The name of the river “Indus” served as the basis for the name of the country – “India”, which in ancient times was understood as the space east of the Indus, where the states of Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh are currently located. Until relatively recently (a little over a hundred years ago), the first creators of civilization in the Indian subcontinent were aliens-Arians. It was generally accepted that written texts did not preserve information about the great antecedent culture. Now we can say that they are still recognized, albeit with difficulty. In particular, the “Geography” of Strabo, with reference to the Greek Aristobulus, refers to the vast country that was abandoned by the inhabitants due to a change in the Indus riverbed. Such information is sporadic, and sources characterizing the culture of Harappa, or the civilization of the Indus Valley, are mined and continue to be mined during archaeological excavations.
The Harappa civilization, unlike most other ancient civilizations, began to be studied relatively recently. Its first signs were discovered in the 60s of the XIX century, when near Harappa – in Punjab, samples of stamp-stamps so characteristic of this civilization were found. They were discovered during the construction of road embankments, for which purpose huge masses of the ancient cultural layer were used. An engineer of the military forces A. Cunningham, subsequently the first head of the Archaeological Service of India, drew attention to the press. He is considered one of the founders of Indian archeology.
However, only in 1921, an employee of the Archaeological Service R.D. Banerji during the study of a Buddhist monument in Mohenjo-Daro (“Hill of the Dead”) found here traces of a much more ancient culture, which he defined as pre-Aryan. At the same time, RB Sahni began excavating Harappa. Soon, the head of the Archaeological Service, J. Marshall, in Mohenjo-Daro, began systematic excavations, the results of which made the same stunning impression as the excavations of G. Schliemann in Troy and mainland Greece: monumental buildings made of burnt bricks and works of art were found in the first years already ( including the famous sculpture of the “king priest”). The relative age of civilization, the traces of which began to be found in various regions of the north of the peninsula, was determined thanks to the finds of characteristic seals in the cities of Mesopotamia, first in Kish and Lagash, then in others. In the early 30s of the XX century. the date of existence of civilization, the existence of which was not recognized in the ancient written texts of its neighbors, was defined as 2500-1800. BC. It is noteworthy that, despite new dating methods, including radiocarbon dating, the dating of the Harappan civilization of the heyday is currently not much different from that proposed more than 70 years ago, although calibrated dates suggest its great antiquity.
A lively debate was caused by the problem of the origin of this civilization, which spread, as it soon became clear, over a vast territory. On the basis of the then existing information, it was natural to assume that the impulses or direct influences that contributed to its occurrence came from the west — from the region of Iran and Mesopotamia. In this regard, special attention was paid to the area of the Indo-Iranian borderland – Balochistan. The first finds were made here as early as the 1920s. M.A. Stein, but large-scale research was undertaken after World War II and the independence of the states of the subcontinent.
Before the emergence of independent states, archaeological research of Harappan culture was limited mainly to the central region of the “Big Indus Valley” (a term proposed by MR Mughal), where the largest cities Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa are located. Then, in India, intensive research was carried out in Gujarat (large excavations – Lothal and Surkotada), Rajasthan (excavations of Kalibangan are especially important here), Punjab. Large-scale work in the second half of the XX century. carried out where the river flowed before. Hakra Ghaggar. About 400 settlements with strata from pre-Harappan to post-Harappan cultures were discovered here.
In the 1950s and 1960s, data were obtained on Eneolithic (chalcolithic) cultures, the ceramics of which were similar to finds known in Iran, Afghanistan, and southern Turkmenistan. Assumptions about the influence from these regions, which led to the emergence of pre-Harappan cultures, and then of Harappa itself, were subsequently adjusted. What seemed to be evidence of migration began to be perceived as the result of interactions, influences that turned out to be beneficial, since the local population had the ability not only to perceive them, but also to transform, proceeding from their own traditions. A special role in understanding the processes of the emergence of civilization of the Indus Valley was played by excavations in Pakistan, in particular the Neolithic settlements – the Bronze Age of Mehrgarh on the river. Bolan conducted by French researchers.
For conservation and future research of monuments of the Harappan civilization, the measures undertaken by UNESCO in the 60s of the XX century are of importance. attempts to save from soil water and salinization of one of the most important cities – Mohenjo-Daro. As a result, new data were obtained that clarified and supplemented the already known ones.
Territory and natural conditions of the Indus Valley
The Indus Valley lies in the northwestern corner of the vast subcontinent, currently its main part is located in Pakistan. It is part of the cultural integration zone, limited from the north by the Amu Darya, in the south by Oman, stretching 2,000 km north of the tropic of Cancer. The climate in the entire zone is continental, the rivers have an internal flow.
In the north, the subcontinent is limited by the highest mountain system of the Himalayas and Karakoram, from where the largest rivers of the peninsula originate. The Himalayas play an important role, meeting the summer monsoon, redistributing its course, condensing the excess moisture in the glaciers. It is important that the mountains are rich in wood, including valuable species. From the southwest and southeast, the peninsula is washed by the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The Indo-Gangetic lowland forms a crescent moon 250-350 km wide, its length from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal is 3000 km. Five tributaries of the Indus irrigate the plain of the Punjab-Pyatirechye – these are Jhelam, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Satlej. The western part of the Ganges valley and the region between the Ganges and Jamna (Doab) is the place of formation of the classical culture of India, Aryavarta (Aryan Country). In the Karachi region, Indus deposits form a shelf 200 km long.
To the south of the plain lie the hill and the Vindhya mountains, to the south – the arid plateau of the Deccan, framed from west and east by mountain ranges – the Western and Eastern Ghats. Most rivers of the plateau flow from west to east, with the exception of only two of the significant ones – Narmada and Tapti. The geographical extension of the peninsula is the island of Ceylon. The coastal part is narrow, with a few good ports. The total length of the subcontinent from Kashmir to Cape Komorin is about 3200 km.
