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Economic Life


                                   

   

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Indus Valley Currency The discovery of granaries and the urban lifestyle of the people proves that the Harappan people were undoubtedly "comfort loving" and were prosperous. It also shows great knowledge of crop-pattern and seasons.

Currency : Thousands of seals have been discovered not only from the Harappans sites but also from the remains of other world civilisations. Every merchant and his family had a seal bearing and emblem and a brief inscription. But it is still unknown whether they used these seals as currency or not. In absence of evidence, it is safe to assume that the Harappans practised barter system and got goods they need in exchange of their articles.

Agriculture : The Indus people sowed seeds in the flood plain in November, when the flood water receded, and reaped their harvests of wheat and barley in April before the advent of the next flood. The Harappans probably used the wooden plough with wooden or copper ploughware.

       The Indus people produced wheat, barley, peas, kodon, sanwa, jowar, ragi, etc. They produced two typles of wheat and barley. A good quantity of barley has been discovered at Banwali. In addition to this, they produced sesame and mustard. The Indus people were the earliest people to produce cotton.

Domestication of Animals: Although the Harappans practised agriculture, animals were kept on a large scale Oxen, buffaloes, goats, sheeps domestic fowls and pigs were domesticated. The humped bulls were regarded as pets. Cats were also domesticated and signs of the feet of both dogs and cats have been noticed. They also kept asses and camels, which were possibly used as beasts of burden. Elephants were well known to the Harappan, who were also acquanited with the rhinoceros, spotted dear, sambhar deer, hog deer, wild pig etc. Therefore there is ample evidence to show patrolism of Harappan people.

Trade and Commerce :The thriving agriculural economy supported a flourishing trade both within the northern and western areas of the sub-continent and between the people of this culture and those of the Persian and Gulf and Mesopotamia. The products of Indus have been found in Mesopotamia. It seals and produce were also discovered at Sumer. The findings of Indus seals suggest that merchants from Indus actually resided in Mesopotamia. Their chief merchandise were probably cotton exported from probably Lothal harbour. The Mesopotamian records from about 2350 BC refer to trade relations with Meluha, which was the ancient name given to the Indus region.

Major Imports by the Harappans
Material Source
Gold Afghanistan, Persia, Karnataka
Silver Afghanistan, Iran
Copper Baluchistan and Khetri(Rajasthan)
Tin Afghanistan, Central Asia
Agates Western India
Lead Rajasthan, South India, Afghanistan, Iran
Coins Copper seals from Lothal and Desalpur
Jade Central Asia

Crafts and Industies : Mohenjo-daro was a great industrial center. Weaving was probably the chief industry. Harappans were also acquainted with the art of dyeing. Pottery was an important industry. We should not forgot that harappan pictographical scripts are mainly found on potteries. Harappans used to export these pots made on potter's wheel and burnt in kilns not only to nearby areas but alo to the far-flung places. The art of smelting metals were well-known to the people of Harappa. They also attest to a class of mesons. The Harappans also practised boat-making, seal-making and terracotta manufacturing.

Weights and Measures : The regulations of weights and measures forms the basis of trade and Harappans were very accurate in this respect. The sexagesimal system and the decimal system were known to the Harappans. The weights were of cubical and spherical in shape and were made of chert, jasper and agate and sometimes of grey stone and were in series, first doubling from 1, 2, 4, 8 to 64 then going to 160, 320, 640 and so forth.

Communications : Transport and communications are a major part of trade and commerce. Harappans also had good transporting system for their internal and external trade. Representation of ships and boats are found on some seals and as graffiti on pottery. For onland journey and transport, they relied upon the bullock carts and rarely horse carts. They practicsed navigation on the coasts of the Arabian Sea. Mohenjo-daro seals bear the picture of ship.

Arts : The Harappans were utilitarians although not completely devoid of artistic sense. They were well-acquainted with the manufacture and use of bronze. Bronze smiths produced images and utensils. They also made several kinds of tools and weapons, namely axes, knives and spears. Jewelleries of Silver, gold and copper were also made on a large scale.

     The most notable artistic achievement of the Harappans was in their seal engravings, especially those of animals. The pots were beautifully painted in several colours such as red, black, green and rarely yellow. The terracotta figuries, both human and animal, and toys prove that the Harappa people, enojoyed the work of art. Status made of bronze, stone and sandstone repsresent their high sense of art.




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