Indus Valley Civilization (2500 B.C. to 1750 B.C.)

Indus Valley civilization developed between 2500 B.C. to 1750 B.C. as per Radio Carbon dating. Indus Civilization is also called as Harappan Civilization because the first excavated site is Harappa. It belongs to the Bronze Age . It extended from Manda (Jammu) in North to Daimabad in South. Major Settlements are in the Ghaggar-Hakra belt. More than 1000 sites have been excavated.

Featurs of Indus Valley Sites

  • Copper, bronze, silver, gold were known but not iron.
  • Seals were made up of steatite Majority of the seals have an animal engraved on it with a short inscription.
  • The most frequently found animal is unicorn bull. They worshipped , Proto-Shiva, Mother-Goddess, Bull, and Pipal tree.
  • Indus Valley civilization was the first urban civilization. Their Pottery was red or black Pottery.
  • The script was pictographic. The writing was Boustrophedon .
  • Indus Valley  people were the first to produce cotton in the world.

Important Indus Valley Sites


  • On the banks of river Ravi in Western Punjab, Pakistan.
  • Period II was Early Harappan Phase and Period III is mature Harappan.
  • Planned settlement with citadel and lower towns with fortification. Also, workmen quarters and thrashing platform found in north of the citadel. 
  • 12 granaries in 2 rows found outside citadel.
  • ‘H’ type of cemetry found outside the citadel suggesting the presence of foreign race.
  • Evidence of writing (on pottery and seals), inscribed seals and standarised weights.


  • On the bank of river Indus in Sind, Pakistan.
  • Great Bath, Great Grainary, A temple like structure and an Assembly hall found in the citadel area shows it was a political centre.
  • Bronze dancing girl, a seal of Pashupati, bearded priest are major artefacts excavated from here.
  • Cylindrical seal of Mesopotamia type found here shows external trade links.
  • Period– from Early Harappan to Mature Harappan phase.


  • Located on banks of river Ghaggar, Rajasthan.
  • Period I is Early Harappan dating 2920 to 2550 BC and Period II is mature Harappan Phase.
  • A ploughed field surface with furrow marks found from Early phase.
  • Only site without images of mother Goddesses and construction of bathroom. One Shiva Lingam found.
  • Fire altars and skeleton of camel found.
  • Provides evidence of earliest earthquake (2550 BC).
  • Bangle making industry.
  • Apart from regular extended burial, some circular pits with grave goods unearthed.


  • On Kadir island, Kutch district, Gujarat.
  • Period I in Early Harappan (2650BC) and Period II is Mature Phase and Period III is late Harappan.
  • Most unique feature is division of city into three parts viz, Citadel, Middle Town and a lower Town. Special feature is a ‘Stadium’ between middle Town and cattle – Bailey area.
  • Longest inscription with ten pictographs in one single sentence found.
  • Water conservation system of channels and reservoirs.
  • A circular planned city. Large use of sandstone in architectural activities.
  • Remains of limestone pillar bases and pillar fragments suggest stone sculpture/ architecture was practiced in Indus Valley Civilisation. Craft working, bead making, shell working, pottery making.


  • On the northern bank of Bhadar river, Rajkot, Gujarat.
  • Period- 2500 BCE to 1700 BCE but 1900 to 1700 B.C represents Indus Valley Civilisation culture.
  • Houses were built on stone foundation, probably by mud walls as no remains of bricks found, even lacked traces of drainage system.
  • Pottery often had graffiti with signs of Indus script. Even an evidence of Harappan writing on potsherd was found. Copper and bronze flat axes found.
  • As no traces of industrial activity, so it must have been a farmer’s village.


  • Near the Gulf of Cambay, Gujarat.
  • It was the only site of Indus Valley Civilisation with an artificial brick dockyard.
  • Surrounded by massive brick wall, probably as flood protection.
  • Only city of Indus Valley Civilisation with eastern entrance and houses with side entrance.
  • The seals of Persia found suggesting trade relations.
  • The first site to cultivate rice around 1800 B.C.


