Harappa

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History

Isolated remains of Homo Erectus in has been found indicating that Pakistan might have been inhabited since atleast the Middle Pleistocene era. The precise date of these remains is unclear, and archaeologists put it anywhere between 200,000 to 500,000 BCE. The fossils are the earliest human remains found in South Asia. Modern humans arrived from Africa after their evolution about 70,000 to 31,000 years ago and settled in South Asia.

The evidence from the excavations at Mehrgarh, Balochistan, has demonstrated that the north-western part of the Pakistan had reached a neolithic, i.e. settled agricultural stage, by the 9,000 BCE. Here it may also be emphasized that the Mehrgarh neolithic complex stands in marked contrast to that of western Asia. For example, whereas in the West Asian neolithic there is the domination of sheep and goat amongst the domesticated animals and of wheat amongst the cultivated cereals, in the Mehrgarh context the cattle dominated over other animals and barley over other cereals. Thus, the Mehrgarh neolithic has its own identity, having no generic relationship with its West Asian counterpart. In other words, the Mehrgarh people were the “the sons of the soil”.

The Mehrgarh declined about the same time as the Indus Valley Civilization only 200 Kilometers south east was developing. It has been surmised that the Mehrgarh residents migrated to the fertile Indus River valley as Balochistan became arid over time. The Elamo-Dravidians invaded from the Iranian plateau and settled in the Indus valley around 4000 BCE. The main site of the Indus Valley Civilization in Punjab was the city of Harappa (Harrapa) and Moenjo Daro in Sindh.

Early Harappan phase: 3300 BC to 2600 BC
Mature Harappan phase: 2600 BC to 2200 BC
Late Harappan phase: 2200 BC to 1900 BC

The Harappan civilization evolved independently in Indus Valley and spread west to east. It’s roots were perhaps in Mehrgarh.

The evidence from the excavations at Mehrgarh, Balochistan, has demonstrated that the north-western part of the Pakistan had reached a neolithic, i.e. settled agricultural stage, by the 9,000 BCE. Here it may also be emphasized that the Mehrgarh neolithic complex stands in marked contrast to that of western Asia. For example, whereas in the West Asian neolithic there is the domination of sheep and goat amongst the domesticated animals and of wheat amongst the cultivated cereals, in the Mehrgarh context the cattle dominated over other animals and barley over other cereals. Thus, the Mehrgarh neolithic has its own identity, having no generic relationship with its West Asian counterpart. In other words, the Mehrgarh people were the “the sons of the soil”.

Further, there is a continuous story from the succeeding chalcolithic level onwards, taking us through various evolutionary stages to the Early Harappan from which there emerged the Harappan Civilization itself, around the middle of the third millennium BCE. Again, after a thorough study of the human skeletal remains, Hemphill and his colleagues (1991) have shown that there was a biological continuity right from 4500 BCE to 800 BCE. A question may now be posed: “What language did these chalcolithic people speak?” Though the Harappan script has not yet been deciphered, in spite of so many tall claims, we have yet another way of tackling the issue.

 

This page is under development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page last updated: Friday, February 03, 2006 21:24:30 -0500