Harappan Settlement Unearthed in Gujarat

Question : Discuss the recent excavation at Padta Bet in Gujarat and its significance in understanding the Harappan civilization.

Excavation at Padta Bet

  • Archaeologists discovered a human skeleton, pottery artifacts, and animal bones at Padta Bet in Gujarat.
  • The site is 1.5 km from the Juna Khatiya mass burial ground, an Early Harappan necropolis.
  • This finding supports the theory that the Juna Khatiya graveyard served a cluster of settlements like Padta Bet.

Harappan Civilization

  • One of the oldest civilizations globally, alongside Mesopotamia and Egypt.
  • Flourished along the Indus River (Indus Valley Civilization).
  • Bronze Age civilization known for copper-based alloy objects.

Major Features of Harappan Civilization

  • Urban Planning:Well-planned towns with brick houses along roads. Houses had staircases, kitchens, multiple rooms, courtyards with wells, bathrooms, and proper drainage systems.
  • Ornaments:Made from gold, silver, ivory, shell, clay, semi-precious stones, etc.
  • Trade:Extensive trade networks reaching Mesopotamia, Afghanistan, and the Arabian Peninsula.
  • Religion and Iconography:Indus Valley artifacts depict symbols and motifs believed to be religious.
    • Examples include the “Priest King” figure and images of bulls, suggesting animal reverence.
  • Craftsmanship and Artistry:Known for intricate pottery, including the famous red pottery with black painted motifs. They also created jewelry, sculptures, and seals from various materials.
  • Agriculture:Cultivated crops like wheat, barley, peas, and cotton.
  • Social Organization:Likely stratified with a hierarchical structure based on variations in housing sizes and presence of public buildings.
  • Decline:Reasons debated, but possible factors include ecological changes (river course shifts) and invasions/conflicts.

Major Harappan Sites

  • Harappa (Punjab, Pakistan)
  • Mohenjo-Daro (Sindh, Pakistan)
  • Dholavira (Kutch district of Gujarat)
  • Kalibangan (Rajasthan)
  • Lothal (Gujarat)
  • Rakhigarhi (Haryana)
  • Other sites in Sindh (Pakistan), Punjab (Pakistan), Baluchistan (Pakistan), and Uttar Pradesh (India)


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