Bricks, Beads and Bones Class 12 Notes History Chapter 1 - CBSE

Chapter : 1

What Are Bricks, Beads and Bones ?

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    • Harappa was the first site to be discovered in the Indus Valley Civilisation.
    • The Harappan culture can be divided into Early Harappan and Mature Harappan culture.
    • Grains such as wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils have been discovered from the Harappan sites.
    • Another important site of the Indus Valley Civilisation discovered was Mohenjodaro.
    • The towns in the Mohenjodaro was divided into two platforms.
    • The upper section was designated as the Citadel by the archaeologist and the lower section was known as the Lower Town.
    • The public buildings were located in the Citadel whereas the residential houses were located in the lower towns.
    • One of the most highlighting features of the Harappan civilisation was the drainage system of their cities.
    • The streets and towns in the cities were laid out in a grid pattern intersecting at the right angles.
    • The residential buildings gave special emphasis to privacy as there were no windows in the walls closer to the ground.
    • The purpose of the Great Bath as suggested by the archaeologists was generally related to ritual bathing.
    • In Harappan civilisation, the dead people were generally laid in pits. However, there was variation in the type of pits used for burying.
    • The significance of Chanhudaro is that it is generally known for its craft production activities.
    • Some of the prevalent activities in Chanhudaro were bead making, shell cutting, seal making, metal cutting.
    • The Harappans made establishments such as Nageshwar and Balakot in the areas where the availability of shell was there.
    • Some of the other established sites of Harappans were Shortughai, in far off Afghanistan. It was the best source of Lapiz Lazuli.
    • The Harappans also used to send expeditions to the regions rich in minerals. For example, they sent expeditions to the Khetri mines in Rajasthan which is rich in copper and expeditions to South India rich in gold.
    • There was also a discovery of a large Harappan jar coated with black clay in Oman.
    • Some of the products traded between Harappan and Mesopotamia would have been carnelian, lapis lazuli, copper, gold and other varieties of wood.
    • There are several theories concerning the type of political administration in the Harappan civilisation:
    • The theory that all the different regions were under the control of different rulers seems to be most compromising as the civilisation was very large and cannot be controlled by a single authority.
    • The weights were made of stone generally known as chert and has a cubical shape that had no markings.
    • The lower and higher denominations of the weights were different. The lower denominations were in binary for example in the denominations of 2,4,8,16,32, etc. up to 12,800. On the other hand, the higher denominations were in the decimal system.
    • The artefacts discovered from the sites were classified as utilitarian and luxuries.
    • The utilitarian artefacts were used by almost every section of society. On the other hand, the luxuries were generally used by the rich sections of society.
    • Alexander Cunningham was the first Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India.
    • The discovery of numerous Harappan sites took place under his guidance and supervision.
    • Daya Ram Sahni and R.D. Bannerjee played a significant role in the discovery of the Harappan and Mohenjodaro sites.
    • The contribution of John Marshall, the Director-General of ASI played an important role in the twentieth century in supervising excavations in the Indus Valley Civilisation.