The Indus Valley Civilization: The Masters of the River In the 19th century India was regarded as the
mother of civilizations but the great civilizations
could only be the Middle Eastern, Egyptian. Mortimer Wheeler, one of the great
British archaeologists in India called India “the Cinderella civilization” because it was the last born. Some even thought it a pale copy
of Mesopotamian Civilisations before it was realised that it was in fact unique When the archaeologists started to dig they found nothing resembling the Mesopotamian civilizations. but they soon realised
they were uncovering huge cities Some sites cover 200 to 300 hectares. In area, Mohenjodaro area is probably
the largest of all ancient cities. Big rivers Were vital to the growth
of the Indus civilization as they are
to all agrarian civilizations. The rivers facilitate agriculture. which then feeds the cities where a new,
non-peasant population appears, a population of labourers
and craftsmen.. In the past, Indus
spread across a huge plain which was cultivated the risk of one’s fields
disappearing every year. We have a fairly good idea
of the strength of their economy. The great cities of the Indus
especially Harappa and Mohenjo daro. had well-developed crafts that produced items
only this civilization could make like particular types
of near-industrial ceramics not to mention
all that’s been lost. the Indus civilization must have
produced a lot of textiles. of food processed
using the Technologies of the time. No traces remain of all that
everything disappeared. But today, some of its products
wuold qualify as industrial-quality Merchants hung them around their neck
and they were widely used. One problem with the indus civilization is that its people wrote we know that we have thousands of documents but they wrote on perishable media so we don’t have thier writings only what we’d call street signs signs on key rings everything that remained solid while the other media disappeared. So we do not know.
We have no text. So we saw a civilizatione emerge
that had writing but we thought
it was just for magic rituals when in fact it probably had
a political and administrative system like Egypt and Mesopotamia. Clearly, so long as we can’t
decipher the writing which means finding
a text that is long enough to decipher with the classic techniques we won’t even know
what language they spoke. The Maritime trade
of the Indus civilization has been studied
over the past 20 years or so. We know that rivers were used
for trade between the Indus cities. Its maritime trade is more is tricky We know that the items from the Indus
reached the Oman Peninsula. that is, today’s United Arab Emirates
and Oman as well as Bahrain and Mesopotamia. More than that we
texts of Mesopotamia a text by Sargon of Akkad
from around 2300 BC saying that in his harbour
were ships from Dilmun which is the Quwait-Qatar region
centered on Bahrain… boats from Mogan
today’s Oman penisula and from Meluhha
the land of Indus. It was probably
MULTILATERAL a trade involving people
from whole region It seems that the first
people tp take the sea were not the people from the Indus. We must bear in mind
that today’s Indus Delta is subject to hude tides Its exteremely difficult to navigate and its sea coast
is also very difficult to navigate But at some stage
everyone took the sea and at that time in the middle of the third milennium BC a time of increased
International trade like the trade in jewellery for example, large carnelian beads which only people from Indus
knew how to make it But also the trade in fabrics
including precious fabrics produced and exchanged
in both the Indus and Mesopotamia. And also all sorts of goods
that came from afar like combs made of ivory
and all sorts of other items from as far as the jungles of the Ganges valley How did these people communicate? A Sumerian text from Mesopotamia
around 2000 BC mentions a translator from Meluhha who spoke the languages of the Indus and Sumeria. Pity, he didn’t leave dictionary but we must imagine
that this whole ancient world where people constantly exchanged things it was multilingual. It’s in our world that people now speak a single language ​​plus English. In that ancient world a language was often spoken by just a few thousands people. The neighboring group spoken a different language. So all these people
had to be able to communicate. How did the indus civilization vanish? First, it did not
suddenly disappeared. What we know is that from a certain date that can be established around 2000 BC something we call “regionalisation” occured. This vast cultural unity was replaced by regional entities that lasted quite a while Large cities were abandoned.
that’s certain. that happens quite often. and the reason that big cities
are abandoned is that the way society funtions can no longer support them economically. but this does not mean
the people just left. It means they have started live differently iin a manner less visible to archaeology. The problem that archaeologists
can’t see everything.

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