Final Test: Indus Valley Civilisation - 1

30 Questions MCQ Test History for UPSC (Civil Services) Prelims | Final Test: Indus Valley Civilisation - 1

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Indus Valley Civilization belongs to which of the following periods?


We know that at some cities of Indus valley civilisation, the gates have written texts as well as there are other evidences of writting. But these text are not deciphered and in very small volume which confirms that writing was in it's initial phase.

The term proto history, in this context, refers to the transition period between the advent of literacy and the writings of the earliest historians. Harappans knew writing but their script remains undeciphered and thus their culture has been termed as proto historical.


Which of the following was one of the three economic pockets of the Indus Civilization?


• The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilization (3300-1300 BCE; mature period 2600-1900 BCE) extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. Along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia it was one of three early civilizations of the Old World, and of the three the most widespread It flourished in the basins of the Indus River, one of the major rivers of Asia, and the Ghaggar-Hakra River, which once coursed through northwest India and eastern Pakistan.

• At its peak, the Indus Civilization may have had a population of over five million. Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed new techniques in handicraft (carnelian products, seal carving) and metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin). The Indus cities are noted for their urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, and clusters of large non-residential buildings.


Which of the following cannot be considered Proto Harappan Culture?


Proto Harappan cultures are the pre-Harappan cultures, which also have some of the features of the mature Harappan phase.

Thus, all proto Harappan cultures are pre Harappan ones, but all pre Harappan cultures are not proto Harappan cultures.

  • Amri culture in Sindh and Balochistan province of Pakistan.
  • Kot Dijian culture in Sindh province.
  • Sothi-Siswal culture in Haryana area in India were some of the important proto-Harappan sites.
  • Jornie culture is not one of them.

Who among the following named the Indus Civilization as the ‘Harappan Civilization’ after the name of the Indus site of Harappa?

  • Indus civilization, was the original, more inclusive name given by Marshall. 
  • Sir John Marshall named the Indus valley civilization as the ‘Harappan civilization’ after the name of the Indus site of Harappa.

According to the latest excavations, Manda is the______site of the Indus Civilization?

  • According to the latest excavations, the Northern most site of Harappan civilization is Manda, Akhnoor in Jammu & Kashmir and the southern most Diamabad in Maharashtra.
  • Thus it can be concluded that the region in which sites of Harappan civilization have been found out is spread from Akhnoor in the north to mouth of river Narmada in the south and Bluchisthan in the west to Alamgirpur, Meerut in the east covering a length of almost 1600 km east-west and 1400 km north-south.
  • The Harappan civilization covers an area of about 12,50,000
  • The geographical expansion shows that in its spread, this civilization was most extensive of all ancient civilizations and bigger than the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations.

Which of the following domesticated animals was absent in the terracottas of the Indus civilization?

  • Cow was absent in the terracottas of the Indus civilization.
  • The terracotta figurines excavated at Harappan site had images of oxen, buffaloes, pigs, goat, sheep and humped bull.
  • Cow was famous in vedic culture.

Which of the following birds was worshipped by the Harappan people?


They worshipped the bird Pigeon. The worship of mythical animals is evident from the existence of a human figure with a bull's horns, hoofs and a tail. Besides animals, these people also worshipped the Sun, the Fire and the Water.


One of the Indus sites has the uniqueness of having double burials i.e. the practice of burying a male and a female together in a single grave.Pick it out from among the following?

  • Important burial sites of Indus Valley Civilization are Harappa, Kalibangan, Rakhigarhi, Lothal, Rojdi, and Ropar.
  • Lothal is one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization.
  • Evidence of double burial (burying a male and a female in a single grave) has been found here. The most common method of burial was found in Kalibangan.
  • It was to place the body of the deceased in an extended position, with the head towards the north, in a simple pit or brick chamber.
  • Evidence of a pot-burial has been found in Surkotada.

