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Indus River Valley and Harappan Civilization

The earliest civilizations that have been discovered by modern archeologists are typically located in the river valleys, as rivers allowed agricultural development. Agriculture was crucial for the increase in population and specialization of civilizations like the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Mesopotamians, and the Indus river civilization. Indus River runs mostly within the borders of modern Pakistan and represents the main water and food supply for the ancient Indus Valley Civilization also referred to as Harappan Civilization.

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The Harappan Civilization existence timeline is usually divided in three main periods. The first period is called the early period from 3300 BCE to 2600 BCE during which the civilization was established as small separate villages transformed into a more unified society. The mature period took place between 2600 BCE and 1600 BCE and offers the main part of archeological discoveries that refer to ancient technology and structure (“Indus Valley Civilization”, 2017). The last period is named the late period from 1600 BCE to 1300 BCE and is related to the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization.

The Harrapan civilization is believed to be one of the biggest ancient civilizations with estimated five million people of population in general and almost forty thousand people in separate cities. It is considered a civilization as cultural interchange leads to standardization and most of the archeological findings in the area are connected and have significant similarities like common unit of measurement (“Indus Valley Civilization”, 2017). The usage of common units of measurement led to the Indian Valley Civilization ability to build complex constructions using the same-size bricks, which managed to last for five thousand years. Even though the above-mentioned civilization offers archeologists and historians a wide variety of evidence, there are still many mysteries related to the era.

The main unanswered question is the reasoning behind the decline of Indian Valley Civilization. Some multiples theories try to explain the end of that civilization including the probability of a foreign invasion, or a climate change that led to drought and made people leave the area. There are also some, who believe that it may have been caused by natural disasters, but it is impossible to explicitly determine if any of these theories are true. There are also some questions related to the possible trading with other river valley civilizations as there is evidence of transportation of Harappan’s jewelry. Last but not least, it is hard to determine the aspects of religion in Indus Valley Civilization and its impact on modern religions and culture as the used language is impossible to decipher.

Numerous seals are found in the area in which the Indus Valley Civilization is believed to locate. These seals have a significant positive impact on the process of studying the mentioned civilization and the time period in general as they bring a better understanding of religion and culture. The first and the most obvious conclusion that can be made based on the seals is that the Harappan’s had a developed writing language, which is unfortunately not translated yet. These seals also might have been used as a component of trade, which implies the Indus Valley Civilization had a relatively developed trading system (“An Indus Seal”, n.d.). Moreover, the seals may have religious meaning and are even believed to be related to more recent religions. Some of the seals depict a figure, which may be considered as an image of God, meaning the Harappand Civilization had a rich spiritual culture.

Works Cited

“An Indus Seal.” Khan Academy.

“Indus Valley Civilization.” YouTube, uploaded by Khan Academy 2017.

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