Monday 28 December 2015

Mysteries of Indus

A fertile cradle of river-fed land, crossing parts of modern India,Pakistan and Afghanistan, gave birth to the Indus valley culture. People in it's impressive, well planned cities lived a refined life, but unlocking more about them is tantalizingly out of reach, as their script remains mostly undeciphered.

The "Early Harappan" period of the Indus valley culture(c.3300 - 2800 BC) saw the first examples of the Indus script, more sophisticated agriculture, and growing trade links.

Indus Valley script

The Indus Valley civilization peaked between about 2600 - 1900 BC, in what often is called its "Mature Harappan" Period.It depended heavily on farmland nourished by major rivers and people developed expert knowledge about how to harness and control the annual flooding patterns of rivers.

Maritime trading connections with Mesopotamia were especially important to the Indus Valley civilization. Indus influenced artifacts have been excavated in Mesopotamia - notably a set of etched carnelian beads.

This civilization went into an unexpected decline, with most of its main cities deserted by c.1700 BC. Mohenjo-Daro suffered severe flooding in the 1700s BC, and was laid waste by unknown attackers.

The city's grid pattern is visible here. Archaeologists have guessed at its
structure by giving certain excavated areas names such as "Citadel Mound",
"Lower town", "the Great Bath", but these remain contentious issues.

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