  • On bank of Sutlej river, Punjab.
  • Period I of 6 fold cultural sequence represents Indus Valley Civilisation culture.
  • A steatite seal in Indus script used for authentication of trading goods unearthed.
  • Copper implements, terracotta beads and bangles, Harappan pottery etc also found.
  • Burial system – The dead were buried with head to the north and with funerary vessels, as unearthed in Harrapa.
  • First Indus Valley Civilisation site excavated in independent India.


  • On Oxus river near the Lapis mines in North Afghanistan.
  • An Indus Civilisation trading colony established around 2000 BC.
  • Findings– One seal with short inscription, clay models of cattle and carts.
  • Pottery with Harrapan designs, bronze object, Lapis Lazuli bead.
  • Square seals with animal motifs and script confirm it as an Indus Valley Civilisation site. Even bricks had typical Harappan measurement.


  • Westernmost known Indus Valley Civilisation site, Baluchistan, region on Makran coast, on the banks of Dasti River.
  • Citadel and Lower town existed. Also, a massive fortification wall found.
  • Believed to be a transit port to send consignment in various directions.
Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization


  • Kutch district, Gujarat. On the banks of Bhaguva river.
  • Settlement shows all characteristics of Indus Valley Civilisation. City divided in 2 parts– Citadel and lower town. Drainage system, roads in grid system etc.
  • Also bones of elephant, wolf found. Even presence of mongoose was found.


  • Alamgirpur is an Indus Valley Civilisation that thrived along Yamuna River, is located in Meerut district, U.P.
  • It is the eastern most Indus Valley Civilisation site.
  • Period – 3300 B.C to 1300 B.C.
  • Critical Harappan pottery along with beads and a broken piece of metal.


  • Unfortified village site of Harappan Civilisation, around 40 km from Karachi.
  • Houses made of mud bricks on stone foundation uneartheds.
  • A special feature was small diameters of wells which show that they had knowledge of hydraulic pressure and fluid mechanics.
  • Artefacts – Copper items, terracotta toy carts, seals etc.
  • A jar with gold, silver and agate ornaments found.


  • Fatehabad, Haryana.
  • The earliest evidence of garlic cloves in South and South East Asia and it dates back to the Mature Harappan period.
  • Several floral remains found namely barley, wheat, horsegram, peas, watermelon etc.


  • Sindh, Pakistan. On banks of river Indus.
  • Only site without citadel, i.e. single mound site without fortification.
  • Bead making factory, use of lipstick. • Important centre of craft making.
  • A male dancer stone image, resembling Lord Shiva found.
  • Inhabited between 4000 BC to 1700 B.C.
  • Seal making, shell working, making of stone weights were other craft activities.


  • On left bank of Parvara river, Ahmadnagar district, Maharastra.
  • A late Harappan site.
  • Southernmost Indus Valley Civilisation site.
  • A sculpture of bronze chariot yoked to two oxen found.
  • Two terracotta button shaped seals with Harappan writings and four inscribed port sherds unearthed.

Desalpur, Kutch, Gujarat.

  • No remains from early Harappan phase found.
  • Mature Harappan phase remains include massive stone fortification, three seals made of copper, steatite and terracotta.
  • Pottery– Glazed ware.

Kuntasi, Rajkot district, Gujarat.

  • A port city during Mature Harappan phase.
  • A stone platform, storage facilities etc suggest it was a settlement established for storage and trade of goods.

Manda, Jammu, J&K.

  • On right bank of Chenab river.
  • Northernmost site of Indus valley civilisation.
  • In the three fold cultural sequence, the first period belongs to Indus valley Civilisation.
  • Artefacts– Harappan pottery, potsherds bearing incised Harappan script, terracotta bangles etc.


