Harappans

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Aerial view of great bath at Mohenjo-daro
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Ground view of Mohenjo-daro
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Earliest known example of Harappan writing, may be the oldest in the world
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Harappan Seal
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Harappan Jewelry
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Harappan burial pottery which is thought to contain food for the dead
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Map

Friends

Mughals
Mesopotamians
Persians
Southern India
Dravidians

Technology

  • We use copper and bronze knives, spears, and arrowheads.
  • We have a well laid out plumbing and drainage system, including indoor toilets.
  • We adopted the Mesopotamian model of irrigated agriculture in order to take advantage of the fertile grounds along the Indus River.
  • We use the Dravidian language, but it's too bad because it has not been fully deciphered yet.
  • We are also the first civilization to cultivate cotton for the production of cloth.
  • We have really elaborate buildings.
  • We build the streets of our cities oriented towards each of the cardinal directions. We did this by using the sun-stick and the gnomon.
  • We are architecturally advanced because we have standardized weights and measures.

Culture

Harappan culture is primarily urbanized. A surplus of agricultural production and commerce is essential to providing for our society. Our society shows distinct social classes as rulers wield a lot of authority while ruling from fortified citadels in Mojenjo-daro and Harappa, the two major cities of our civilization, but mostly all our people are literate and use the Dravidian language. We trade with Mesopotamia, Sumer for their wool, leather, and olive oil, southern India, Afghanistan, and Persia and peoples from the Hindu Kush Mountains for gold, silver, copper, turquoise, lead, gems, and semiprecious stones. Some of the crops we grow include wheat, barley, peas, melons, and sesame. In addition, we have domesticated several animals such as the elephant, because of the ivory with which it provides us, and the humped bull. The cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa are structured according to similar plans for the foundation of their streets. Characteristics of what can be found on one of these streets are a brick house with a flat roof and differentiated living quarters. These dwellings show how different the lifestyles of the rich and poor are. Some of the rich live in two or three-story houses with dozens of rooms with other distinctly lavish areas, such as one or many interior courtyards. However, most houses have indoor toilets and showers that drain into city sewage systems. Distinctive seals are used by our people in order to distinguish among things such as properties or shipped goods. Within these cities there are a variety of specialized laborers, such as goldsmiths, potters, weavers, masons, architects, jewelers, artists, merchants, and other professionals. We use iron and copper for weapons and other technologies. In addition to weaving and dying cotton for clothing, we cultivate wheat, rice, and a variety of vegetables and fruits thanks to our utilization of the Mesopotamian irrigated agriculture. We paint pictures and geometric figures on our pottery and usually bury them filled with food with the dead. Unlike other cultures, our burials are not so outstanding, but are laid out in a much more simplistic manner. Our organized society, cultural uniformity, and standardization of technology help to sustain our peaceful lifestyle.

Religion

We have a polytheistic religion with gods and goddesses based on vital forces in nature and life processes. It reflects a strong concern for fertility. Our gods and goddesses are also associated with creation and procreation. Vital forces are held sacred, and so are trees and animals for their association with these forces. We recognize a mother goddess and a horned fertility god which can usually be seen on a Harappan seal. Our advances in astronomy also play a major role in the Gods we have, including myths of star groups, such as the Pleiades, and the birth of the war god Rudra, who represents the rising of the victorious sun. However, our main goddess was that of the fertility. We held trees and animals very scared because they were vital forces.

However, our religion is not Hinduism. There is not enough evidence left of us to understand our religion completely, so archeologists and researchers disagree with the fact that our religion and Hinduism can coincide. Others believe that the gods and goddesses that survived the collapse of the larger society found their way into Hinduism, thereby outlying the similarities between the two religions.

Blog

Blog Entry One
2250 B.C.E.: I recieved some great wool and leather today after trading some silver and copper with a Sumerian. Now my wife can weave us some more clothes and by selling some of it, we can probably build a 2 story house! I went to the city today and saw all the multi-story dwellings of the rich. I visited one of my old friends there as well and he showed me his newly built in brick oven and well along with his inner courtyard. If only I could live in the city. He showed me his shop after on the street and said he would build my 2nd story house for free since I have been such good friends with him. I want our house to look exactly like theirs.

