UPSC Exam: Must Know Facts about Indus Valley Civilization.
Along with the Chinese, Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations, the Indus Valley Civilization was one of the great ancient civilizations of the world. It was a Bronze Age civilization in India and was highly advanced in terms of its urban development and living style of the people. This is an important topic in ancient history for the UPSC IAS exam. We bring you a series of articles on this great civilization. This is the eighth article in this interesting series.
Fact# 39: The world’s oldest signboard can be found here
- A board with stone symbols/letters over 30 cm in height in a wooden frame was discovered at Dholavira in 1999.
- Archaeologists believe this was the world’s first signboard!
- It is thought to have been placed at the façade of the northern gate of the city’s citadel.
Fact# 40: The Indus Valley people were playful
- Among the artefacts that have been found in sites like Mohenjo-Daro are toys and games.
- They have unearthed cubical dice having one to six holes (quite like the ones we have today)!
- Other toys include clay figures of bullock carts, spinning tops, marbles, miniature pots and utensils, etc.
Fact# 41: They had exquisite art and craft
- Art and craft during the Indus Valley period were highly sophisticated.
- Their artefacts display a high level of achievement in terms of aesthetic value and the technique used.
- Their ware includes terracotta, bronze, copper and other metals.
- They were also experts in bead-making.
- This is a very important discovery because it shows the expertise of the Indus Valley civilization in metal blending and casting. It also signifies the importance of dance as a form of entertainment in those times.
- Archaeologist Sir John Marshall (who discovered the Indus Valley Civilization in a way) has remarked, “When I first saw them I found it difficult to believe that they were prehistoric…”
- These wonderful pieces of art, made using the lost-wax casting process, dated thousands of years before the Greeks.
Fact# 42: Cause of decline: Unknown
- Historians are not sure what led to the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization.
- Experts are now sure that it wasn’t invasion, disease or any other calamity that caused their decline.
- The cities and settlements started declining gradually and they seemed to have been abandoned by the inhabitants who might have migrated to greener pastures.
- It is believed that the gradual drying up of the Saraswati River might have led to this.
- The civilization did not come to an abrupt end but declined gradually and got assimilated into other cultures.
Fact# 43: Over 4000 seals have been found from the sites
- These seals are small, rectangular stone slabs with inscriptions on them.
- They also have images of animals and other figures on them.
- The use of these seals is uncertain.
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