Indus Valley Civilization


Indus Valley Civilization

Here we are providing information related to Indus Valley Civilization like introduction, phases, crafts, economy, town planning, society of this civilization. This civilization flourished at around 2,500 BC, in the western part of South Asia, i.e. Pakistan and Western India. It was one of the largest of the four ancient urban civilizations of that time. The excavations in the Indus valley was done in 1920s by Archaeological Department of India, which found ruins of the two old cities, viz. Mohenjodaro and Harappa.

Three phases of IVC are:

  1. Early Harappan Phase from 3300 to 2600 BCE
  2. Mature Harappan Phase from 2600 to 1900 BCE
  3. Late Harappan Phase from 1900 to 1300 BCE

Indus Valley Civilization Key features

Building Structures and Society Planning

  1. Town planning: It was the most distinctive features of the Indus Valley civilization as the towns were divided into two parts which are as below:
  2. Citadel (Occupied by ruling class)
  3. Lower Town (Inhabited by common people)
  4. Burnt Bricks were used:- The use of burnt bricks in the Harappan cities is remarkable, because in the contemporary buildings of Egypt mainly dried bricks were used.
  5. Drainage System:- The drainage system of Mohenjodaro was very impressive.
  6. Personal wells:- In Kalibangan many houses had their wells.

Cultivation of crops

  1. Flood Plains: As the villages of is civilizations were situated near flood plains of the rivers, therefore, cultivation of various crops was done.
  2. Crops produced:- Wheat, barley, rai, peas, sesame, lentil, chickpea and mustard were produced. Rice was not produced in a large quantity in this civilization. This is the first civilization to produce cotton.
  3. Ploughing:- As per the records and traces found during excavation, bulls and oxen were also used for ploughing.
  4. Canals found: Traces of canals have also been found at some sites of Indus valley civilization.
  5. Domestication of animals: Domestication of animals was done in this civilization at a very large scale. 


  1. Measurement system: Here in this civilization, people had developed their unique weighing and measurement system which was the multiple of 16.
  2. Occupation practices:- Mainly spinning, weaving, boat making, goldsmiths, making pottery and seal making were used as accupational practices in this civilization.
  3. Trade done:- The trading in this civilization was mainly done for stone, metal, shell, etc. Trading was also done through navigation on the coast off the Arabian Sea. Trading used to be done with northern Afghanistan.
  4. Barter System:- Here in this civilization money was not used for trading, barter system was used mainly for trading.

Art and Crafts

  1. Use of Bronze: People in this civilization were aware of manufacturing as well as use of Bronze.
  2. Copper was obtained from the Khetri copper mines of Rajasthan and Tin was possibly brought from Afghanistan.
  3. The Harappans practised boat-making, brick laying, bead making and seal-making. Terracotta manufacture was also an important crafts
  4. Jewellery making: Goldsmith at that time used to make jewellery for gold, silver and other precious stones.
  5. Different Crafts:- In this civilization, bread making, seal making, terracotta & boat making were important craft used in the civilization.
  6. Pottery wheel: - Pottery wheel was also being used in this civilization. The quality used is also better which was very shinning and glossy.

Religion Followed

  1. Terracotta figures of women: Here in this civilization, a lot of terracotta figurines of women were found.
  2. Trees & Animals: - It is also found that people of this civilization also worshipped numerous trees and animals. Rhinoceros and humped bull was mainly worshipped at that time.
  3. Fertility goddess:- Earth was considered as fertility goddess and was worshipped by the people.

Indus Valley Civilization Decline

  1. 1800 BC:- The decline if Indus valley civilization is considered at around 1800 BC, however, exact date is still not known.
  2. Reasons:- Some say due to foreign invasion resulted in decline of the Indus Valley Civilization. However, many people believe natural factors are the reasons for the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization. Factors such as climatic, tectonic disturbances, lack of rainfall, changes in the courses of rivers could be the reason of the decline.

Indus Valley Civilization Sites, Locations and findings.



Important Findings


Situated on the bank of river Ravi in Montgomery district of Punjab (Pakistan).

Sandstone statues of Human anatomy


Bullock carts

Mohenjodaro (Mound of Dead)

Situated on the Bank of river Indus in Larkana district of Punjab (Pakistan).

Great bath


Bronze dancing girl

Seal of Pasupathi Mahadeva

Steatite statue of beard man

A piece of woven cotton


In southwestern Balochistan province, Pakistan on Dast river

A trade point between Harappa and Babylon


Sindh on the Indus river

Bead makers shop

Footprint of a dog chasing a cat


On the bank of Indus river

Antelope evidence


Rajasthan on the bank of Ghaggar river

Fire altar

Camel bones

Wooden plough


Gujarat on Bhogva river near Gulf of Cambay

First manmade port


Rice husk

Fire altars

Chess playing



Bones of horses



Hisar district of Haryana



Evidence of both pre-Harappan and Harappan culture


Gujarat in Rann of Kachchh

Water harnessing system

Water reservoir

Here you can also go through details of other periods of Ancient Indian History which would be very helpful for various Government Exams:-

  1. Stone Age in India
  2. Vedic Period: Ancient History
  3. Vedic Literature : Ancient History
  4. Janapadas and Mahajanapadas
  5. Mauryan Empire : Ancient History
  6. Gupta Dynasty : Ancient History
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