Indus Valley Civilization

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Near East (3300-1200 BC)

Indian Subcontinent (3000-1200 BC)

Europe (3000-600 BC)

China (3000-700 BC)

Korea (1000-300 BC)

arsenical bronze
writing, literature
sword, chariot

The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilization (3300–1300 BCE; mature period 2600–1900 BCE) that was located in the western region[1] of the Indian Subcontinent[2][3]. Flourishing around the Indus River basin, the civilization[n 1] primarily centered along the Indus and the Punjab region, extending into the Ghaggar-Hakra River valley[7] and the Ganges-Yamuna Doab,[8][9] encompassing most of what is now Pakistan, the western states of modern-day India, as well as extending into southeastern Afghanistan, and the easternmost part of Balochistan, Iran.

The mature phase of this civilization is known as the Harappan Civilization, as the first of its cities to be unearthed was the one at Harappa, excavated in the 1920s in what was at the time the Punjab province of British India (now in Pakistan).[10] Excavation of IVC sites have been ongoing since 1920, with important breakthroughs occurring as recently as 1999.[11] Mohenjo-Daro, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is another well-known IVC archeological site.

The Harappan language is not directly attested and its affiliation is unknown, though Proto-Dravidian, Elamo-Dravidian, or (Para-)Munda relations have been posited by scholars such as Iravatham Mahadevan, Asko Parpola, F.B.J. Kuiper, and Michael Witzel.


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