Ancient civilizations
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ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS. Life in the Indus Valley. the ancient cities of Mesopotamia were not the only places where civilization was taking shape between 3000 and 2000 B.C.

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Ancient civilizations


Life in the Indus Valley

  • the ancient cities of Mesopotamia were not the only places where civilization was taking shape between 3000 and 2000 B.C.

  • far to the east of the Tigris-Euphrates river valley, the people of another river valley formed their version of a citystate

  • the Indus River valley (located in modern-day Pakistan) was similar to that of the Mesopotamian landscape

  • the environment was a desert region, watered by floods of the Indus River and its tributaries

  • the area was a humid and dry plain, requiring the early Indus inhabitants to rely on irrigation to develop systematic agriculture

  • the civilization that developed in the Indus River valley centered in several important cities, including MohenjoDaro on the Indus Rriverand Harappa on the neighboring Ravi River

  • Archeologists discovered these urban sites beginning in the 1920s A.D.

  • the culture they located is sometimes known as the Harappan civilization, named for the city-state

  • the work of archeologists has determined that the Harappans were some of the first city planners

  • over 100 city ruins have been excavated

  • the grandest sites reveal towns measuring more than three miles in circumference

  • near a typical city’s center stood a fortified complex where priests lived

  • in the city of MohenjoDaro, one of the largest cities, the fortified citadel included a great sunken bath where the privileged citizens could bathe, as well as a granary, or food storage center

  • extending from this center complex, the urban planners of MohenjoDaro designed streets in a grid pattern, flanked by houses, shops, and courtyards

  • woven awnings extended over the doors of shops to protect citizens from the glare of the desert sun

  • City streets were wide thoroughfares, often measuring over 30 feet across, allowing easy passage of people, animals, and two-wheeled oxcarts

  • unique to Harappan towns were the bricklined sewage systems which delivered waste outside of the city

  • manholes lined the streets where city workers could enter the drainage system, correcting any blockage problems

  • the Harappan people were civilized enough to invent a form of writing which has not yet been deciphered by modern scholars

  • as a result, life in the Indus Valley remains largely a mystery

  • it is known that the Indus people were extensive traders and hard-working farmers

  • Their craftsmen worked with metals including copper, bronze, and silver, fashioning each into tools, weapons, and cooking utensils

  • Indus trading ships and camels sent trade goods along the rivers and over land, even trading with the Sumerians

  • the Indus people appear to have been highly disciplined, yet they enjoyed games and playing dice

  • their artisans made toys, including monkey puppets on strings

  • they kept pets such as dogs and cats, and singing insects which they kept in small clay pots

Think about it
Think About It...

  • What similarities do you see between the civilization found in the Indus Valley and that of the Mesopotamians? What differences can you determine?