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Important Harappan Sites




Harappan Sites in India

Harappa Civilization in India : Excavations at the site have led to following specific findings:

  1. Two rows of six granaries with brick platforms; 12 granaries together had the same area as the Great Granary at Mohenjodaro;

  2. Evidences of coffin burial and cemetry 'H' culture (two antelopes and the hunter on a postherd from a cemetry have been discovered).

  3. Single-room barrack.

  4. Evidence of direct trade interaction with Mesopotamia.

  5. A red sandstone male torso.
  1. Stone symbols of female genitals.

Mohenjodaro Civilization : Some of the specific findings during the excavations of Mohenjodaro include:

  1. a college, a multi-pillared assembly hall.

  2. the Great bath (the most important public place of the city).

  3. a large granary (the largest building of Mohenjo-daro).

  4. a piece of woven cotton along with spindle whorls and needles.

  5. superficial evidence of horse.

  6. a pot-stone fragment of Mesopotamian origin.

  7. evidence of direct trade contact with Mesopotamia.

  8. a bronze dancing girl.

  9. evidence of violent death of some of the inhabitants (discovery of human skeletons put together).

  10. a seal representing Mother Goddess with a plant growing from her womb, and a

  11. woman to be sacrificed by a man with a knife in his hand.

  12. a bearded man; and

  13. a seal with a picture suggesting Pashupati Mahadev.

Kalibangan History :

Kalibangan was an important Harappan city. The word 'Kalibangan' means 'black bangles'. A ploughed field was the most important discovery of the early excavations. Later excavations at Kalibangan made the following specific discoveries.

  1. a wooden furrow.

  2. seven 'fire-altars' in a row on a platform, suggesting the practice of the cult of sacrifice.

  3. remains of massive brick wall around both the citadel and the lower town (the second Harappan site after Lothal to have the lower town also walled).

  4. bones of camel.

  5. a tiled floor which bears intersecting design of circles.

  6. a human head with long oval eyes, thick lower lips, receding forehead and straight pointed nose and

  7. evidences of two types of burials:

    1. burials in a circular grave and

    2. burials in a rectangular grave.

History of Lothal : Lothal was an important trade centre of the Harappan culture, the town planning in Lothal was different from that of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. The city was divided into six sections. Each section was built on a wide platform of unripe bricks. Each platform was separated by a road with width ranging from 12 feet to 20 feet.

Excavations at Lothal led to some specific discoveries which include:

  1. remains of rice husk (the only other Harappan city where the rice husk has been found is Rangpur, near Ahmedabad).

  2. an artificial dockyard.

  3. evidence of horse from a doubtful terracotta figurine.

  4. impressions of cloth on some of the seals.

  5. evidences of direct trade contact with Mesopotamia.

  6. houses with entrances on the main street (the houses of all other Harappan cities had side entries).

  7. a ship designed on a seal.

  8. a terracotta ship.

  9. a painting on a jar resembling the story of the cunning fox narrated in the Panchatantra.

  10. evidence of double burial (burying a male and a female in a single grave).

  11. evidence of a game similar to modern day chess and

  12. an instrument for measuring 180°, 90° and 45° angles (the instrument points to modern day compass).

Chanhu daro History : Excavations at Chanhu-daro have revealed three different cultural layers from lowest to the top being Indus culture, the Jhukar culture and the Jhangar culture.

The site is specially important for providing evidences about different Harappan factories. These factories produced seals, toys and bone implements. It was the only Harappan city without a citadel.

Some remarkable findings at Chanhu-daro include bronze figures of bullock cart and ekkas; a small pot suggesting an kinkwell, footprints of an elephant and a dog chasing a CAT.

Alamgirpur : Alamgipur is considered the eastern boundary of the Indus culture. Although the wares found here resemble those at other Harappan sites, other findings suggest that Alamgirpur developed during late-Harappan culture. The site is remarkable for providing the impression of cloth on a trough.

Kot-Diji : Kot Diji is known more as a pre-Harappan site. It gives the impression of a pre-Harappan fortified settlement. Houses were made of stone. The remains of Kot-Diji suggest that the city existed in the first half of the third millennium BC. Excavations at the site suggest that the city was destructed by force.

Amri : Amri also gives evidences of a pre-Harappan settlement. However, it lacks the fortification plan of the pre-Harappan phase. A spectacular feature of Amri is that it gives the impression of existence of transitional culture between pre and post-harappan culture. Important findings at Amri include the actual remains of rhinceros; traces of Jhangar culture in late or declining Harappan phase and fire altars.

History of Ropar : Ropar is a Harappan site from where remains of pre-Harappan and Harappan cultures have been found. Buildings at Ropar were made mainly of stone and soil. Important findings at the site include pottery, ornaments, copper axes, chert blades, terracotta blades, one inscribed steatite seal with typical Indus pictographs, several burials interred in oval pits, and a rectangular mud-brick chamber. There is also an evidence of burying a dog below the human burial (Though the practice was prevalent in Burzhom in Kashmir, it was rare in the Harappan context).

History of Banwali : Situated in Hissar district of Haryana, Banwali has provided two phases of culture during its excavations; the pre-Harappan (Phase I) and the Harappan (Phase II). Though phase II belonged to the Harappan period, chess-board or grid pattern of town planning was not always followed as in other Harappan sites.

The roads were neither always straight, nor did they cut at right angles. It also lacked another remarkable feature of the Harappan civilization - a systematic drainage system. A high quality barley has been found in excavations. Other important material remains include ceramics, steatite seal and a few terracotta sealings with typical Indus script.

Surkotada : Situated in Kutch (Bhuj) district of Gujarat and excavated by J.R Joshi in 1972, Surkotada was an important fortified Harappan settlement. The site is important particularly because it has provided the first actual remains of horse bones. A cemetery with four pot burials with some human bones has also been found. A grave has been found in association with a big rock, a rare finding of the Harappan culture.

Suktagendor History : Suktagendor, situated in Sindh (Pakistan), was an important coastal town of the Indus civilisation. Excavations of Suktagendor have revealed a two-fold division of the township: the Citadel and the Lower City. It is said that Suktagendor was originally a port which later cut off from the sea due to coastal uplift.

End of Indus Valley Civilization :

  • The Harappan culture lasted for around 1,000 years.

  • Invasion of the Aryans, recurrent floods, social breakup of Harappans, Earthquakes, etc are listed as possible causes.

Important Harappan Sites

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