Growth and Settlement of a Harappan Capital in Pakistan (2022)

Harappa is the name of the ruins of an immense capital city of the Indus Civilization, and one of the best-known sites in Pakistan, located on the bank of the Ravi River in central Punjab Province. At the height of the Indus civilization, between 2600–1900 BCE, Harappa was one of a handful of central places for thousands of cities and towns covering a million square kilometers (about 385,000 square miles) of territory in South Asia. Other central places include Mohenjo-daro, Rakhigarhi, and Dholavira, all with areas over 100 hectares (250 acres) in their heyday.

Harappa was occupied between about 3800 and 1500 BCE: and, in fact, still is: the modern city of Harappa is built atop some of its ruins. At its height, it covered an area of at least 250 acres (100 hectares) and may have been about twice that, given that much of the site has been buried by the alluvial floods of the Ravi river. Intact structural remains include those of a citadel/fortress, a massive monumental building once called the granary, and at least three cemeteries. Many of the adobe bricks were robbed in antiquity from the significant architectural remains.

Chronology

  • Period 5: Late Harappa Phase, also known as the Localization phase or Late declining phase, 1900–1300 BCE
  • Period 4: Transitional to Late Harappa, 1900-1800 BC
  • Period 3: Harappa Phase (aka Mature Phase or Integration era, the major urban center of 150 ha and between 60,000–80,000 people), 2600–1900 BCE
  • Period 3C: Harappa Phase C, 2200–1900 BCE
  • Period 3B: Harappa Phase B, 2450–2200 BCE
  • Period 3A: Harappa Phase A, 2600–2450 BCE
  • Period 2: Kot Diji Phase (Early Harappan, incipient urbanization, ca 25 hectares), 2800–2600 BCE
  • Period 1: pre-Harappan Ravi aspect of the Hakra phase, 3800–2800 BCE

The earliest Indus phase occupation at Harappa is called the Ravi aspect, when people first lived at least as early as 3800 BCE. At its beginnings, Harappa was a small settlement with a collection of workshops, where craft specialists made agate beads. Some evidence suggests that people from older Ravi phase sites in the adjacent hills were the migrants who first settled Harappa.

(Video) The ancient city of Harappa in Pakistan, one of the oldest urban settlements

Kot Diji Phase

During the Kot Diji phase (2800–2500 BC), the Harappans used standardized sun-baked adobe bricks to build city walls and domestic architecture. The settlement was laid out along gridded streets tracing the cardinal directions and wheeled carts pulled by bulls for transporting heavy commodities into Harappa. There are organized cemeteries and some of the burials are richer than others, indicating the first evidence for social, economic, and political ranking.

Also during the Kot Diji phase is the first evidence for writing in the region, consisting of a piece of pottery with a possible early Indus script. Commerce is also in evidence: a cubical limestone weight that conforms to the later Harappan weight system. Square stamp seals were used to mark clay seals on bundles of goods. These technologies likely reflect some sort of trade interactions with Mesopotamia. Long carnelian beads found at the Mesopotamian capital city of Ur were made either by craftsmen in the Indus region or by others living in Mesopotamia using Indus raw materials and technology.

Mature Harappan Phase

During the Mature Harappan phase (also known as the Integration Era) [2600–1900 BCE], Harappa may have directly controlled the communities surrounding their city walls. Unlike in Mesopotamia, there is no evidence for hereditary monarchies; instead, the city was ruled by influential elites, who were likely merchants, landowners, and religious leaders.

(Video) Harappa | 4500 years old city of Indus Valley Civilization

Four major mounds (AB, E, ET, and F) used during the Integration period represent combined sun-dried mudbrick and baked brick buildings. Baked brick is first used in quantity during this phase, especially in walls and floors exposed to water. Architecture from this period includes multiple walled sectors, gateways, drains, wells, and fired brick buildings.

Also during the Harappa phase, a faience and steatite bead production workshop blossomed, identified by several layers of faience slag—leftover material from the production of the glassy ceramic known as faience—chert blades, lumps of sawn steatite, bone tools, terracotta cakes and large masses of vitrified faience slag. Also discovered in the workshop were anabundant number of broken and complete tablets and beads, many with incised scripts.

Late Harappan

During the Localization period, all of the major cities including Harappa began to lose their power. This was likely a result of shifting river patterns that made the abandonment of many cities necessary. People migrated out of the cities on the river banks and up into smaller cities the higher reaches of the Indus, Gujarat and Ganga-Yamuna valleys.

