Important Features and Economy of Indus Valley Civilization (Harappan Civilization)

By | August 27, 2015
Important Features of Harappan Civilization

  • Town planning was the most distinguishable feature of the Harappan civilization. hence, Indus valley civilization is also called first urbanization.
  • Towns were divided into parts viz. citadel and lower town. citadels were occupied by members of ruling class and lower town was inhabited by the common people.
  • Dhaulavira is an exception because it was existed in three parts.
  • Harappan cities were developed in Block Pattern/Chess Board Pattern because roads of these cities used to cut each other at right angles.
  • Most peculiar feature of town planning was their drainage system. drains were built of burnt bricks and covered by stone lids and manholes for cleaning. It shown that Harappan people were very conscious of hygiene.
  • The Harappans knew the art of measurement as some bricks inscribed with measure marks have been found at some cities.
  • Complete burial of dead body was the common method followed for disposal.
  • Banwali and Kalibangan shows two phases, viz. pre-Harappan and Harappan.
  • Rojadi, Desalpur and Surkotada faced all the three stages of Harappan civilization viz. pre-Harappan, Harappan and post-Harappan.
  • Chanhudaro was the only city without citadel.
Economy of Harappan Civilization
1. Agricultural and Animal husbandry
  • Harappans grew wheat and barley on a large scale. The other crops grownby them were pulses, cereals, cotton, dates, melons, pea, sesamum and mustard.
  • No clear evidence of rice has been found, except from Rangpur and Lothal were some grains of rice were obtained, but they may be a later period.
  • Harrapan people were mostly peasants and thus the Harappan civilization was an agro-commercial civilization.
  • Evidences of hoe and plough have been found in Kalibangan and Banawali.
  • Harrapans domesticated sheep, goat, buffalo and pig. They also knew about tiger, camel, elephant, tortoise, deer, various birds, etc. However, they didn’t know about lion.
  • Humpless bull or unicorn was the most important animal for them.
  • They didn’t know about horse, except a jaw bone of horse has been recovered from Surkotado in Gujarat in upper layers of excavation.
  • The Harappans were the earliest people to produce cotton because cotton was first produced in this area. The Greeks called it sindon, which is derived from sindh.
2. Crafts
  • The Harappan culture belongs to the Bronze Age, as the people were very well acquainted with the manufacture and use of bronze.
  • they manufactured not only images and utensils but also various tools and weapons such as axes, saws, knives and spears.
  • Weavers wore clothes of wool and cotton. Leather was also known to them but no evidence of silk has been found.
  • Harappans used to make seals, stone statues, terracotto figurines, etc.
  • Huge brick structures made up of burnt bricks and mud bricks suggest that brick laying was an important craft.
  • Harappans didn’t know about Iron.
  • The potters wheel was used to produce their characteristic pottery which was made glossy and shining.
  • They knew boat making also, as it is evident from their seals.
  • The goldsmiths made jewellery of gold, silver and precious stones.
  • Bangle making and shell ornament making was also practised which is evident from the findings of Chanhudaro, Balakot and Lothal.

3. Trade

  • Land trade and sea trade was in vogue.
  • A dockyard has been found at Lothal which is the longest building of the Harppan civilization.
  • Most important trading partner was Mesopotamia. It is evident from the inscriptions of Mesopotamia. other trading relations with Meluha which was the ancient name given to Indus region.
  • Two intermediates trading stations called Dilmun and makan are identified with Bahrain and Makran coast (pakistan) respectively.
  • The mode of trade was barter system.