Ancient Urban City Planning


Published on

Its a sequential compilation of available researches about the World's first urban settlements.

Published in: Education

Ancient Urban City Planning

  2. 2. Formation of settlement
  3. 3.  Source:
  4. 4. • Primitive man : Nomads• Learning skills/ emergence of technologies : professionals – Invention of fire • Cooking – Wheel • Pottery and travelling – Cultivation & animal husbandry/ cattle rearing • Site selection for agriculture/ fertile land along water bodies. • Food production in surplus for masses > food storage techniques > barter system• Small hamlets started forming• Fear/ insecurities led to religious practices – Formation of religious institutions• Travelling called for trading, role of economy realised• Importance of education realised, led to social institutions – Profession based- doctors, potters, economists, etc. – Caste based
  5. 5. • City Management institutions came up- Seat of Power (Govt./Priest/ Dictator)• Landuse definition – Topography defined major landuses at settlement level such as religious institutions, Seat of King, public spaces, farms, etc. – Social groups got polarised as per religion/ profession/ caste, etc.• Trade routes dominated Network planning.• Site topography dominated sewerage & drainage management.• Grid network at city level was the simplest to perceive, had been functional and easy to implement, e.g. Harappa cities.• Pockets formed inside such networks were left for residences.• City walls came up to combat external threats like animals, invaders, armies, etc.• Buildings were more responsive to climate.
  6. 6. Ancient Urban Settlements
  7. 7. Source:
  8. 8. Flow of Agriculture technology Source: Red arrows: adoption of agrariran techno Yellow: adoption of rice cultivation (paddy fields)
  10. 10. Indus Civilisation ChronologyPeriod Phase Yrs. (B.C.) 5 Late Harappan (Cemetery H) ?1700-1300 4 Late Harappan Transitional 1900-?1700 3C Harappan Phase 2200-1900 3B Mature Phase Harappan Phase 2450-2200 3A Harappan Phase 2600-2450 2 Kot Diji Phase 2800-2600 Early Phase1A/B Ravi Phase 3300-2800
  11. 11. Indus Valley Civilisation (3300-2600 B.C.)
  12. 12. Mehrgarh Period I : 7000 BCE–5500 BCE, was Neolithic and aceramic (i.e., without the use of pottery)… pre-Harrapan
  13. 13. Level of SkillsDouble cropping to increase food supply
  14. 14. Level of UrbanisationPro-dentistry in Mehrgarh Reconstruction by: Lica Bondola, Piggorini Museum, Rome
  15. 15. Level of Urbanisation Dockyard with opening for drainage purposeAnchors found at Reconstruction of LothalLothal docksAdvanced mode of transportation
  16. 16. Level of UrbanisationSystem of measurements
  17. 17. Level of Urbanisation Silver seal Clay sealsSystem of seals signifies existence of Govt. & trading system
  18. 18. Level of Urbanisation • Skills over Metallurgy • Artistry of precious & semi-precious stones Copper plate with vertical edges
  19. 19. Level of UrbanisationPotter’s Furnace
  20. 20. Level of Urbanisation Ceramic items (excel over pottery skills)
  21. 21. Level of UrbanisationKitchenette: Pot furnace!
  22. 22. • Twin Cities, Mohenjo-Daro (Indus basin) & Harappa (Ravi basin)• Cities were ‘Seat of Power’: Govts.• City Planning – Similar to Sumerian Civilisation – Extensive fortifications in upper town – Grid layout : Main roads at N-S & E-W – Block size of 1.5 x 1.5 km – Street width ratio ; Roads : Streets : Lanes = 6 : 3 : 2 – Upper town : seat of power & institutions • Citadel in West – Lower town: commercial & residential – Open drains with soak pits, on either sides of streets – Underground drains in middle of main roads with manholes. – Sewage disposal unknown
  23. 23. •Similar to Sumerian Civilisation •Fortifications •Cardinal grid layout •Blocks sized •Upper town & Lower townCity Planning
