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Early Harappan (3200-2600 BC)

The origin and the race of the Harappan are still a matter of dispute. While one section of scholars believes that they were Dravidian, definitely Indo-Aryan, another section believes that they were the same as Sumerians or the Cretans. The Harappan script has not been deciphered but the discovery of writing material clearly indicates that the Harappans were educated.

According to Gurudip Singh, rise in rainfall around 8000 BC in Rajasthan was responsible for the emergence of cereal agriculture in northwest India around 7500 BC An exceptionally good rainfall around 3000 BC accelerated the expansion of farmbased settlements in the region and also resulted in the prosperity of the Harappan culture. A decrease in rainfall around 1800 BC led to decline of the Harappan culture. But other climatic data totally negates the idea that improved climatic conditions led to the rise of Harappan Civilization as it was in the dry and semi-arid environment that the culture flourished in India and Pakistan.

Around the middle of the third millennium BC, the Indus Valley witnessed a momentous change as a majority of Early Harappan (32002600 BC) settlements were abandoned and replaced by a network of larger and more numerous Mature Harappan (25001900 BC) occupations, including the urban centers of Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, and Ganweriwala. Mohenjo-daro extends over some 200 ha and shows a high degree of planning, with streets laid out in a grid pattern, residential sectors, workshop areas, and architectural complexes such as the Mound of the Great Bath, containing a diverse assortment of public buildings. Harappa covered at least 100 ha and also shows considerable architectural complexity.

The Early Harappan to Mature Harappan transition (26002500 BC) was a time of disruption; for example, the sites of Kot Diji, Gumla, Amri, and Nausharo all show evidence of extensive burning coinciding with the end of the Early Harappan occupation. Kenoyer recognized a Mature Harappan regional settlement hierarchy of four tiers according to site size, which he argued was consistent with state organization, an assessment supported by recent research. It has long been acknowledged that trade was of central importance to Mature Harappan society. Intraregionally, cities, towns, and villages were linked by exchanges of grain, livestock, and services, monitored through a standardized system of counts and weights.

Copper, tin, and lapis lazuli were obtained through long-distance trade, which in some cases involved the establishment of Harappan trading colonies in faraway lands. Algaze found it significant that the Mature Harappan polities quickly expanded into the Kutch and Gujarat regions some 400 km southeast of Mohenjo-daro; moreover, he saw an early involvement in distant colonial outposts such as Dabar Kot, Periano Ghundai, Manda, Rupar, and Lothal as directly linked to the needs of growing bureaucracies in the Harappan urban centers. Although a number of research questions about the Indus Valley remain unresolved, there is mounting evidence that the transition from the Early Harappan to Mature Harappan witnessed not only the rise of a primary state but also the rapid political-economic expansion of the Mature Harappan state to territories far from the core.

The transition from the Early Harappan to Mature Harappan (2600-2500 BC) was a time of disruption; for example, the sites of Kot Diji, Gumla, Amri, and Nausharo all show evidence of extensive burning coinciding with the end of the Early Harappan occupation. The Mature Harappan regional settlement hierarchy of four tiers according to site size, which was consistent with state organization. It has long been acknowledged that trade was of central importance to Mature Harappan society. Intraregionally, cities, towns, and villages were linked by exchanges of grain, livestock, and services, monitored through a standardized system of counts and weights. Copper, tin, and lapis lazuli were obtained through long-distance trade, which in some cases involved the establishment of Harappan trading colonies in faraway lands.



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Page last modified: 09-10-2012 17:25:24 ZULU