In the northwest, a significant part of Pakistan is occupied by the mountains and valleys of Balochistan. This is an area that played an important role in the formation of the Indus Valley civilization.
The sources of minerals used in antiquity were located both outside (and which we will specially discuss below) the subcontinent, and on it itself. Copper probably came, in particular, from the deposits between Kabul and Kurrat, from Baluchistan and Rajasthan (the Ganesh-war-Khetri deposit). Deposits in Bengal could be one of the sources of tin; it is possible that it came from Afghanistan. Gold and silver could come from Afghanistan and from the south of the Dean. Semi-precious and ornamental minerals were delivered from Khorasan (turquoise), from the Pamirs, from East Turkestan, from Tibet, from Northern Burma (lapis lazuli, jade). Deposits of ornamental stones, of which they so loved to make beads, were located in the subcontinent.
The climate, generally tropical monsoon, is at the same time diverse. In the Indo-Iranian border region, it is arid and semi-arid with mostly summer rainfall. In East Sindh, 7 mm of precipitation falls annually. In the north, in the Himalayas, winters are cold, on the plains they are mild, and summers are hot, temperatures are up to + 43 ° C. On the Deccan plateau, temperature fluctuations in different seasons are less sharp.
The geographical position of the Indian subcontinent determines the specifics of its climate, and hence the characteristics of the economy. From October to May, rains are rare, with the exception of the western coast and parts of Ceylon. The heat peak occurs in April, by the end of which the grass burns out and leaves fall from the trees. In June, the monsoon rainy season begins, lasting about two months. At this time, activity outside the dwellings was difficult, however, it is perceived by the Indians as Europeans – spring, a time of revitalization of nature. Now, as partly in antiquity, two types of crops are practiced – rabi, using artificial irrigation, in which the crop was harvested in early summer, and the kharif, in which the crop was harvested in the fall.
The nature of the subcontinent is characterized by a peculiar severity – people suffered and suffer from heat and floods, epidemic diseases inherent in a hot and humid climate. At the same time, nature served as a powerful incentive for the formation of a vibrant and distinctive culture.
Calibrated dates aggravate the beginning of its existence, dating back to 3200 BC. A number of researchers point out that calibrated dates conflict with Mesopotamian dating. Some researchers (in particular, K.N.Dikshit) believe that the late period of the existence of the Harappan civilization lasted until 800 BC, i.e. time of appearance of iron here. Now it can be considered generally accepted that the completion of the existence of civilization was not instantaneous and in some areas it existed until the middle of the second millennium BC. and further.
Dancing girl. Found in 1926 in Moheggio Daro.
“The dancing girl.” Found in 1926 in Moheggio Daro. Copper, height 14 cm. Approx. 2500-1600 years. BC.
For a long time in science there was an idea of Harappan civilization as something uniform and little changed over the centuries. This view is the result of a lack of information and underreporting by archaeologists at a certain stage of researching facts that testify to the peculiarities of the relationship between human activities and the natural environment, the characteristics of economic activity and culture in the broadest sense of the word. In recent decades, archaeologists have identified several zones characterized by specific signs of material culture, –
Nevertheless, the proximity of the material elements of civilization, at least during its heyday, suggests the existence of a culture whose carriers in different areas maintained close contacts with each other. How were their communities organized? Why is there such a vast commonality? Why is it believed (although new data may refute this) that large cities are emerging relatively quickly? What role did trade play in civilization? Judging by how ideas about this culture are changing under the influence of new discoveries, its image is still very far from clear.
Geography of cultural distribution areas and their features
The main areas of distribution of the Harappan civilization are the Indus Valley in Sindh with adjacent lowlands, the middle reaches of the Indus, Punjab and surrounding areas, Gujarat, Balochistan. At the peak of its development, Harappa occupied an unusually vast territory for early civilization – about 800,000 square meters. km, significantly surpassing the territory of the early states of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Probably, not all territories were settled at the same time and developed with the same intensity. It can be assumed that the development of the Indus Valley took place from the territory of Balochistan, it was the inhabitants of this region who could lay the foundations of the Harappan civilization. At the same time, more and more materials are appearing testifying to the existence of pre-Harappa inhabitants in the Indus Valley. Gujarat only becomes important at a late stage, then Makran is mastered (its coast is convenient for shipping), the signs of the Harappan civilization indicate the gradual spread of its carriers to the south (in particular, Harappa appears along with local ceramics in Kacha) and the east. In climatic terms, these zones differ:
On the plain of Pakistan, the influence of summer monsoons is felt.
On the coast of Makran, the climate is Mediterranean.
In Balochistan, in the river valleys with constant or seasonal watercourses, small oases are located, and mountain pastures are located on the slopes of the mountains.
In some areas (Quetta Valley), where rainfall is relatively high (more than 250 mm per year), non-irrigated farming is possible on a limited scale. In this area there are deposits of various minerals, copper; Recently, lapis lazuli has been discovered in the Chagai Mountains, but the question of the use of this deposit in antiquity is still open.
Balochistan is important as a relatively well-studied region, where the dynamics of the distribution of settlements can be traced from the Neolithic era (Mehrharh). At the beginning of III millennium BC. the population in the north and central parts is becoming rare and only in the south does the kulli culture continue to exist. It is possible that the reason is a violation of the old economic ties of the population of mountain zones and valleys. At the same time, the population of the Indus Valley is growing, although the relative desolation of Balochistan does not mean that there was an influx of population from this region alone, moreover, it is very likely that for various and still unclear reasons, people from other neighboring regions came in the field of Harappan civilization. It is noteworthy that the Harappan settlements were located on the edge of the Indus Valley, along the routes leading to Iran and Afghanistan.
