indus river valley (harappan) civilization
The Indus River Valley Civilization, also known as the Harappan Civilization, was an advanced ancient civilization that was located at modern day Pakistan, western India, and Afghanistan on the fertile floodplain of the Indus River. Its main cities were Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, discovered in the early 20th century, which were known for engineering, particularly planned cities and their well-designed layout that rivaled modern cities. These cities had plumbing and drainage systems, including indoor toilets. The Harappans also had a written language, the Indus script, which has mostly not been translated and therefore little is known about this civilization. In addition, the ruins of this civilization are currently located in a "difficult location" where westerners rarely travel today and therefore increasing knowledge of this civilization has been challenging. The Harappans were known to be strong with astronomy, which adds to the accomplishments of this civilization. The Harappan Civilization is believed to have begun about 5,000 years ago and exist for at least 1,600 years. The Harappans developed one of the first units of weights and measurements that coincided with their strength in engineering. Evidence also indicates that the Harappans had knowledge of dentistry, metallurgy, agriculture, arts and crafts, The Harappans had no evidence of military presence, indicating that this civilization was peaceful. Evidence also exists that the Harappans were egalitarian, in that most of the people were of the same stature and there was not evidence of large wealth inequality among residents. The Harappan Civilization ended in the second century B.C. but the reason is unknown. Although an advanced civilization, little is known about the system of government or who were the authority governing officials in the civilization. Another mystery of the Harappans is the lack of temples, monuments, or palaces. Therefore, we know little of the politics and religion within the Harappan Civilization. There must have been some form of politics to build such an advanced civilization but little information exists and the written language has not been translated. As mysterious as this civilization was, its disappearance is also mysterious and scholars believe that this happened between 1800 to 1700 B.C. Some have suggested that the water supply of the Indus River Valley dried up or was somehow diverted by a natural event, causing a water shortage and forcing the cities to be abandoned.