Well, this is the last part of our articles on Indus Valley Civilization facts. Here we will learn about things like the type of script used by Indus people, the theories put forward about the decline of this great civilization etc. Take a look below for 20 awesome and interesting facts about the Indus Valley Civilization.
1. Thanks to the very little knowledge that we have, we don’t know what were the exact uses of seals. There are nearly 4000 seals of different varieties like some have animals inscribed on them. On some of them Gods’ and Goddesses’ (Shakti or Maa Kali and Pasupati) images are present. Others were used in stamping clay on goods that were to be traded. However, the archaeologists believe that there are other reasons for these seals to be produced in such huge numbers which are yet to be known.
2. Coming to the script they used, it was pictographic (symbols and pictures) and Boustrophedon i.e. it started from the left side to the right side and then it continued without stopping from right to left side.
3. 400 symbols were used but the they used them very meagrely. They used 20 symbols at once which is so far the longest sentence or sequence found till now.
4. Their meagre usage of the symbols made many archaeologists and scholars to think that the script is not really a language and in 2004 Farmer, Sproat, and Witzel produced a paper saying Indus script is not a language but a set of non-linguistic symbols.
5. Some say that these symbols were exclusively used for trade purposes. But, if they were to be used for trade purposes, then why was there a mass production of pots and other ritual objects which had these symbols? No one has answered this question till now.
6. What is surprising is that there are no monuments or palaces or temples found in this civilization. We don’t even have an idea of their political structure and religious beliefs.
7. As a challenge to the above paper, Kendriya Vidyalaya’s, Natwar Jha studied the seals and identified the Indus script as some type of Vedic Sanskrit.
8. He also said that the Egyptian and Babylonian civilizations owe a lot to the Indus people as the number and alphabet system was started from Indus Valley Civilization.
9. He also challenges the common notion that Sanskrit and other European languages developed from a proto-language. Instead, he says that Greek language was developed along the lines of Old-Brahmi script which originated in IVC.
10. So, according to him, all the European languages are born out of the language used during IVC time.
11. No matter how great a civilization is, it has to sink one day or the other, obliging to wheel of time. IVC was no exception. This sinking started from 1900 BCE.
12. People started abandoning their cities from 1900 BCE and started to live along the other banks of the rivers.
13. The reasons behind the collapse is still unknown. But there are some theories proposed by scholars and archaeologists. The first and the most ridiculous theory one could ever frame was the Aryan Invasion theory by Mortimer Wheeler.
14. This theory finds its roots in the West claiming that they were Aryans and a superior race than Indians. The fact was that they just couldn’t digest to see a civilization being so advanced than their thinking.
15. The other theory was proposed by Lambrick and it is supposed to be one of the main reasons of the collapse of IVC. According to Lambrick, the climate changed from being warm and wet to cold and dry. As the Indus people depended on the rains, they couldn’t survive such severe climate change. However, this theory is no longer the most accepted theory as in 2016, Indian scientists came up with some amazing evidences wherein they proposed that weather change didn’t kill IVC abruptly but it was a gradual phasing out of the civilization because of changes in monsoon.
16. The change of course of Indus river is also cited as one of the reasons for the collapse. Adding to this, Ghaggar-Hakra river bed dried up completely to make the once flourishing cities to deserts.
17. Another theory was proposed by Robert Raikes. He said that the change in tectonic plates were responsible for the change in the course of river Indus and which led to the collapse of IVC.
18. This theory, though not completely perfect, geologists say that the tectonic movements happened in the time when the great civilization was nearing its end.
19. IVC contributions are numerous. Many other coming civilizations used and further developed the technology used by Indus people. If the Indus script was the beginning of the language, then the whole world owes a lot to this civilization.
20. Needless to say, Hinduism or aptly put Sanatana Dharma took its shape and finds its roots in this great old yet urban civilization.