(Video) Harappa Vlog | 5000 years old city of Indus Valley Civilization in Pakistan

In addition to large-scale de-urbanization, the Late Harappan period was also characterized by a shift to drought-resistant small-grained millets and an increase in interpersonal violence. The reasons for these changes may be attributed to climate change: there was a decline in the predictability of the seasonal monsoon during this period. Earlier scholars have suggested catastrophic flood or disease, trade decline, and a now-discredited "Aryan invasion."

Society and Economy

Harappan food economy was based on a combination of agriculture, pastoralism, and fishing and hunting. Harappans farmed domesticatedwheatandbarley, pulses andmillets, sesame,peas, chickpeas, and other vegetables. Animal husbandry included humped (Bos indicus) and non-humped (Bos bubalis) cattle and, to a lesser degree, sheep and goats. The people hunted elephant, rhinoceros, water buffalo, elk, deer, antelope andwild ass.

Trade for raw materials began as early as the Ravi phase, including marine resources, wood, stone, and metal from the coastal regions, as well as neighboring regions in Afghanistan, Baluchistan and the Himalayas.Trade networksand migration of people into and out of Harappa were established by then as well, but the city truly became cosmopolitan during the Integration era.

(Video) The Complete History of Pakistan 🇵🇰

UnlikeMesopotamia's royal burialsthere are no huge monuments or obvious rulers in any of the burials, although there is some evidence for some differential elite access to luxury goods. Some of the skeletons also show injuries, suggesting that interpersonal violence was a fact of life for some of the city's residents, but not all. Part of the population had less access to elite goods and a higher risk of violence.

Archaeology at Harappa

Harappa was discovered in 1826 and first excavated in 1920 and 1921 by the Archaeological Survey of India, led by Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni, as described later by M.S. Vats. Over 25 field seasons have occurred since the first excavations. Other archaeologists associated with Harappa includeMortimer Wheeler, George Dales, Richard Meadow, and J. Mark Kenoyer.

An excellent source for information about Harappa (with lots of photographs) comes from the highly recommended at Harappa.com.

(Video) 04 | Harappa | Doorway to Sindh | Learn about one of the oldest civilisations of the world

Selected Sources:

FAQs

How many settlements did Harappan civilization have in Pakistan? ›

Over 1400 Indus Valley civilisation sites have been discovered, of which 925 sites are in India and 475 sites in Pakistan, while some sites in Afghanistan are believed to be trading colonies.

What is known as Harappa in Pakistan? ›

Harappa (Punjabi pronunciation: [ɦəɽəppaː]; Urdu/Punjabi: ہڑپّہ) is an archaeological site in Punjab, Pakistan, about 24 km (15 mi) west of Sahiwal. The site takes its name from a modern village located near the former course of the Ravi River which now runs 8 km (5.0 mi) to the north.

Where is Harappan civilization in Pakistan? ›

The Harappan civilization was located in the Indus River valley. Its two large cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, were located in present-day Pakistan's Punjab and Sindh provinces, respectively. Its extent reached as far south as the Gulf of Khambhat and as far east as the Yamuna (Jumna) River.

What was the extent of the Harappan civilization Short answer? ›

Extent of Harappan Civilisation

The Harappan Civilisation accounts for about 1.3 million sq. km and was the largest area amongst the ancient civilisations. It extended from Sutkagendor in the west, to Alamgirpur in the east and from Manda in the north to Bhagatrav in Narmada estuary in the south.

What are the settlements of Indus Valley settlement? ›

The civilizations of the Indus Valley were among the earliest in the world to become settled or 'urban'. There are four principal settlements known to archaeologists today; Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, in Pakistan, and Lothal and Kalibangan in western India.

What is the importance of Harappa? ›

Harappan civilization forms an important landmark in the prehistory of the Indian subcontinent. The civilization offers an excellent example to the modern world in various ways. Their expertise in town planning, water management and harvesting systems as well as drainage mechanism is unparalleled.

Who gave the name Harappa? ›

It is one of the oldest civilizations and maximum sites of this civilization found in India , some sites in Pakistan and one site in Afghanistan. It is named as Harappan civilization because Harappa was first site excavated . It was discovered by Daya Ram Sahani in 1921 .

