Book Details

Author  Charles River Editors
Publisher  Charles River Editors
Publication Date   June 22, 2019
Pages  49


*Includes pictures
*Includes a bibliography for further reading
*includes a table of contents

"Well-regulated streets (were) oriented almost invariably along with the cardinal directions, thus forming a grid-iron pattern. (At Kalibangan) even the widths of these streets were in a set ratio, i.e. if the narrowest lane was one unit in width, the other streets were twice, thrice and so on…Such a town-planning was unknown in contemporary West Asia." – B.B. Lal

When one thinks of the world’s first cities, Sumer, Memphis, and Babylon are some of the first to come to mind. If the focus then shifts to India, then Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro will undoubtedly come up, but after that, India’s other ancient cities are often overlooked. This is unfortunate since India’s oldest civilization, known as the Indus Valley Civilization or the Harappan Civilization, was contemporary with ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt and had extensive contacts with the former, which makes it one of the most important early world civilizations. Spread out along the rivers of the Indus River Valley, hundreds of settlements began forming around 3300 BCE, eventually coalescing into a society that had all of the hallmarks of a true civilization, including writing, well-developed cities, a complex social structure and long-distance trade.

Among the many cities that formed in this region was a site known today as Kalibangan, which was unknown to the modern world until archaeologists began uncovering its secrets in excavations during the 1960s. They uncovered a city that was not as large or important as the better-known sites of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, but one that was still relatively large and the most important of all Indus cities along the now extinct Saraswati River. Excavations at Kalibangan have revealed that the city had two phases of settlement which corresponded with the two major phases of Indus Valley Civilization, and that it influenced the smaller settlements along the Saraswati River. Archaeological work at Kalibangan has also shown that although it followed some of the patterns of larger Indus cities such as Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, it was also a unique city in many ways. Kalibangan was located on a different river from the other major Indus Valley Civilization cities, and its river suffered a fate that led to the end of the city. The city of Kalibangan also presented modern archaeologists with a treasure trove of findings because it was one of the best preserved Harappan sites, giving scholars a chance to see not only how the people of Kalibangan lived, but possibly how the city died.

Once Kalibangan became depopulated after 1500 BCE for reasons that are still uncertain, its memory, or at least the memory of the Saraswati region, lived on in the epic poems of the Aryans known as the Rig Veda. Although the Rig Veda is a religious-mythological text, it can help provide some clues as to the fate of Kalibangan, including whether the Aryans were connected to the city.

Kalibangan: The History of the Indus Valley Civilization’s Provincial Capital in Ancient India examines the region, the civilization that built it, and what life was like there thousands of years ago. Along with pictures and a bibliography, you will learn about Kalibangan like never before.