Diet of Indus Valley Civilization

Why in discussion? 

Diet of Indus Valley Civilization

According to a study recently published in the Journal of Archaeological Science , meat was dominated in the diet of the people of the Indus Valley Civilization, which included beef extensively.

key points

  • This research was done on the residues of fat found on the pottery of the Indus Valley Civilization. Excess of meat of pigs, cattle, buffaloes, sheep and goats was found in these. Remnants of several milk products were also found in archaic utensils found in urban and rural areas of ancient north-western India. Presently this area falls in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
    • Alamgirpur (Meerut), Uttar Pradesh
    • Haryana:
      • Masudpur, Lohariragho, Rakhigarhi town (Hisar)
      • Khanak (Bhiwani), Farmana City (Rohtak)
  • Conclusion:

    • The study has found dominance of animal products such as pork, cattle, buffalo, sheep and goat as well as dairy products from rural and urban settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization.
    • Cattle / buffalo were found in abundance in domestic animals as 50-60% of the total animal bones obtained at this time belong to these and the remaining 10% belong to sheep / goat.
      • The high proportion of cattle bones derived from the Indus Valley civilization confirms the use of beef as food.
    • In Harappa, 90% of the cattle were kept alive until they were three or three and a half years old. The female was used for dairy production, while the male was used to pull the cart.
    • There have been many earlier studies on food habits in the Indus Valley Civilization but the main focus of these studies was on crops.
Diet of Indus Valley Civilization
Diet of Indus Valley Civilization

Indus Valley Civilization

  • time limit:

    • The first example of the Harappan script is dated to around 3000 BC. 2600 BC By the time the Indus Valley Civilization had entered its mature state. The gradual decline of the Indus Valley Civilization began in 1800 BC. It is believed to be from 1700 BC. By the time many cities of the Harappan civilization were finished.
      • This culture was first discovered at a place called Harappa, hence it has been named Harappan civilization.
  • geographical coverage:

    • Geographically, this civilization spread to Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Rajasthan, Gujarat and western Uttar Pradesh.
      • These included areas ranging from Sutkaggor (in Balochistan) to Alamgirpur (western UP) in the east and Mandu (Jammu) in the north to Daemabad (Ahmednagar, Maharashtra) in the south.
      • Some Indus Valley sites have also been found in Afghanistan.
  • Important places:

    • In India: Kalibanga (Rajasthan), Lothal, Dholavira, Rangpur, Surkotda (Gujarat), Banavali (Haryana), Ropar (Punjab).
    • In Pakistan: Harappa (on the banks of the Ravi River), Mohenjodaro (on the banks of the Indus River in Sindh), Chanhudaro (in Sindh).


  • Some important features:

    • The level of refinement and advancement can be seen in the cities of the Indus Valley which is not seen in other civilizations contemporary to it.
    • City Planning:

      • Most cities had the same pattern . It consisted of two parts: a citadel and a lower city which reflected the presence of hierarchy in society.
      • Most cities had a great bathhouse .
      • Evidence has also been found of 2-storey houses made of burnt bricks, closed drainage drains, waste management system, weight for measurement, toys, utensils etc. from here.
      • Apart from this, a large number of seals have also been discovered.
    • Agriculture:

      • It was the first civilization to cultivate cotton.
      • The Harappans raised a lot of animals, they were familiar with sheep, goats and pigs etc.
      • The major crops here were wheat, barley, cotton, ragi, dates and peas .
    • Trade and Commerce:

      • Trade and commerce had great importance in the life of the people of Indus civilization, this has been confirmed by Harappa, Lothal and Mohenjodaro.
      • Trade between the Indus and Mesopotamia was in advanced stages.
    • metal products:

      • He had knowledge of copper, bronze, tin and lead , besides was also familiar with gold and silver .
      • He had no knowledge of iron .
    • Religious beliefs:

      • No structures like temples or palaces have been found.
      • Male and female deities were worshiped.
      • The ‘seal of Pashupati Shiva’ obtained from here is particularly famous. In this seal, a three-faced man is shown sitting in a Padmasana posture at an outpost.
    • Pottery:

      • The pots found here are mostly of red or pink color, often decorated with black.
      • Kanchali soil (fines) was used in the manufacture of beads, bangles, earrings and ships .
    • Art forms:

      • A miniature statue of ‘dancer’ has been found from Mohenjodaro , it is believed to be 4000 years old .
      • bearded priest -king statue has also been found from Mohenjodaro .
    • Lothal was a dockyard .
    • The dead were buried in wooden coffins .
    • The Indus Valley script has not yet been read.


Source: Indian Express

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