Q. 1. Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:
THE MOST ANCIENT SYSTEM YET DISCOVERED
About the drains, Mackay noted: “It was certainly the most complete ancient system as yet discovered.” Every house was connected to the street drains. The main channels were made of bricks set in mortar and were covered with loose bricks that could be removed for cleaning. In some cases, limestone was used for the covers. House drains first emptied into a sump or cesspit into which solid matter settled while waste water flowed out into the street drains. Very long drainage channels were provided at intervals with sumps for cleaning. It was a wonder of archaeology that “little heaps of material, mostly sand, have frequently been found lying alongside drainage channels, which shows … that the debris was not always carted away when the drain was cleared”.
From Ernest Mackay, Early Indus Civilisation, 1948.
Drainage systems were not unique to the larger cities, but were found in smaller settlements as well. At Lothal, for example, while houses were built of mud bricks, drains were made of burnt bricks.
(i) Why Mackay described this system as complete ancient drainage system?
(ii) Was the drainage system similar in large and small settlements of Harappa? Support your answer with facts.
(iii) What were the features of the drainage system?
Ans. (i) Mackay has described it as a complete because it is well-planned, systematic and unique like its contemporary civilization particularly drainage system. Cleanliness is also a major factor.
(ii) No, in large cities like Mohenjo-Daro and small settlement like Lothal, drainage was unique.
(iii) Features of drainage system
(a) Every house was connected with the street drain.
(b) The main channel was made of brick set in mortar and were covered with loose bricks that could be removed for cleaning.
(c) In some cases, limestone was used for the covers.
(d) House drains first emptied into a sump or cesspit into which solid matter settled while wastewater flowed out into the street drains.
(e) Very long drainage channels were provided at intervals with sumps for cleaning.
Q. 2. Explain the strategies for procuring material by the Harappans for craft production.
Ans. Harappans procured the raw material for craft production in the following ways:
(i) Within the sub-continent trade
(ii) Beyond the sub-continent
Harappans had trade relations among themselves.
(a) Lapiz Lazuli: A form of rock used to make ornaments was procured from Gujarat.
(b) Carnelian : A yellowish rock used for craft making was procured from Gujarat.
(c) They procured metal, mainly copper from Khetri region of Rajasthan.
(d) The Harappans went for expeditions and made an agreement with the Khetri locals for trading copper. Khetri follow Gyaneshwar and Jodhpur Culture as per the Historians.
(e) They got shells from Dholavira, Lothal and Balakot which were located in Coastal region.
Beyond the subcontinent trade:
(a) Harappans had trade relations with Magan, Dilmun and Mesopotamia as this was mentioned in the Mesopotamian text.
(b) Copper of Oman (that was Magan) had nickel content and was found in Mesopotamian and Meluhha in the Harappan region.
(c) Black-clay pot of Harappan region was found in Mesopotamia.
(d) Seals belonging to Harappan region were found in Mesopotamia and vice versa.
(e) Mesopotamian texts mentioned the Harappans Meluhhans as seafarers.
(f) Pottery, seals, ornaments, etc. were traded by Harappans. So, through this, we can say that copper came to Harappa from Oman.
Q. 3. Archaeologist have no concrete response for the central authority of the Harappan. Substantiate.
Describe the opinions of the archaeologists on the central authority of the Harappan civilisation.
Describe the different arguments given by archaeologists over the central authority of Harappan civilisation.
Archaeologist records provide no immediate answer to the Harappan central authority. Analyse different views given on the same.
Ans. The Archaeological records provide no answer to the Harappa’s central authority:
(a) A large building found at Mohenjodaro labelled as a palace by archaeologists but no spectacular evidences were associated with it.
(b) A stone statue was labelled and continues to be known as the “priest-king”
(c) The ritual practices of the Harappan civilisation were not well-understood yet nor there was any means of knowing whether those who performed them also held political power
(d) Some archaeologists stated that Harappan society had no rulers, and everybody enjoyed equal status.
(e) Others feel there was no single ruler but several, Mohenjodaro had a separate ruler, Harappa another, and so forth.
(f) Yet others argue that there was a single state.
(g) The last theory seems the most plausible, as it was unlikely that entire communities could have collectively made and implemented such complex decisions.
Archaeological records provide no immediate answer in regard to centre for power or for depictions of people in power. Though many things have been found, there was a lot of damage because the bricks were used for railway purpose and by the people for their housing needs. Archaeologists were astonished at the drainage system. They found two parts in the town well separated. They found the seal and sealings. They came to know about the scripts. Many inscriptions were short, the largest containing 26 signs. Script was not alphabetical and it is not deciphered till date. Hence they remain in the dark yet about the central authority of the Harappan. It can also be said that since very few weapons have been found, people were peaceloving. Some archaeologists stated that Harappan society had no rulers, and everybody enjoyed equal status. Others feel there was no single ruler but several, that Mohenjodaro had a separate ruler, Harappa another, and so forth. Yet others argue that there was a single state. However, the last theory seems most plausible, as it was unlikely that entire communities could have collectively made and implemented such complex decisions.