The first appearance of the Indus civilization was the early Harappan/Ravi Phase. This Ravi Phase, named after the nearby Ravi River, lasted from approximately 3300 BC, or even 3500 BC, to 2800 BC. This phase is related to the Hakra Phase, identified in the Ghaggar-Hakra River valley to the west, and predates the Kot Diji Phase (2800-2600 BC), named after a site in northern Sindh near Mohenjo-daro. Increasing knowledge of the Ravi and Kot Diji Phase occupations at Harappa, and of contemporary settlements throughout northwestern South Asia, permits glimpses of later Indus Civilization. Some of the most exciting discoveries in Ravi Phase levels have been of early writing. The origins of the Indus script-like signs dates from 3300-2800 BC. This would make the origins of writing in South Asia approximately the same time as in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The civilization's mature Harappan period began from 2600 BC.
A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture is evident in the Indus Valley civilization. The quality of municipal town planning suggests knowledge of urban planning and efficient municipal governments which placed a high priority on hygiene. The streets of major cities such as Mohenjo-daro or Harappa were laid out in a perfect grid pattern, comparable to that of present day New York. The houses were protected from noise, odors, and thieves.
Arts and Culture:-
Various sculptures, seals, pottery, gold jewelry, and anatomically detailed figurines in terracotta, bronze, steatite have been found at the excavation sites. A number of bronze, terracotta, and stone figurines of girls in dancing poses reveal the presence of some dance form. Sir John Marshall is known to have reacted with surprise when he saw the famous Indus bronze statuette of the slender-limbed "dancing girl" in Mohenjo-daro:
The nature of the Indus civilization's agricultural system is still largely a matter of conjecture due to the limited amount of information surviving through the ages. Some speculation is possible, however. Indus civilization agriculture must have been highly productive; after all, it was capable of generating surpluses sufficient to support tens of thousands of urban residents who were not primarily engaged in agriculture. It relied on the considerable technological achievements of the pre-Harappan culture, including the plough. Still, very little is known about the farmers who supported the cities or their agricultural methods. Some of them undoubtedly made use of the fertile alluvial soil left by rivers after the flood season, but this simple method of agriculture is not thought to be productive enough to support cities. There is no evidence of irrigation, but such evidence could have been obliterated by repeated, catastrophic floods.
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