Major Harappan Sites

Indus Valley Civilization is known as the earliest urban culture. This civilization appears to be about 2500-1700 BCE. It began in the Indus River valley. Civilization provides us much information about ancient India and its people. It makes us aware of the religious, social, political, and economic aspects of that time. Some of the major Harappan sites are as follows:


Harappa site is called the “city of granaries” and was excavated by Dayaram Sahani in 1921.  It was located on the banks of river Ravi.  Copper or bronze implements,  terracotta figurines,   the two rows of granaries with brick platforms, a citadel on an elevated platform, a supposed workmen’s quarter, furnaces, etc. have been found at this location.


This important site was excavated by Rakhal Das Banerjee. Mohenjo-Daro means “Mound of the dead”. At present this site is in Sindh province of Pakistan. Remains of Great bath, Great Granary, Assembly hall, the Bronze image of nude woman dancer, etc were found here.  Apart from it, two Mesopotamian seals and seals of Pashupati Mahadeva were also found. It is the most populated and largest  Harappan site.


Kalibangan refers to black bangles.   This important site lies in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan, located on the banks of Saraswati River (now dried up).  The site was first discovered by Italian  Luigi Pio Tessitori.  Later it was excavated extensively by Amlananda  Ghosh. Remains of bathrooms and toilets have been found here.  Remains of fire altars, charging bull, tiled floor,  bones of camels, etc are found here. Fire altars suggest the worshiping of Agni.


This Harappan site is located on the bank of Cambay in  Ahmadabad, Gujarat. It was a coastal town. The Lothal site was excavated by S R Rao in 1957.  Dockyard, Terracotta figurine of a horse, fire altars, double burial (burying a male and a female in a single grave), and painted jar were found here.


Banawali was excavated by  Daya Ram Sahni in 1921-1923. This site is located in Hissar district of Haryana. This site is known for its high-quality barley.


Chanhudaro is located on the banks of river Indus in Sindh province of Pakistan. It was excavated by M G Majumdar in 1931. Unlike other sites, no citadel was found at this site. Inkpot, Lipstick, bead-makers’ shops, Bronze toy cart were found at this site.


It was excavated in 1992 by R S Bisht. It was discovered by J P Joshi in 1956. The site is spread over an area of 100 hectares. It is the largest Indus Valley Civilization site within the boundaries of present-day India.


This site is located in Bhuj area of Gujarat. it was excavated in 1962 by Dales.  Skelton of horses was found here indicating that the Indus Valley Civilization people have knowledge about the use of horses. Apart from it, Pot burials and the oval grave were also found at this site.


This site was excavated by M S Vatsa in 1931. It is located 50 kms from Ahmadabad in Gujarat.  Painted black and red ware and high-necked jars, axes, beads of the statute , and earthenware were found here.

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