Exploring the past

Exploring the past


Exploring the past

"India is the birthplace of civilisation, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most abstrictive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!"  — Mark Twain  

Eminent historians believe that a civilisation has many birthplaces, including the Great River Valley Civilisation of Mesopotamia at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and the Indus River Valley in India. The Indus Valley Civilisation flourished in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent between 3300 and 1700 BC. 

The mature phases of this civilisation were named Harappan and Mohenjo-daro. The first of the Indus Valley Civilisation cities to be unearthed was the one at Harappa, excavated in the 1920s. The excavation of Indus Valley Civilisation sites has been an ongoing project with important breakthroughs occurring as recent as 1999.

Considered as the beginning of the history of  civilisation in India, the Indus Valley Civilisation has always fascinated historians and students alike. Some of the reliable sources of information on Indus Valley Civilisation are Government of India’s website on Indus Valley Civilisation at http://india.gov.in/knowindia/ancient_history.php. The information presently available in this section is not exhaustive. However, you can look forward to lots more in the near future as the National Portal Content Management Team is in the process of adding more to this section.

The Indus Civilisation website at http://www.harappa.com/har/har0.html. The website provides access to 1,173 illustrated pages by leading scholars around the world on the ancient civilisation. The information is divided into 90 slide sets and are categorised under

* Introduction
* The Latest Discoveries
* Harappa
* Mystery at Mound F
* Harappa Excavations 1995-2001
* Resources

At this website, you can read about the latest discoveries in Indus Civilisation sites, writing, recent research on the development and decline of this civilisation, the cultures that emerged after its decline and much more through slide shows and research papers. The Facebook avatar of Harappa.com, at  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Harappacom/24752074845 offers current information related to excavations and other issues. Members can post their comments on Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. Readers may find it interesting to view an audio-visual clip of the ancient Indus Valley city of Harappa in Punjab and the Harappa Archaeological Research Project (HARP) excavations in the 1980s and 1990s. This can be viewed at http://www.harappa.com/3D/index.html.

‘An invitation to Indus civilisation’, hosted by Tokai University, Japan,  at http://pubweb.cc.u-tokai.ac.jp/indus/english/index.html, offers an exhibition exploring the ancient civilisation which laid the foundation for many cultures in South Asia. The main categories at this website include:

* Environment
* The dawn of civilisation
* Indus Civilization
* The successors

The online exhibition features some striking photographs under two categories:

* Notable Geographical Elements of the region under ‘Environment’
* Images of Recovered Artefacts’ which belong to an emerging society in the ‘Dawn of Civilisation’. The exhibits include the artefacts used in daily life like wheeled carts, the sacred and the revered, recent excavations and maritime trade instruments.

“Our school books talk about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle but don’t mention Yajnavalkya, Panini and Patanjali . Pay attention to Indian and world history, there is much to be learned from the past,” said Dr Subhash Kak, a renowned authority on ancient Indian science and technology.

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