The emergence of such an extensive civilization is the result of economic and cultural integration, which retained regional characteristics. The continuity of development with neighboring regions and with pre-Harappan cultures of the Indus Valley can be traced in many ways. In the end, a completely unique culture was formed. Its most important features are
wide development of valleys of large rivers,
the appearance of large cities (evidence of the existence of a complex structured society or societies),
exchange for long distances
the development of crafts and highly artistic art,
the occurrence of writing
the existence of complex religious beliefs, a calendar, etc.
It is hardly productive to believe that the “idea of civilization” was brought to the Indus Valley from outside, from Mesopotamia or Iran. On the contrary, all the available data speak of its deep local roots, although one cannot but take into account the role of contacts with other cultural entities, the measure of the expected impact of which, however, remains unclear. So, A. Dani believed that in neighboring Iran three regions played an extremely important role in the formation of Harappa – this is the southeast (Bampur, Tepe Yahya and the coast), the Helmand region, a mediator in the transfer of north- and southeast Iranian cultural elements, and the Damgan area in the northeast. From there, communications spread through Afghanistan and Balochistan. Then we’ll have to say what role distant connections played in the history of Harappa.
The central part of the Harappan civilization was located in the Indus Valley, a huge river with a variable channel, the depth and width of which double in the summer as a result of melting snow and monsoon rains. Its waters bring fertile deposits, but the impermanence of the river created and continues to create great difficulties for the development of land. In Sinda, where one of the largest cities of the Harappan civilization, Mohenjo-Daro, is located, coastal areas were dominated by lush reeds and reeds, and then forests stretched in ancient times inhabited by reptiles, rhinos and elephants, tigers, wild boars, antelopes, deer. Until relatively recently, as mentioned above, these places abounded with game. The carriers of the Harappan culture depicted many representatives of the local fauna and flora on their products.
Another important territory of civilization was the Punjab, where the city that gave the name of the whole culture is located – Harappa. The natural situation here is close to the one that exists in Sindh; the flora and fauna differ little from the Sindian ones. In the region of Islamabad, rain farming is possible. Forests are common in the hills and mountains framing the Punjab and surrounding areas. There is reason to believe that in ancient Punjab, especially in neighboring Rajasthan, mobile forms of cattle breeding played a significant role.
The geographic conditions of Gujarat are close to those characteristic of South Sindh. Recently, signs of the existence of pre-Harappan settlements have been discovered.
According to some researchers, anthropological data indicate the heterogeneity of the anthropological type of carriers of the Harappan civilization. Among them were representatives of the Mediterranean and Alpine types, according to some researchers from the west, Mongoloids from the mountains and proto-astroloids, the alleged autochthonous population. At the same time V.P. Alekseev believed that the main was the type of long-headed narrow-faced Caucasians, dark-haired and dark-eyed, akin to the population of the Mediterranean, Caucasus, and Near East. It is possible that the diversity of the funeral rites of Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, Kalibangan, Rupar, Lotkhal, Balochistan itself speaks of the multi-ethnicity of the carriers of the Harappan culture. Noteworthy is the appearance in late Harappa of burning in urns (simultaneous burials in Swat).
Economy in Harappan civilization
In the economy, due to the variety of environmental conditions, two of its forms dominated – agriculture and livestock raising and livestock raising, collecting and hunting, and the use of river and sea resources also played their part. According to B. Subbarao, in the early history of India, three stages can be distinguished, with which the prevailing forms of management are connected, –
pre-Harappan – in the northwest there were cultures of settled farmers and cattle breeders, in the rest of the territory there were hunters and gatherers.
Harappan – urban civilization existed, communities of archaic pastoralists and hunter-gatherers.
and post-Harappan – settled agricultural crops spread widely, the area of which included Central Hindustan, which felt a strong influence of the Harappan civilization.
Rain farming was practiced on lands sufficiently moistened by monsoon rains. In the piedmont and mountainous areas, stone embankments were built to retain water, and terraces were constructed to arrange sown areas. In ancient river valleys, although there are no definite data on this, flood waters were accumulated by creating dams and dams. There is no information about conducting the channels, which is understandable due to the powerful sediment layers. The main agricultural crops were wheat and barley, several types of lentils and peas, flax, and also such an important crop as cotton. The main crop is believed to be up to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. collected in the summer (rabi). Later in some areas, the Hariph crop began to be practiced, in which sowing was carried out in the summer, and the harvest in the autumn. In this late period, millet brought in from the west and its varieties spread. They begin to cultivate rice – prints are found in Rangpur and Lothal, it is possible to breed in Kalibangan. In the west of Uttar Pradesh, intermediate from wild to cultural forms have been identified. There was an opinion about the beginning of rice cultivation here in the Vth millennium BC, somewhat earlier than in China. It is believed that at the beginning of II millennium BC. this important culture is spreading more and more in South Asia, although its origin continues to be not entirely clear.
Новые формы земледелия позволили отойти от характерной для Хараппы практики выращивания зимних злаков, благодаря чему на старых территориях вводились в оборот новые зоны, а также осваивались земли на востоке. К концу IV — началу III тыс. до н.э. база жизнеобеспечения становится более разнообразной, чем прежде. Шире эксплуатируются ресурсы морских побережий и рек, в некоторых поселениях рыба и моллюски использовались больше, чем другая животная пища (пример — Балакот).