Match the following:

  • Amlānand Ghosh was the first person to recognise the Kalibangan site as Harappan and marked it out for excavations.
  • Y.S. Sharma was the person behind the Ropar excavation.
  • Lothal is a small mature Harappan settlement near Gulf of Khambhat in Dholka taluka of Ahmedabad in Gujarat. It was first excavated in 1957 by S R Rao.
  • Jagat Pati Joshi (born 14 July 1932) is an Indian archaeologist who discovered the Indus Valley sites of Dholavira and Surkotada.
  • The latest excavated site in India Dholavira discovered by RS Bist and JP Joshi is on the bank of river Luni.

Who said, “The Indus Civilization perished as a result of internal decay accelerated by the shock of barbarian raids”?

  • V. Gordon Childe, in full Vere Gordon Childe, (born April 14, 1892, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia—died October 19, 1957, Mount Victoria, New South Wales), Australian-born British historian, linguist, and archaeologist whose study of European prehistory of the 2nd and 3rd millennia BCE sought to evaluate the relationship between Europe and the Middle East and to examine the structure and character of the preliterate cultures of the Western world in antiquity.
  • He also directed the excavations at the important Neolithic site Skara Brae in Scotland’s Orkney Islands.

Which of the following materials was mainly used in the manufacturing of Harappan seals?


Most of the seals were made of steatite, which is a kind of soft stone. A few of them were also made of terracotta, gold, agate, chert, ivory and faience. The standard Harappan seal was square in shape with a 2X2 dimension. It is believed that the seals were used for commercial purposes.


Which of the following is used in the floor of the Great Bath, besides burnt bricks and mortar?

  • The floor of the bath was constructed of sawn bricks set on edge in 'The Great Bath'. It is a finely built brick structure that measures 12m by 7m and is nearly 3m deep from the surrounding pavement.
  • The floor of the bath was constructed of sawn bricks set on edge in gypsum mortar, with a layer of bitumen sandwiched between the inner and outer brick layers.
  • Water was evidently supplied by a large well in an adjacent room, and an outlet from one corner of the bath led to a high corbelled drain disgorging on the west side of the mound. 

Which of the following is the most striking Character of the Indus Valley Civilization?

  • The Indus Valley Civilization is the earliest known culture of the Indian subcontinent of the kind, now called Urban.
  • The people of the Indus Valley, also known as Harappan (Harappa was the first city in the region found by archaeologists), achieved many notable advances in technology, including great accuracy in their systems and tools for measuring length and mass.
  • The ancient Indus systems of sewerage and drainage developed, which were used in cities throughout the region. It was far more advanced than any other found in contemporary urban sites in the Middle East, and even more efficient than those in many areas of Pakistan and India today.

The remarkable thing about the arrangement of the houses in the cities is that they followed the following system:


By 2600 BC, Mohenjodaro and Harappa are the major cities of the Indus Valley Civilization, which were built with blocks divided by a grid of straight streets and running north-south and east-west. Each block was subdivided into small lanes.


Which statement on the origins of the Harappan civilisation is probably most correct?

  • The Early Harappan Culture was the product of the gradual development of those early farming communities, which were emerged in greater Indus-Saraswati plain and piedmont areas.
  • Across the border of India and Pakistan, known as the Pre-Harappan phase of Indus-Saraswati civilization.

Which of the following has a platform inside the citadel with fire-altars on top of it?

A. Kalibangan
B. Banwali
C. Harappa
D. Chanhudaro
E. Lothal
F. Mohenjodaro


The site Kalibangan has a citadel complex of KLB-1 which is roughly a parallelogram (240 by 120 metres) divided into two equal parts with a partition wall and surrounded by a rampart with bastions and salients.

  • The wall is made of mud bricks in a ration of 4:2:1, with mud plaster on both the inner and outer faces. The southern half of the citadel had ceremonial platforms and fire altars.

Lothal, one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, located in the Bhal region of the modern state of Gujarat, has two primary zones – the upper and the lower town.

  • The citadel or the upper town is located in the south eastern corner and is demarcated by platforms of mud-brick of 4 meters in height instead of a fortification wall.
  • Also Rectangular and circular fire altars were found in the Lothal area.

