Extent of the Indus

Full Extent of the Indus civilizations

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The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a collection of Early Stone age and Bronze Age civilizations (TBD BCE) extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India Along with the Ancient Nile and Mesopotamia it was one of three early civilizations of the Old World and by far the oldest, and of the three the most widespread. It flourished in the basins of the Indus River, one of the major rivers of Asia, and the Ghaggar-Hakra River, which once coursed through northwest India and eastern Pakistan. At its peak the Indus civilizations collectively had a population of nearly 12 million at their greatest populational and territorial extent.

Also known as the Hara civilization, after one of the primary Indus cities of Hara. It began its more notable development around 6000-5300 BCE following a period of slow but gradual development, but it is not entirely known for sure when they officially formed their cities. This development is believed to have begun with the congregation of many people into organized cities and the aggressive competition formed between various villages and and small towns to outgrow and outdo each other. After hundreds of years this resulted in dynamic and powerful cities. Known for some of the first sets of written law, Class systems in civilization, and sophisticated city design including sewers and planned blocks and sectors, the Indus are widely accepted as the most dynamically powerful civilizations of the old world.


The Indus civilization is well known for the inclusion of the previous cultures into each new rising civilization and occasionally the resurgence of another city and its retaking of power. Almost every period has been known to at least have one city state being dominant over the rest. Most notably were the Cities of Hara and Dorago for enforcing a regional hegemony for long periods of time with economic and military power until their own collapse, conquest, or demise. By the Developing states period in 4200 there was no clear powerhouse city state and Dorago had been completely wiped out by a coalition of various city states upset with their regional hegemony. By 3500, however, the first proto-empire formed out of the city of Hara who led a series of successful conquests and for the first time united most of the cities along the Indus. However, this led to the rival Sokho rival empire who was strong enough to challenge the Hara but paved the way for the City-state of Rakhigari to exploit the situation for allies and break the power of both powers. This led to the first fully unified Indus empire which outside of a few dynastic changes lasted for over a thousand years Expanding deep into India creating an expansive (albeit over expansive) and dynamic empire which kindled culture throughout the entire sub-continent.

Dates Period Era
14,000 -10,000 BCE Early neolithic Early-Food producing Era
10,000 - 6000 BCE Late Neolithic Regionalisation Era
6000 - 5500 Early Hara culture Regionalisation Era
5500 - 5300 Mature Hara culture Regionalisation Era
5300 - 4500 Early Dorago culture Integration Era
4500 - 4200 Mature Dorago culture Integration Era
4200 - 3700 Developed States Integration Era
3700 - 3500 Warring States Conflict Era
3500 - 3300 Haran Empire Conflict Era
3300 - 3000 Competing Empires Conflict Era
3000 - 1900 Sokho Empire Expansion Era
1900 - 1700 Indus Empire Expansion Era
1700 - 1200 Mature Indus Empire Expansion Era
1200 - 800 Late Indus Empire Centralization Era


A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture is evident in the Indus Valley Civilization making them the first urban centres in the region. The quality of municipal town planning suggests the knowledge of urban planning and efficient municipal governments which placed a high priority on hygiene, or, alternatively, accessibility to the means of religious ritual.

Artistic interpretation of the City of Hara

As seen in Hara and Sokho, this urban plan included the world's first known urban sanitation systems. Within the city, individual homes or groups of homes obtained water from wells. From a room that appears to have been set aside for bathing, waste water was directed to covered drains, which lined the major streets. Houses opened only to inner courtyards and smaller lanes. The house-building in some villages in the region still resembles in some respects the house-building of the Harans.

The ancient Indus systems of sewerage and drainage that were developed and used in cities throughout the Indus region were far more advanced than any found in contemporary urban sites in the Middle East and even more efficient than those in many areas of Pakistan and India today. The advanced architecture of the cities is shown by their impressive dockyards, granaries, warehouses, brick platforms, and protective walls. The massive walls of Indus cities most likely protected the Harans from floods and may have dissuaded military conflicts for a long period of time until the rise of empires in the area.

