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Harappan_Culture a Study Course

Harappan_Culture a Study Course

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Published by: tathaagat on Dec 04, 2009
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1UNIT - I
Lesson 1
THE HARAPPAN CULTURE
Learning Objectives
1.Pupil understands that the two cities of Harappa and Mohenjo -daro belonged to one single civilisation - the Indus Valleycivilisation or Harappan Civilisation.2.Pupil knows that the river valleys were responsible for the growthof civilisations.3.Pupil acquires knowledge about the nature and date of Harappanculture.4.Pupil recognises the extent of Harappan Civilisation.5.Pupil knows the contacts of Harappan culture with other greatcivilisations of the world.6.Pupil understands that the Harappan culture was mainly urban bynature.
Geographical Features of India :
The history of India cannotbe understood without some knowledge about its geography. Theculture of a country depends upon its physical features. India occupiesa central position in the continent of Asia. India is known as the sub-continent. India is peninsular in shape. India is surrounded by the
Indian ocean,
the
Bay of Bengal
and the
Arabian sea
on the south,east and west respectively. The Himalayas stand in the North. Theland has great charm and glamour. It may be divided into four physicaldivisions. They are the
Himalayas
, the
Indo-Ganagetic plain
, the
Deccan Plateau
and the
Coastal Ghats.
 
2The most important feature of Indian Geography is theHimalayas. A number of perennial rivers have their origin in theHimalayas. It is broken by two passes namely
Khyber
and
Bolan
.These passes enabled the foreigners to invade India. Three famouscivilisations flourished in ancient India. They are:
Indus Valley
orHarappan Civilisation,
Gangetic Valley Civilisation
and the
SangamCivilisation
.
Pre-Historic Period :
The term pre-history refers to the veryearly stages in the evolution of mankind. We do not have writtenrecords for this period. Certain physical remains, tools and implementsused by people in different parts of the world are the basis to classifypre-historic period broadly into
Stone
and
Metal Ages
. In the
stoneage
man used weapons and articles made of stones. Hence it is calledthe
‘Stone Age’.
This Age is divided into Old Stone Age orPalaeotithic Age and New Stone Age or Neolithic Age.
Life in Old Stone Age :
During the
Old Stone Age(Palaeolithic Age)
man led a nomadic life. He gathered fruits,vegetables, roots, nuts and ate them. He started hunting the animals.Man invented
fire
by rubbing two pieces of flint. Man used leaves,barks of trees and skins of animals to cover his body.
Life in New Stone Age:
During the
New Stone Age
, man hadlearnt the art of agriculture. For this purpose, the fertile river Valleyswere used. Man started leading a civilised life. Animals weredomesticated. During this period, the
wheel
was invented. It was aturning point in the life of man. Wheels were used by man to carryluggage to different places. This was the first step in scientificadvancement. From tiny watch to the aeroplane, the idea is based onwheel. He made pots with the help of wheel. Thus, man in the
NewStone Age
was responsible for the growth of civilisations.
Old Stone Age Implements
 
3
Life in Metal Age:
The discovery of
metals
was anotherachievement made by man. Metals were used for making weapons.During this period, people mostly lived near the river beds. So, the riverValley Civilisations developed. The
Metal Age
is divided into
CopperAge,
 
Bronze Age
and
Iron Age.
In the
Iron Age,
ploughs and daggerswere made of iron. It led to the overall development of mankind.
THE HARAPPAN CULTURESources of Harappan Culture:
The archaeologicalexcavations carried out at
Mohenjo-daro
and
Harappa
are useful toknow about Harappan culture.
Sir John Marshall
and his team workedin the sites of Mohenjo-daro. The excavation work was continued by
J.H Mackay
.
G.F.Dales
and
M.S.Wats
. They have brought to light ahighly advanced civilisation that flourished in India in the pre-Aryanperiod. Their discoveries are the basic source materials of Harappanculture.It is called the
Harappan Civilisation
because it was firstdiscovered in 1921 at the modern site of Harappa. Harappa is on thebanks of the river Ravi, one of the tributaries of the Sindh. The Ravi issituated in the province of West Punjab in Pakistan. A year later, in1922 another city was unearthed in Larkana district of Sindh (now inPakistan) at a site called Mohenjo-daro.Can you believe that until A.D. 1922, no one knew about the HarappanCivilisation? You should know that Harappa is now in Pakistan.The Harappan culture flourished on the banks of the river Sindh.
There were many reasons why the early civilisations arose alongrivers
. Some of them are as follows:1.The rivers provided plenty of water, which could supportlarge settlements.2.The lands adjoining the rivers were fertile. So, various cropscould be grown with ease.3.The rivers were the means of cheap and easy transport inthe absence of roads.

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