location of Mesopotamian civilization
Language and literature of Mesopotamia
Mathematics and astronomy
Economy and agriculture
Introduction to harappan civilization
Writing system of Harappa
Authority and governance
Trade and transport
Collapse and later harappan civilization
Historical context and linguistic affiliation
Location of the Mesopotamian Civilization
Mesopotamia encompasses the land between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, both of which have their headwaters in the mountains of Armenia in modern-day Turkey. Both rivers are fed by numerous tributaries, and the entire river system drains a vast mountainous region. Overland routes in Mesopotamia usually follow the Euphrates because the banks of the Tigris are frequently steep and difficult. The climate of the region is semi-arid with a vast desert expanse in the north which gives way to a 15,000 square kilometres region of marshes, lagoons, mud flats, and reed banks in the south.
Language and Literature of Mesopotamia
Students are required to learn Akkadian and Sumerian so that they will be literate consumers of specialized cuneiform studies. In general, students must take at least 4 courses in Akkadian and two courses in Sumerian. Students are encouraged to take additional language courses appropriate to the chronological focus of their proposed dissertation research. The bulk of discovered Mesopotamian literature comes from the Old Babylonian period, and much of that material comes from Nippur. If it can be divided into genres, Mesopotamian literature ; mythologies of the gods wisdom literature, including debate poems and proverbs and the Gilgamesh Epic.
Mathematics and astronomy
Mesopotamian mathematics and science was based on a sexagesimal (base 60) numeral system. This is the source of the 60-minute hour, the 24-hour day, and the 360-degree circle. The Sumerian calendar was based on the seven-day week. This form of mathematics was instrumental in early map-making. The Babylonians also had theorems on how to measure the area of several shapes and solid From Sumerian times, temple priesthoods had attempted to associate current events with certain positions of the planets and stars. This continued to Assyriantimes when Limmu lists were created as a year by year association of events with planetary positions, which, when they have survived to the present day, allow accurate associations of relative with absolute dating for establishing the history of Mesopotamia
Economy and Agriculture
Irrigated agriculture spread southwards from the Zagros foothills with the Samara and Hadji Muhammed culture, from about 5,000 BC. Sumerian temples functioned as banks and developed the first large-scale system of loans and credit, but the Babylonians developed the earliest system of commercial banking. It was comparable in some ways to modern post-Keynesian economics, but with a more "anything goes" approach. The oldest examples of Sumerian writing were bills of sales that recorded transactions between a buyer and seller. When a trader sold ten head of cattle he included a clay tablet that had a symbol for the number ten and a pictograph symbol of cattle Most of the early writing was used to make lists of commodities. The writing system is believed to have developed in response to an increasingly complex society in which records needed to be kept on taxes, rations, agricultural products and tribute
Architectonics of the ‘the Land Between Rivers’
The two areas which first develop civilization - Mesopotamia and Egypt - share a natural product which is ideal for relatively small buildings in a warm climate. Bundles of reeds can be bound together to form pillars and beams. Their tops can even be bent inwards and tied to shape an arch or a dome. And the spaces in the frame can be filled with smaller branches and mud to complete a weather-proof shelter.
Even the more important buildings in the Mesopotamian civilisation are probably constructed in this style for much of the fourth millennium BC. But later for the construction barracks and other important bricks and stones were used for tough and strong construction
Introduction To The Harappan Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization (c. 3300–1300 BCE, flowered 2600–1900 BCE) was an ancient civilization thriving along the Indus River and the Ghaggar-Hakra River in what is now Pakistan and north-western India. Among other names for this civilization is the Harappan Civilization, in reference to its first excavated city of Harappa.
The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was discovered in the 1920s and is known only from archaeological excavations, except, possibly, for Sumerian references to Meluhha, which has been proposed to correspond to the IVC.
Writing System of Harappa
Between 400 and as many as 600 distinct Indus symbols have been found on seals, small tablets, ceramic pots and more than a dozen other materials, including a "signboard" that apparently once hung over the gate of the inner citadel of the Indus city of Dholavira. Typical Indus inscriptions are no more than four or five characters in length, most of which (except from the Dholavira "signboard") are tiny; the longest on a single surface, which is less than 1 inch (2.54 cm) square, is 17 signs long; the longest on any object found has a length of 26 symbols.
Authority And Governance
Cities are the symbols of the Indus Valley civilization characterized by the density of population, close integration between economic and social processes, tech-economic developments, careful planning for expansion and promotion of trade and commerce, providing opportunities and scope of work to artisans and craftsmen etc. This was a sort of urban revolution, which could not have been possible without the strong central authority, specialized economic organization and socio-cultural unity. The size and architectural complexity of all large Harappancities mean something in terms of a socio-cultural development. The lay-out of the streets, the presence of a large-scale drainage system with its requirement for constant tending, the monumental citadels, all can be taken as an indication of tendencies toward a strong central government. Trade and Transportation
The Indus civilization's economy appears to have depended significantly on trade, which was facilitated by major advances in transport technology. The IVC may have been the first civilization to use wheeled transport. These advances may have included bullock carts that are identical to those seen throughout South Asia today, as well as boats. Most of these boats were probably small, flat-bottomed craft, perhaps driven by sail, similar to those one can see on the Indus River today; however, there is secondary evidence of sea-going craft. Archaeologists have discovered a massive, dredged canal and what they regard as a docking facility at the coastal city of Lothal in western India (Gujarat state). An extensive canal network, used for irrigation, has however also been discovered by H.-P. Francfort.
Collapse and Later Harappan Civilization
Around 1800 BCE, signs of a gradual decline began to emerge, and by around 1700 BCE, most of the cities were abandoned. In 1953, Sir Mortimer Wheelerproposed that the decline of the Indus Civilization was caused by the invasion of an Indo-European tribe from Central Asia called the "Aryans". As evidence, he cited a group of 37 skeletons found in various parts of Mohenjo-Daro, and passages in the Vedas referring to battles and forts. However, scholars soon started to reject Wheeler's theory, since the skeletons belonged to a period after the city's abandonment and none were found near the citadel.
Historical context and linguistic affiliation
The IVC has been tentatively identified with the toponym Meluhha known from Sumerian records; the Sumerians called them Meluhhaites. It has been compared in particular with the civilizations of Elam (also in the context of the Elamo-Dravidian hypothesis) and with Minoan Crete (because of isolated cultural parallels such as the ubiquitous goddess worship and depictions of bull-leaping). The mature (Harappan) phase of the IVC is contemporary to the Early toMiddle Bronze Age in the Ancient Near East, in particular the Old Elamite period, Early Dynastic to Ur III Mesopotamia, Prepalatial Minoan Crete and Old Kingdom toFirst Intermediate Period Egypt.
I learnt about the various aspects of the harappan and Mesopotamian civilization. I was dumbstruck to find to find about the systematical , intelligent and the awe-inspiring activites of the people of such a historic period The administrative system worked perfectly with very well planned town planning and drainage system. The commercial activities provided a good living everyone. Even then transportation was used to transport goods and people just by slow methods. They used definite languages to speak and maintained literary sources n seals. Agriculture was then the most popular commercial as well as non commercial activity performed as now in India