Indus Civilisation

A mix of history and conjecture

The Indus River in modern-day Pakistan is the site of one of the worlds first ancient civilizations with evidences remaining from 9000 BCE. The most notable cities of  Mohenjo-daro, Ratnagiri and Harappa which bear a high degree of resemblance to each other in urban planning and urban technologies like sewage and water supplies to all homes.

The Indus Valley Civilization (hereafter referred to as the IVC and perhaps better called Sindhu-Sarasvati civilisation) is so impressive that Wikipedia has an entire article dedicated to their inventions. The IVC developed standardized weights and measures and a system of writing. They had advanced sewer systems, showing an interest in cleanliness that most civilizations did not share. They invented buttons and stepwells. Their art is graceful and elegant and shows a command of naturalism that the Greeks would not achieve for centuries. They ran an extensive trading network that included Egypt, Sumeria, Central Asia and possibly China. Their ornaments and pottery have been found in Greece and Egypt.

Their cities had impressive walls to guard against the Indus’s flooding, but not against human aggression. Even their eventual collapse remarkably was free from war: climate change dried and cooled the Indus Valley, and by about 1300 BCE, they had to move elsewhere.

The video below is a lecture from November 6th, 2016 by one of the leading ancient Indus experts who brings to bear a lot of recent information: excavations in Oman indicating strong Indus connections, research on the multiple origins of the civilization, the many causes of decline, burial practices (or not). Full of interesting facts and images and reflections gathered during 50 years of field work that few archaeologists have had with Indus materials and sites.
The talk itself starts about 20 minutes in.
More by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer
I like his criticisms of the current theories like out of Africa and development of agriculture, population movement and connection.
Falsehoods summarised


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