As already mentioned, Neolithic inhabitants of the territories, one way or another later covered by the Harappa civilization, were engaged in animal husbandry. Different species of cattle predominated in different places, on well-watered alluvial lands, cattle dominated, although small cattle also bred. Outside of alluvium, the picture was reversed. In alluvial valleys, primarily in the Indus Valley, the number of cattle was very significant – in places up to 75% of all animals used (Jalipur near Harappa).
Important changes took place at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC: in the settlement of Pirak in the northern part of the Kachi valley, not far from Mehrharh, not only camel and donkey bones were discovered, but also the oldest evidence of horse breeding in South Asia.
To cultivate the land, a primitive wooden plow was used, in which the bulls were harnessed, but it is obvious that small areas of especially soft soils were cultivated with a hoe, a tool such as a digging stick and harrow. Traces of cross plowing were discovered in Kalibangan – another evidence of highly developed agriculture. It is possible the use of crop rotation. Obviously, there are different ways of managing; there is reason to believe that they played a complementary role. At the same time, there is no data on how relations were regulated between, for example, primarily fishers and farmers or livestock breeders.
Harappan civilization settlements
The study of the dynamics of the spread of the Harappa culture is difficult due to the low availability of early strata. Systems of interconnected settlements of different sizes and functions are also difficult to identify because of the secrecy of many settlements, especially small ones, under layers of sediment. Despite the difficulties in studying the dynamics of settlement, certain successes have been achieved in this area. Thus, it is believed that more than a third of the Amri type cultural settlements in Sindh were abandoned during the Harappan time, but the rest continued to exist in the southwestern part.
Most settlements are small, from 0.5 to several hectares, these are rural settlements. The population was mostly rural. Currently, more than 1000 settlements have been discovered. Four large settlements are known (in addition to the two long-known ones, Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, Hanverival and Rakhi Garhs in the Punjab), the area of which totals many tens of hectares, although it is difficult to determine exactly the habitable territory. So, the DK hill, excavated in Mohenjo-Daro, has an area of 26 hectares, while the total area is 80 and even 260 hectares, E hill in Harappa is 15 hectares, although there are other hills.
For a number of large settlements, a three-part structure was revealed – the units received the conventional names “citadel”, “middle city” and “lower city”. In Dholavir, a fourth building area has also been discovered. Both large and some relatively small settlements had bypass walls surrounding a rectangular area. They were built from burnt brick and raw (in Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and some other settlements), stone and other available materials. Assume that the main purpose of the bypass walls is not defensive, they should have served as a means of protection against floods. Perhaps their construction was a consequence of the desire to limit the habitat of certain social organisms. So, in Banavali, Surkotad and Kalibangan, the territory was divided by a wall into two parts. There is an opinion that fortification itself was necessary only on the outskirts of the Harappan territory, at outposts created on foreign lands. The regular development of Harappa settlements sharply distinguishes them from the chaotic layout of cities of other civilizations of the Ancient East and can contribute to the reconstruction of the features of social organization, which still remains far from clear.
In conditions favorable for the study, it is possible to establish that the settlements were located in groups – “clusters”. The small number of settlements in the vicinity of Harappa is surprising. A cluster of settlements was found 200 km south of Harappa, near Fort Abbas. The early Harappan settlement of Gomanwala had an area of 27.3 hectares, perhaps almost the same as the modern Harappa. Another cluster was found upstream of the Ghaggar in Rajasthan – this is Kalibangan, Sisval, Banavali, etc .; here, pre-Harappan strata were also discovered (the Sotkhi-Kalibangan complex, which resembles the Kot-Diji). Since the beginning of the Harappa, significant changes have taken place in the Hakra-Ghaggar system: the number of settlements has quadrupled and reaches 174. In the cluster at Fort Derawar, the largest was Hanverival (81.5 ha), located 300 km from Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa.
320 km from Harappa, on Drshadvati there is a settlement of Rakhigarhi, the area of which is supposed to be 80 hectares, although excavations have not been carried out. In Gujarat, Harappan settlements are small. In late Harappa there were more than 150 settlements, many of them small and seasonal. The coastal Lothal stands out – the alleged port, trading in copper, carnelian, steatite, shells, maintaining contacts with hunting and gathering communities and, perhaps, those involved in specialized cattle breeding.
Recently, it has been suggested that on the territory of the Harappan civilization from the previous period to the late, there were 7 or 8 large settlements – “capitals”, surrounded by towns and villages. In the strict sense, these were not central settlements, since they could also be located in the outlying territories, making contacts between ecologically and economically different zones.
Mohenjo Daro Settlement
Moochenjo Daro Settlement Plan
Plan of settlement Moochenjo-Daro.
It is advisable to consider the features of large settlements on the example of the long-studied Mohenjo-Daro. Its exact size is unknown due to accumulated deposits, but it is significant that traces of buildings were found 2 km from the proposed border of the city. During its heyday, the maximum number of residents is determined at 35-40 thousand people. The thickness of the cultural layer is very significant – fragments of clay vessels were found at a depth of 16 to 20 m from the level of the modern surface, while the continent was not reached. And now you can clearly see the ancient division of the city into two parts – the “citadel” and “lower city”, separated by an undeveloped site. The building material was burnt and raw brick, wood. In all likelihood, burnt brick was used because of its ability to counteract the destructive effects of moisture.
The structures of the “citadel” were on a five-meter brick platform. Two large structures of an unclear purpose were excavated here, which, most likely, were intended for meetings (the assumption that one of them could be the residence of a high-ranking official is unlikely). One of them with an area of 70 × 22 m. With thick walls had an entrance hall, the other – a hall with an area of about 900 square meters. m. – was divided into four parts by rows of pillars.