How Harappa got its name? ›

Archaeological excavation first began in 1921 CE at Harappa in Punjab on the banks of river Ravi. That is how this civilization came to be known as the Harappan civilization.

What is the capital of Harappa? ›

Harappa and Mohenjo-daro are known as “the twin capitals” of the Indus Valley civilization. Q. and were the capital towns of the Indus Valley civilization. Q. has three fold classification unlike other towns in Indus Valley civilisation.

What is the significance of Harappa in the culture of Pakistan? ›

The growth and settlement of a Harappan capital in Pakistan

Harappa is the name of the ruins of an immense capital city of the Indus Civilization, and one of the best-known sites in Pakistan, located on the bank of the Ravi River in central Punjab Province.

What does Harappa mean? ›

(həˈræpə ) noun. an ancient city in the Punjab in NW Pakistan: one of the centres of the Indus civilization that flourished from 2500 to 1700 bc; probably destroyed by Indo-European invaders.

Who built Harappa? ›

It started when farmers from the mountains gradually moved between their mountain homes and the lowland river valleys, and is related to the Hakra Phase, identified in the Ghaggar-Hakra River Valley to the west, and predates the Kot Diji Phase (2800–2600 BCE, Harappan 2), named after a site in northern Sindh, Pakistan, ...

What are the main features of the Harappan civilization? ›

i) Each city was divided into two parts-the raised area called the 'Citadel' and the 'lower town. ' ii) The main streets followed a grid pattern running from north to south or from east to west. iii) The houses at street corners were rounded to allow carts to pass easily.

What was the main unit of the Harappan society? ›

The citadel comprised granaries, religious buildings, public buildings, and assembly halls while the lower town was divided into rectangular sections cut by wide roads at right angles to each other. Harappan objects were made of stone, Shell, and metal.

What are the main characteristics of Harappan civilization? ›

Characteristics of Harappan Civilisation:
  • Important Harappan Towns and Cities :
  • (1) Town Planning:
  • (2) Central Administration :
  • (3) Social organisation :
  • (4) Economy :
  • (5) Use of Developed Writing System :

Which were the two most important cities of the Harappan civilization? ›

The two most famous cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro were first uncovered in Modern day Pakistan and have become an incredible insight into the culture, history and way-of-life of the Indus Valley people.

What are 5 facts about the Indus River Valley? ›

  • The Indus Valley civilisation was larger than the ancient Egyptian civilisation.
  • Some of the world's first dentists came from the Indus Valley! ...
  • At its peak, 10% of the world's total population lived in the ancient civilisation of the Indus Valley. ...
  • Toilet seats were made of brick - not very comfy!
26 May 2021

What is early Harappan culture? ›

The terms Early Harappan and Harappan (from the site where remains of a major city of the Indus civilization were discovered in 1921) are used primarily in a chronological way but also loosely in a cultural sense, relating respectively to periods or cultures that preceded the appearance

How was Harappa destroyed? ›

Many scholars believe that the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization was caused by climate change. Some experts believe the drying of the Saraswati River, which began around 1900 BCE, was the main cause for climate change, while others conclude that a great flood struck the area.

What are the sources of Harappan civilization? ›

 The major sources of our information are: 1) The Great Bath, 2) The Citadel, 3) Seals, 4) Bearded Man, 5) Dancing Girl, 6)Dockyard, 7) Script, 11. Sources of Harappa: Great Bath  Great Bath: The great bath at Mohenjo-Daro is a huge structure.

Where did Harappan get gold? ›

The Harappans got the raw materials from various places. They got copper probably from present-day Rajasthan, and also from Oman. Tin was brought from Afghanistan and Iran. Gold was brought may be from Karnataka.

When was Harappa first discovered? ›

The Harappa site was first briefly excavated by Sir Alexander Cunningham in 1872-73, two decades after brick robbers carried off the visible remains of the city. He found an Indus seal of unknown origin. The first extensive excavations at Harappa were started by Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni in 1920.

Who discovered Harappa in 1921? ›

Earlier, in 1921, Rakhal Das Banerjee and Dayaram Sahani discovered the twin cities of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. Soon after, excavations at the two sites brought alive certain facts: the people of Indus valley essentially had uniform city cultures with highly advanced and scientific civic planning.

Who found Mohenjo-daro? ›

Mohenjo-daro was discovered in 1922 by R. D. Banerji, an officer of the Archaeological Survey of India, two years after major excavations had begun at Harappa, some 590 km to the north. Large-scale excavations were carried out at the site under the direction of John Marshall, K. N.

