Harrapan Civilization

Date: December 10, 2014

               Harappa Civilisation   

Early Harappan Cultures :


  • Kulli Culture (Sindh region)
  • Amri Nal Culture (Sindh region)
  • Queta Culture (Queta valley)
  • Jhob Culture (North Baluchistan)
  • Sothi Culture (Rajasthan)

Time Period 2300 – 1750 B.C.

                              City / Site                                                         River

                              Mohanjodaro                                                   Indus

                              Harappa                                                            Ravi

                              Ropar                                                                Satlej

                              Kalibanga                                                         Ghaggar

                              Lothal                                                                Bhogva

                              Sutkagandar                                                     Dashq

                              Sotkakoh                                                          Shadikaur

                              Alamgirpur                                                        Hindon

                              Rangpur                                                           Bhader

                              Bhagvanpura                                                    Saraswati

                              Dainmabad                                                       Pravra

                              Amri                                                                  Indus

                              Rakhighari                                                        Ghaggar

                              Bhagvat rao                                                      Kim river

                              Manda                                                               Chenab

                        Raw Materials                         Place of Import

                              Tin                                                      Afghanistan, Iran

                              Copper                                               Rajasthan, Baluchistan

                              Silver                                                  Iran, Afghanistan

                              Lapis, Lazulli                                    Afghanistan, Persia, Karnataka, Badakhsan

                              Lead                                                   S. India, Iran

                              Stealite                                               Baluchistan, Rajasthan, Gujarat

                              Agate                                                  Gujarat

  • Amri, Kalibangan, Kotdiji were present in early Harappan phase
  • Drainage system of Banawali is not up to the mark.
  • Brick size ratio – 8 : 4 : 1 (largest in size); 4 : 2 : 1 (most popular)                    5 : 2 : 1 (smallest in size)
  • L type bricks were used at corners
  • Curved bricks from Chanhudaro                  Decorated bricks from Kalibangan
  • Walls based on English bond system.                  Plough model from Mohanjodaro & Banawali
  • Sites to store grains from Harappa                  Ur (Mesopotamiya) – Vanity Box (Harappan)
  • Sumarian boat – Mohanjodaro
  • A plant emerging from the womb of a female (seal from Harappan)
  • Etched bead (Mesopotamian) – from Harappa
  • Cylindrical seal (Mesopotamian) – Mohanjodaro
  • Weights and measure – Binary (for lower denomination), Decimal (for higher denomination)
  • Vanity box – from Harappa
  • Dice and chess – Lothal
  • Proto-Austroloid, Mongoloid, Alpine, Mediterranean (Maximum in No.)
  • Mohanjodaro – Stupa Mound                 Cat chased by dog – Chanhudaro
  • Story of clever fox and crow – Lothal                  Ivary combs – Kalibangan
  • Fire allows – Kalibangan, Banawali & Lothal                  Kalibangan – Houses of unbaked bricks
  • Seals of composite animals also found (Gilgameesh)
  • Dockyard – Ratio 6 : 1
  • Pet (dog) buried with its master – Ropar (Also the first place to be discovered after independence)
  • Horse evidence – Surkotda (bones), Lothal (bones), Kalibangan (bones), Dholaveera (bones), Mohanjodaro (Model)
  • Scales – Mohanjodaro            Foot ( 37. 6)                       Cubit ( 51.8)
  • Statue (Lost Wax technique)
  • Script – Right to left, Boustrophedon (right to left and then left to right), Pictographic
  • Joint Burials – Lothal, Kalibangan   Matriarchal Society
  • Tree most depicted – Peepal

Vedic Culture

Archeological Sources – OCP (Ochre Coloured Pottery), three sites from Punjab and Bhagwanpura from where a house containing 13 rooms has been found.

  • Kassite inscription of the year 1600 B.C. which tells about migration of one of the branches of the Aryans from Iran to India.
  • Boghajkoi (Mitanni) inscription of the year 1400 B.C. mentioning a treaty between Hittite and Mitanni Kings mentioning Rig Vedic Gods Indra, Mitra, Varuna & Nasatya as witness to the treaty.

Literally Sources – Rigved for early vedic and for later vedic period Yajurveda, Samveda and Artharvaveda in that order.

  • Rigveda comprises of ten Mandalas having 1028 ‘Suktas’ & divided in three parts -

      Sakala – 1017 Suktas                Balkhilya – 11                   Vashkal – 56 (now not available)

The core area of Rigvedic period was ‘Saptsaindhava’. With material progress focus of culture shifted towards East. New regions being Brahmarshi Desha, Brahmvartha, Madhya Desha, Aryavarta in that order.

