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The fall of the Indus Valley Civilization due to causes not
fully determined resulted in many newer and smaller settlements
being set up to its east and south. It was during this time around
The fall of the Indus Valley Civilization due to causes not fully determined resulted in many newer and smaller settlements being set up to its east and south. It was during this time around 3500 years ago, that Rigveda, the oldest book known to man was written by sages. Rigveda contains more than a thousand hymns in praise of gods and goddesses. Rigveda gives an insight into the life during that period. It has mentions of battles, yajnas, brahmins, rajas, jana etc. People who composed these hymns referred to themselves as Aryas and their opponents as Dasas. Dasas did not perform yajnas. Later dasas( women-dasis) came to be known as slaves. These were people who were generally captured in war. Priests taught students to recite and memorise each syllable, word and sentence, bit by bit with great care. Most of the hymns were composed, taught and learnt by men. A few were composed by women.
Later the other vedas, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda were composed and that period is referred to as the later Vedic age. There were several groups of people at that time- priests, warriors, farmers,herders, traders, crafts persons, labourers, fishing folk and forest people. The priests divided people into four groups called varnas and each varna had a different set of functions.
The first varna was that of the Brahmins, who were expected to study and teach the Vedas, perform sacrifices and receive gifts.
The second varna was that of the Kshatriyas, who were expected to fight battles and protect people.
The third varna was the Vaishyas, who were expected to be farmers, herders and traders.
Last were the Shudras, who had to serve the other three groups and couldn't perform any rituals. Often women were also grouped with the shudras and they couldnt study the vedas. Some of them were also considered to be untouchables.
The priests also said that these group were decided on the basis of birth which came under rigorous backlash from several groups of people.
A flourishing civilisation that lasted from c. 2600 and 1900
BCE. It spread across Afghanistan, Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan,
North-West frontier province of Pakistan,Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan,
A flourishing civilisation that lasted from c. 2600 and 1900 BCE. It spread across Afghanistan, Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan, North-West frontier province of Pakistan,Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and some parts of South India.
Some important sites were : Mohen-jo-daro (Sind ,Pakistan ) Harappa (West Punjab, Pakistan) Lothal (Gujarat, India) Kalibhangan (Rajasthan, India) Chanhudaro ( Sind, Pakistan) Ropar ( Punjab, India) Dholavira (Gujarat, India).
According to Archaeological evidence :
Grains such as wheat, barley, lentil, chickpea, sesame, millets were grown. Rice was rare.
Actual agricultural practices are not understood but presence of ploughing is indicated.
Canals seen in certain regions indicate irrigation.
Cattle, sheep, goat, buffalo and pig were domesticated.
Probably wild species such as boar, deer, gharial were hunted.
Striking feature of the civilization was the development of urban centers.
The settlements were divided into two sections - the Citadel (small but higher) and Lower Town (larger but lower).
The Citadel was built on mud brick platforms, walled and separated from Lower Town.
It contained warehouse for storing grains and the Great Bath - a large rectangular tank uniquely designed. It is thought to be used for some kind of a special ritual bath.
The Lower Town housed the residential buildings. The roads and streets were laid in a grid pattern intersecting at right angles. It was also walled and several buildings built on platforms.
Use of bricks of standardized ratio is seen.
An elaborate drainage system is also seen.
The houses were centered on a courtyard with rooms on all sides.
The main door never faced the street and no windows were seen in the walls along the ground level.
A large extent of wells are seen. There is a presence of staircase to a higher level or the terrace.
Indication of a ruler/rulers based on artifacts of Priest-King similar to Mesopotamia.
A wide variety in pots, jars, seals, figurines, copper and terracotta tablets, jewelry is
The dead were buried in pits and in some cases buried along with pots, jewelry and other everyday items.
Trade with Oman, Mesopotamia, Bahrain and South India is seen.
Script : most of the script remains undeciphered. It contains too many signs. It is
understood that the script was written from right to left.
A stone called chert was used for a precise system of weights. Lower denominations were binary, whereas the higher denominations followed the decimal system.
The end :
Several theories have been put forward to explain the end of the entire civilisation - climate change, deforestation, excessive floods, Shifting and/or drying up of rivers overuse of landscape but no consensus have been reached.