Kalingam had a similar town planning like that of Mohenjadaro. Fire altars have been discovered, similar to those found at Lothal .

  • These altars suggest fire worship or worship of Agni, the god of fire.
  • It is the only Indus Valley Civilization site where there is no evidence to suggest the worship of the "mother goddess".

Which of the following evidences of Indus Valley Civilization suggests that the Aryans could not have originated in the Harappan age?


The aryans were known as cattle bearers and nomadic people hence. Whereas, the Harappan civilization had many urban centers like Mohenjo-Daro.
So, option C is correct.


By far the best evidence to ascertain the date of Harappan civilization is

  • Based on recent discoveries, there is reason to think the Indus Valley civilization may be at least 8,000 years old and this would also mean the Indus Valley civilization pre-dates Egypt’s pharaohs and Mesopotamia that is often mentioned as the cradle of human civilization.
  • The Indus Valley civilization is one of the greatest and the least known early civilizations of the Old World.
  • For hundreds of years, the Indus Valley civilization have troubled the world of archaeology and perhaps the only chance to learn the secrets of these people is to decipher the Indus script.
  • Some of these secrets we already know. Harappans’ technological achievements are still recognizable today.
  • Evidence shows that the Indus Valley people were both sophisticated and technologically advanced, they were very talented in many areas of science, technology and engineering. They developed new techniques in metallurgy and production of copper, bronze, lead and tin was possible because Harappans were skilled metallurgists who used several techniques in their work.

Give chronological order of their discovery
1. Harappa  
2. Chanhudaro  
3. Mohenjodaro  
4. Banwali.

  • Harappa was discovered in 1826 and first excavated in 1920 and 1921.
  • Mohenjo-daro was excavated in 1924–25 and 1925–26.
  • Chanhudaro was first excavated in March, 1930.
  • Banwali was excavated in 1973.

So the correct order will be:- 1,3,2,4


Lothal, a prominent site of Indus Valley Civilization, is situated in


Lothal is one of the southernmost cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, located in the Bhal region of the modern state of Gujarat and first inhabited in 3700 BCE.


Pick out the two cities from among the following where the lower town is also fortified

I. Mohenjodaro
II. Harappa
III. Lothal
IV. Kalibangan
V. Chanhudaro
VI. Surkotada


The site Kalibangan – literally means 'black bangles' - derives its name for the dense distribution of the fragments of black bangles which were found at the surface of its mounds.

  • "Evidence of this period consists of a citadel area over the 1.6 metre-thick early Harappan deposit in KLB-1 (the western mound of the site, a chessboard pattern 'lower city' in KLB-2 (the lower and larger eastern mound), and a mound full of fire altars in a much smaller mound further east (KLB-3).

Surkotada which is located in Bhuj area of Gujarat was excavated in 1972. The Harappans came to Surkotada around 2300 BC, and built a fortified citadel and residential annex which was made of mud brick, mud lumps and rubble containing houses with bathrooms and drains.

  • A citadel and a lower town, both of which were fortified can be revealed from the evidences from excavations.

Post-Harappan culture has been found in

  • Banawali, earlier known as Vanavali is a village and archaeological site situated around 15 km from Fatehabad district of Haryana, India. It belongs to the Indus Valley Civilization period which got settled on the left banks of dried river Saraswati.It was built on the upper middle valley compared to Kalibangan town which was on the lower part.
  • Kalibangan, ancient site of the Indus valley civilization, in northern Rajasthan state, northwestern India.

Which period falls into the geological period called Pleistocene?


The Paleolithic coincides almost exactly with the Pleistocene epoch of geologic time, which lasted from 2.6 million years ago to about 12,000 years ago. This epoch experienced important geographic and climatic changes that affected human societies.


Who among the following referred to Indus Valley Civilization as the Harappan culture?

