1. WHAT ARE THE SOURCES AVAILABLE TO UNDERSTAND (OR) TO STUDY HARAPPAN CIVILIZATION?
a) The Harappan seal is possibly the most distinctive artifact of the Harappans or Indus valley civilisation. Harappan seals contain animal and plant motifs and signs from a script that remains undeciphered.
b) We know a great deal of sources which were left by the people, such as their houses, pots, ornaments, tools and seals – in other words, archaeological evidence.
2. *WHY WAS INDUS VALLEY CIVILISATIONALSO CALLED THE HARAPPAN CULTURE?
a. Archaeologists use the term “culture” for a group of objects,distinctive in style, that are usually found together within a specific geographical area and period of time.
b. In the case of the Harappan culture, these distinctive objects include seals, beads, weights, stone blades and baked bricks.
c. These objects were found from areas as far apart as Afghanistan, Jammu, Baluchistan (Pakistan) and Gujarat .
d. Harappan civilisation is dated between c. 2600 and1900 BCE.
3. Similarities and DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EARLY HARAPPAN CULTURES AND Mature Harappan CULTURES.
a) Early and later Harappan cultures were associated with distinctive pottery, evidence of agriculture and pastoralism, and some crafts.
b) In Early Harappan cultures Settlements were generally small, and there were virtually no large buildings. But in Mature Harappan culture settlements were large and buildings were also large.
4. SUBSISTENCE STRATEGIES (DIETARY PRACTICES) OF HARAPPAN CULTURES AND MATURE HARAPPAN CULTURES
a. The Harappans ate a wide range of plant products. Archaeologists have been able to reconstruct dietary practices from finds of charred grains, seeds and bones.
b. These are studied by archaeo-botanists, who are specialists in ancient plant remains.
c. Food grains found at Harappan sites include wheat, barley, lentil, chickpea, sesame, Millets and rice.
d. The Harappans ate a wide range of animal products.Archaeologists have been able to reconstruct use of animals from finds of charred animal bones found at Harappan sites. These include those of cattle, sheep,goat, buffalo and pig.
e. These are studied by Archaeo-zoologists or zoo-Archaeologists who are specialists in ancient animal remains.
f. Bones of wild species such as boar, deer and gharial were also found. We do not know whether the Harappans hunted these animals themselves orobtained meat from other hunting (tribal) communities.
5. PREVALENCE OF AGRICULTURE IN HARAPPAN CIVILISATION
A. Representations on seals and terracotta sculpture indicate that the bull was known, and oxen were used for ploughing.
B. Terracotta models of the plough have been found at sites in Cholistan and at Banawali (Haryana).
C. Archaeologists have also found evidence of a ploughed field at Kalibangan (Rajasthan).The field had two sets of furrows at right angles toeach other, suggesting that two different cropswere grown together.
d. Archaeologists have also identified the tools used for harvesting. Harappans used stone blades set in wooden handles and metal tools made of copper.
e. Most Harappan sites are located in semi-arid lands, where irrigation was probably required foragriculture. Traces of canals, water reservoirs and wells have been found at the Harappan sites indicate that agriculture was practiced.
f. Archaeologists have also found charred food grains which indicate prevalence of agriculture.