End of first civilization

The city of Dholavira is located in the Rann if Kutch where one would find fresh water and fertile soil land. The city of Lothal was found near the tributary of Sabarmati, in Gujarat close to the Gulf of Khambet. It’s the place where semi precious stones were found. It is believed to be an important centre where objects were made out of stone, shell and metal. There were storehouses also in the city. Harappan script carved on white stone and then inlaid in wood were found. Seals and sealings were found in the storehouses.

Seals were used to stamp the bags or packets having goods inside it. When the packets are tied, a clay layer is placed on the top of the know and then the seals are pressed on it. Thus ensured security and safety of the goods being sent from one place to another. If the seals are intact the receiver would be assured the goods have reached him safely. The impression on the seal is known as sealing.

Seals are used even today.

Dockyard were also found in the city of Lothal. It’s the place where boats and ships would have come to rest from the seas and the river channels. Goods from the ship’s were loaded and unloaded here.

Around 3900 years ago, the lives begin to change. There were fewer people living in the cities, fewer raw materials were been brought, seals and sealings, weights were no longer in use. However no body knew the reasons behind these changes, but there were many assumptions and believes. Some believed that rivers were getting dried up. While some believed there were large scale deforestation. The need for fuel for baking, burning, cooking were the reason behind deforestation. Some believed grazing by the herds and cattle would have destroyed the green cover. Some areas were flooded. Flooding or drying up if the rivers were believed to have effected some areas. But no body could cite the exact reason of the end of all the city lives.

It was seen that in Mohejodaro, the streets were piled up with garbage, drainage system is poorly maintained, houses were being constructed over the streets hence lacked planning.

Rulers lost their control over their subjects. People residing in Sindh and West Punjab abondoned the cities and moved to newer settlement towards South and East.

New city life cropped up around 1400 years later.


  • The cities of Harappa developed about 4700 years ago.
  • These cities were fully flourished.
  • The construction of the houses, drains and streets  reflected the well planned architecture of that period.

But around 3900 years ago ,major changes were seen .

    • People stopped living in many of the cities.
    • Writing, seals and weights were no longer used.
    • Raw materials were rarely brought  from distant lands.
    • In Mohenjodaro,
      •  Garbage piled up on the streets
      • The drainage system broken down
      • Less impressive houses were built

The reason behind these changes were not sorted out till date but scholars suggested that-

  • The rivers dried up
  • There was deforestation
    • As fuel was required for baking bricks and smelting copper ores
    • Grazing by large herds of cattle, sheep and goat
  • There were floods in some areas.
  • The rulers lost their control over the region.

These reasons are not accepted at all as it would only affect some areas, not the whole civilization together.

Whatever the reasons were, here was the end of this flourished civilization .

Now people moved into newer and smaller settlements to the east and the south.

New cities emerged about 1400 years ago.