               River name (Previously)                                                              River name (Presently)

                              Kubha                                                                              Kabul

                              Gomti                                                                               Gomal (Afghanistan)       

                              Krumu                                                                              Kurram

                              Suvastu                                                             Swat

                              Vitasta                                                                              Jhelum

                              Askini                                                                              Chenab

                              Shatudri                                                                           Satlaj

                              Vipasha                                                             Vyas     

Vedic Society – Initially, pastoralism was main occupation. Importance of cattle wealth is evident from excessive use of the word ‘Gau’ (Cow).     King - Gopati                     for time – Godhuli,           for distance – Gavyatu,                         

for rich man – Gomat,      for daughter – Duhitta,     for Cow – Aghanya,          for guest – Goghana and     for battle – Gavishti

               In this period we find cattle and female slaves as part of the wealth, but land was not considered as wealth because of Nomadic character of Vedic people. We don’t find the mention of tiger, elephant but horse & cow were two most important animals.

               They knew art of agriculture but it was not practiced on a wide scale.  Aryans had knowledge of seasons, crops specific to different seasons, agriculture implements etc. They used word ‘Yava’ for grains which seemed to be indicative of all the grains known to them. But rice was not known to them.


Urvara – Tilled field                                       Karishu – Fertilizer                                         Sthavi – Grain pit              

Langal – Furrow                                              Sita – Furrow marks                                        Urdara - Pot used to measure grain

Kivaash – Furrow man                                   Kulya – Canal                                                  Parjanya – Clouds

               Rigvedic people knew about five seasons and we know that Ashwin taught Manu how to plough a field. Apala (learned lady) prays for her fathers prosperity. Though slavery was known to them but use of slaves was restricted to house hold purposes only.

Crafts – Rigvedic people knew metals such as gold, copper, bronze but not iron. The word ‘Ayas’ is indicative of copper and not iron. They knew various crafts in wood, leather, cotton and wool. Weaving was an art popular among ladies and those ladies were known as ‘Siri’.

Carpenters - Takshana                    Loome – Tasar                                  Weaver – Tantuvaya                       Doctor – Bhishaka

               Trade was known to them and it was taken both on water and on land. Though word ‘Samudra’ was known to them but it simply meant a huge water body and not a sea. Trade was taken by ‘Panis’ who were considered as Non Aryans. Trade was facilitated by development of various crafts. For exchange ‘Nishq’ and ‘Shatman’ were used but in general there were no coins and batter system was prevalent and unit must have been a cow, for everything was valued in terms of a cow. Money was given on interest and person involved in such a activity was known as ‘Vakenat’


               King was the head and was elected from the members of the clan. Kingship was hereditary, sometimes king was elected too. He was assisted by Purohit, Senani. Other officers were –

Brajpati – Incharge of grasslands                                Spash – Spy                                                      Palagal – Messenger

Purap – Incharge of fort                                                Gramini – Head of a village                         

               The oldest institution was ‘Vidatha’, which was General Assembly attended by all.  Samiti was like Rajya Sabha of today but women were not allowed to participate in its proceedings, while Sabha was like Lok Sabha of today and women were part of it. Both jointly were called two daughters of ‘Prajapati’.

Social Life – Vasa, Adhivasa and Nivi, all were clothes. Nishq was an ornament. Gents used to keep beards and moustaches. Ladies used to keep their hairs in different styles. People were both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Meat of cow was generally forbidden but she could be killed to welcome a guest (Atithi) and hence Atithi was known as ‘Goghana’ and cow ‘Aghanya’. They knew the use of milk and its various products. Soma was considered a sacred drink consumed at the time of sacrifices while Sura was an intoxicating drink consumed generally. For recreation they had various means such as music (vocal as well as instrumental, such as dhol, veena, bansuri), dance, hunting, dice and chariot race. They were aware about their health and for diseases word ‘Yakshma’ was used. Ashwins were considered divined physicians.

Religion – They worshipped nature in its human form. Multi Gods, Male gods were more important. The practice of praising every God as highest of all was prevalent and it is known as Henotheism. Gods were divided into three categories – 1. Space Gods – Indra, Varuna, Rudra, Maruta, Vayu, Vivastha, Yama and Aditi.    

  1. Sky Gods – Ashwin, Poshan, Dyaus, Surya (in all its six forms such as Adiya, Savitra, Mitra, Aryavan, Daksha and Ansha)
  2. Earth Gods – Agni, Som, Brahaspati, Matarashwin.

               Though they worshipped various Gods but still at the closing of Rig Vedic they were moving towards Monotheism i.e. Ekeshwarwad.