THE HARAPPAN CIVILIZATION


Copper was the first metal to be used by man for making tools.

Harappan civilization was discovered in 1920–22 when two of its most important sites were excavated.

These were Harappa on the banks of the river Ravi and Mohenjodaro on the banks of the Indus.

The first was excavated by D. R. Sahani and the second by R.D. Bannerji.

On the basis of the archaeological findings, the Harappan civilization has been dated between 2600 B.C–1900 BC and is one of the oldest civilizations of the world.

It is also sometimes referred to as the ‘Indus Valley civilization’.

But today it is termed as the Harappan civilization because Harappa was the first site, which brought to light the presence of this civilization.

It is the first urban culture of India and is contemporaneous with other ancient civilizations of the world such as those of Mesopotamia and Egypt.

 

The whole period of Harappan civilization is in fact divided into three phases:

(1) Early Harappan phase (3500 BC–2600 BC) – it was marked by some town-planning in the form of mud structures, elementary trade, arts, and crafts, etc.,

(2) Mature Harappan phase (2600 BC–1900 BC) – it was the period in which we notice well-developed towns with burnt brick structures, inland, and foreign trade, crafts of various types, etc.,

(3) Late Harappan phase (1900 BC–1400 BC) – it was the phase of decline during which many cities were abandoned and the trade disappeared leading to the gradual decay of the significant urban traits.

 

Some important sites of this civilization are:

Manda [Jammu and Kashmir]

Shortughai [Afghanistan]

Harappa [Western Punjab (Pakistan)]

Mohenjodaro and Chanhudaro [Sind]

Kalibangan [Rajasthan]

Lothal and Dholavira [Gujarat]

Banawali and Rakhigarhi [Haryana]

Daimabad [Maharashtra]

Sutkagendor on the Makran Coast (near Pakistan-Iran border) is the westernmost site of the Harappan civilization 

Alamgirpur in western Uttar Pradesh marks its easternmost limit

 

The location of settlements suggests that the Harappa, Kalibangan, Mohenjodaro axis was the heartland of this civilization and most of the settlements are located in this region.

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