Why started in certain places2: He argued that “Aryan” simply means cultures, and can be claimed by people from any racial group. In his view, the world owes the alphabet, numerals and much more besides to India, whose civilization is the most ancient and significant of them all.
Rajaram uses other arguments to explain North-South cultural differences through the linguistic difference between northern and southern Indian language was believed to have been difficult to explain apart from the theory of separate origins among two different peoples namely Aryan and Dravidian.
This made some scholars to confirm the theory that it was Aryans who invaded and somehow caused the civilization to collapse. But it can also be argued, even without the linguistic discoveries mentioned, that many aspects of Aryan culture and religion owe something to the Indus Valley Civilization.
This Civilization was a significant one owing to several reasons which can be categorized as follows:
The people of the Indus civilization achieved great accuracy in measuring length, mass, and time. They were among the first to develop a system of uniform weights and measures. Their measurements were extremely precise.
Their smallest division, which is marked on an ivory scale found in Lothal, was approximately 1.704 mm, the smallest division ever recorded on a scale of the Bronze Age. Harappan engineers followed the decimal division of measurement for all practical purposes, including the measurement of mass as revealed by their hexahedron weights.
Brick sizes were in a perfect ratio of 4:2:1, and the decimal system was used. Weights were based on units of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500, with each unit weighing approximately 28 grams, similar to the English ounce or Greek uncia, and smaller objects were weighed in similar ratios with the units of 0.871.
Unique Harappan inventions include an instrument which was used to measure whole sections of the horizon and the tidal dock. In addition, they evolved new techniques in metallurgy and produced copper, bronze, lead, and tin. The engineering skill of the Harappans was remarkable, especially in building docks after a careful study of tides, waves, and currents.
The people of Indus were great lovers of the fine arts, and especially dancing, painting, and sculpture. Various sculptures, seals, pottery, gold jewelry, terracotta figures, and other interesting works of art indicate that they had fine artistic sensibilities.
Their art is highly realistic. The anatomical detail of much of their art is unique, and terracotta art is also noted for its extremely careful modeling of animal figures.
Bronze, terracotta, and stone sculptures in a dancing pose also reveal much about their art of dancing. Similarly, a harp-like instrument depicted on an Indus seal and two shell objects from Lothal confirm that stringed musical instruments were in use in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization.
Today, much of the Indus art is considered advanced for their time period. Pillars were even sometimes topped with decorative capitals, such as the famous “Lions of Sarnath” Capital.
Judging from the abundant figurines depicting female fertility that they left behind, indicate worship of a Mother goddess. IVC seals depict animals, perhaps as the object of veneration, comparable to the zoomorphic aspects of some Hindu gods.
Seals resembling Pashupati in a yogic posture have also been discovered. Like Hindus today, Indus civilization people seemed to have placed a high value on bathing and personal cleanliness.
The Indus civilization’s economy appears to have depended significantly on trade, which was facilitated by major advances in transport technology. These advances included bullock-driven carts that are identical to those seen throughout South Asia today, as well as boats.
Most of these boats were probably small, flat-bottomed craft, perhaps driven by sail, similar to that one can see on the Indus River today; however, there is secondary evidence of sea-going craft. Archaeologists have discovered a massive, dredged canal and docking facility at the coastal city of Lothal.
Judging from the dispersal of Indus civilization artifacts, the trade networks, economically, integrated a huge area, including portions of Afghanistan, the coastal regions of Persia, northern and central India, and Mesopotamia.
The nature of the Indus civilization’s agricultural system is still largely a matter of conjecture due to the paucity of information surviving through the ages.
Indus civilization agriculture must have been highly productive; after all, it was capable of generating surpluses sufficient to support tens of thousands of urban residents who were not primarily engaged in agriculture. It relied on the considerable technological achievements of the pre-Harappan culture, including the Plough.
Still, very little is known about the farmers who supported the cities or their agricultural methods. Some of them undoubtedly made use of the fertile alluvial soil left by rivers after the flood season, but this simple method of agriculture is not thought to be productive enough to support cities.
There is no evidence of irrigation, but such evidence could have been obliterated by repeated, catastrophic floods. The Indus civilization appears to contradict the hydraulic despotism hypothesis of the origin of urban civilization and the state. According to this hypothesis, cities could not have arisen without irrigation systems capable of generating massive agricultural surpluses.
To build these systems, a despotic, centralized state emerged that was capable of suppressing the social status of thousands of people and harnessing their labor as slaves. It is very difficult to square this hypothesis with what is known about the Indus civilization. There is no evidence of kings, slaves, or forced mobilization of labor.
It is often assumed that intensive agricultural production requires dams and canals. This assumption is easily refuted. Throughout Asia, rice farmers produce significant agricultural surpluses from terraced, hillside rice paddies, which result not from slavery but rather the accumulated labor of many generations of people.
Instead of building canals, Indus civilization people may have built water diversion schemes, which, like terrace agriculture, can be elaborated by generations of small-scale labor investments. In addition, it is known that Indus civilization people practiced rainfall harvesting, a powerful technology that was brought to fruition by classical Indian civilization but nearly forgotten in the twentieth century.
It should be remembered that Indus civilization people, like all peoples in South Asia, built their lives around the monsoon, a weather pattern in which the bulk of a year’s rainfall occurs in a four-month period.
Writing or Symbol System
It has long been claimed that the Indus Valley was the home of a literate civilization, but this has been challenged on linguistic and archaeological grounds. Well over 4,000 Indus symbols have been found on seals or ceramic pots and over a dozen other materials, including a ‘signboard’ that apparently once hung over the gate of the inner citadel of the Indus city of Dholavira.
Typical Indus inscriptions are no more than four or five characters in length, most of which are exquisitely tiny; the longest on a single surface, which is less than 1 inch or 2.54 cm square, is 17 signs long; the longest on any object found on three different faces of a mass-produced object carries only 26 symbols.
It has been recently pointed out that the brevity of the inscriptions is unparalleled in any known pre-modern literate society, including those that wrote extensively on leaves, bark, wood, cloth, wax, animal skins, and other perishable materials. The inscriptions found on seals were traditionally thought to be some form of Dravidian language.