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The Indus Valley Civilization

The world is a treasure trove of ancient civilizations, each making a unique contribution to human history. Among them, the Indus Valley Civilization is one of the oldest and most enigmatic.

But what is this forgotten civilization, so little known today, but which nevertheless coexisted with the Mesopotamians or even the Egyptians of Antiquity?

Indus valley civilization map

Thriving over 4,500 years ago in what is now Pakistan and northwestern India, this ancient civilization features remarkable urban planning, advanced engineering and a rich cultural heritage. In this article, we delve into the secrets of the Indus Valley Civilization, shedding light on its awe-inspiring achievements and the mysteries that continue to captivate archaeologists and historians to this day.

The Indus Valley Civilization, also known as the Harappan Civilization, takes its name from the mighty Indus River that runs through its heart.

Discovered in the 1920s, the remains of cities like Harappa and Mohenjo Daro offer a glimpse of a highly organized and advanced society. Spreading over an area of ​​more than 1.25 million square kilometers, this once flourishing civilization spanned the territories of present-day Pakistan, India and part of Afghanistan.

At a time when most civilizations were predominantly rural, the Indus Valley Civilization had sophisticated urban centers.

Indus Valley Civilization Cities

The towns of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, in particular, exhibited a high degree of urban planning. With well-laid grid networks, complex drainage systems and multi-storey houses, these ancient cities bore witness to an impressive level of urban planning.

The Indus Valley Civilization demonstrated remarkable technological advances for its time.
The townspeople had knowledge of metallurgy, with copper and bronze being commonly used. Craft pottery and seals in a distinct script, known as the Indus script, have been unearthed, although their decipherment remains an unsolved mystery. The presence of weights and measures suggests the existence of a standardized system of exchange and trade, which underlines their business acumen.

From archaeological findings, it is believed that the Indus Valley Civilization had a well-structured society.
The cities were organized around a citadel, which was supposed to be the administrative and religious center. The society seemed fairly egalitarian, with no clear evidence of the existence of palatial palaces or structures indicating the existence of a ruling elite. Agriculture played a vital role in their economy, with evidence of well-planned irrigation systems, crops and the domestication of animals.

The artistic and cultural heritage of the Indus Valley Civilization was rich and varied.
Mohenjo Daro sculpture
Intricate jewelry, terracotta figurines, and carvings of men and animals testify to their artistic prowess. The famous statue of the "dancer", discovered in Mohenjo-daro, testifies to their know-how in terms of bronze casting. The presence of public baths, granaries and public buildings testifies to the importance given to community life and collective facilities.

One of the most enduring mysteries of the Indus Valley Civilization is its script, which remains undeciphered to this day.

Pashupati Seal, Indus Valley Civilization

Thousands of inscriptions have been discovered, but in the absence of bilingual text, researchers have been unable to crack the code. Deciphering the script would offer invaluable information about language, literature, and the social, political, and economic aspects of civilization.

Then, from 1900 BC. JC, without really knowing why, the civilization of the Indus Valley began its decline until it completely abandoned these cities a few centuries later (several hypotheses exist such as climate change or natural disasters without the we are really sure of it).

The Indus Valley Civilization thus remains an intriguing enigma that captivates the minds of scholars and historians around the world.

With its sophisticated urban planning, technological advances and vibrant culture, this ancient civilization is a testament to humanity's ingenuity and resilience. As archaeologists continue to make new discoveries and advance in research, the veil of mystery surrounding the Indus Valley Civilization is gradually being lifted, allowing us to better understand our past. commmon.

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Indus Valley Civilization Clothing