  • On ancient bed of Saraswati river, Haryana.
  • Evidence of Pre- Harappan, Harappan and Post Harappan Culture.
  • Clay model of plough found with small denomination stone weights.
  • Unique feature is a deep and wide moat made outside town, wall most probably for defence purpose.
  • Barley grown extensively.
  • Interestingly, seals found only in lower towns and not in citadel complex.
  • Several houses gave evidence of fire altars.


  • Planned settlement and mud bricks structure from Early Harappan Phase of around 2800 B.C.
  • Red and Pink pottery with design like that of Kalibangan found. Artefacts include beads, terracotta figurines, weights etc.
  • Animal husbandary was practised as suggested by lot of animal bones found.
  • Game similar to ‘Pithu’ was played.
  • A lapidary workshop and bone and ivory working site identified.


  • A recently excavated site in Fatehabad district, Haryana.
  • From Hakra Ware culture to Mature Harappan phase.
  • A house complex with six rooms, a courtyard and chullahs found. Mud-bricks were used for construction.
  • Various type of pottery found including the Kalibangan type.
  • Artefacts– terracotta figurines, wheels, gamesman etc. copper arrowhead, rings and bangles, bone objects.
  • A graffiti of dancing girl, similar to girl statue of Mohenjodaro.

Padri, Saurashtra region, Gujarat

  • Also called Kerala-no- dhoro.
  • Structure belonging to Early and Mature Harappan Periods found.
  • A salt production Centre.
  • Fishing was practised as suggested by finding of big fish hooks.
  • Artefacts – A jar decorated with buffalo horn motif.
  • Symbols of writing found.

Balakot, Makran coast, Pakistan

  • One of the coastal sites of Indus Valley Civilisation.
  • Period I is Early Harappan (around 3000 B.C) and Period II is mature Harappan phase.
  • Painted wheel made pottery, humped bull figurines, copper objects, terracotta, shell and bone artefacts, beads of lapis lazuli, stone etc. found.
  • Remains of barley, legumes, ber, bones of cattle, sheep, goat, deer and pig.
  • Important centre of shell industry.


  • On right bank of Indus in Sind, Pakistan.
  • Period I is Early Harappan (around 3500 BC), Period II is transitional and Period III is Mature Harappan phase.
  • Refined pottery with geometric designs, mud bricks structure. Also, humped bull as motif on their pottery.
  • Seal with Indian rhino depiction excavated.
  • Artefacts– Chert blades, bone tools, fragments of copper and bronze.
  • Even multiple cellular compartment for storing grains.
  • It was here that Majumdar, during in the excavation first demonstrated the existence of a Pre Harappan phase lying beneath the Harappan phase.

Kot Diji

  • On left bank of old flood channels of Indus, Pakistan.
  • There is Early and Mature Harappan level with a burnt deposit in between.
  • Early Harappan Phase- 3300 B.C.
  • Fortified settlement comprising of citadel and lower towns. House wall of mud bricks.
  • Distinctive pottery– A short necked pot with designs like ‘horned deity’, fish scales ,pipal leaves.
  • Artefacts– Objects of stone, shell bone, terracotta figurines, bangles, beads.
  • Town planning is evident, also large community fireplaces unearthed.
  • Evidence suggests site was destroyed by fire.


  • Period II and III is early Harappan and Period IV is mature Harappan phase.
  • Kot Dijian type of pottery dominated early Harappan phase.

Rehman Dheri

  • Period II is Early Harappan dated – 3380 to 3040 BC.
  • Rectangular settlement with regular grid of streets and houses.
  • Pottery design shows Kot Dijan element.
  • Artefacts – stone blades, copper and bronze tools, terracotta figurine, beads of lapis lazuli.


  • A factory site where various kind of stone tools made.
  • Bead and bead making material is also found at the factory site.

Sarai Khola

  • Period II is Early Harappan dating around 3000 BC.
  • In Northern part of Punjab province, Pakistan.
  • Kotdijian Pottery dominated.
  • Artifacts– Stone tools, terracotta figurines and bangles, beads of steatite and one bead of lapis lazuli found.


Ajanta Caves (2nd C. B.C. to 6th C. A.D.)

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