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Current time:0:00Total duration:10:43

Video transcript

as we've talked about in multiple videos some of the early civilizations we have found have been around river valleys and that is no coincidence because some of the first agriculture emerged around river valleys and the agriculture supported higher population densities and more sedentary populations and allowed for more specialization and we've talked about several of these the Egyptian the ancient Egyptians around the Nile River the ancient Mesopotamians around the Tigris and Euphrates and now we're going to talk about the ancient ancient civilization around the Indus River the Indus River runs mostly in modern-day Pakistan and that's why it's called the Indus Valley Civilisation in this valley civilization civilization it's also sometimes referred to as the Harappan civilization which was the first site where they found evidence of this fairly extensive civilization now to get ourselves to get ourselves acquainted in time this shows when when archaeologists historians consider to be the the main part of the Harappan civilization there's evidence that people had basic villages civilizations agriculture here as far back as 7000 BCE and that's just based on the evidence we have today but when people refer to the Indus Valley Civilisation in particular they're usually starting around 3300 BCE and orange right over here this is the early period or you could say the early Indus Valley Civilisation now some of the biggest structures and the pieces of technology that have been discovered have been right over here which is often referred to as the mature mature period for the Indus Valley Civilisation and then it goes into decline we'll talk about why it might have gone into decline although we're not really sure and this is called the late now to put it in context relative to these other civilizations remember the ancient Sumerians were starting to be quite I guess you could say civilized by about this period you start having a lot of intermingling between the Akkadian and the sumerians as you get into the late third millennium that's when you have the Empire of Sargon the great the Akkadian Empire as you get to the end of this mature period right over here this is close to the or around the time of Hammurabi the Babylonian Empire and in Egypt if you go back to around 2500 around this time that's when the pyramids were built and you have the Egyptian kings these God kings that were ruling for most of this period right over here and as we'll see there was actually we believe a good bit of cultural interchange between these significant civilisations now just to appreciate how extensive this Indus Valley Civilisation was I will show you this map and this map it's a zoomed-in of that region around the Indus Valley that I just showed you this is a map of most of Pakistan here and these red squares are places where they have found evidence of the civilization the first place was Harappa right over here the Punjab region of Pakistan and that's why it's called the Harappan civilization but as you can see it's much more than just around Harappa the largest site is at mohenjo-daro right we're going to sind the region of Pakistan and it's believed that as many as 40,000 people lived in that city that we now are that site that we now call mohenjo-daro and so far we have discovered over 1,000 sites in this area and we believe that as many as 5 million people might have been part of the civilization another reason why we think it is a civilization and not and let me actually keep scrolling around so you appreciate the extent of it their sites and mainly many in Pakistan that you see here there's also quite a few in modern-day modern-day India right over here so it's an extensive network of these sites and the reason why we think it's one civilization or at least a connected culture is that you find a lot of standardization you find sounder standardization and their weights and measures in fact they have a unit of measurement that's as small as 1.6 mm and the reason why that's important is you wouldn't create a unit of measurement of one point six millimeters unless you knew how to use something unless you know how to make things that precise and one of the things that they made that precise are things like their structures they had these standard bricks and these these brick this brick size and many of these symbols that they use were found throughout these sites which said we don't know whether they were controlled by one ruler or one Emperor but there was definitely a lot of cultural interchange to the point that they were using the same sized bricks they were using the same symbol they were using the same units of measurement and also as you can imagine having a unit of measurement that precise that that that small implies that there were great builders and the evidence we find today says yes they were this is a picture of the site at mohenjo-daro and modern-day Sindh Pakistan and you can see how tight this brickwork is even by modern standards this is quite good you need to think how many of things we would build would last 5,000 years and this good being exposed to the environment so they think this was a public bath you see a citadel in the background we've discovered defensive structures perhaps most impressively there's a most impressive there's sewage systems they think houses had wells water so this is a technologically advanced civilization especially for that time in many ways more advanced than the other civilizations the contemporary civilizations that we had talked about here are some examples of their of their sculpture or of their art this is this one right over here is a picture it's called dancing girl but she's not dancing what they think that might be her profession but it's all speculation by archaeologists today this they believe is a this called priest-king once again it's all speculation this is an example of the types of seals they made this is their jewelry once again this is quite intricate jewelry and this jewelry was not just discovered in archeological digs in these various sites there's evidence of there's evidence of their jewelry as far as Mesopotamia and digs there and they believed that there was actually a very active maritime trade network between these areas there's jewelry discovered in these Indus Valley civilizations that were based on shells from the Arabian Peninsula they have materials from China so there's materials from other parts of India so once again a very very extensive trade network these civilizations would have known about them but as we said they were extremely they seemed somewhat organized even though we can't read their writing in fact I have some examples of their writing here and you might notice so this is examples of their writing and you might notice there this has turned into a somewhat infamous symbol now because of the Nazis this is a swastika but the floss tikka was one of the symbols they use it's a symbol and Hinduism it's considered a symbol of good luck it's something that the the Nazis kind of usurped and turn it into a very negative thing but it does show this connection between that Indus Valley or that Harappan civilization and modern cultures that are in India and things like the Hindu religion although once again we do not know a ton about their religion because we their language hasn't survived and we have we that we cannot decipher their actual writing but because of their organization and the consistency a relative consistency amongst these different sites that are so far flowing this is a lot this is large distance even on modern tape terms but especially if we're talking about four or five thousand years ago because of that we think that okay there must have been at least decent and government administration or organization at a city-state level although we're unsure whether there was a connected Empire whether you had an organization beyond that or they all just decided to to take each other's standards and and and symbols and brick sizes and things like that now one of the the key mysteries of the Indus Valley Civilisation is why did it end it seemed to be the thriving the thriving civilization that's perhaps the most extensive one in other videos I talk about right now the oldest wheel was discovered in Mesopotamia but some people think that the wheel might have been used even earlier in the Indus Valley Civilisation I talked about this period as early as 3300 BCE but there's evidence that the civilization the civilization started much earlier and the site right over here in Maher gar right over here in Pakistan they think that humans were having simple villages and Agriculture's early there's evidence is early 7000 BCE and that site was discovered just in 1974 we might discover things that take us even further in the past and when you have a civilization that was around for so long if there were people there's early 7000 BC we're talking about it was there for thousands of years but all of a sudden it starts to cook the decline there's evidence of less and less trade going on the less and less sophistication and then it ends and it's one of the mysteries of history of archaeology today why did this Indus Valley Civilisation end some of the older theories worse maybe it was a foreign invasion maybe some of the ancestors of the modern Indians invaded maybe they assimilated in somehow more current theories don't think that was the case they think it might be some form of climate change that some of the important rivers dried up made the agriculture much harder some people think it might have been a natural disaster it might have been a flood of some kind but we just don't know or the people for some reason decided to leave died migrate through maybe other parts of the region but needless to say it was a significant civilization and we're just scratching the surface of what we know about it we know a lot and we know it was impressive even though we can't read their script and we don't know as much about it as we know about ancient Mesopotamia and the ancient Egyptians but signs are that as more time passes we'll realize that it was more and more sophisticated and impressive than maybe even appreciate today