When was Harappa excavated? ›

Harappa of India. The vast mounds at Harappa stand on the left bank of the now dry course of the Ravi River in the Punjab. They were excavated between 1920 and 1934 by the Archaeological Survey of India, in 1946 by Wheeler, and in the late 20th century by an American and Pakistani team.

Who excavated Harappa? ›

Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni CIE (16 December 1879 – 7 March 1939) was an Indian-British raj archaeologist who supervised the excavation of the Indus valley site at Harappa in 1921 and 1922.

When did Harappan cities develop? ›

Archaeologists realised that the Harappan site was one of the oldest cities in the subcontinent. As this was the first city to be discovered, all other sites where buildings were built using burnt bricks were called as Harappan. These cities were developed about 4700 years ago.

How was Harappa discovered class 6? ›

1. When and how was the site of Harappa first encountered? [Imp.] Answer: Around a hundred and fifty years ago, when railway lines were being laid in Punjab, engineers stumbled upon the site of Harappa.

Why were city forts built in Harappan settlements? ›

Citadels in Indus Valley were almost 12 meters tall. The purpose of these structures, however, remains debated. Though the structures found in the ruins of Mohenjo-daro were walled, it is far from clear that these structures were defensive against enemy attacks. Rather, they may have been built to divert flood waters.

Who is known as father of Harappan civilization? ›

He oversaw the excavations of Harappa and Mohenjodaro, two of the main cities that comprise the Indus Valley civilization.
...
John Marshall (archaeologist)
Sir John Marshall CIE FBA
Known forExcavations in Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Sanchi, Sarnath, Taxila, Crete and Knossos
AwardsCIE Knighthood FBA
Scientific career
8 more rows

Who made the dancing girl? ›

Dancing Girl (sculpture)
Dancing Girl (bronze), Mohenjo-daro
Artistunknown, pre-historic
Yearc. 2300–1750 BC
Typebronze
Dimensions10.5 cm × 5 cm (4 1/8 in × 2 in )
2 more rows

What is the spelling of Harappa? ›

of or relating to Harappa, especially the Bronze Age culture of the Indus valley civilization.

What were the objects in Harappan cities made of? ›

Most of the things found in the Harappan cities were made up of stone, shell and metals, like copper, bronze, gold and silver. The seals were made up of stones.

What is another name of Indus River? ›

Indus River, Tibetan and Sanskrit Sindhu, Sindhi Sindhu or Mehran, great trans-Himalayan river of South Asia. It is one of the longest rivers in the world, with a length of some 2,000 miles (3,200 km).

How old is India? ›

You would be surprised to know that the Indian subcontinent has been flourishing for around 5,000-6,000 years and its peoples joined together to form a civilization in roughly 1500 BCE when they created the Vedic Civilization, which laid out the foundations of Hinduism.

What was the special about Harappan cities? ›

Drainage System: The drainage system of the Harappan cities was the best known to the world in ancient times. The brickwork prevented the dirty water from leaking. Wooden screens stopped the solid wastes from being washed away with the water. Drains were built on either side of the roads.

What is post Harappan period? ›

Mature/Urban Harappan denotes the urban phase (prosperous period) of the Harappan culture. Late/Post-Urban Harappan represents the late period of the Harappan culture, which marks decline and de urbanization.

Which river flows near Harappa city? ›

Harappa, village in eastern Punjab province, eastern Pakistan. It lies on the left bank of a now dry course of the Ravi River, west-southwest of the city of Sahiwal, about 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Lahore.

What was the most important building in Harappa? ›

Both Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro can be called the capital cities of the civilization. Great Bath: The most famous building found at Mohenjo-Daro is a great bath. It is a 6×12 meter specimen of beautiful brick work.

What was the base of Harappan economy? ›

The economy of Indus Valley Civilization was based upon agriculture and trade . They also made Pottery, Weaving. The people were also aware of Gold, Silver, Copper and Bronze They used to trade some of those economies for dealings or for cloths and for particular objects.

How many Harappan sites are there? ›

Over 1400 Indus Valley civilisation sites have been discovered, of which 925 sites are in India and 475 sites in Pakistan, while some sites in Afghanistan are believed to be trading colonies.

