The first civilization in Indian developed around Harappa quite close to the Indus river. It is popularly known as the Indus Valley civilization. Several excavations were carried out around Harappa and Mohenjodaro, which are now situated in Pakistan. The civilization developed 4,500 to 5,000 years ago.
The Indus Valley Civilization
The inhabitants of this civilization were Dravidian, who were forced to settle in south India as the Aryans settled there. Aryans brought in their more advanced military technology. They began migrating to India from 2,000 BCE.
Script: The script remained undecipherable till today. Hieroglyphs were the basis of their writings.
Excavations: The numerous seals and pottery found by archaeologists throw some light on the civilization and tell us about the cities of the civilization and its inhabitants.
Administration and Living Styles: There was extensive planning of the towns. Burnt bricks were used to build houses. Weights and measures were indicative of regularity. Animals were domesticated and grew crops such as sesame, peas, cotton and barley. They were sea-faring people. The civilization was urban and well panned out. Merchant class was also prevalent indicating trade activities. Trade was by sea and land. Merchants imported metals such as gold, copper, silver and semi-precious stones. Agriculture was not developed to a great extent. They did irrigate their fields. Bronze as well as stone implements were used. The Sumerians taught them how to make bronze. Their houses were made of stone and had sewage systems. The drains were covered. There was uniform urban planning.
The Indus Valley Civilization was a theocratic state consisting of priests, farmers and merchants. The major cities had few buildings and a great bath.
Religious pursuits – There is no evidence indicative of fire altars. The Aryans introduced the rituals around the fire. The civilization people did not posses any horses. On the Hrappan seals as well terracottas no horses appear. Elephants and bulls do not appear on the seals. The horned bull of course should not be considered to be congruent with Nandi or the bull of Shivaâ€™s. The cow which is revered by the Hindus is also not on the seals.
People – The women wore heavy jewelry, had elaborate coiffures. On the whole the people had refined and aesthetic tastes.
On the whole the Indus Valley civilization was well planned for its times. People led urban lives and ensured that their cities were well-developed with proper drainage system.