Blog Entry Two:
2000 B.C.E.: I built a little bronze figurine today. It is of a small girl dancing. But on my way home I accidentally dropped it and one of the legs broke off. I guess it's just a piece of trash now so I'll throw it away. Actually, no I won't throw it away. My wife just gave me the idea of still sending it to one of the priests down at the city center and it could be used as a symbol for Mother Goddess. This is exciting! I'm going to go to the public bath now and get ready at Mohenjo-daro for the ceremony.

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Dancing Girl Bronze Figurine


Blog Entry Three:
1990 B.C.E.: I started the day all wrong. I was supposed to go buy some painted pottery for my wife today but unfortunately all the ones made today are going to be buried with one of the men of the city who passed away today. Then I had to go to a client's house and fix their collapsed brick wall and saw that the some of the bricks were not the same size as the others because the family found them and tried to replace the old ones. That was fine because it was easy to fix, but I forgot my weights and measures, so I tried to fix it without them and ended up messing up their plumbing too. Now their sewage is going on to the street. I guess today was just a bad day.

Blog Entry Four:
1885 B.C.E.: We had an argument today over land. There were so many factors being put into question. They wanted to clear the land for cultivation and firewood, but people began to argue about how we're destroying the Earth. Others brought religion into the picture by saying how Mother Goddess would be ashamed of us if she saw what we were doing since trees are sacred. I don't know what to do. However, I do the think the decrease in rainfall over the past few years since 1900 B.C.E. has something to do with how we are clearing the land too much. All I know is that I need firewood to keep my family warm so I don't have much of a choice.

Blog Entry Five:

1720 B.C.E.: I can't believe we made that mistake of clearing the land too much. There is so little rainfall now and the valley that we adored so much is now a barren desert. The intense deforestation led to the erosion of the topsoil. People are thinking about leaving the area completely soon. Our neighbors are already gone. They left with a group of people last year and we haven't heard from them since. I really don't want to because my family and I are so well settled here and it would be so troublesome and such a drastic change. I wish we hadn't made the mistake before of clearing so much land.

The Wall

Make Posts Here

Hey Harappans! We have the same irrigation drainage system. I don't know about you guys, but our irrgiation system was able to divert the water flow, preventing it from flooding our harvest region. Also, some of our system is still in action today sooo we're pretty much way better then you guys. Later!
-Olmecs


Stop trying to steal our religion! Just because your language can't be deciphered doesn't mean you have to go stealing other peoples Gods and Goddesses. Shiva is ours so stop trying to copy him!
-Hindus


Hey nice irrigation system you got there! Wonder where you could have gotten such a highly advanced agricultural tactics?!?! Haha
-Mesopotamians


Need some help there? Tisk tisk tisk. Even I could have told you not to kill that many trees. Now you're going to have to pay the price. No really I want the money for the gold and silver I gave you last time we met.
-Persians

Wow, I see all your other friends are great at supporting you. No wonder you're going into decline. Anyways, you should come see us so we can develop a plan for the white man to be unable to decipher our language. I guess it's alright that you took our language. I mean it's not like you took our Gods or anything.
-Dravidians


Why do you have to be so peaceful all the time? Why can't we just have a WAR?! The thousand nations of the Persian empire descend upon you!
-Persians

Sources

1. Gupta, Arun. Who Were the Harappans?. Janurary 8, 2001 South Asian Women's Forum. April 29, 2008 <http://www.sawf.org/newedit/edit01082001/musings.asp>.
2. Harappan Religion Was Not Hinduism. April 29, 2008 <http://www.geocities.com/pak_history/har.html>.
3. Mohenjo daro. April 30, 2008 <http://home.hiwaay.net/~jalison/md.html>.
4. The Indus Civilizations. April 29, 2008 <http://theworldshistory.blogspot.com/>.
5. The Indus Civilization and Buddhist Art. April 30, 2008 <http://fog.ccsf.cc.ca.us/~jcarpent/sl01core.htm>.