  • The first description of the ruins of Harappa is found in the Narrative of Various Journeys in Balochistan, Afghanistan and Punjab of Charles Masson.
  • It dates back to the period of 1826 to 1838. In 1857, the British engineers accidentally used bricks from the Harappa ruins for building the East Indian Railway line between Karachi and Lahore.
  • In the year 1912, J. Fleet discovered Harappan seals. This incident led to an excavation campaign under Sir John Hubert Marshall in 1921-1922.
  • The result of the excavation was discovery of Harappa by Sir John Marshall, Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni and Madho Sarup Vats and Mohenjodaro by Rakhal Das Banerjee, E. J. H. MacKay, and Sir John Marshall.

This archaeological site consist of a number of low archaeological mounds created by generations of superimposed mudbrick structures. Located close to the mouth of the Bolan Pass, it was abandoned by the time of the emergence of the literate urbanised phase of the Indus Civilisation. An entry in the UNESCO tentative list, it is?

  • It was a small farming village. It is one of the earliest sites with evidence of farming and herding in South Asia.
  • Mehrgarh is now seen as a precursor to the Indus Valley Civilization, displaying the whole sequence from earliest settlement and the start of agriculture, to the mature Harappan Civilisation.
  • Most of its archaeological deposits are buried deep beneath accumulations of alluvium.

Which of the following animals are represented on the seal depicting the male deity (Pasupati Mahadeva) in the Indus Valley Civilization?
(i) Deer
(ii) Rhinoceros
(iii) Lion
(iv) Tiger
(v) Buffalo
(vi) Elephant

  • The male deity is represented on a seal from Mohenjodaro in the sitting posture of a Yogi.
  • The god is surrounded by an elephant, a tiger, a rhinoceros, and a buffalo below his throne. At his feet appear two deer, and the depicted god is identified as Pashupati Mahadeva.

The beginning of agriculture can be ascribed most suitably to which of these times?

  • The first agriculture appears to have developed at the closing of the last Pleistocene glacial period, or Ice Age (about 11,700 years ago).
  • From around 9,500 BC,the Neolithic founder crops such as emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, hulled barley, peasets were cultivated in the Levant. Rice was domesticated in China between 11,500 and 6,200 BC.

With reference to the Indus Valley civilization, consider the following statements:

1. Indus valley civilization was the biggest exporter of semi-precious stones and a major importer of agricultural
2. Fishing was a regular occupation while hunting and bull fighting were banned.
3. Linga worship was prevalent and even natural figures like trees were worshipped.
4. Lothal was an important point of trade between the Harappan civilization and the remaining part of India as well as Mesopotamia.


Statement 1: Gold, copper, tin and several semi-precious stones were imported. Main exports were
several agricultural products such as wheat, barely, peas, oil seeds etc.

Statement 2: Hunting and bull fighting were common pastimes, not banned. Marbles, balls and dice were also used for games.

Statement 3: The chief female deity was the Mother Goddess represented in terracotta figurines. In latter times, Linga worship was prevalent. Trees and animals were also worshipped by the Harappans. They also believed in ghosts and evil forces and used amulets as protection against them.

Statement 4: Lothal is an important Harappan centre.


Our knowledge of the Harappan civilization is based on the archaeological evidence alone because:
1. Harappans maintained all official works in palmscripts that are subject to organic decay.
2. No written scripts from the Harappans have been obtained in excavations.

Which of the above is/are correct?


Harappans knew how to write and most of their seals contain some form of script. But, unfortunately no one has yet been able to decipher that script. Various types of utensils, toys, seals, figurines have been excavated from different sites that often contain some signs of a written script.

Since Harappans had an expanded trade network, they could not have merely survived writing palmscripts. They must have had a robust system of writing and communication, especially to contact other countries by trade.


Depictions of which of the following cannot be found in Harappan Seals?

  • Numerous seals carrying the images of the one-horned rhinocerous known as unicorn, peepal leaves and a male god throw light on the religious beliefs of the Harappans.
  • It appears that they worshipped plants and animals and the forces of nature.
  • They worshipped a male god resembling Lord Shiva (Pashupati) of later times and a mother goddess among others. They probably believed in life after death and also in charms and spells.
  • Seals engraved with animal figures like the humped bull, elephant and rhinocerous suggest that these animals were considered sacred.