It also found the base of the structure, the upper part of which was wooden. According to popular belief, it was extensive, with an area of 1350 square meters. m., a public granary, at the base of which deep ventilation ducts have been made. A similar granary was discovered in Harappa at the foot of the “citadel”; here its area is 800 square meters. m
Modern view of Mohenjo Daro
Modern view of Mohenjo Daro.
Finally, on the “citadel” was located the “large pool”, built later than other buildings. Its area is 11.70 × 6.90 m., The depth is 2.40 m. From the narrow sides, wooden stairs coated with bitumen led to it. For water resistance, lime and bitumen coating was made. The pool was filled from a nearby well, and was emptied using a gutter in one of the walls. He was surrounded by a gallery, from which pillars were preserved. It is believed that he could serve for ritual ablutions, which they attached great importance to. Evidence of this is the existence of “bathrooms” in residential buildings.
“Lower City” was occupied by residential development. The blocks of houses were divided by straight, right-angled streets and streets. The considerable height of the walls – up to 6 m. – provoked the now rejected opinion that the houses were not single-storied: the height of the walls, as well as the great depth of regularly located wells (one for every three houses), is the result of rebuilding.
The rooms with flat ceilings were grouped around the courtyards, the area of the largest block, consisting of two parts connected by a covered passage, was 1,400 sq. M .; there is no reason to judge his belonging to a high-ranking official. In general, the area of houses reached 355 square meters. m, and they consisted of 5-9 rooms.
Accomplishment was unusually developed for antiquity. The houses find bathrooms and toilets. Sewer channels lined with burnt brick were laid under the pavements; settlers were located at a certain distance from each other.
The relatively recent investigations of Mohenjo-Daro made it possible to trace changes in the principles of its development. In the period of developed Harappa, it was cramped, with axial wide streets. The houses were both small and large, their plans were diverse. No traces of craft activity were found. Later, the number of small buildings increases, the layout becomes more unified. The craft zone is approaching the residential. Finally, at the late stage of civilization, dwellings form isolated groups, traces of handicraft production are found. The sewer system is in decline, which indicates a crisis state of the organization of urban life.
Crafts and art
For the traditional culture of antiquity, to which Harappa belongs, the division into craft and art is hardly justified. The creations of artisans, whether they were intended for everyday life or for rituals, are often marked by high skill. However, among the things of each category there are better and worse made, there are rough, for the manufacture of which did not require great skill. Differences in the quality of products indicate the existence of high-class professionals, stone carvers, jewelers, sculptors. Workshops where dishes, decorations (including from sinks), and others were found in different settlements. The works of Harappa masters are distinguished by their deep originality, and attempts to find analogies to them in other regions, in particular in Mesopotamia, as a rule,
So, the production of tools, utensils, building materials was highly developed and specialized. One of the important indicators is the level of metalworking. Noteworthy are the few weapons, although copper and bronze daggers and knives, arrowheads and spears were found. Tools are largely associated with the processing of wood (these are axes, chisels, tesla), with the household (needles, punctures). Of copper and silver, rarely – lead was made by vessels. It was known casting in open molds, cold and hot forging; some products were cast using the technique of lost wax. Alloys of copper with arsenic, lead and tin were used, and a large percentage of about 30 tin bronzes is notable. Jewelry (bracelets and beads) was made of stone, shells, copper, silver, rarely – gold. There were many bracelets, as in later times; in all likelihood, this custom was of a ritual character. In special cases, vessels made of copper and even gold were used.
Stone tools have not gone out of use, and over time, the variety of types decreases, the quality of raw materials and processing technology increase. Vessels, including figured ones that had a ritual purpose, were made from soft grades of stone, and beads and seals were made from various minerals. Materials for both metal and stone products were often delivered from afar.
Another indicator of a highly developed craft is ceramic manufacturing. The dishes were made on a circle of rapid rotation and burned in two-tier furnaces. The forms are diverse and generally standard – bowls, cups, dishes, roasters, vessels with a pointed bottom and coasters, vessels for the manufacture of dairy products. The tradition of painting vessels is preserved, although it is dying away: black painting on a red background, geometric and figurative – images of animals, plants, fish. Although the ceramics are of good quality, the vessels are heavy and differ from the more elegant products of the pre-Harappan era, which happens in ceramic production not only of ancient cultures, when it becomes mass.
Female figurines were molded from clay, less often male figures, including characters in horned headgear. They are undoubtedly associated with mythological representations and rituals. These figures are rather arbitrary, with stucco details that convey body parts and numerous jewelry. Very expressive figures of bulls, sometimes harnessed to carts, wild and domestic animals were made of clay and stone. At least some of them could be toys.
Large stone-like sculptures of men and women are distinguished by their great resemblance, well conveying the anthropological type of at least some of the carriers of the Harappan civilization. The most famous fragment of the sculptural image of a bearded man in a diadem, in a robe decorated with embossed trefoils. The squint of his eye resembles the position of the eyelids of a meditating person.
The real masterpieces were mainly stamps made of steatite, intended, as the found prints show, for sealing goods, although it is very likely that they were perceived as amulets and talismans. They are flat, square or rectangular, on the back there is a ledge with a hole. A few samples are round; there are practically no cylindrical seals so characteristic of Mesopotamia, Iran and other areas of Western Asia. As on the vessels, they depicted mainly plants, animals (the “tour”, the so-called unicorn, humpback bull, tiger, crocodile, snakes, fantastic polymorphic creatures). In Mohenjo-Daro, such images are about 75%. The images are in-depth, made with great skill and understanding of the forms of bodies transmitted close to nature. As a rule, animals are depicted calmly standing near objects, which are treated as feeders or conventional symbols. In addition, samples were found with images of anthropomorphic creatures of male and female in various poses, including those resembling yogic ones. They are represented by participants in the rituals. In addition to the image on the seals could put a brief inscription. There are prints with conditional geometric shapes.
