Harappa: An Indus Valley Civilization

Pages: 15 (5280 words) Published: August 23, 2013
Harappa (pronounced [ɦəɽəppaː]; Urdu: ہڑپّہ‎; Punjabi: ਹਰਾਪ੍ਪਾ) is an archaeological site in Punjab, northeast Pakistan, about 24 km (15 mi) west of Sahiwal. The site takes its name from a modern village located near the former course of the Ravi River. The current village of Harappa is 6 km (3.7 mi) from the ancient site. Although modern Harappa has a railway station left from the period of British administration, it is today just a small crossroads town of population 15,000. The site of the ancient city contains the ruins of a Bronze Age fortified city, which was part of the Cemetery H culture and theIndus Valley Civilization, centered in Sindh and the Punjab.[1] The city is believed to have had as many as 23,500 residents and occupied over 100 hectares (250 acres) at its greatest extent during the Mature Harappan phase (2600–1900 BC), which is considered large for its time.[2][3] The ancient city of Harappa was heavily damaged under the British Raj, when bricks from the ruins were used as track ballast in the making of the Lahore-Multan Railroad. In 2005, a controversial amusement park scheme at the site was abandoned when builders unearthed many archaeological artifacts during the early stages of construction work. A plea from the prominent Pakistani archaeologist Ahmad Hasan Dani to the Ministry of Culture resulted in a restoration of the site.[4] Contents

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1 History
2 Culture and economy
3 Archaeology
4 Suggested earliest writing
5 Notes
6 See also
7 References
8 External links

History[edit]

Location of Harappa in the Indus Valleyand extent of Indus Valley Civilization(green). The Indus Valley Civilization (also known as the Harappan culture) has its earliest roots in cultures such as that of Mehrgarh, approximately 6000 BCE. The two greatest cities, Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, emerged circa 2600 BCE along the Indus Rivervalley in Punjab and Sindh.[5] The civilization, with a writing system, urban centers, and diversified social and economic system, was rediscovered in the 1920s after excavations at Mohenjo-daro in Sindh near Larkana, and Harappa, in west Punjabsouth of Lahore. A number of other sites stretching from the Himalayan foothills in east Punjab, India in the north, to Gujarat in the south and east, and to Balochistan in the west have also been discovered and studied. Although the archaeological site at Harappa was damaged in 1857[6] when engineers constructing the Lahore-Multan railroad (as part of the Sind and Punjab Railway), used brick from the Harappa ruins for track ballast, an abundance of artifacts has nevertheless been found.[7] The bricks discovered were made of red sand, clay, stones and were baked at very high temperature. Culture and economy[edit]

Coach driver 2000 B.C.E. Harappa, Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley civilization was mainly an urban culture sustained by surplus agricultural production and commerce, the latter including trade with Sumer in southern Mesopotamia. Both Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa are generally characterized as having "differentiated living quarters, flat-roofed brick houses, and fortified administrative or religious centers."[8] Although such similarities have given rise to arguments for the existence of a standardized system of urban layout and planning, the similarities are largely due to the presence of a semi-orthogonal type of civic layout, and a comparison of the layouts of Mohenjo-Daroand Harappa shows that they are in fact, arranged in a quite dissimilar fashion. The chart weights and measures of the Indus Valley Civilization, on the other hand, were highly standardized, and conform to a set scale of gradations. Distinctive seals were used, among other applications, perhaps for identification of property and shipment of goods. Although copper and bronze were in use, iron was not yet employed. "Cotton was woven and dyed for clothing; wheat, rice, and a variety of vegetables and fruits were cultivated; and a...
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