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The Centre of The World

In the world of modern archaeology, Harappa and the Indus Valley civilisation has become more exciting and in some ways controversial than ancient Babylon and other centres of civilisation. What sets Harappa apart is that the region was central to both extensive international trade and spiritual understanding.

The first Europeans to discover the ancient cities of Harappa and Dholavira had to scale all archaeological findings within the scope of the biblical creation story believed to have been about 4000 BC. That misunderstanding has been firmly dismissed yet the archaeological world is still afflicted by those beliefs and the reports from those early researchers have on many occasions in their haste to make a name for themselves, destroyed the very evidence they were supposed to be preserving.

The unique aspects of these Indus cities are that they were not defended against invading armies but they were defended in such a way to perhaps keep out wild animals and certainly to control access to specific city areas during thought of as being for economic reasons. As researchers continue in the attempt to decipher the script and the details of the individual cities some of which may have had populations exceeding 10,000 people, I want to discuss the greater context.

It has been established that India has been continuously occupied and from 2 million years ago and those original inhabitants evolved into what we now term 'modern humans'. This means that any migrations out of Africa which would likely have been small groups of people moving from some dissatisfaction, conflict or scarcity of resources to greener pastures but on arriving in India they would have been absorbed into the local population.

Now if we take the fact that Neanderthal DNA is found in the population across modern Eurasia with a greater percentage in East Asia, and given that they were supposed to have gone extinct some 30 to 40,000 years ago then people had to be travelling across the region and that is supported by the Narashima idol, clearly representing a Hindu narrative found in Germany dated to about 35,000 BC.

Giving weight to that idea, the archaeologist David Adams claims there is evidence of trade through the Wakaan corridor (northern Afghanistan into Tibet) dated to 35,000 BC. This shows that populations of people were not living in isolated pockets, they were sharing ideas, interbreeding and trading away back then, and the Indus region of India was central to all this trade and communication.

It seems highly probable that when the Gobekly Tepe complex was being constructed, there were also significant pockets of civilisation developing agriculture within a greater network of hunter gatherer communities. It seems likely that during the summer months that small groups of people would have gone exploring and discovered their neighbours. Groups that had migrated would tell their origin stories and guide these early explorers who would most likely have been welcomed and shared their stories, and perhaps surplus goods.

In this day and age we tend to think of hunter gatherers as being rather stupid and ignorant savages but we know for a fact that the Neanderthal people had larger brains than modern humans but the evolving people of 10, 30, 50 and all the way back to 2 million years ago, they were not stupid, they knew how to survive and perhaps there came a point the last 50,000 years that with the changes in climate, perhaps more reliable food supplies along with population increase they began to remember their past and think about how to improve their future?

One of the consequences was the evolutionary improvement in language and naming things along with the passing on of stories. People were transitioning from being perhaps one of the most curious of mammalian species into a species capable of greater self-determination. It is thought that sometime around 15,000 BC during the last Satya yuga there was a great shift in consciousness that gave humanity an evolutionary boost. This is attributed to Shiva, the first yogi who defined the nature of being human giving the people the concept of their place within existence, and how to intimately perceive the nature of existence, and an ability to shape their destiny as co-creators.

The people became smarter, communities more sophisticated and larger. They understood planet Earth was their home and they had to take responsibility for it and they placed more value on cooperation and conflict which is perhaps why the Indus cities were never fortified. The people also understood that the inner world of the mind and consciousness were as important if not more important than the physical world because suffering is self-created. (Physical hardship and the suffering imposed by others is another story.)

Pre-Indus societies

The message from the first yogi spread by his most intimate followers would have been to firstly learn how to coexist with life and secondly how to improve human well-being. That message crossed the world even into the Americas. By taking the great yogi's advice, a literal paradise on earth began to take shape that some later writers would call the Garden of Eden.

This first civilisation loosely based around the north of India but having a powerful influence across East Asia, Central Asia and the Levant would have been supported by a mix of hunter gathering and experimental agriculture with an increased leaning towards vegetarianism and the worship (praising) of nature perhaps leading to an increase of deity worship as an evolutionary tool.

Emergence of Indus societies

Before the second stage of civilisation and the evolution of city states, matriarchy prevailed, the Sanskrit language was becoming well developed, the Vedas were being written and there were well structured spiritual communities assisting the common people to live in accord with the natural environment and to perceive themselves as an integral part of the nature. This was heaven on earth without conflict between people yet not everyone was happy. With agriculture, jewelry making and textiles, trade was increasing, the ice caps were retreating and the oceans were rising forcing population movement off what are today's continental shelves.

With an increased rate of climate change and primarily men wanting to take charge of their material destiny, a rift began to appear within that early civilisation. This is told in the story about the origin of language as I heard as a boy some 60 years ago in that Sanskrit was the root of all languages with what would eventually become English having split away from the mother language around 6000 BC. This coincides with the ideological rift within Vedanta giving birth to Avesta thought to have taken place about 2000 years earlier although when looking this far back in history, 2000 years difference should be noted within the narrative but not a point of argument without substantive new evidence.

As per my Garden of Eden story, this rift would return to haunt both the Indus civilisation and modern India. As Avesta split away and evolved into Zoroastrianism based on a more self-centred patriarchal ideology with its own new language, India would remain matriarchal yet trade by bed was central to the people's welfare. The new patriarchal neighbours wanted wealth and a constant array of new things to satisfy their quest for pleasure and perhaps to protect themselves those of the Indus region gravitated toward their own city states.

This divorce of primarily selfish and egotistical men from the matriarchal light of Vedanta ushered in the era of modern politics and patriarchal capitalism remembering that capitalism requires low-cost resources, cheap labour and someone to sell to. The patriarchal capitalists were also the traders, brigands and some would call themselves kings founding their own city states and taxing the people along with more insidious things like introducing slavery.

Conversely India would remain matriarchal with Vedanta lighting the way but more importantly living under Sanatana Dharma, a large percentage of the population was able to pursue and achieve enlightenment which over time made India the greatest nation on earth before the arrival of Islam which is a patriarchal capitalist organisation.

The Indus Valley civilisation remains as a testament to human ingenuity in the face of the hostilities from patriarchal capitalism and it's attempt dominate the modern world and destroy the last bastion of Dharma that ironically is manifesting in all Western societies.

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