Tag Archives: Mesopotamia

How Did Ancient Indus Civilization Avoid War for 2,000 Years?

By Annalee Newitz

The Harappan civilization dominated the Indus River valley beginning about five thousand years ago, many of its massive cities sprawling at the edges of rivers that still flow through Pakistan and India today. But its culture remains a mystery. Why did it leave behind no representations of great leaders, nor of warfare?

Archaeologists have long wondered whether the Harappan civilization could actually have thrived for roughly 2,000 years without any major wars or leadership cults. Obviously people had conflicts, sometimes with deadly results — graves reveal ample skull injuries caused by blows to the head. But there is no evidence that any Harappan city was ever burned, besieged by an army, or taken over by force from within. Sifting through the archaeological layers of these cities, scientists find no layers of ash that would suggest the city had been burned down, and no signs of mass destruction. There are no enormous caches of weapons, and not even any art representing warfare.

That would make the Harappan civilization an historical outlier in any era. But it’s especially noteworthy at a time when neighboring civilizations in Mesopotamia were erecting massive war monuments, and using cuneiform writing on clay tablets to chronicle how their leaders slaughtered and enslaved thousands.

What exactly were the Harappans doing instead of focusing their energies on military conquest?

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Mysterious Mohenjo-daro, Sindh

Mohenjo-daro meaning Mound of the Dead was one of the largest city settlements in the Indus Valley Civilization which thrived in ancient times along the Indus River. Mohenjo-daro itself is located in Larkano District in the modern day province of Sindh. Built before 2600 BC, the city was one of the earliest urban settlements in the world, existing at the same time as the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Crete. The archaeological remains of the city are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The crow had a key role in the sea trade between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley, says Dr Manzur Ejaz

Painting of Indus Civilization by Artist Manzoor Solangi

Painting of Indus Civilization by Artist Manzoor Solangi

Please note- Dr Manzur Ejaz taught at the Punjab University, Lahore, for many years and now lives in Virginia
Courtesy and Thanks: Friday Times, February 20-26,2009 -Vol.XX1,No.1 & Wichaar.com
From time immemorial, legend has it that love sick girls would wait for the crow to bring the good news of a lover’s arrival. The crow’s chatter on the roof was a sure sign that the lover was on his way. In folk songs like “Maey ni kag banairay uttay bolia” (O mother, the crow has spoken), and in many other such songs, idioms and parables, the crow plays a central role as the keeper of secrets.

Continue reading The crow had a key role in the sea trade between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley, says Dr Manzur Ejaz