quarta-feira, 13 de fevereiro de 2013


The cultures of the Indus

To meet the pre-Aryan civilization, which flourished in the valley of the River Indus and Sarasvati, historians have only archaeological remains, since the few written sources that were found could not be deciphered until now.

The two main cities of this ancient civilization, urban and sophisticated, were Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. They were discovered in 1800 by English settlers, but it was only in 1921 that started the systematic excavations. Interrupted during the Second World War and then harmed because of the conflict between India and Pakistan, the archaeological researches were resumed only in 1986, with the HARP (Harappa Archaeological Project), an interdisciplinary project that brings together researchers from various fields of knowledge and different countries .

Despite having been occupied since the prehistoric period was between 2600 and 1900 BC the Indus River valley and the civilization that flourished there reached its economic peak and its maximum degree of urban sprawl. It is an urban civilization, the impressive sophistication of crafts in gold, silver, bronze, ivory and semiprecious stones, in ceramics, construction of houses and buildings that counted up to sewer systems, the size of their trade and public works etc.. Of the first civilizations - Egypt, Mesopotamia and China - the Indus civilization is reached by that cover the largest geographical area, an area equivalent to the total extent of Europe.

The two biggest mysteries surrounding the Indus Valley civilization are:

• The decipherment of their writing, which is found on seals, tablets and other ceramic objects. To date not found a Rosetta stone, which establish the equivalence with other known writing. It is likely that spoke a Dravidian language, but it is not known even today as they called themselves, not the real names of cities (Harappa and Mohenjo Daro are names later).

• The sudden decline of the Indus civilization between 2200 and 1900 BC There are two explanations for this decline: 1) The invasion of a foreign people, perhaps the Indo-Aryans, which would have destroyed the cities with violence and subjected indigenous peoples; 2) endogenous factors explain the decline, such as climate change, drought, economic and political crisis.

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