UPSC : Origin and Authors of Indus Valley Civilisation UPSC Notes | EduRev
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- West Asian theory of Origin: According to this theory Harappa culture originated from western Asia, especially from Iran. It has come to the plains of Indus through Balochistan and Afghanistan after having given birth to a number of village cultures.
- Analogies have been traced between certain Harappan pottery motifs and objects, and those of Killi Gul Mohammad, Kulli, Amri, Nal, Quetta and Zhob. It is possible that the Harappans might have borrowed some ideas from these cultures.
Present Condition of Indus Valley Civilisation
- The presence of such elements on the peepal leaf, the willow leaf, the overlapping scales, hatched triangles of patterns, the antelope or ibex in panels and the Amri-Nal Polychrome suggests a rather close relationship between the Amri Nal and the Harappan styles.
- The Harappans are believed to have borrowed the idea of cities from the contemporary Sumerians, but established cities of their own with superior planning. In south Balochistan, the Kulli female figurines seem to be the earliest, and the Harappans might have learnt from them.
- The Harappan population was of four types of viz. Proto-Australoid, Mediterranean, Mongolian and the Alpine at Mohenjodaro. J. Marshall regards the population of Mohenjodaro as cosmopolitan.
- Thus the population was not homogeneous but heterogeneous. This proves that the Harappans were not local people but colonisers.
Question 1:According to West Asian Theory the Harappa culture originated from which place?
West Asian theory of Origin: According to this theory Harappa culture originated from western Asia, especially from Iran. It has come to the plains of Indus through Balochistan and Afghanistan after having given birth to a number of village cultures.
Theories of Origin
- It is said that the Indus Valley was colonized by the Sumerians and that they introduced their language and script. But we know nothing about the facial features of the Sumerians.
- It is said that the Harappans were Dravidians, that the similarities between the pottery, beads and necklaces as also between the marks on the south Indian pottery and the Indus script point to the Dravidian origin of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
They can't be the Authors because
- They spread afterwards. Excavation in the South has hitherto revealed no traces of this culture.
- No specimen of Harappan script has been found in the South where the bulk of the Dravidian people live.
- We have absolutely no knowledge of the Dravidian language in so early period. As to this racial type of the ancient Dravidians, we know next to nothing. The modern Dravidians can not be said to be ancestors of the Harappan period.
- The Brahuis, though speaking a Dravidian language, are of Turko-Iranian origin and are ethnically quite distinct from the various peoples speaking Dravidian languages in central and southern India.
- Latest findings suggest that Keezhadi excavations in Tamil Nadu might be an extension of IVC.
- Humped bulls were familiar to both the people of Harappa and Keezhadi.
- Another similarity between Keezhadi and IVC is found in pottery styles.
- The report also suggests that the excavations prove that the construction was similar to that of IVC.
- Burnt bricks were used in Keezhadi with standard dimensions across the buildings discovered.
- The dimensions of bricks used in the site are 1:4:6. Similarly, in IVC only burnt bricks were used and they too came with the standard dimension of 1:2:4.
- The materials used by the people of Keezhadi were also similar to the people of the later IVC period. Agate and carnelian beads which were used by people of Gujarat and Maharashtra were also unearthed in Keezhadi.
- This modern revelation suggests that people of IVC might have migrated to the south and eastern part of India, which many historians have already opened.
Question 2:Which of the following excavation sites had structures very similar to that of Indus Valley civilisation?
Latest findings suggest that Keezhadi excavations in Tamilnadu might be an extension of Indus Valley Civilization (IVC).
Harappan Civilisation as Aryans
- It is to be noted that the date of the finalisation of the canon of the four Vedas is later but the Vedic hymns were being composed several centuries earlier. The religions of the Harappan people represent a later phase of the Rig Vedic culture.
Indus Valley Seals
- The Rig Veda mentions fights in the Indus valley. It may have been that some foreign element wrested the Indus colony for a time from the Vedic Aryans in the post-Vedic period and hence the Grihya Sutra excluded the Sindhu Sauvira.
- Knowledge of writing displayed by the citizens of Mohenjo Daro by their seals which shows a later phase than the Rig Vedic age when writing was not known.
- As to the racial type of the Aryans, it is suggested that they were probably a mixture of the Nordics, the Mediterranean, and the Alpines.
- The Vedic people were not ignorant of stone fists, walled cities, stone houses, and brick edifices. The ‘pure’ in the Rig Veda has been interpreted as the fortified cities.
The Vedic Aryans Can’t Be Taken to Be Its Author
- The Vedic Aryans were partly pastoral, partly agricultural people, having no knowledge of the amenities of city life and whose homes were mere structures of bamboo, while the domestic and civic architecture at Mohenjodaro tells quite a different tale.
Coins used in Indus Valley Civilisation
- The metals used by the Aryan were gold, lead, copper, bronze and iron coming later. Iron was not there in Harappan civilisation.
- The Aryans wear a helmet and defensive armour which were unknown to the Harappan.
- The Vedic Aryans were meat-eaters having an aversion to fish, while the latter was an ordinary article of food of the Harappan people.
- The horse was not known to the Harappan. The tiger and elephant were familiar among the Harappans while there is no mention of the tiger in Vedas, and the elephant was there but little known.
- The Vedic Aryans revered the cow while the Harappan people worshipped the bull.
- Aniconism is the normal features of the Vedic religion while iconism was in evidence everywhere at Harappa and Mohenjodaro.
- The cult of the mother goddess and Siva have no place in Vedic pantheon, the cults are in the forefront among the Harappans.
- The entry of the Aryans into India is this held subsequent to 1500 B.C. the time when the Harappan culture disappeared.