  24. 24. City Planning 6X
  25. 25. City Planning 3X 6X
  26. 26. City Planning 3X 6X 2X
  27. 27. City Planning Drain for Great Bath
  28. 28. City Planning City Drain
  29. 29. Block level Drainage systemCity Planning
  30. 30. City Planning Soak pits Block level pit House level pit
  31. 31. City Planning Mound E Gateway (Harappa), Artists Conception by Chris Sloan, courtesy of JM Kenoyer Sewage disposal unknown
  32. 32. • Architecture– Standard brick size = 300 x 200 x 100 mm– Citadel on high plinth • Granaries with air duct and big podia • Great Bath (12 x 7 x 2.5 m) • Collonaded portico • Rooms for rituals around Bath • Chitti (stupa) symbolises Human head, proto-type of God • Staircase leading upper storey– Assembly Hall or ‘College of Priests’ • Big buildings served as Govt. offices • Big hall with wooden pillars • Town hall or Municipal hall– Building alignment at cardinal directions– Building entrances from secondary & tertiary streets– Buildings had raised brick plinths as precautions against floods– Rooms around courtyards with window openings = blind streets.– Sawn paved bathrooms/ toilets (within houses)– Bathrooms had drain channels within thick walls.– Stairway in bricks from courtyards leading upper storey/ rooftop
  33. 33. City Architecture Mound
  34. 34. City Architecture Great Bath
  35. 35. City Architecture Granary
  36. 36. City Architecture Wells- Individual (left) and Public (right)
  37. 37. Tradition of simple burial in ‘wooden’ coffin
  38. 38. Hypothesis for declination;•Prolonged flooding (M.R. Sahni, Raikes & Dales)•Tectonic shift of rivers & tributaries, leaving cities high (abovewater fetching capacity) and dry (Lambrick)•Epidemic & insecurities lead to disunity; opportunity for foreigninvaders, i.e. Aryans (V. Gordon Childe, Sir R.E.M. Wheeler & Stuart Piggot)
  39. 39. EGYPTIAN CIVILISATION Up Up pe pe Lower r r
  40. 40. 1. Chalcolithic (4500–3500 BCE) • bits of pottery found • Speculations over carved basins o olive oil processing o collect rainwater o grinding of grain 2. Early Bronze Age (3500–2350 BCE) • Pieces of pottery. 2. Middle Bronze Age (2000–1550ANCIENT JERUSALEM BCE) • Egyptian texts from the 19th- 18th centuries BC • city is sufficiently large and powerful to construct a "massive" stone wall to defend its water supply 2. Late Bronze Age (1550–1200 BCE) • Pottery and bronze arrowheads 2. Iron Age I (1200–980/70 BCE) 3. Iron Age IIa (1000–900 BCE) 4. Babylonian and Persian periods (586–322 BCE)
  41. 41. ANCIENT JERUSALEMCity of David
  43. 43. Invasion of AryansMyth or Reality?!
  44. 44. 1. How does the Aryan Invasion Theory reconcile with the timeline of the drying up of the River Saraswathi?2. How does it explain references in the Rig Veda to the vastness of the River Saraswathi?3. How does it explain the fact that the cities of the Indus were deserted at the same time as the drying up of the Saraswathi? Therefore, the cities were deserted due to natural causes.4. How did the Aryans who were so small in number, and supposedly pastoral, destroy the Harappans and develop such a diverse culture in such a short span of time? The Rig Veda itself talks of oceans, ships and town planning.5. How does the Aryan Invasion Theory account for certain similarities between Vedic and Harappan cultures?6. How does the Aryan Invasion Theory explain the lack of evidence for the destruction of the Cities of the Indus on account of alien Invasions?7. The Rig Veda describes the Geography of India in very great detail and at best mentions an ancient homeland in passing. How does the Aryan Invasion Theory explain this?8. Why does the Aryan Invasion Theory adopt such a simplistic approach to explain the potential complexities of Ancient Indian history which must have included a plethora of diverse and inter-related cultures?