Harappan architecture is the architecture of the Harappans, an ancient people who lived in the Indus Valley from about 3300 BCE to 1600 BCE. The Harappans were advanced for their time, especially in architecture. Each city in the Indus Valley was surrounded by massive walls and gateways. The walls were built to control trade and also to stop the city from being flooded. Each part of the city was made up of walled sections. Each section included different buildings such as: Public buildings, houses, markets, and craft workshops. Houses and other buildings were made of sun-dried or kiln-fired mud brick. These bricks were so strong, that they have stood up to thousands of years of wear. Each house had an indoor and outdoor kitchen. The outdoor kitchen would be used when it was warmer so that the oven wouldn t heat up the house , and the indoor kitchen for use when it was colder. In present day, village houses in this region e.g. in Kachchh have two kitchens outdoor and indoor . They use indoor kitchen mostly as store house and use as cooking place only when there is raining outside, otherwise prefer using outdoor kitchen. This is because people use dry shrub and cow dung as cooking fuel which is very smoky and makes indoor cooking difficult.So far, no unequivocal examples of temples have been found at sites belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization. Archaeologists do not know yet what religion was practiced in the Indus Valley Civilization. Community water pools swimming or bathing do exist, which may be linked with religion practice. Water plays an important role in Hindu sacred places, and pilgrimage to such places often involves sacred bathing apart from Ganges . The architecture of water pools used by Hindu pilgrimage and in Harappan cities are similar, although scholars disagree whether such similarities are functional, or cultural, in nature.
Posted On : 03/28/09 5:13:22 AM
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Artifacts and clues discovered at Mohenjo-Daro have allowed archaeologists to reconstruct this civilization. The similarities in plan and construction between Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa indicate that they were part of a unified government with extreme organization. Both cities were constructed of the same type and shape of bricks. The two cities may have existed simultaneously and their sizes suggest that they served as capitals of their provinces. In contrast to other civilizations, burials found from these cities are not magnificent they are more simplistic and contain few material goods. This evidence suggests that this civilization did not have social classes. Remains of palaces or temples in the cities have not been found. No hard evidence exists indicating military activity it is likely that the Harappans were a peaceful civilization. The cities did contain fortifications and the people used copper and bronze knives, spears, and arrowheads. The Harappan civilization was mainly urban and mercantile. Inhabitants of the Indus valley traded with Mesopotamia, southern India, Afghanistan, and Persia for gold, silver, copper, and turquoise. The Mesopotamian model of irrigated agriculture was used to take advantage of the fertile grounds along the Indus River. Earthlinks were built to control the river s annual flooding. Crops grown included wheat, barley, peas, melons, and sesame. This civilization was the first to cultivate cotton for the production of cloth. Several animals were domesticated including the elephant which was used for its ivory.