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What are some important facts about the Indus Valley Civilization?

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The Indus Civilization (also referred to as the Indus Valley Civilization) was active on the Indian subcontinent from roughly 2500–1700 bce, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica. The Indus Valley Civilization was known for two important cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, which were centers of political activity and commerce. Other cities affiliated with the civilization included Banawali, Kalibangan, and Surkotada (to name a few). The Indus Valley Civilization was literate, meaning that they could read and write; in fact, the script used by the Indus Valley Civilization has been partially deciphered, and researchers have suggested that it might be Dravidian.

In terms of lifestyle, the Indus Valley Civilization relied on irrigated agriculture. Crops included barley, mustard, sesame, cotton, peas, and dates, according to Encyclopædia Britannica. Archaeologists have discovered that the major cities of the Indus Valley Civilization were well-planned and that animals were commonly domesticated (UCLA: Social Sciences). Additionally, it appears that the people of the Indus Valley Civilization did not have horses but did possess and use bronze/stone tools (UCLA: Social Sciences). While it is not entirely clear what lead to the ultimate decline of the Indus Valley Civilization, it has been proposed that the influence and invasion of the Aryans, who began to attack Indus Valley villages, played a role (UCLA: Social Sciences).

In terms of fashion and appearance, we can gather some information about the habits of Indus Valley people by examining artwork from the civilization. As you can see from the figure linked above, it appears jewelry was worn on the arms and neck, and women's hair was pulled back into a deliberate hairstyle. We can also infer that the culture was enthusiastic about art and sculpture, as they dedicated the time to both pursuits. Examining jewelry found at archaeological sites, we can also see that the Indus Valley Civilization gravitated toward gold and agate in their crafts. Furthermore, the figurine of a dancing girl suggests that the Indus Valley Civilization appreciated both music and dance.

(Sources: see attached)