The human evolution began about 3 million years ago and change is something that has been consistent. Be it developing from an ape to man or be it inventing electricity, today is always different from yesterday. As the man came into being there was a constant desire to live in groups. Obviously, who would like to live alone! This desire resulted in the formation of civilizations (human settlements) which were quite developed according to the era they came into form.
There still exists a debate over which civilization came into being first, whether it was the Mesopotamian Civilisation or the Indus Valley Civilisation.
Until now, all of us have studied that Mesopotamian Civilisation is older but according to the recent researches, archaeologists believe that Indus Valley Civilisation might be 8000 years old!
So, let us delve deep into this civilization and know how the era of civilizations began, at least in India!
The Indus Valley Civilisation is popularly known as Harappan Civilisation since Harappa was the first city that was excavated.
It is said that the Indus Valley Civilisation originated when the people from the Mesopotamian Civilisation migrated to that area. This is a possibility since Mesopotamian Civilisation is still considered older. Another possibility is that the Aryans migrated to the land around the Indus River. Yet another possibility is of indigenous origin. This means that no one migrated, instead, the civilization evolved by itself. Initially, people resided in areas nearby, like Mehrgarh (in Pakistan) but then they started settling in the more fertile area around the river Indus.
All the above-considered possibilities might or might not be true. Firstly, considering migration of Mesopotamians; there is a distinct difference between the settlements. The Indus Valley Civilisation was more organized and uniform and there is a difference between the seals and the script too. Secondly, if we talk about the Aryans settling down in the Indus valley and forming urban settlements, there are contradictory statements in this regard too. The Aryans technically came into being about 600 years after the civilization and also they used to stay in rural areas.
The Indus Valley civilization was actually a huge civilization as it covered a large area. Sutkagendor in the west, to Alamgirpur in the east, and Manda in north, to Daimabad in the south. That period is also called Bronze age as bronze has been used in a majority of the artifacts discovered. Iron was not used at all.
The surprise element is that the civilization was purely urban and there exist such features which we are not able to achieve even today! Like, they had a proper drainage system and amazing town-planning. Even trade and commerce existed. Seems unbelievable considering how long ago all this might have happened.
The question that arises is that when everything was so perfect and things were going on well, then how did such a substantial civilization come to an end?
The cause still remains unknown but there are a few assumptions that have been made. Flood and change in course of river are considered to be one of the reasons, but this does not seem plausible considering the fact that the civilization was so large. Foreign invasion (the Aryans) can also be one factor behind the end of the Harappan Civilisation. Some literary references have also been found in the Rig Veda which points towards it. But then again, this is a skeptic issue as no substantial proof exists.
Image Courtesy: Archaeology @ About.com, Khan Academy, Sci-News.com
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