The images on the seals are associated with holidays and rituals – feeding the animal, treating the snake, worshiping a tree, in whose branches a goddess could be represented, the marriage of the gods in an anthropomorphic and zoomorphic form. Judging by the available materials, the goddess played the main role in marriage myths. Images similar to those printed are found on copper plates of unknown purpose. There were prismatic stone and clay objects, whose membership in the category of seals is in doubt, perhaps they played the role of amulets. The seals could serve as signs of property, but there is no doubt that they served ritual purposes, were something like amulets, and the images on them contain information about mythological representations and rites. Research U.F.
It is on the study of seals and related products based on the decoding of proto-Indian writing.
The study of the writing system and the language of Harappan texts has not yet been completed; a significant role in the research was played by domestic researchers (a group led by Yu.V. Knorozov). The conclusions to which they came are presented here based on the work of M.F. Albedil “Proto-Indian civilization. Essays on culture ”(M., 1994). The difficulty of understanding the texts lies in the fact that they are written in an unknown letter in an unknown language, while there are no bilinguals. About 3,000 texts are known, lapidary (mostly 5-6 characters) and monotonous. The letter was hieroglyphic (about 400 characters), they were written from right to left. It is believed that the texts were sacred.
It turned out that the early texts were applied on stone plates, then on stone, less commonly metal seals. Do not exclude the existence of cursive writing. When interpreting the signs, pictograms of the modern peoples of India, primarily Dravidian-speaking, were used.
Researchers believe that they have deciphered the general meaning of most of the inscriptions and revealed the formal structure of the grammatical system. Comparison with the structure of languages that hypothetically existed in the Indus Valley led to the exclusion of all but Dravidian. At the same time, scientists consider mechanical extrapolation of phonetics, grammar and vocabulary of historically fixed languages into Proto-Indian unacceptable. The emphasis is on the study of the texts themselves, and the Dravidian elements are used as a “correction factor”. The translation is based on the semantic interpretation of the sign, which is determined by the method of positional statistics. They turned to Sanskrit, as a result of which it was possible to identify the correspondence of 60 astronomical and calendar names and the structural correspondence in the name of the years of the 60-year chronological cycle of Jupiter,
It is assumed that the text block consisted of the name of the owner of the seal in a respectful form, explanations of a calendar-chronological nature and an indication of the period of validity of the seal. There is an assumption that the seals of officials belonged to them temporarily, for a certain period.
Judging by the deciphering of the texts, the sunny agricultural year began with the autumn equinox. In the year there were 12 months, the names of which reflected the phenomena of nature, “microseasons” stood out. The astronomical year was based on four fixed points – the solstices and equinoxes. The new moon and the full moon were revered. The symbol of the winter solstice, the beginning of the year, is supposed to be a tour. There were several subsystems of reckoning time – the lunar (hunting and collecting), solar (agricultural), state (civil) and priestly. In addition, there were calendar cycles – 5-, 12-, 60-year; they had symbolic designations. These are the assumptions of domestic scholars of proto-Indian texts.
The problem of exchange and trade
For a long time in the science of antiquity there was a notion of a greater or lesser isolation and self-sufficiency of ancient public formations, in particular Harappan. Thus, W. Ferservice wrote that trade played a large role in Sumer, a slightly smaller one in Egypt, and the Harappan civilization was in a state of isolation and trade relations were random, not systematic. Later, in the 70s of the XX century, the attitude to the role of exchange and trade in antiquity changed dramatically, especially in foreign science. Reconstructions not only of the economy, but also of the social structure of the ancient unwritten or informative written texts of societies began to be carried out taking into account the role of exchange, and not at the local level, but over long distances. Now, some researchers attach great importance to the role of trade in the formation and existence of Harappan civilization. In particular, a number of Indian scholars believe that merchants played a large role in the formation of cities and ideological representations, and they consider the reason for the decline of cities to be a violation of trade with countries west of Harappa. In the late period, researchers (including K.N.Dikshit) associated the decline in trade with the weakening of central authority, as a result of which trade routes became unsafe. The change in the political situation in Mesopotamia, the rise to power of Hammurabi caused a weakening of the cities of Southern Mesopotamia, trade routes began to reorient to the west, to Anatolia and the Mediterranean. Cyprus became the source of copper, and not, as before, Oman and its neighboring territories. that merchants played a large role in the formation of cities and ideological ideas, and they consider the violation of trade with countries west of Harappa to be the cause of the decline of cities. In the late period, researchers (including K.N.Dikshit) associated the decline in trade with the weakening of central authority, as a result of which trade routes became unsafe. The change in the political situation in Mesopotamia, the rise to power of Hammurabi caused a weakening of the cities of Southern Mesopotamia, trade routes began to reorient to the west, to Anatolia and the Mediterranean. Cyprus became the source of copper, and not, as before, Oman and its neighboring territories. that merchants played a large role in the formation of cities and ideological ideas, and they consider the violation of trade with countries west of Harappa to be the cause of the decline of cities. In the late period, researchers (including K.N.Dikshit) associated the decline in trade with the weakening of central authority, as a result of which trade routes became unsafe. The change in the political situation in Mesopotamia, the rise to power of Hammurabi caused a weakening of the cities of Southern Mesopotamia, trade routes began to reorient to the west, to Anatolia and the Mediterranean. Cyprus became the source of copper, and not, as before, Oman and its neighboring territories. Dikshit) is associated with the weakening of central authority, as a result of which trade routes have become unsafe. The change in the political situation in Mesopotamia, the rise to power of Hammurabi caused a weakening of the cities of Southern Mesopotamia, trade routes began to reorient to the west, to Anatolia and the Mediterranean. Cyprus became the source of copper, and not, as before, Oman and its neighboring territories. Dikshit) is associated with the weakening of central authority, as a result of which trade routes have become unsafe. The change in the political situation in Mesopotamia, the rise to power of Hammurabi caused a weakening of the cities of Southern Mesopotamia, trade routes began to reorient to the west, to Anatolia and the Mediterranean. Cyprus became the source of copper, and not, as before, Oman and its neighboring territories.
