2600 BC — Mature Harappan phase of the Indus Valley Civilization begins. The cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro become large metropolises and the civilization expands to over 2,500 cities and settlements across the whole of Pakistan, much of northern India, and parts of Afghanistan and Iran, covering a region of around one million square miles, which was larger than the land area of its contemporaries Egypt and Mesopotamia combined, and also had superior urban planning and sewage systems. The civilization began using the mature Indus script for its writing system.
The Indus Valley Civilization (also known as Harappan culture) has its earliest roots in cultures such as that of Mehrgarh, approximately 6000 BCE. The two greatest cities, Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, emerged circa 2600 BCE along the Indus River valley in Punjab and Sindh. The civilization, with a writing system, urban centers, and diversified social and economic system, was rediscovered in the 1920s after excavations at Mohenjo-daro (which means “mound of the dead”) in Sindh near Sukkur, and Harappa, in west Punjab south of Lahore. A number of other sites stretching from the Himalayan foothills in east Punjab, India in the north, to Gujarat in the south and east, and to Balochistan in the west have also been discovered and studied. Although the archaeological site at Harappa was partially damaged in 1857 when engineers constructing the Lahore-Multan railroad (as part of the Sind and Punjab Railway), used brick from the Harappa ruins for track ballast, an abundance of artifacts has nevertheless been found.
Indus Valley civilization was mainly an urban culture sustained by surplus agricultural production and commerce, the latter including trade with Sumer in southern Mesopotamia. Both Mohenjo-daro and Harappa are generally characterized as having “differentiated living quarters, flat-roofed brick houses, and fortified administrative or religious centers.” Although such similarities have given rise to arguments for the existence of a standardized system of urban layout and planning, such similarities are largely due to the presence of a semi-orthogonal type of civic layout, and a comparison of the layouts of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa shows that they are in fact, arranged in a quite dissimilar fashion. The chert weights and measures of the Indus Valley Civilization, on the other hand, were highly standardized, and conform to a set scale of gradations. Distinctive seals were used, among other applications, perhaps for identification of property and shipment of goods. Although copper and bronze were in use, iron was not yet employed. “Cotton was woven and dyed for clothing; wheat, rice, and a variety of vegetables and fruits were cultivated; and a number of animals, including the humped bull, were domesticated.” Wheel-made pottery—some of it adorned with animal and geometric motifs—has been found in profusion at all the major Indus sites. A centralized administration for each city, though not the whole civilization, has been inferred from the revealed cultural uniformity; however, it remains uncertain whether authority lay with a commercial oligarchy. There appears to be a complete lack of priestly “pomp or lavish display” that was common in other civilizations.Wikipedia
‘Archaeologists Confirm Indian Civilization is 2000 Years Older than Previously suspected’
‘Indian archaeologists now believe the ancient Indian civilization at Harrapa dates back as far as 7,500 BC. “When Bhirrana [Rajasthan] was excavated, from 2003 to 2006, Recovered artifacts provided 19 radiometric dates,” said Dikshit, who was until recently joint director general of the Archaeological Society of India. “Out of these 19 dates, six dates are from the early levels, and the time bracket is forming from 7500 BC to 6200 BC.”
Excavations by the Harappa Archaeological Research Project have been able to build on these earlier studies to define at least five major periods of development starting at c. 3,300 Bc and lasting until c. 1,300 BC (2).