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The Society and the Economy of the Indus Valley People

Updated on April 16, 2013
Indus Valley Seals
Indus Valley Seals | Source

The Indus Valley Civilization, often mentioned as the Harappan Culture is surely one of the earliest and the greatest settlements in the history of Urban development. Little has been discovered about their ways of life. Almost all our knowledge about the Harappans, or the Indus Valley people (whichever we choose to call them) come from the elements of archaeology and other branches of modern forensic judgement. As such, their social and economic sides of life have been induced to a logically gratifying extent.

Society-The Indus Valley script of writing is yet to be deciphered and all we know are outcomes of our understanding of whatever is left of them in the form of Seals, Coins, Structures, and other remains. Of their society, the various dimensions of their life have are estimated as follows-

Food-The Indus Valley people were, in all probability, vegetarians (at least the greater force of them) for evidence of agriculture is profound. Further, they are believed to have worshipped animals. As such, it is very decisive to conclude that they were indeed, vegetable eaters. Among the crops they grew-rice, barley and wheat are sure to be known. In addition, Palm, fruits and other vegetables were also consumed.

Dress-It appears that the Indus Valley People generally made use a single piece of cloth to cover their bodies. Considering men, the dhoti is known to be popular and archaeology indicates that the dhoti was worn in such a way that it extended to the right hand arm. Women, on the other hand,

Ornaments-Ornaments, beyond doubt, were of great value to the Indus Valley People. As is evident, both men and women made exclusive use of ornaments. These were generally considered as embellishments to beauty and jeweller was made.

Cosmetics-It has been suggested that the Indus Valley People, women especially, were aware of Cosmetics. The indiansaga website mentions that women made prolific use of Cosmetics.

Furniture and Utensils-These were varied and designed. The remains of furniture and utensils of the Harappans suggest that they were surely led a jovial life full of enjoyments.

Conveyance-Seals bear testimony to the use of several forms of transport by the Indus Valley People. The presence of the modern equivalent of the Ekka(Horse drawn cart) is evident from the seals. However, the most popular form of conveyance was certainly the bullock-cart.

Amusements and Recreation-The Harappans, as mentioned earlier, were merry-making people. It is evident that they took much delight is recreational forms such as singing and dancing. Further, their festivals consisted of the drinking of certain forms of wine.

Economy-The Indus Valley people were economy conscious to be precise. It is not from nothing that a great civilization of theirs came into being. The various ingredients of their economy were based on Agriculture, Domestication of Animals, and Trade.

Agriculture-The Harappans were an agricultural tribe. The very site of their settlement near the Indus river make this pellucid. There were frequent floods which brought in fertile soil and this probably formed a platform for easy crop growing.

Domestication of Animals-The most popular animal to be domesticated was the Cow. Other forms of cattle too was domesticated. Further, dogs and cats were kept as pets.

Trade-Several evidences indicate that the Indus Valley people had a resonant interest in trade. Indus Valley Seals have been found in Mesopotamia and other ancient cultures suggesting that a trade link did exist.


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    • profile image

      rose 3 months ago

      na.... not so great

    • profile image

      jacob 11 months ago


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      rohan 12 months ago

      it is very nice and it helped me in project.

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      mehera bhoir 13 months ago

      nice it also helped me

    • ajithknn profile image

      ajithknn 15 months ago

      Even though the scripts haven't been deciphered there are a lot of archaeological evidence which tells about the life in Indus valley...

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      St lawrence. 18 months ago

      Thanx as it helped me in project..

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      shivangini jha 2 years ago

      The way of presentation is good but contains limited information.