• The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization located in the western region, of South Asia, and spread over what are now Pakistan, northwest India, and eastern Afghanistan.• Flourishing in the Indus River basin, the civilization extended east into the Ghaggar-Hakra River valley and the upper reaches Ganges-Yamuna Doab; it extended west to the Makran coast of Balochistan and north to northeastern Afghanistan.• The civilization was spread over some 1,260,000 km², making it the largest ancient civilization.• At its peak, the Indus Civilization may have had a population of well over five million.• Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed new techniques in metallurgy and handicraft, and produced copper, bronze, lead, and tin. The civilization is noted for its cities built of brick, roadside drainage system, and multistoried houses.• The Indus Valley Civilization is also known as the Harappan Civilization, as the first of its cities to be unearthed was located at Harappa, excavated in the 1920s in what was at the time the Punjab province of British India (now in Pakistan).
ARCHITECTURE The Great Bath• The most impressive structure excavated at Mohenjo-Daro so far, is the Great Bath.• Constructed with kiln-burnt bricks, this Monumental Bath is a pool 12 metres long, 7 metres wide and 2.5 metres deep. Gypsum has been used along with mortar to make the floor and sides of the pool water-tight.• The pool is in the centre of a large open quadrangle with rooms and galleries on all sides. A flight of steps at either end connects it to the rooms.• It may have been used by the people for changing their clothes. The pool was fed by a well nearby and the dirty water was drained into the citys sewage system through a large corbelled drain 1.83 metres high.
The Granary at Harappa• The Granary at Harappa is made of burnt brick.• Built close to the river Ravi to make transportation easy, it is comprised of two blocks. Each block has six storage rooms 15 metres long and 6 metres wide.• The two blocks are separated by a passage. Air-ducts are provided under the wooden floor.• The row of triangular openings may have been for ventilation. The granary complex measures 55 metres by 43 metres
The Assembly Hall• The Assembly Hall covers an area of 750 square metres.• Four rows of fine brick piers and pillars at the corners suggest that it was used as an assembly hall.
City Walls• Each city in the Indus Valley was surrounded by massive walls and gateways.• The walls were built to control trade and also to stop the city from being flooded. Each part of the city was made up of walled sections. Each section included different buildings such as: Public buildings, houses, markets, and craft workshops.
Streets• The Harappans were great city planners. They based their city streets on a grid system. Streets were oriented east to west.• Each street had a well organized drain system. If the drains were not cleaned, the water ran into the houses and silt built up. Then the Harappans would build another story on top of it. This raised the level of the city over the years, and today archaeologists call these high structures "mounds".
Wells• Although not every Harappan house had a well, they are quite common and comprise one of the most recognizable features of Harappan urbanism.• Over the years, the level of streets and houses were raised owing to the accumulation of debris which necessitated raising the height of the wells. This is the reason why very tall wells are often seen at Harappa and in surrounding areas.
Houses• Houses and other buildings were made of sun-dried or kiln-fired mud brick. These bricks were so strong, they have stood up to thousands of years of wear.• Each house had an indoor and outdoor kitchen. The outdoor kitchen would be used when it was warmer (so that the oven wouldn’t heat up the house), and the indoor kitchen for use when it was colder.