Trade with Western countries
The existence of ties between the carriers of the Harappan civilization with close and distant neighbors cannot be doubted primarily because the Indus Valley, its indigenous territory, like Mesopotamia, is poor in the minerals that people needed and used. Minerals and shells, widely used in various industries, came from the subcontinent. Copper was delivered from more distant regions (its deposits were exploited in Iran, in particular in Kerman, and Afghanistan) and gold. Tin, as the information now available suggests, came from Central Asia (one of the alleged sources is the Ferghana Valley, the other is located in southwestern Afghanistan), lapis lazuli is from Badakhshan (if not from the Chagai Mountains), turquoise is from Iran. Already in the Neolithic Mehrharch, ties with Iran are clearly visible, where the widely used minerals came from – crystalline gypsum (“alabaster” of archaeological literature) and steatite. The appearance of Late Harappan settlements in the foothills of the Himalayas may be connected precisely with the need of civilization for mineral raw materials – in one of the settlements traces of the production of various beads that were clearly intended for exchange were found.
Already at the end of the 4th millennium BC. in the Mesopotamian texts began to appear the names of the southern countries – Dilmun, Magan, Meluha. Debate has been and continues to be held regarding their localization in science. Probably, during the III-II millennium BC. they understood different territories. However, it is clear that Dilmun and Magan were intermediate between Mesopotamia and Melucha – the alleged Indus valley. Dilmun (Bahrain) has always played a mediating role, while the real sources of copper, wood, minerals so valued were not always known to the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, and the source from which they received them could be considered Dilmun. Thanks to the findings of recent years, it became clear that Oman was one of the important suppliers of copper to Mesopotamia. Standard copper ingots weighing about 6 kg are typical for finds of this kind from Syria to Lothal. Notably that the peak of information about this exchange falls on the heyday of Harappa, around the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. Harappan type seals were found in Ur, Ummah, Nippur, Tell Asmara, on the islands of the Persian Gulf, Bahrain and Failaka, on the coast of the Arabian Sea. In Oman, an inscription was found in harappo letters. The carriers of another culture, the kulli, were also associated with the western regions – typical products for it were found in Abu Dhabi.
In Lagash at the end of the 3rd millennium BC. Harappan merchants lived with their families. Assumptions were also made about the existence of Mesopotamian colonies on the territory of Harappa, although direct data on this subject are still insufficient. The general surprise is caused by an extremely small number of things characteristic of the Mesopotamian civilization on the Harappan territory. Usually this is due to the fact that they could be made from short-lived materials; Among the likely imports mention fabrics. Perhaps the absence of foreign things is a consequence of the firm commitment of the “Harappans” to their traditions: researchers recall that in the homes of Indian merchants and in the XIX century. rarely could one meet foreign-made things.
Most likely, the sea route was used – images of sailing ships that were built of wood and reed are known. Swimming was coastal, sailors did not lose sight of the coast. It is believed, however, not shared by all researchers, that the port was Lothal in Gujarat, where a structure similar to the dock was discovered. A seal characteristic of the Persian Gulf region was found in Lothal.
Trade with the Nordic countries
Exchange with close territories could be direct, with remote ones – indirect. At the same time, it is symptomatic of the discovery of a real Harappan colony in northern Afghanistan, near the confluence of Kokchi and Amu Darya. It is believed that Shortugai was a “trading point” on the route connecting Harappa with the territory of Turkmenistan and other neighboring regions. One of the probable interests of the “Harappans” is lapis lazuli, and possibly tin. The inhabitants of Shortugai brought lentils and sesame from India, the local crops cultivated by them were grapes, wheat, rye and alfalfa; they bred zebu and buffaloes from their native places. Seals of the Harappan type, ivory products were found in settlements of the Anau culture of Southern Turkmenistan, there are signs characteristic of the Harappa products in the forms and decor of ceramic vessels.
Land routes ran north through mountain passes, bypassing the Deshte Lut desert to the Diyaly valley, along river valleys within its territory, possibly along the coast – harapp settlements were found on the Makran coast. It is unlikely that for the wanderings we used carts drawn by bulls, models of which from clay and bronze were found in different settlements. But already in the developed Harappa period, they began to use double-humped camels, which are supposed to be domesticated in Central Asia, data on which were obtained in southern Turkmenistan, where, according to existing assumptions, the camel was tamed as far back as the 4th millennium BC. In exchange operations, stone weights of 8, 16, 32, 64, 160, 200, 320, 640, 1600, 3200, 6400, 8000 were used mainly in cubic form. Conical, spherical, barrel-shaped weights were also used. We also used rulers with measured divisions.
Debatable remains the question of the place of foreign trade in the economic life of the “Harappans.” Was it an essential or peripheral part of the economy? Was it a more or less regular exchange, or was it a planned trade? How were internal exchange products implemented in it? Was the trade directed by “state administrators” or professional agents?
As in the study of other areas of Harappan culture, the answer to these questions depends on the reconstruction of the social system as a whole, an understanding of which is far from clear. Nevertheless, the conclusions that trade and production of goods did not differ much from modern ones are hardly valid.
