The Indus Valley Civilization was one of the world’s first great urban civilizations. It flourished in the vast river plains and adjacent regions in what are now Pakistan and western India.
The earliest cities became integrated into an extensive urban culture around 4,600 years ago and continued to dominate the region for at least 700 years, from 2600 to 1900 B.C. It was only in the 1920’s that the buried cities and villages of the Indus valley were recognized by archaeologists as representing an undiscovered civilization.
Time Line
Indus Tradition
Early Food Producing Era ca. 6500 – 5000 B.C.
Regionalization Era ca. 5000 – 2600 B.C.
Indus Civilization – Harappan Culture Integration Era 2600 – 1900 B.C.
Late Harappan Period 1900 – 1300 or 1000 B.C.
Post-Indus Tradition
Painted Grey Ware +1200 – 800 B.C.
Northern Black Polished Ware + 700 – 300 B.C.
Early Historic Period ca. 600 B.C.
The Indus Civilization
South Asia’s first cities were established around 2600 B.C. in what is now Pakistan and western India (Indus Civilization Map 1). The peoples who built and ruled these cities belong to what archaeologists refer to as the Harappan Culture or Indus Civilization. This civilization developed at approximately the same time as the early city states of Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Although there were economic and cultural contacts between these early urban societies, significant differences are seen in their respective artistic styles, symbols, technologies and social organization.
These differences can be attributed to the fact that each civilization evolved from local cultures which have roots extending back to the earliest Neolithic farming and pastoral communities, dating in Pakistan and India to around 6500 B. C..
This urban civilization spread over a vast geographical region (Slide 1 Indus River, 2 Bullock Cart, 3 Desert Nomads, 4 Terraced Fields, 5 Himalayas, 6 Chitral ), from the high mountains of Baluchistan and Afghanistan to the coastal regions of Makran (1), Sindh and Gujarat.
Large cities (7 Mohenjo-daro, 8 Great Bath, 9 Great Bath, 10 Street, 11 Well, 12 Bath Area, 13 Harappa, 14 Harappa Well, 15 Granary, 16 Platforms, 17 Mound F, 18 Modern Harappa, 19 Drain, 20 Mounds E/ET) and smaller towns grew up along the major trade routes as administrative and ritual centers.
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