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Indus Valley Civilization or Harappan Civilization Essay
It is believed that Indus Valley Civilization flourished between 3000 BC and 1500 B.C. in the north-western part of the Indian sub-continent. This civilization was discovered in 1921 at the modern site of Harappa situated in the West Punjab (now Pakistan). The excavations were carried out in 1922 by the Archaeological Department of India at Mohenjo-Daro (Mound of the Wind), now in Pakistan.
It is not known who the builder of the Indus Valley Civilization was. In all probability, they were a Mediterranean race, allied to the Dravidians of India. The Indus, the river which the Aryans called the `Sindhu’, has but its name to India. The valley on both sides has been the seat of the oldest civilization in the world. The historic river has five major tributaries — the Jhelum, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, and the Sutlej.
The Indus Valley Civilization is the oldest of the first great civilizations known in the world. Recent researchers indicate that it had its beginning between 7000 BC and 6000 BC. It was a highly developed urban civilization, having modern amenities of life like underground drainage, well-laid-out roads lined with stalls or shops; two or three-storeyed houses made of kiln-burnt bricks, baths, works of art, pillared halls, and granaries. This shows their developed town-planning.
The Indus Valley settlers were well versed in the art of agriculture, and in the use of metals like gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, etc. Their weaponry included bows, daggers, spears, and axes. They wore cotton and woolen clothes and worshiped Mother Goddess and believed in the theory of rebirth.
The excavations at Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa reveal that the settlers of the Indus Valley carried on both inland and overseas trade, and their merchandise reached the far-off countries of Asia. The Indian archaeologists discovered conclusive evidence of strong traditional and cultural ties between the ancient Dilmur civilization of Bahrain and the Indus Valley settlers. Their manufactures -reached even markets of the Tigris and Euphrates. A few Sumerian devices in art, Mesopotamian toilet sets, and a cylinder seal resemble those of the Indus Valley.
Besides, their wonderful works of art and craftsmanship; the Indus Valley people were experts in painting, potteries, making fine jewelry, toys, toolmaking, spinning, and weaving of cotton and wool. Harappans were acquainted with the potter’s wheel and produced earthenware of rich variety. The rich people used ornaments made of gold, silver, ivory, copper, and precious stones, while the poor used that of shell or terra cotta. They made vessels of beaten copper and metal implements and weapons, which shows their technical progress. They ate wheat, rice, barley, milk, dates, fish, eggs, and animal flesh. They also knew the art of reading and writing.
The decline of the Indus Valley Civilization was perhaps due to floods, wars, racial degeneration, geographical changes, and the arrival of the Aryans. And the cultural synthesis and fusion took place between the incoming Aryans and the local Dravidians who were probably the representatives of the Indus Valley Civilization.
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