Most notable of some of the Indus cities during the expansion era seems to be the construction of temples and even step Pyramids commonly known as Ziggurats. These pyramids, however, served a dual purpose of functioning as a Fortress or Citadel for the city in which the cities were able to hold large portions of the cities people and use the steps of the pyramids as a sort of wall to fight from and rain projectiles upon their assailants.



The people of the Indus Civilization achieved great accuracy in measuring length, mass and time. They were among the first to develop a system of uniform weights and measures. A comparison of available objects indicates large scale variation across the Indus territories. Their smallest division, which is marked on an ivory scale found in one of the major cities, was approximately 1.704 mm, the smallest division ever recorded on a scale of the Bronze Age. Haran engineers followed the decimal division of measurement for all practical purposes, including the measurement of mass as revealed by their hexahedron weights.

Early Metallurgy and Dentistry.

Harappans evolved some new techniques in metallurgy and produced copper, bronze, lead, and tin. The engineering skill of the Indus people was remarkable, especially in building docks. studying the remains of two men from the area a discovery was made that the people of the Indus Valley Civilization, from the early Dorago periods, had knowledge of proto-dentistry.  is the first evidence for the drilling of human teeth en vivo (i.e., in a living person) was found in the Indus area. Eleven drilled molar crowns from nine adults were discovered in a Neolithic graveyard that dates from 5300–4500 years ago. According to the discoverers, their discoveries point to a tradition of proto-dentistry in the early farming cultures of that region.  A touchstone testing the purity of gold was also developed and was used and still is used in great amounts.

Late Metallurgy

The Indus people in general by the late periods of their civilizations were the most renown smiths in the Indian Sub-continental region and were known as far as the Nile and western fringes of Mesopotamia's domain. By the end BC era they were dabbling in iron weaponry before their collapse and were the most dominant force in the region. While being extremely advanced with smithy and metallurgy their gold and silver smithy was the best in the world at its height and time with extremely intricate and detailed idols, pieces of jewelry, and even entire gold and silver laden temples and palaces.

Fall of the Indus

The Indus civilization fell victim to its own culture of integration. Being an extremely integration of culture based society they seemed to see no issues with inviting various tribes in to their areas and territories to increase their population and work the land for them. However eventually some of these tribes eventually overthrew the Indus empire and plunged all of northern India in total anarchy. For the most part it is also believe gradual decline in trade with Mesopotamia and the Nile as well as course changes in the river caused many cities to become increasingly redundant and untenable. The speculation remains that combination of failing crops, migration of new peoples, and droughts caused by changing river conditions left the Core of the Indus completely unable to operate as it once had. The main cause of this seems to be the lack of development of a sophisticated canal or irrigation system. The Empire and its cities relied on seasonal monsoons and a few highly primitive canals. Research for more of these canals has led to inconclusive results but its believed at least a few city governors decided to build canals on their own relatively unsuccessfully.

It is becoming increasingly clear that following the issues arising the the former territory of the Indus empire and any of the remaining independent cities, that many of the Indus people migrated further south catalyzing the creation of multiple regional competing culture based off the former Indus laws and cultures.


The Indus Valley kingdoms and their predecessor cities and successor empires leave a long lasting legacy even into the modern Age. India remaining one of the most populous places in the world all through history leaves a rather impressive impact on many cultures through the area with a higher Indus influence being found as far away as the Oceanian Islands with records of language and cultures having spread after the Rest of India began arising as independent kingdoms and city states. This cultural legacy and even in some cases settlement (the amount of which is disputed) has led to an extremely dominant Indus legacy remaining across much of Southern Asia and the Oceanian Islands.

The Collapse of the Original Indus cultures has left its most lasting impact on India and its neighboring territories just outside of Mesopotamia. The Indus culture led to the direct rise of multiple regional cultures that either gained technology or immigrants from the Indus collapse and gave rise to the development of organized cultures. The most notable accomplishment of this, however, remains the development of iron just before the collapse in which this secret was taken down to Southern India and spread slowly but surely through the southern eras bringing about Iron age India.

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