The Daily Life during Indus Civilization2
The ancient Harappans had a strong foothold in some of the overseas countries. Yet, they appeared to have been intensely conventional or traditional and strongly resisted the innovations introduced from the external countries.
They cast tools and weapons in bronze. However, most of their tools were inferior in comparison to those of Mesopotamian people with whom they had contacts. Also, their weapons were more primitive. They didn't make swords. Instead, they tipped their spears with bronze points so thin that they would crumble on contact. They used stone for their arrowheads. These shortcomings could be one of the reasons for such a fatal death of this once upon a time rich civilization.
The ancient Harappan society was dominated by a powerful priestly class. This class ruled from the bastion of each of the capitals. Though there may have been specialized warriors, the priests appeared to have been the main coordinators of fortress construction as well as the preparation for defense.
There were granaries and artisan dwellings located near the citadels. This further indicated that the priests may have also supervised the handicraft production. Apart from this, they also managed regional as well as long-distance or external trade.
The priests derived their impressive control over city and town dwellers. They did so by being the intermediaries between the Harappan general population and a number of gods and goddesses. The main provision of these gods and goddesses was fertility which was of paramount concern. Several of the gods are depicted on the seals. These seals, however, could not be deciphered. These are dominated by a naked male figure with a horned head and a fierce facial expression.
On some of the seals he is also pictured in a crossed-legged posture of meditation. This posture was similar to that which was later known as the 'lotus position.' Apart from this, there are numerous figurines of females which have been traced. These are bare but yet, covered in a great amount of jewelry. These "mother goddesses" appear to have been objects of worship for the common people. However, the horned god was apparently favored by the priests and upper classes.
The obsession with fertility was also reflected in the admiration of sacred animals. Animals like bulls were commonly worshipped. This is evident from the large quantity of phallic-shaped objects which have been found at Harappan sites. There were a handful of superbly carved figurines of male notables, dancing girls, and animals. These cult objects represent the pinnacle of artistic expression for the rather unimaginative and practical-minded people of Harappa.
The control exhibited by the uniformity and rigid ordering of Harappan culture was a result of the extensive administrative class serving the priests. Another possibility was that the members of this class and possibly wealthy mercantile families lived in the large two- and three-story houses.
Characteristically, size and not the decoration distinguished their dwellings from those of the rest of the urban population. The rest of the population comprised of artisans, laborers, and slaves. Outside of the two great cities, the subjects of the priest-rulers were agriculturists. Their surplus production was essential to urban life. Additionally, they also provided the maintenance of very vulnerable defenses against natural calamities as also human aggressors.
This glorious civilization around 1900 BC started showing signs of a gradual decline. This was because the people started to leave the cities. Those who remained were poorly nourished. By around 1800 BC, most of the cities were abandoned. As an outcome of the collapse of the Indus civilization, regional cultures emerged. These cultures showed varying degrees of influence of the Indus civilization. In the formerly great city of Harappa, burials have been found that correspond to a regional culture. This regional culture is called the Cemetery H culture.
There was yet another consequence of the aftermath of the Indus Valley civilization. This was the hypothesis that the Indo-Aryan migrated into the northern part of India. Subsequently, this civilization was eventually again discovered in the 1920s by some archeologists. At that time, its collapse at precisely the time of the conjectured invasion was believed to be an independent confirmation.