Indus Valley

The Indus Valley civilization in northern India and across Pakistan is a major point of origin for India. The beginnings of India’s civilization happened long before recording became a habit and so the earliest beginnings are lost in time. What we do know is a sophisticated culture with unusual circular patterned city construction, and a hieroglyphic language that was entirely Indian-made occurred 2,500 BC ago and lasted for 1,000 years. The society centered on two great ancient metropolises—Harappa and Mojendo-Daro.

The Indus valley culturally rivaled anything Egypt or Mesopotamia had except in the area of war. It seems they valued peace. Unfortunately, the Indus valley script has not been deciphered even though it is etched extensively on the many bricks of the the city’s walls. From these two cities in India at least 1,000 others sprang up in the valley. The discovery of such a delight came from finding and using bricks to build the British railway in the 1920’s.

Complex and elaborate trade routes ran throughout the valley as well as routes established with the rest of the ancient world. Goods were provided by merchants, craftsmen, and artisans. The architectures, extensive city planning, and Indus valley seals have no comparison. The culture was unique in its approach and uniformity. The demise of the civilization began with a series of natural disasters that weakened Harappa. When the blue eyed Aryans arrived with their warlike ways the peaceful civilization could not recover.

Indus valley had levels in its society, but despite this even their poorest and their slaves were well taken care of by their elite as evidenced by living quarters and mummies. Aryan influence did give rise to the India epic works of the Mahabharata and Ramayana, but at a high cost. The Indus valley civilization and its peaceful ways went underground. The Aryans created the caste system that India is recovering from today. Let us hope that with the deciphering of the Indus script that the secrets for living in peace for over a 1,000 years will at last be known.


About this entry