Early Harappan Civilisation - How the Civilisation matured to become the most flourishing civilisation?

February 17, 2018


Extent of Harappan Civilization:

Northern Most: Manda in Jammu and Kashmir.

Southern Most: Malvan in Surat district in Gujarat.

Eastern Most: Alamgirpur in the Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.

Western Most: Sutkagen-dor on the Makran coast of Pakistan.


Note: -There is an isolated site at Shortughai in Afghanistan.

Basic Features of Early Harappan civilization:

  1. Standardized brick size in the 1:2:4 ratio.

  2. Stone and copper artefacts.

  3. Terracotta cakes.

Pottery is red, with designs painted on in black, and has a certain range of forms and motifs. 

Was Harappan civilization an offshoot of Mesopotamian civilization?

No, both the civilizations grew isolated from each other initially and later on developed trade contacts. This is evident from the marked differences in script. Also Mesopotamians had greater use of bronze, different settlement layout and a large scale canal system of the kind that seems absent in the Harappan civilization.

Early Harappan Sites:


  1. Balakot (on the coastal plain of Sonmiani Bay on the Makran coast, Pakistan):

    • Artefacts: Microliths, few copper objects, shell and bone artefacts

    • Art:

      • Terracotta figurines like humped bull figurine.

      • Beads of Lapis lazuli, stone, shell and paste

    • Flora: Remains of barley, vetch, legumes and ber.

    • Fauna: Bones of cattle, sheep, goat, hare, buffalo, deer and pig.

  2. Amri in Sindh:

    • On the right bank of Indus.

    • Mud-brick structures, sometimes supplemented with stone.

    • Artefacts: Chert blades, stone balls, bone tools, few fragments of copper and bronze.

    • Later period we see compartments, perhaps for storing grain or as platforms for buildings.

    • Pottery dominated by wheel-made wares and showing a great variety of forms and painted designs.

    • Painting was monochrome or polychrome using brown, black and ochre.


  3. Kot Diji:

    • On the left bank of Indus.

    • Here we find both early and mature Harappan phases with a burnt deposit in between.

    • City divided into a citadel complex and a lower residential area.

    • Artefacts: Objects of stone, shell and bone.

    • Art:

      • Terracotta figurines including a bull figuring, Bangles, Beads. A Bronze bangle fragment also found.

      • Pottery:

        • Pottery is popular and known as Kot Dijian form of Pottery. It is found at many places.

        • It is mostly wheel made and decorated with brownish bands of paint. It is short-necked ovoid pot, painted with designs such as horned deity, pipal leaves and fish scales.

  4. Rehman Dheri, Gomal valley, Pakistan:

    • Urbanization: Planned, rectangular settlement with a regular grid of streets and houses surrounded by a massive wall that belongs to later phase. There was a wall made of mud and mud-brick around the settlement in early Harappa phase as well

    • Artefacts: Stone blades, Copper and bronze tools and terracotta figurines.

  5. Lewan in Bannu Basin:

    • It was a factory site.

  6. Sarai Khola, Punjab province of Pakistan:

    • Here we see transition from pit dwelling to mud-brick houses.

  7.  Harappa, Punjab province, Pakistan:

    • Situated on the left bank of river Ravi.

    • Urbanization:

      • Element of planning seen.

      • Inscribed seals and standardized weights.

      • Evidence of writing on pottery and seals.

    • Artefacts: Chert blades, Stone celts.

    • Art:

      • Terracotta female figurines

      • Bangles

      • Beads made of Lapis Lazuli, carnelian and steatite.




  8. Kalibangan:

    • Situated on the bank of Ghaggar

    • Urbanization:

      • Standardization of Brick size in the ratio 3:2:1.

      • Hearths, Lime-plastered storage pits, Saddle querns were found in houses.

    • Artefacts:

      • Stone blades, Terracotta cakes, Shell bangles, disc made of steatite, Carnelian, faience, gold and silver and over a hundred copper objects.

    • Pottery was red or pink with designs painted in black or white. Designs included moustache like scroll, plants, fish and cattle.

    • Most importantly we found a ploughed field surface showing the north-south, east-west furrow marks left by a plough hundreds of years ago.

  9. Hissar District, Haryana- Kunal, Rakhigarhi, Banawali.

    • Urbanization:

      • Standardized mud brick in the ratio of 1:2:3 and 1:2:4 size.

      • Six steatite seals.

      • Large hoards of jewelry including two silver tiaras, gold ornaments and beads made of semi-precious stones.

      • Planned settlement and mud brick structure.

      • Animal Husbandry.

      • A game similar to Pitthu was played.

  10. Dholavira, Gujarat:



    • Fortified.

    • Standardized mud bricks in the ratio 1:2:4.

    • Pottery included perforated jars and dish-on-stand. Evidence of copper artefacts, stone blades, shell objects, terracotta cakes and stone beads.



Please reload

Please reload

About us:

Follow us on:

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon


Pursuit IAS is a knowledge portal which seeks to bring quality education to students in easily accessible manner so that students don't get excluded from competition due to their financial or spatial constraints. We seek to provide an equal platform to students from all backgrounds.