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India, Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Nomadic, Indus people, Rig Veda

Mohenjo Daro Girl
Mohenjo Daro

Sometime around 6,000 B.C.E. a nomadic herding people, who some now think to be Dravidians, settled into villages in the Mountainous region just west of the Indus River. There they grew barley and wheat, harvesting it using sickles with flint blades.


They lived in small houses built with adobe bricks. After about 5000 B.C.E. the climate in their region changed, bringing more rainfall, which apparently enabled them to grow more food, for they grew in population. They began domesticating sheep, goats and cows and then water buffalo.


Then after 4000 B.C.E. they began to trade with distant areas in central Asia and areas west of the Khyber Pass. They also began using bronze and other metals. In time the total area of the Indus civilization, became larger than that of the old kingdom of Egypt. Their cities were characterized by buildings of elaborate architecture, constructed of fired brick, with sewage systems and paved streets. Top left: Bronze Figure of a dancing girl, Mohenjo-Daro, India 2500 B.C.E. To the right: Mohenjo-Daro, India 2500 B.C.E.


Typical of these large planned cities, is Mohenjo-daro, which along with its great buildings, had city streets laid out in a grid. The city is thought to have housed roughly 50,000 people, and had a granary, baths, assembly halls and towers. The city was divided into two parts; west of the city there stood a citadel surround by a wall. This citadel appears to have been a religious centre. The Citadel included an elaborate tank or bath, created with fine quality brickwork and sewer drains, this area was then surrounded by a veranda.


Also located here were a giant granary, a large residential structure, and at least two aisled assembly halls. To the east of the citadel was the lower city, laid out in a grid pattern. The people of Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa and the other cities, shared a sophisticated system of weights and measures, used arithmetic with decimals, and had a written language that was partly phonetic and partly ideographic. The Indus people also utilized seals for signatures and pictorial presentation, as did the people to the northwest in Elam and Sumer. The Indus valley people carried on active trade relations with the middle-east in gold, copper utensils, lapis lazuli, ivory, beads and semiprecious stones.


Sometime between 1,800 and 1,700 B.C. Civilization on the Indus Plain all but vanished. What befell these people is unknown. One suspected cause is a shift in the Indus River, another is a huge ruinous Earthquake, and still another is monumental flooding of the rivers. Flooding that would explain the thick layers of silt, thirty feet above the level of the river at the site of Mohenjo-Daro. Of course these are only unsubstantiated theories, no one knows what really caused the people to leave. Later, people of a different culture inhabited some of the abandoned cities, in what archaeologists call a "squatter period."


Then the squatters also disappeared: Careful note should be made, that only the people and culture of the valley vanished. The Indus Valley civilization was the largest of its time and covered a vast territory. It effectively extended north to the Himalayas and east to what is now Vietnam. But because of the Arian invasion or migration, whichever, subsequent Indus history was lost. There is a website that is purely devoted to the history Indus Valley Civilization, please click here

The Indus Valley civilization



Additionally, we should keep in mind that the Arian's were illiterate nomads, {the Rig Veda was written 600 years after they had arrived}, and so whomever it was that kept civilization alive in India, during the convulsive period, it couldn't have been them.


Knowledge of the Mohenjo-Daro civilization died, until archaeologists discovered evidence of the civilization in the twentieth century.


As to where these people went, no one knows for sure. Some believe that they went to southern India, some surely did.


But one guess is that many of the Indus Valley people went to the north, into Elam and Sumer to re-join their former group.


This scenario would explain the somewhat “sudden” appearance of the Medes and Persians in Elam, as well as other, similar groups in eastern Anatolia


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