The Decline of Indus Valley Civilisation

Indus Valley CivilisationSome questions remained unanswered till I started higher studies. Why there was so much emphasis put on proving Hinduism to be the oldest religion while studying the historical artefacts unearthed from the Indus Valley Civilisation? Who were the Dravidians? Who were the Aryans? Who were the real architects of Indus Valley Cities? Are the Vedic Culture older than Harappan or Mohenjo-Daro culture? Why do we smell bad odour of framing-up Hinduism link with Indus Valley? Have the chronological study of historical artefacts taken place with biased mind-set? I was not able to understand why people were so much concerned with emphasising over studying Indus Valley artefacts from Hindu mythological point of view. Why only Hindus have interest on religious studies of Indus Valley Civilization? If we look back to our history from only one side we will become biased towards the same. Most of our Indian historians’ views are of the same nature. So, to get a broader view on our ancient history we must consider views of veteran historians as well as archaeological artefacts discovered through excavation and ageing analysis of them.


Excavation of the sites that are believed to be a part of the civilization have been on since 1920 and the most recent discovery was in 1999. This civilization was discovered first by Sir John Marshall in 1921 at the modern site of Harappa, situated in the province of west Punjab in Pakistan. Sir John Marshall used the term ‘Indus Civilisation’ because it refers to the same cultural, chronological and geographic entity confined to the geographic bounds of the Indus valley. The period identified for this civilisation was Chalcolithic or Bronze Age since the objects of copper and stone were found at the various sites of this civilisation. The discovery of India’s first and earliest civilisation posed a historical puzzle as it seemed to have suddenly appeared on the stage of history, fully grown and fully equipped.

The puzzle could largely be solved after the extensive excavation work conducted at Mehrgarh near the Bolan Pass between 1973 and 1980 by two French archaeologists Richard H. Meadow and Jean Francoise Jarrige. According to them, Mehrgarh gives us an archaeological record with a sequence of occupations. Archaeological research over the past decades has established a continuous sequence of strata, showing the gradual development to the high standard of the full-fledged Indus civilisation.

The Indus or Harappan culture arose in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent. The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) or Harappan Civilisation is told to be a Bronze Age civilization (3300–1300 BCE. But ageing analysis of a number of artefacts have proved that settlements existed in the area even before 6000 BC. The history of the Indus valley civilization tells us that this was a well-developed society. Location of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro was near present day Balochistan in Pakistan. Both these cities have been discovered to be large cities with many structures of great magnitude inside city limits. The civilization had spread mainly in the north-western regions of South Asia, extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. Along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was one of three early cradles of civilisations of the World. Its settlements were very self sufficient with remains of granaries, burial tombs, drills for stones and copper, etc. Since the start of the Bronze Age the immigrating nomads started settling beside the bank of the Indus River. With the passage of time people started exploiting natural resources by way of developing some small tools to help them in e.g. cultivation, irrigation, storage items, etc. They also invented means of transport e.g. bullock cart, boats, wheel driven carts, etc. to carry food grains and other items from land to home and vice versa. The population here was well settled with permanent houses built with bricks and stones. While people of this civilisation were busy developing their construction, scientific, technical, industrial, astronomical and mathematical skills without worrying about others, the glory of the civilization got popular worldwide with ever migrating nomadic tribes. This glory attracted some evil nomads of the central Asia and Euro-Asian Nordic races like Aryans. The later were of aggressive and fighting nature who knew nothing except war techniques and merciless killing. The advent of such races killed the heart of the civilization and population started emigrating to other places across the sub-continent.

Later we shall discuss the causes of decline of the civilization in details. But before this we must know the glorified history of our ancestors that forced such evil races to migrate from central Asia and European regions. We must know how much advanced our ancestors were before the advent of such nomadic races. We must know how much peace our ancestors liked before their dispersal to far off places. The Aryans, the merciless killers spoiled their life by way of capturing their property and forcing them to serve them as slaves because they loved peace and did not prefer to fight by putting their family and society to stake.

Read next:

Who were the real architects of Indus Valley Civilisation?