Civil Services Exam 2016: You will be tested on your knowledge about ancient history which includes Indus Valley Civilization.

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Subject: History

Civil Services Exam
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The Indus Valley civilization is also known as the Harappan Civilization after the village named Harappa, in what is now Pakistan, where the civilization was first discovered. It is also known as the Indus Civilization because two of its best-known cities, Harappa and Mohenjodaro, are situated along the banks of the Indus River.In India the largest Harappan site is located in Haryana Rakhigarhi, and the second largest is in Dholavira, Gujarat.

Facts about Indus Valley Civilization

  • This ancient civilization belonged to the bronze age.It existed for about 1000 years  from 2500 BC to 1500 BC.
  • It was spread to a large area covering about 1,260,000 km². This civilization extended from Makran coast of Balochistan in the west to Ghaggar-Hakra River valley in the east, From Afghanistan in the northeastern to Daimabad in Maharashtra in the south. It is one of the largest known ancient civilization.
  • The people of that time had great engineering skills. They discovered tin,lead,copper etc. Their town planning was also exceptional. They used bricks to build their buildings and they had a very efficient drainage system.
  • The main profession of the people of Indus valley civilization were trading and farming. Besides rice,wheat they also produced cotton,dates in large quantity.
  • The cities were the main places for trading.About 1000 cities were found. The popular cities of that time were Mohenjo daro, Harappa, Lothal, Banwali.
  • It is found that people of that era worshiped animals and birds. From a seal founded of that era it is revealed that they used to worship Pashupati (lord of cattle).
  • There are many theories behind the destruction of this civilization.Many believes that flood, drying up of river, deforestation were the main reasons behind the destruction of this civilization. Some people believe invasion of aryans was the cause of destruction.

    Important Seals

    The most interesting part of the discovery relates to the seals-more than 2000 in number, made of soapstone, terracotta and copper. The seals give us useful information about the civilization of Indus valley. Some seals have human or animal figures on them. Most of the seals have the figures of real animals while a few bear the figure of mythical animals. The seals are rectangular, circular or even cylindrical in shape. The seals even have an inscription of a sort of pictorial writing. Most of the seals have a knob at the back through which runs a hole. It is said that these seals were used by different associations or merchants for stamping purposes. They were also worn round the neck or the arm.

The Pashupati Seal: This seal depicts a yogi, probably Lord Shiva. A pair of horns crown his head. He is surrounded by a rhino, a buffalo, an elephant and a tiger. Under his throne are two deer. This seal shows that Shiva was worshipped and he was considered as the Lord of animals (Pashupati).

The Unicorn Seal: The unicorn is a mythological animal. This seal shows that at a very early stage of civilization, humans had produced many creations of imagination in the shape of bird and animal motifs that survived in later art.

The Bull Seal: This seal depicts a humped bull of great vigour. The figure shows the artistic skill and a good knowledge of animal anatomy.

Social and Economic Life of the Indus Valley People

The social and economic life of of the people of Indus Valley Civilization (Harappan Civilization) was systematic and organised.The Indus valley population consisted of Australoid, Mediterranean, Mongoloid and Alpine races. The cosmopolitan character of the population proves that the Indus valley was the meeting place of the people of various races. The people had good understanding of an urban civilization. The approximate population of Mohenjo-Daro was 35000.

Script Used 

The Indus Valley script is pictographic in nature.

Some Major Excavations

Sites Excavated By
Harappa R B Dayaram Sahni
Mohenjo Daro R D Banerjee
Lothal S R Roa
Banwali R S Bisht


Reason of Indus Valley Civilization decline

Major reason given by scholars regarding the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization was a shift in the course of river and natural disasters such as drought, flood etc. Also there was decline in the trade with Egypt and Mesopotamia. Some of the scholars also believe that wars with the Aryan Civilization may also be the reason of their decline.

Take the Quiz

1. Which of the following are the main sources of knowledge about Indus Valley Civilization ?

Question 1 of 5

2. The main characteristic of the Indus Valley Civllization was __________

Question 2 of 5

3. The main occupation of the people of the Indus Valley Civilization was _________

Question 3 of 5

4. The Indus Valley people knew the use of _____________

Question 4 of 5

5. Which of the following games was known to the people of the Indus Valley ?

Question 5 of 5


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  1. Thanks a lot for your appreciation Sahil
    We provide these infographics on a daily basis
    Do check them as well

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