What are the features of Harappan town planning? ›

Some of the features are listed below:
  • Grid Pattern. Harappa and Mohen-Jo Dero were laid out on a grid pattern and had provisions for an advanced drainage system. ...
  • City Walls. ...
  • The acropolis and the lower cities. ...
  • The Residential Buildings. ...
  • In-house wells. ...
  • Drainage System. ...
  • Granaries.
1 May 2016

Which is the oldest civilization in the world? ›

The Sumerian civilization is the oldest civilization known to mankind. The term Sumer is today used to designate southern Mesopotamia. In 3000 BC, a flourishing urban civilization existed. The Sumerian civilization was predominantly agricultural and had community life.

How did Harappan civilization come to an end Class 12? ›

After 1900 BCE, a rural way of life what was known as 'Late Harappan' or 'successor cultures' emerged. The reasons for the end of the civilisation range from climatic change, deforestation, excessive floods, the shifting and drying up of rivers and to overuse of the landscape.

Which two Harappan sites are located in the frontier regions? ›

Excavations have begun at the two Harappan sites of Binjor in Rajasthan, close to the India-Pakistan border, and Rakhigarhi in Haryana.

How many storeys of houses were generally found in Harappan cities? ›

Generally, houses were either one or two storeys high, with rooms built around a courtyard. Most houses had a separate bathing area, and some had wells to supply water. Many of these cities had covered drains.

How old is India? ›

You would be surprised to know that the Indian subcontinent has been flourishing for around 5,000-6,000 years and its peoples joined together to form a civilization in roughly 1500 BCE when they created the Vedic Civilization, which laid out the foundations of Hinduism.

Is China the oldest country? ›

An old missionary student of China once remarked that Chinese history is “remote, monotonous, obscure, and-worst of all-there is too much of it.” China has the longest continuous history of any country in the world—3,500 years of written history.

How old is ancient? ›

As most definitions of the Middle Ages in Europe date its beginnings to the 6th century, something would have to be at least 1400-1500 years old to be considered "ancient" in a historical sense.

Who discovered Harappa? ›

The Harappa site was first briefly excavated by Sir Alexander Cunningham in 1872-73, two decades after brick robbers carried off the visible remains of the city. He found an Indus seal of unknown origin. The first extensive excavations at Harappa were started by Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni in 1920.

What were the different phases of Harappan culture? ›

The Indus Valley Civilization is often separated into three phases: the Early Harappan Phase from 3300 to 2600 BCE, the Mature Harappan Phase from 2600 to 1900 BCE, and the Late Harappan Phase from 1900 to 1300 BCE. This map shows the extent of the Indus Valley Civilization during the Mature Harappan Phase.

How did Harappan decline? ›

The Indus valley civilization started declining from about 1900 BCE. Changes in climate, decline of trade with Mesopotamians, drying up or flooding of the river, foreign invasion of Indus civilisation might have been the reasons for the decline of this civilization.

Which is called Great Bath? ›

Great Bath, ancient structure at Mohenjo-daro, Pakistan, an archaeological site featuring ruins of the Indus civilization. The Great Bath dates to the 3rd millennium bce and is believed to have been used for ritual bathing. Mohenjo-daro: Great Bath.

What was the main unit of the Harappan society? ›

The citadel comprised granaries, religious buildings, public buildings, and assembly halls while the lower town was divided into rectangular sections cut by wide roads at right angles to each other. Harappan objects were made of stone, Shell, and metal.

Which river flows near Harappa city? ›

Harappa, village in eastern Punjab province, eastern Pakistan. It lies on the left bank of a now dry course of the Ravi River, west-southwest of the city of Sahiwal, about 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Lahore.

What were the main features of the Harappan cities? ›

i) Each city was divided into two parts-the raised area called the 'Citadel' and the 'lower town. ' ii) The main streets followed a grid pattern running from north to south or from east to west. iii) The houses at street corners were rounded to allow carts to pass easily.

What is the highest part of Harappa called? ›

The city of Harappa was divided into two parts, i.e. western and eastern parts. The western part of the city was smaller but higher. The higher part was called the citadel.

What was the special about Harappan cities? ›

Drainage System: The drainage system of the Harappan cities was the best known to the world in ancient times. The brickwork prevented the dirty water from leaking. Wooden screens stopped the solid wastes from being washed away with the water. Drains were built on either side of the roads.

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3. Mahabharata and Ramayana - The War of the Gods with the People?!
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4. The Indus River Valley Civilization
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