Indus Civilisation was the oldest civilization in the world. It is said that they are very modern as compare to us. They are very aware of hygiene and them are well known for metallurgy and measuring instrument. Here we are sharing some important facts of Indus civilisation.
Oldest in the World
Scientists from IIT-Kharagpur and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have recently uncovered evidence that the Indus Valley civilization is at least 8,000 years old and not 5,500 years old as earlier believed. This discovery, published in the prestigious Nature journal on May 25, 2016, makes it not just older than the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilisations but also the oldest in the world.
Indus Valley Civilization was the largest among the four ancient civilizations of the world
In terms of geographic area, Indus Valley Civilization was the largest among the four ancient civilizations of the world namely, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China. Its area was 1,260,000 square kilometres. It was spread over India, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc.
This civilization extended from Ghaggar-Hakra River Valley in the east to Makran coast of Balochistan in the west, from Afghanistan in the northeastern to Daimabad in Maharashtra in the south. In today’s map, if it were a country, it would rank 22nd in term of size between Niger and Angola
Till date over 1056 cities have been discovered
Over 1,056 Harappan cities and settlements had been found, of which 96 have been excavated. They are mostly located in the broad regions of the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra Rivers and their tributaries. Dholavaria, Rakhigarhi, Lothal, Kalibangan are some of the famous urban cities apart from Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.
Archaeologist first thought they had discovered cities of children
Evidence suggests that the people of Indus Valley Civilization loved games and toys. During excavation, archaeologists found more and more of toys and they assumed that most of the inhabitants of this civilization were children.
Flat stones with engraved grid markings and playing pieces have been found, which shows that the Indus people may have played an early form of chess. Dice cubes with six sides and spots have also been found by archaeologists, which suggest that they may have invented the dice too.
They had the world’s first planned cities
Although the use of grid pattern in town planning is attributed to the Greek urban planner Hippodamus (5th Century BC), the first grid planned cities were thousands of years older than that of Miletus. Almost all the Indus Valley cities were designed in a grid pattern with streets crossing at right angles.
The main streets followed North-South direction and East-West direction was followed by secondary streets. Forming perfect right angles, the intersection of streets took place at junctions.
These cities had spacious roads, especially in Mohenjo-Daro, roads were as wide as 10.5 m. It is believed that most of the activities like market etc. were held along these streets which justify the widths very appropriately.
Their sanitation systems & drainage systems were much advanced than any other ancient civilizations
Harappans are famous for their world-class drainage system. The usage of flush toilets, removal of wastewater, channelling fresh water into bathrooms – they were masters in this area. The streets were very carefully constructed keeping in mind the grading for the disposal of stormwater with channels running along the streets as well as underground pipes. The streets were also paved with sundried or burnt bricks for convenient movement of ox-driven carts.
Most of the houses were two-storeyed and even three-storeyed with ample space within
The Indus Valley civilization had excellent masons who were able to construct load-bearing brick structures up to two stories effortlessly. These houses had a central courtyard and a flat accessible terrace.
Awareness of hygiene
It is very clear that the Indus Valley people were well-aware of the importance of living and maintaining a hygienic life. They had put so much effort to provide personal and public baths for everyone, stormwater runoff channels, underground wastewater systems and even garbage disposal. These facts make their attempts to make a healthy and hygienic life quite obvious.
World’s Earliest Known Dockyards
A vital and thriving trade centre of Indus Valley civilization, Lothal had the world’s earliest known dockyard. Spanning an area 37 meters from east to west and nearly 22 meters from north to south, the dock connected the city to an ancient course of the Sabarmati river, which was the trade route between Harappan cities in Sindh and the Saurashtra peninsula.
Balakot, Suktagendor, and Allahdin are other major port cities that give us an idea of the magnitude of the Maritime trade that existed with other civilizations.
The people of Indus Valley had excellent knowledge of metallurgy
People were quite aware of certain new techniques in metallurgy. They used these techniques to produce lead, copper, tin and bronze. These metal products were popular items for export to oversea civilizations.
Earliest scale to test purity of Gold
A touchstone bearing gold streaks was found in Banawali, the purpose of which was probably for testing the purity of gold (such a technique is still used in some parts of India).
They were very advanced in Art and Craft
Harappan art and craft had achieved a level of sophistication beyond its time. This can be seen from their ceramic and terracotta potteries; bronze, copper and other metal artefacts; their skills in bead-making, and other crafts.
This can be understood from the fact that the British archaeologist, Sir John Marshall, who found the bronze Dancing Girl statuette couldn’t believe that it predates Greek sculptures by thousands of years.