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Indus Valley Civilization
ON THE BANKS of the Indus River in mordern-day Pakistan, one of the world's earliest civilizations grew and flourished between c.2700 and 2750 BC. It was centered on the cities of Mohenjo- Daro and Harappa, each of which centered up to 40,000 people. Large public buildings, built of mud bricks, show that the civilization was prosperous. We know about the day-to-day life of Indus Valley citizens, except that they trade with Sumeria and may have practiced an early form of Hinduism. Their civilization mysterious collapsed after 1750 BC; this may have been due to invasions, or the River Indus changing its course.
Weights and measures
Like most ancient civilizations, the Indus Valley people developed a system of Weights and measures. This meant trade became easier, and also goods could be valued for tax purposes.
Little is known about the Indus Religion. The importance of water, shown by the existence of bathe-house, has led to scholars to link it with later Hinduism. Various statues have been found that may represent gods and goddesses.
Indus people were skilled potters and metalworkers. They made fine painted vessels, terracotta statues, and beautiful gold jewellery. They also learned how to blend copper and gold to produce bronze.
The great granary
Some scholars think that the Indus valley people used the granary rather like the bank - it was a secure store of wealth for the merchants and the rulers of the city.
Parts of Mohenjo-Daro
The granary had wooden 46-m (150) walls and roofs running of the building.
The bathe-house was one of Mohenjo-Daros biggest and most important buildings.
Small baths are in buildings near the bathe-house.
The central bath may have been used for relegious purposes, such as the ritual cleansing before ceremonies.
The citadel is the raised area that contains the important public buildings, such as the bathehouse and the great granary. The higher grounds makes the area easier to defend.
A stupa, or Buddhist shrine, was built much more recently than the ancient city of the Mohenjo-Daro. The original main temple of the Indus Valley people may be hidden beneath the stupa's mound.
The Indus people used seals to show ownership. Each seal is carved with the image of an animal, such as an unicorn, and an inscription.
Most of the statuetteus found in the Indus cities have head dresses and jewellery, showing they were probably goddess figures.
The steatite (soapstone) statue is the most famous object found in the Mohenjo-Daro. It has a serene expression
Archaeologists have found stone seals in a script unlike any other ancient form of writing. When long texts are formed, scholars can often decipher them but the Indus Valley incriptions are very short, so their meaning remains a mystery.