Skip to comments.Surprising Discoveries From the Indus Civilization
Posted on 05/04/2013 3:18:46 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Researchers examined the chemical composition of teeth from a Harappan cemetery used from roughly 2550 to 2030 B.C. The analysis showed that the city was a cosmopolitan melting pot. Many of the deceased had grown up outside Harappa...
Many of the outsiders, surprisingly, are men buried near women native to Harappa. The findings are preliminary, but they suggest men moved in with their brides, even though in South Asia women traditionally move to their husband's homes...
Bones from about 1900 to 1700 B.C. -- more than a millennium later than those examined by Kenoyer -- make it clear that at least some Harappan residents were subjected to savage violence. The skull of a child between four and six years old was cracked and crushed by blows from a club-like weapon. An adult woman was beaten so badly -- with extreme force, according to researchers -- that her skull caved in. A middle-aged man had a broken nose as well as damage to his forehead inflicted by a sharp-edged, heavy implement.
Of the 18 skulls examined from this time period, nearly half showed serious injuries from violence, researchers reported in a recent paper in the International Journal of Paleopathology. The rate of skull injuries tied to violence is the highest recorded in the prehistory of South Asia, the researchers say. It may be no coincidence that at the time of these burials the Indus civilization was beginning to disintegrate and parts of Harappa were being abandoned, for reasons that scholars are still debating.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.nationalgeographic.com ...
The Indus civilization was first identified at Harappa, once a city of 80,000 people. [Photograph by James P. Blair, National Geographic]
Those folks weren’t much on house building but their sidewalks were excellent in the picture.
As a side note: Case Western Reserve University -- go Cleveland!
One way to keep the invaders out is to hire mercenaries. One problem with mercenaries is that it's difficult to sustain their loyalty over a long period of time. A way to counter that is to marry off the mercenaries to local girls. The recruiting poster would be "Come to Harappa, join the army and take a wife!"
Of course there's no evidence of this.
Islam is older than we thought? ;)
The most likely culprits that come to mind were still eating grass, worms, and rocks for another 2700 years...
In this particular instance, it might not have been koranimals.
Wait! I’ve got it! The government built “low income” housing in the neighborhood!
The city was besieged, overrun and the city dwellers massacred. Happened often enough in recorded history. More than just plausible here.
The other information gleaned may or may not have anything to do with it. If somehow evidence indicates that it does, then your scenario comes right to the forefront.
City-states rising, becoming wealthy and powerful, sliding into decadence, then becoming unable or unwilling to withstand an invasion and falling seems to be predictably cyclical to the point of inevitability.
Let’s see, half the skulls show serious violence, including against at least one child, and the native women are married to foreign men. That sounds more like the city was conquered, with the native men and children killed, and the native women taken as prizes, than this interpretation they’ve come up with.
That’s “sexist” so they’d rather pretend not to know, lol.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
That would do it!
Thanks for the ping Civ.
“...the Indus civilization was beginning to disintegrate and parts of Harappa were being abandoned, for reasons that scholars are still debating.”
Hey, if you have skull smashers roaming around the city, I don’t know about you, but I’m beating feet outathere.
“It may be no coincidence that at the time of these burials the Indus civilization was beginning to disintegrate...”
Exactly so - and it’s a lesson worth studying in the present-day United States.
Tribes further away would be busy taking in Harrapa's children ~ more or less like a large daycare operation.
So, who else did this for nearly 800 years? That place is well known as the Republic of Venice!
In Christopher Columbus time it was common for French nobles to farm their children out to Italians living in small villages away from the (for then) large cities and towns. A downside was if your real folks back home died in the palace, or in a local war, then you'd grow up as an Italian townsman.
That seems to be what happened to Chris!
thanks for the ping and May the 4th be with you
Remember reading that their cities were not fortified and were probably destroyed by waves of invaders - probably Indo-European Steppe nomads ancestral to the Persians and Sanskrit speaking Aryans.
Agree. But there are large numbers of Indian nationalists who insist that the Aryans are “native” to India, and that Indo-European languages spread out of India to the rest of Asia and Europe.
For some obscure reason they believe the “Aryan invasions” scenario is insulting to today’s Indians. I don’t get it, since Europeans aren’t insulted by claims that Indo-European speaking peoples similarly invaded Europe. Or at least western Europe.
