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SOC401 - Cultural Anthropology

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    The Indus Valley Civilization was one of the world’s first great urban civilizations. It flourished in the vast river plains and adjacent regions in Pakistan and western India. Although there were economic and cultural contacts between these early urban societies, significant differences are seen in their respective artistic styles, symbols, technologies and social organization. The Indus Valley Civilization is also the largest of the four other ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, India, Egypt, and China. However, out of all these four ancient civilizations, least is known about the Indus Valley civilization. This is because of the fact that the script of Indus people has not been decoded yet.
    Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were the two much planned civilized cities with similar planning technique, and layout in construction of this civilization.

    Living standard or town planning
    An Indus city was made of mud-brick buildings. It had walls and roads. Water was very important to Indus people, so the builders started by digging wells, and laying drains. Main streets were up to 10 meters wide, wide enough for carts to pass. Side streets were narrow, more like alleys. Houses were built with standardized baked bricks and many had spacious courtyards. Some of the bigger houses even had multiple stories (levels) and paved floors. Some cities had a citadel high on a mound. In the citadel were bigger buildings. Perhaps the city’s rulers lived there. Most people lived and worked in the lower part of town. Most Indus people did not live in cities at all. Perhaps 9 out of 10 people were farmers and traders who lived in small villages.
    Art and craft
    This ancient civilization had marvelous craftsmen, skilled in pottery, weaving, and metal working. The pottery that has been found is of very high quality with beautiful designs. They have found bowls made of bronze and silver, and many beads and ornaments. Various sculptures, seals, pottery, gold jewelry and bronze have been found at excavation sites.
    Trade and Economy
    Indus Valley civilization was mainly an urban culture sustained by surplus agricultural production and commerce, the latter including trade. It was facilitated by major advances in transport technology. Aside from the subsistence of agriculture and hunting, the Indus people supported themselves by trading goods. Through trade, the Indus Civilization expanded its culture, coming into regular contacts with faraway lands.
    Water and irrigation system
    Remains from the ancient city of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro show that the city used to have a well designed and proper water drainage and irrigation systems. Farmers made good use of water from the rivers. They were probably the first farmers to take water from underground wells. They may have used river water to irrigate their fields.
    The language is not directly attested and its affiliation is uncertain. The main body of writing dated from the Indus Civilization is in the form of some two thousand inscribed seals in good, legible conditions. These seals and samples of Indus writing have been floating around the scholastic. So contention for being the language of the Indus civilization is dim. The Harappan people were literate and used to Dravidian language. Only part of this language has been deciphered today, leaving numerous questions about this civilization unanswered.
    Although Indus Valley civilization has its importance, but we may not know anything more about this civilization, the reason is this language does not exist anymore. The historians, the scholars and generally for all of us, this leads to acknowledge of an important civilization, which was the basis for several features of the current lifestyle. It was this rigorous devotion to craftsmanship and trade that allowed the Harappan culture to spread widely and prosper greatly.


    Ancientscripts Bizland Timemaps Wikipedia Wikipedia
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