Researchers of large Harappan settlements since the moment when their structure became clear have expressed, on the basis of dividing these settlements into two or more parts, the assumption that society will be divided into nobles – the inhabitants of the “citadels” and the rest of the population. Some researchers interpret the inscriptions on clay bracelets as titles. M. Wheeler saw an analogy of the Harappa public organization in the city-states of Mesopotamia, and considered the idea of cities to be brought from Sumer. Many scholars have written about the Harappan “empire” with centralized power and an exploited rural population. It was assumed that several classes existed – the oligarchy, warriors, merchants and artisans (K.N.Dikshit), rulers, agricultural merchants, workers (B. B. Lal), to which some also added slaves. M.F. Albedil wrote about the possibility of a highly centralized political structure in proto-Indian society. At the same time, it allowed for a strong role of local centers, in which central authority was partially duplicated on the ground. Some scholars rightly focus on the specifics of Harappan society, in particular, on the place of priesthood in public life, which was different than in Mesopotamia with its organized temple farms. Nevertheless, there are reasons to believe that at least at some stages, especially during the period of the developed Harappa, there could exist a strong ruling elite, consisting of priests. On the basis of the decoding of documents of proto-Indian writing proposed in Russian science, one can assume the functioning of temples and priesthoods and even the presence of political leaders.
So, the data does not allow us to draw direct parallels between the public organization of Mesopotamia or Elam and the one that was the bearers of the Harappan civilization. Until now, despite the significant volume of excavations, no signs of the existence of rulers and people who have concentrated significant wealth in their hands, deposited, in particular, in burials, as was the case in Mesopotamia or Egypt, have been found. Symptomatic is the weak manifestation of military function in society. Apparently, significant wealth was not concentrated in the temples. Not found or not identified documents of economic content.
At the same time, there are facts indicating the existence of property inequality, the presence in the society of groups occupying a different social position and performing different functions. The accumulation of values suggests, in particular, the treasures discovered in Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro and other places. W. Ferservice, taking into account the peculiarities of the Harappan civilization, drew attention to a large number of short-lived settlements and the significant role of cattle breeding, which could act as a symbol of wealth. Settlements in a certain area played a different role – among them were mainly agricultural and those dominated by handicraft production and exchange. These settlements were interconnected. He suggested that the organization was not a city-state or a single state, but chiefdoms. According to his hypothesis,
The degree of development of cities, crafts and economy, the addition of its specialized forms, agriculture and cattle breeding suggested the need for regulation of relations between representatives of different fields of activity. The circulation of “primitive values”, traced, in particular, on the example of products from lapis lazuli, led other researchers to the assumption of the formation of formations like chiefdoms at an early stage of Harappa. In the future, it is assumed the emergence of a state in which power was no longer associated with the genealogical rank, and production relations are detached from relations based on kinship. The use of the concept of chiefdom (chiefdom) for the reconstruction of the social system of pre-state societies of the East has raised objections. As an alternative, she was offered another model, based on the study of akephalic societies of the Eastern Himalayas (in domestic science, its development belongs to Yu.E. Berezkin). Type of economy – irrigated agriculture and cattle breeding. Signs of such societies, some of which can be captured on archaeological material, are expressed in the form of settlements. These are closely built-up villages without monumental architecture with many small sanctuaries, the existence of differences in property status, overcome by a special institute of redistribution such as potachalas, specialized crafts, trade exchanges, and obtaining exotic prestigious things through long-distance trade. These are not chiefdoms, but not groups of closed village communities. Community and clan institutions were weak, and the individual, thanks to individual ownership of the means of production, was independent. Social life is regulated during mass ceremonies and festivities, during which complex systems of relations were formed, covering the entire area of the ethnic group. In the villages there were councils of respected men. It cannot be ruled out that a society of bearers of a Harappan civilization without an elite layer and with public buildings that required relatively small labor costs could sooner be similar to that described, but larger. It should be noted that before and, most notably, now, with the advent of new data, opinions are expressed about the existence of the state. that a society of bearers of a Harappan civilization without an elite layer and with public buildings that required relatively low labor costs could rather be similar to those described, but larger. It should be noted that before and, most notably, now, with the advent of new data, opinions are expressed about the existence of the state. that a society of bearers of a Harappan civilization without an elite layer and with public buildings that required relatively low labor costs could rather be similar to those described, but larger. It should be noted that before and, most notably, now, with the advent of new data, opinions are expressed about the existence of the state.
Religious and mythological representations and rites
It is difficult to judge myths, beliefs, ceremonies, as well as the spiritual life of “Harappans” in general, primarily because of the low information content of written monuments, even if the accuracy of their interpretation is recognized. The sources are primarily images on seals and other things, samples of clay, stone, metal sculptures, traces of worship. Temples – one of the main evidence for worshiping the gods – did not exist or are not defined. One of the grounds for reconstruction is a comparison of the known data with the representations and rites of the alleged historical successors of the carriers of the Harappan civilization, or, as many scholars tend to think, related to them in the language of the Dravidian-speaking peoples of India.
Animals depicted on seals and metal tablets: a humpback Indian bull, a gaur bull, a buffalo, an animal similar to a bull, but depicted with one horn (“unicorn”), a tiger, a rhino, a crocodile, an elephant, rarely a rabbit, birds, fantastic many-headed animals, according to the assumption of domestic researchers, served as symbols, some of them – cardinal points and / or seasons. Trees were also represented – pipal, asvatthu. A tree is sometimes depicted as rising from a ring-shaped enclosure – it probably served as an object of worship, embodying the notion of a “world tree” (enclosures of this shape were discovered during excavations). In later times, revered trees were decorated, in particular, in order to have children. An important role was played by sacrificial rituals.