Modern archaeologists are constantly searching for two thing:
A “peaceful” society.
A society where women were “equal” to men, or preferably dominant.
That no such societies have been found never causes them to stop projecting their own obsessions onto the past. Which of course tells us a lot more about them than it does about the people they study.
The Indus basin also turned out to be the area from which Neolithic beads originated — the hand-drilled beads had been found throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, and study showed specific patterns of drilling inside the holes that apparently reveal individual workshops / craftsmen / locales. Probably settled life and urbanization had deep roots before, as you said, the IndoEuropean invasion. The cities ran things, didn’t need walls, a situation found in plenty of other places, including classical Greece, and to some extent, Mycenaean Greece; Rome had no city wall until Emperor Aurelian; Pharaonic Egyptian cities were unwalled. The places where walled cities were common were the very places that got invaded a lot, such as Canaan (e.g. Jericho).
Rome actually had the Servian Walls built in the 4th century BC, which were formidable enough to keep Hannibal out.
During the late Republic and early Empire the city outgrew these walls and eventually they were left to crumble or were dismantled. The Imperial city had no walls, as you say, till Aurelian.
In China, BTW, walls are such an integral part of the concept of city that the writing character for city is derived from that for wall.
Join and become a citizen!
Indo-European nomads (Aryans) theory has been discredited by DNA. Careful DNA research has indicated that the flow of people was south-to-north!
Uh, let me get this straight. DNA evidence indicates invaders from the south of Harrapa invaded and destroyed Harrapan civilization?
In cas eyou think I’m black - I’m not - I’m white.
I believe in western civilization and culture. But our Indo-European ancestors were a war-like and aggressive people who used hroses, weapons and carts to spread their culture and language all over the western world - fortunately for us.
I never heard of that theory of which you speak.
I suspect our timelines are quite different. The Harrapan Civilization is the result of people migrating from southern India.
Twelve thousand years ago the sea level was lower than today due to so much of the earth’s water being locked up in ice. It was on average about 400’ lower world wide.
The result of this situation was that much of the major continents had open land along their shores and those in the temperate climates closer to the equator were comfortable to humans.
The Indian government is today exploring what are presently offshore marine archaeological sites - cities made of stone - that are approximately 30 kilometers from the present shoreline.
Marine flooding caused by the end of the Ice Age destroyed what were formerly thriving communities along coastlines. It didn’t just happen in India; it happened in the Middle East - the Persian Gulf used to be dry land out past the present day Straights of Hormuz - and the English Channel and Dogger Banks used to be dry land connecting today’s England with the European continent.
By 7500 years ago the sea level was higher than it is today, averaging 16’ higher, and in some places up to 50’ higher. The destruction world-wide of coastline communities was profound, resulting in global flood stories.
The people moving north across India were fleeing destruction caused by marine flooding. These were the people who established the Harrapan civilization long before Indo-Aryans began migrating south.
I’m glad you mentioned horses. That is an excellent method on tracing where invaders originated; looking at existing horses and their genetics to determine origination.
It is an excellent method, and proves that in Europe the earliest horses came from the area north of the Black Sea and developing along the edges of the Ice pack. These were not large animals, but pony size like the Shetland Pony, the Icelandic Pony (called Horse Type 1), and the Norwegian Fjord Pony (Horse Type 2).
Further east, in the area around the Caspian Sea, the horses were taller and lighter framed. This is called Horse Type 3, and it inhabited Central Asia and is the presumed ancestor of the Old Turkmene horse, and thus today’s oldest known breed of horse, the Akhal-teke.
I would suspect that invaders from central Asia would come riding Turkmene type horses, and so we would expect to find equine DNA from Turkmene horses deeply inbedded in today’s horse population in India. That’s not the case.
There is a brief but interesting section in Wikipedia, Indo-Aryan migration theories, which you might find interesting. If anything it presents a picture that is anything but clear.
When I attended college in the early 1970s, the Indo-Aryan invasion of India was accepted as fact though there was scant evidence to support it.
A few years ago I read an article detailing the points of convergence between a linguistic study and a genetic study proving that an Aryan invasion of India was nonsense.
Who knows what further studies will bring?
There are many amazing facts about Indus valley civilization which appear mysterious. I feel the key to these mysteries of Harappan civilization lies in the little known Harappan calendar still in use.
For more details visit www.lusa.info/amazing
Thanks for the link.