The Indus Valley Civilization – One of the Oldest and Most Neglected
In the same period that the Egyptians were building their pyramids, the people in the Indus Valley (located in what is today Pakistan and western India), were building India’s first cities. Evidence of their existence happened by chance in 1856 when two brothers, John and William Brunton, stumbled across an ancient town while manufacturing railway lines. The significance of this finding was not recognised until the 1920s when excavations officially started. However, it’s most important discoveries were not made until 1999.
Since then, archaeologists have found the ruins of more than 100 settlements, which you can read about here. Unlike the chaotic cities of the Mesopotamians, the Indus Valley city had been built on a precise grid system and featured a fortified area that contained the most important buildings of the city. The buildings were constructed with standard sized bricks, another feature that had not been seen amongst the early civilization of Mesopotamia.
In addition to buildings, researchers discovered ceramics with the first samples of writings. However, sadly the scripts have never been deciphered because the language no longer exists and this means that so much about this hugely significant civilization remains largely unknown.
To date, only 10 per cent of the Moen-jo-Daro site in the Indus Valley has been excavated and time and again, attempts to prompt the government into completing the project has not been met with success. Although Rs 50 million has been released for work on the site, it is not nearly enough and the mysteries of the Indus Valley Civilization lie waiting for discovery.