Around five thousand years ago, an important civilization developed on the Indus River floodplain. From about 2600 B.C. to 1700 B.C. a vast number of settlements were built on the banks of the Indus River and surrounding areas. These settlements cover a remarkable region, almost 1.25 million kilometres of land which is today part of Afghanistan, Pakistan and north-western India. The cities of the Indus Valley Civilization were well-organised
Pot sherd from Harappa
and solidly built out of brick and stone. Their drainage systems, wells and water storage systems were the most sophisticated in the ancient world. They also developed systems of weights and trade. They made jewellery and game pieces and toys for their children. From looking at the structures and objects which survive we are able to learn about the people who lived and worked in these cities so long ago.
Stamp seal depicting a rhinoceros from Mohenjo-daro
The people of the Indus Valley Civilization also developed a writing system which was used for several hundred years.
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