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Indus Valley Civilization

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Indus Valley Civilization

shape Introduction

General Awareness is an important section of most of the competitive exams for employment in the government sector in India including, but not limited to, Banking, SSC, UPSC, Railways Insurance, etc. The article Indus Valley Civilization presents the key points related to Indus Valley Civilization and the importance of Indus Valley Civilization in Indian history.

shape IVC

Indus Valley Civilization – IVC:

The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilization in the north western regions of South Asia, extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India, lasting from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE, and in mature form between 2600 BCE and 1900 BCE.

Indus Valley Civilization – Extent:

  • Jammu in the North till Narmada Estuary in the south.

  • Makran coast in the west till Meerut in the East.


Indus Valley Civilization – Important cities:

City River Archaeological Importance
Harappa Ravi
  • A row of 6 Granaries

  • Mother goddess gurines
Mohenjodaro Indus
  • Great Granary

  • Great bath

  • Image of Pashupati Mahadeva

  • Image of Bearded man and

  • The bronze image of a woman dancer
Lothal Bhogava
  • Port city

  • Double burial

  • Terracotta horse gurines
Chanhudaro Indus City without a citadel
Dholavira Indus City divided into 3 parts


Indus Valley Civilization – Town planning and Structure of IVC :

  • Grid system(Chess-board) of town planning

  • Rectangular houses with brick-lined bathrooms and wells together with stairways are found

  • Use of Burnt bricks

  • Underground drainage system

  • Fortied citadel


Indus Valley Civilization – Agriculture :

  • Sindon – Cotton – Major trade good – earliest people to produce Cotton.

  • Proofs of Rice husk found

  • Wheat and Barley were majorly cultivated

  • Use of wooden ploughshare.

  • They had no idea about Iron implements


Indus Valley Civilization – Domestication of animals:

  • Oxens, Buffalo, Goats, Sheep and Pigs were domesticated

  • Asses and camels were used as Beasts of Burden

  • Elephants and Rhino were known

  • Remains of horse found in Surkotada and evidence of horse in Mohenjodaro and Lothal are also found.

  • But the civilization was not horse-centered.


Indus Valley Civilization – Technology and crafts:

  • Bronze (Copper + tin) tools widely used

  • Stone implements were still in vogue

  • Potter’s wheel was put to full use

  • Bronze smiths, Goldsmiths, Boat-Making, Brick-laying etc were other occupations commonly found


Indus Valley Civilization – Trade :

  • Presence of granaries, weights and measures, seals and uniform script signifies the importance of trade

  • Barter system was widely prevalent

  • Lothal, Sutkagendor were port cities used for conducting trade

  • Trade destinations – Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia. Contacts with Mesopotamia civilization are also seen


Indus Valley Civilization – Political organization:

  • Cultural homogeneity achieved through a strong central authority

  • No temples or religious structures found.

  • Harappa was possibly ruled by Merchants class.

  • Weapons are rarely found


Indus Valley Civilization – Religious practices:

  • Terracotta gure of Mother Goddess.

  • Phallu and Yoni worship.

  • Pashupati Mahadev seal found with the elephant, tiger, rhino and a bull surrounding him with two deer near his feet.


Indus Valley Civilization – Tree and animal worship:

  • Pipal tree worship was found.

  • One horned Unicorn recognized as Rhino and humped bull was commonly worshiped.

  • Use of Amulets to ward off ghosts and evil spirits.

  • The lion was not known in Harappan culture


Indus Valley Civilization – Harappan script:

  • Harappan script Pictographic in nature but not deciphered so far.

  • They are recorded on seals and contains only a few words

  • Harappan Script is the oldest script in Indian Sub-continent


Indus Valley Civilization – Weights and Measures:

  • Use of standardized weights and measures to keep accounts of private property, to indulge in trade and commerce etc.

  • Weights are found in multiples of 16.


Indus Valley Civilization – Harappan Pottery:

  • Well-developed Pottery techniques with elaborate designs of trees and circles.

  • Red ware pottery painted with black designs.


Indus Valley Civilization – Seals of Indus Valley Civilization:

  • Seals were used for the purpose of trade or worship. Images of animals such as Buffalo, bull, tiger etc were found inscribed in the seals


Indus Valley Civilization – Statue of IVC:

  • Discovery of Bronze statue of a naked woman and bearded man steatite statue


Indus Valley Civilization – Terracotta gurines:

  • Terracotta – Fire baked earthen clay

  • Used as toys or objects of worship

  • Massive stone works were not found in Harappa which shows the poorly developed artistic

  • works made of stone.


Indus Valley Civilization – Origin, maturity and end of IVC:

  • Pre-Harappan Settlements – Lower Sindh, Baluchistan, and Kalibangan.

  • Mature Harappa – 1900BC – 2550BC.

  • Causes for the decline of Civilization.

  • Decreasing fertility due to increasing salinity on the account of the expansion of nearby desert.

  • Causes for the decline of Civilization.

  • Sudden subsidence of uplift of land causing floods

  • Earthquakes caused changes in the course of Indus.

  • Harappan culture destroyed by invading Aryans


IVC – Post-urban Phase (1900BC – 1200BC):

  • Sub-Indus Culture

  • Primarily chalcolithic

  • Development of Ahar Culture, Malwa Culture, and Jorwe Culture at various phases in post-Harappan Civilization.


shape Quiz

1. What does the term Hindustan refer to ?

    A. Land of Sindhus
    B. Land of Hindhus
    C. Muslim
    D. Land of Aryans


Answer: Option B

Explanation: The name ‘Hindustan’ combines Sindhu and Hindu and thus refers to the Land of Hindus. The Aryan worshippers referred to the river India as the Sindhu. The Persian invaders converted it into Hindu.

  • According to the Shastras, Bharatavarsha and Jambudwipa are two of the earliest names by which our country was known.

  • It is also called Aryavart.


2. Surkotada site was discovered by ___ ?

    A. RD Banerjee
    B. SR Rao
    C. BB Lal
    D. JP Joshi


Answer: Option D

3. By Whom was discovered “mound of the dead” ?

    A. RD Banerjee
    B. Dayaram Sahni
    C. John Marshal
    D. None of the above


Answer: Option A

4. Which of the following town was the western boundary of Indus Valley Civilization ?

    A. Alamgirpur
    B. Suktagendor
    C. Daimabad
    D. Manda


Answer: Option B

5. Dholavira site was discovered by_____ ?

    A. RD Banerjee
    B. Dayaram Sahni
    C. NG Majumdar
    D. None of the above


Answer: Option A

6. The Indus Valley people worshiped_____ ?

    A. Krishna
    B. Rama
    C. Mother Goddess
    D. None of the above


Answer: Option C

7. “ Megalith” literally means ____ ?

    A. A huge stone
    B. A huge wall
    C. A huge rock
    D. None of the above


Answer: Option A

8. Which of the following sites of ‘Indus Valley Civilization’ is not present in India ?

    A. Lothal
    B. Suktagender
    C. Kalibanga
    D. Alamgirpur


Answer: Option B

9. What was the main skill of Indus people in Town Planning ?

    A. Administrative System
    B. Political System
    C. Underground Drainage System
    D. Art & Architecture


Answer: Option C

10. Which one among the following Indus cities was known for water management ?

    A. Lothal
    B. Dholavira
    C. Kalibangan
    D. None of these


Answer: Option B