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Indus River Valley Civilization

6 Elements of the Indus River Valley Civ.

Carl Gunter

on 16 October 2012

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Transcript of Indus River Valley Civilization

Indus River Valley Civilization Government Religion Art Social Structure Cities Writing The Indus Valley peoples
made various sculptures,
seals, pottery, gold jewelry,and anatomically detailed figures in terracota, bronze, and steatite. A harp-like instrument was
depicted on an Indus seal,
indicating that the people
of the Indus Valley used
string instruments. The Indus' peoples
mainly focused on the
use of pottery and metals
to create their art. The Indus Valley's
major cities were
Mohenjo-Daro and Harrapa. Harappa is named after a Pakistani town where the first evidence of an Indus valley civilization was found. There, archaeologists uncovered the ruins of a palace. Archaeologists also found at least 5 mounds, two of which had large walls around them. These walls were built not only for defense but also to help regulate trade that took place there Religion Indus Valley peoples
worshipped the Mother
Goddess, were polytheistic, and showed early signs of Hinduism. There is early evidence
of elements of Hinduism
before and during the early
Harappan period; these
include phalic symbols
representing the Hindu
Siva Lingram. Early Indus peoples
buried their dead;
however, during the
late Harappan period,
they also cremated their
dead and put them in
special urns. Many Indus Valley
seals show animals,
which indicates that
they may have worshipped
animals. Four-hundred to six-hundred
Indus symbols of writing
have been found on seals,
small tablets, ceramic pots,
and over a dozen other
materials. The script is largely pictoral,
is written from right to left,
and typical inscriptions were made up of four to five characters each. Harappan script has
yet to be deciphered. There is no recorded information
on the Indus River Valley
civilizations politics. However, we can assume that
because Indus cities were
well-planned and religion played
a prominent role in daily life,
they had an organized government
with religious leaders. The government likely
promoted skills in mathematics
and surveying to create and
lay out the foundations for
their cities. Harappan society was dominated
by the priestly class which oversaw
local and long-distance trade as well
as ruling there corresponding city. The control exhibited by uniformity
and rigid ordering of Harappan culture would not have been possible without an extensive administrative class serving the priests. It is probable that the members of this class were either wealthy mercantile families or specialized warriors. Characteristically, size - not decoration - set apart the upper class housing from the lower class, nobility, artisans, laborers, and slaves. Mr Carl Gunter Way of Life Farming villages: built on large mounds
purpose was to keep villages above flood level
grew in size and population to become cities Mohenjo-Daro Mohenjo-Daro is the best known city in the Indus River Valley Civilization.
The fact that Mohenjo-Daro was so carefully planned shows that the city must have had a strong government. Leaders must have directed others to plan and build the city's buildings and streets
built using a grid system
divided into two parts: eastern part and western part
eastern part was where most of the homes were located
western part was where government and religious activities took place.
buildings were made of bricks- that were baked in the oven
wealthy families would have a house in the city and the rest lived in small mud huts in villages outside the city Read Pair Share Read the section on page 147 titled The Mysterious End of the Harappan Civilization.
Answer the following question: Do you think that the Harappans' use of urban planning made Mohenjo-Daro a good place to live Explain? Use details in the text to Explain your answer. Discuss responses with your partner. Mohenjo-Daro Mohenjo-Daro is probably the best known city of the Indus Cities. It was a model of urban planning. The fact that Mohenjo-Daro was so carefully planned shows that the city must have had a strong government. Leaders must have directed others to plan and build the city's buildings and streets Mohenjo-Daro was built using a grid system, just as some modern cities are. Some were as wide as 30 feet. The planners laid out these streets to form rectangular blocks for houses and other buildings. These builders used exact measurements as they constructed the city. Mohenjo-Daro and several other cities were divided into two parts. The eastern part was where most of the homes were located. The western part was where government and religious activities took place. A citadel-- or large, fortlike structure-- contained government buildings and palaces. It also had places for religious ceremonies and for storing grain. The builders of Mohenjo-Daro added layers of mud to the western part of the city so that it stood at least 20 feet higher than the eastern part, or the lower city. Most of the grain storage buildings, or granaries, stood 30 tall and were 1200 feet long. Each granary held more than enough grain to feed Mohenjo-Daro's population. The grain was also used to pay many of the workers in the city. Most of the buildings in Mohenjo-Daro were made of bricks in the sun, as the Egyptians and Mesopotamian's did, the Harappan people baked their bricks in ovens. Fire baked bricks in ovens. Fire baked bricks were harder and could not be washed away by water like sun-dried bricks, which can be used only in very dry regions. Because brickmakers used exact measurements, each brick was the same size and shape. Only the wealthiest families lived in houses in the city. The rest of the people lived in small mud huts in villages outside the city. Some city houses were two stories high and had courtyards and servants' rooms. The doors most city houses opened onto back alleys rather than onto the busy main streets. The fronts of the houses, which had no windows, looked much alike. While most village huts had only one large room, even teh smallest city houses had separate rooms for cooking and for sleeping. Some of the city houses had rooms for bathing, which included water wells inside. Family members showered by pouring jugs of fresh water over themselves. The runoff water flowed through brick drainpipes into a drainage system along city's streets. The main drains had covered openings so that workers could repair damaged pipes. Within Mohenjo-Daro's citadel was a large public bathhouse. The main tank was 40 feet long and 8 feet deep. Besides bathing there, people may have used the bathhouse for religious purposes. They may also have gathered there to exchange news and conduct business. An interesting fact about Harappan cities is that they were all very much alike. Their street layouts were similar. People in each city used the same weights, measures, and tools. This probably means that the Harappans had a strong central government to control such things. The Mysterious End of the Harappan Civilization Why the Harappan civilization ended is still a mystery. One theory is that by 1700 B.C. the Indus civilization was slowly breaking up into smaller cultures. The breakup may have been caused by changes in the course of the Indus and other rivers. This could have caused some cities to be flooded and other cities to lose their sources of water and transportation. As a result, many people left the cities of the Indus Valley. In time they have been assimilated into, or made part of, other cultures. Another theory is that the end of the Harappan civilization came because of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, flood, or monsoon.
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