Indus River Valley Civilizations
(2600-1900 BC)
The Indus River Valley Civilization was an advanced civilization that sprouted on the banks of the Indus River in modern day India. Agriculture in is fertile area began around 5000 BC. The two major centers of this civilization were the urban cities of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. The civilization declined due to natural disasters and attacks from Aryan armies from the north (1900 BCE).

Society- The Indus people slowly progressed from an agricultural society to an early major urban society. Their two major cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were some of the earliest cities discovered. They were surround by walls and had some of the largest populations of the earliest cities. Harappa was believed to have a population of 35,000 people while Mohenjo-Daro was much larger. They also created a writing system that had 400 signs.

Culture- What is known about the Indus culture is mostly portrayed through art. The Indus were skilled at making pottery (wheel-working) and the crafting of jewelry. An abundance of natural metals and precious stones in the area aided in making their jewelry famous.
Very little evidence of religion has been found in the Indus River Valley civilization. The people however worship a priest king. It can be inferred that the Indus River peoples were polytheistic, part of a religion that could be an early precursor to Hinduism.

Human Interactions with Environment- The Indus River Valley people were masters of their environment. They had a strong irrigation system that allowed crops to flourish. Their river was prone to flooding frequently, so they built their homes from oven baked bricks that resisted flood waters. This was one of the most important inventions in human history. The people also mined the metal from the surrounding area in order to craft jewelry and weapons. On the coast, fishing was one of the main

Economics- The Indus had widespread trading contacts throughout the ancient world. They traded goods such as jewelry, timber, metal ore, pottery, fish, and building stone to the Mesopotamians and Egyptians. They served as trading middlemen for the lands beyond their borders.

Politics- The people followed priest-kings that resided in compound raised above the cities.

To this day, much of this civilization is shrouded in mystery, especially politics, economics, and the social environment of the civilization.

Bulliet, Richard, et al. Earth and Its People, AP Edition, (Boston: Wadsworth, 2011)

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