The Indus Valley Civilization, at its peak during 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE, knit together more than 1000 cities, towns and settlements scattered across 725,000 sq km of India and Pakistan. It featured urban planning; a rich layer of standardized material culture, the world's earliest writing system, carefully planned residential complexes complete with wastewater systems, special shapes and decorative styles of ceramic vessels and an array of products from sophisticated craft industries. Indus technological traditions are exemplified in their material culture which is evidenced from archaeological findings of ceramics, pottery, refined personal ornaments such as faience, and stoneware bangles, metallurgy, steatite, agate, and shell ornaments. Indus artisans developed elegant objects out of bronze, gold, silver, terra cotta, glazed ceramics, and precious and semi precious stones.


Figure 1 : Compelling view of Mohenjo-Daro, Sindh province, Pakistan.

Figure 2 : Great Granary in Mahenjo-daro that was excavated under the supervision of Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni and Madho Sarup Vats between 1921 and 1929.


Figure 3 : Harappan Jewellery such as faience, shell ornaments, and stoneware bangles during 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE

Figure 4 : The majestic zebu bull Seal, with its heavy dewlap and wide curving horns is perhaps the most impressive motif found almost exclusively at the largest cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa.




Apart from the known sites like Harappa and Mohenjo- daro, other rich Indus cities like Dholavira, Kalibangan and Lothal had remarkable water conservation system and a clear indication of a standardized bricks, weights and measures scale. Artistically finished measuring pieces show that 13.67 gm was considered as the basic unit of weight measurement. Other multiples and submultiples of this weight were common. This fact coupled with the presence of a large naval dockyard at Lothal provides clear indication to burgeoning trade both internal and international. Indus Civilization, in its formative period used multi-coloured pottery. But as it matured into its peak urban characters, it settled down for Red and Black pottery standardized both in colour and shapes. This is a clear attempt to mass production technique. Studies have shown that starting from the Indus Valley Civilization up to the construction of Iron Pillar, India used standard lengthunit of Angulam (close to an inch) over a period of almost 3000 years.


Figure 5 : Standardize weights and measures used in the Indus Valley Civilization. (The strings on the scale are modern)