UPSC Prelims Exam: Must Know Facts about Indus Valley Civilization Part – I

The Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and the Indus Valley Civilization, the four great civilizations of the ancient world, the first three (Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China) have been broadly studied and well-known to everyone. But the fourth and of equal importance, the much more sophisticated Indus Valley Civilization that flourished along the flood plains of Indus and Gaggar-Hakra is lost to human memory and till date remains puzzling.

It was in the 20th century, the lost and forgotten Indus Valley Civilization was rediscovered and acknowledged and given equal importance with the other three civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China).

Here we bring some interesting facts about Indus Valley Civilization which would important for UPSC Civil Services IAS Prelims Exam.

Fact# 1: Indus Valley Civilization was the largest among the other four civilizations of the world (Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China)

  • The Indus Valley Civilization was spread over an area of 1,260,000 sq. km over modern-India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan
  • The civilization extended from Ghaggar-Hakra Valley in the east to Markran coast of Baluchistan in the west, from Afghanistan in the northeastern to Daimabad in Maharashtra in the south.

Indus valley Civilization

Fact# 2: The Population of Indus Valley Civilization was over 5 million

  • The civilization had over 5 million inhabitants.
  • Most of the inhabitants of the civilization were artisans and traders.

Fact# 3: Nearly 1056 cities have been discovered

  • 1056 Harappan cities and settlements have been found
  • of which 96 have been excavated
  • Most of the settlements are mostly located in the broad region of the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra Rivers and their tributaries.
  • The major urban centers are: Harappa, Mohenjodaro, Dholaviral, Ganeriawala and Rakhigarhi.

Indus valley civilization map - 1056 sites

Fact# 4: Majority of the population lived in villages and it is not evident

  • Majority of the population of Indus Valley Civilization lived in villages
  • it is not evident as the villages may have been constructed of destructible materials like mud or timber.
  • Hence, it is difficult to find out the lifestyle and culture in these villages which have been lost over a period of time without any trace.

Fact# 5: Scholars and archaeologists are uncertain about the naming

  • Since the first settlement was discovered along the banks of river Indus, the archaeologists named the civilization as Indus Valley Civilization. But on contrary only around 100 sites have been found in the Indus Valley, while over 500 sites are found along the Gaggar-Hakra River (The present day Saraswati River).
  • Most of the archaeologists prefer  to call them as ‘Indus-Saraswati Civilization’ based on the two river systems, while other prefer to name them as Harappan Civilisation as the first settlement was discovered in this city (Harappa).

And, according to some archaeologists, the sites along the Gaggar-Hakra River are preserved as they lie in the uninhabited desert.

Considering UPSC questions on Indus Valley Civilization/UPSC questions on Harappan civilization, we have compiled this series of articles on the Indus Valley Civilization. Also Read more about Indus Valley Civilization by clicking the below links.

Indus Valley Civilization – Part 2   Indus Valley Civilization – Part 3                                            Indus Valley Civilization – Part 4   Indus Valley Civilization – Part 5                                            Indus Valley Civilization – Part 6   Indus Valley Civilization – Part 7                                                    Indus Valley Civilization – Part 8   Indus Valley Civilization – Part 9

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