Thursday, July 3, 2008

Indus Valley civilization

Around 2500 BC to around 1700 BC, a civilization flourished on the valley of the Indus River in what is now Pakistan and western India and its tributaries, extending as far to the northeast as Delhi and south to Gujarat.
The Indus Valley civilization, India's oldest known civilization, is famed for its complex culture and specialized artifacts. Ruins of ancient cities such as Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro show that those ancient people built drainage systems that ran into brick-lined sewers. Brick homes many stories high were common. Its cities were carefully planned, with elaborate water-supply systems, sewage facilities, and centralized granaries. The cities had common settlement patterns and were built with standard sizes and weights of bricks, evidence that suggests a coherent civilization existed throughout the region. The people of the Indus civilization used copper and bronze, and they spun and wove cotton and wool. They also produced statues and other objects of considerable beauty, including many seals decorated with images of animals and, in a few cases, what appear to be priests. They also decorated with a script known as the Indus script, a pictographic writing system that has not been deciphered. The Indus civilization is thought to have undergone a swift decline after 1800 BC, although the cause of the decline is still unknown; theories point to extreme climatic changes or natural disasters.

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