendor in west to Alamgirpur (UP) in east, Manda (Kashmir) in north to Daimabad in the south.
  • IVC is also called the Harappan civilisation because of it being discovered first in the namesake site situated in the province of west Punjab in Pakistan.
  • Harappan culture spread southwards and eastwards from its central zone, which lay in Sind and Punjab, thus covering Punjab, Haryana, Sindh, Baluchistan, Gujarat, Rajasthan and fringes of western Uttar Pradesh.

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