The indus valley people wove cloth from cotton made

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Unformatted text preview: cotton, made metal tools, and used the potter’s wheel. Evidence points to trade between the Indus culture and Mesopotamia. Indus stone stamp seals have been found in Mesopotamia, and Akkadian texts mention a “Melukka” region, perhaps the Indus basin, as a source of ivory, precious stones, and other wares. The island of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf may have been a staging point for IndusMesopotamian sea trade. Metals and semiprecious stones were apparently imported into the Indus region from present-day Iran and Afghanistan, as well as from central Asia, from farther south on the Indian peninsula, and perhaps from Arabia. Similarities in artistic styles suggest that trade contacts resulted in cultural borrowings. Ancient Mohenjo-Daro. Like most cities of the Indus Valley civilization, Mohenjo-Daro was built principally of mud brick. The structures are laid on straight lines; streets cross each other at right angles. The impression is one of order, prosperity, and civic discipline. Borromeo/Art Resource, New York. Material Culture Among the most striking accomplishments of the Indus culture are fine bronze and stone sculptures. Other evidence of the skill of Indus artisans includes copper and bronze tools and vessels, black-on-red painted pottery, dressed stonework, stone and terra-cotta figurines CRAIMC01_001-039hr.qxp 26 8/12/10 3:57 PM Page 26 Part 1 Human Origins and Early Civilizations to 500 B.C.E. and toys, silver vessels and ornaments, gold jewelry, and dyed woven fabric. Indus stamp seals, which provide the only examples of the still undeciphered Indus script, also bear representations of animals, humans, and what are thought to be divine or semidivine beings. Similar figures are also found on painted pottery and engraved copper tablets. Compared with the art of Egypt or Mesopotamia, this art seems limited, however. Except for some decorative brickwork, no monumental friezes, mosaics, or sculpture have been found. damming of the Indus), changes in the course of the Indus, collapse of military power, or a long period of dessication even before the Aryans arrived. Regardless of cause, the Indus culture disappeared by about 1700 B.C.E. and remains too shadowy for us to measure its proper influence. Nonetheless, these predecessors of the Aryans likely made significant contributions to later life in the subcontinent in ways that we have yet to discover. Religion The Indus remains reveal somewhat more regarding the religious realm. The elaborate bath facilities suggest that ritual bathing and water purification rites were important, as they still are in India today. The stone images from the so-called temples of Mohenjo-Daro and the more common terra-cotta figurines from other sites also suggest links to later Indian religious practices and symbols. The many images of male animals such as the humped bull might be symbols of power and fertility or might indicate animal worship. A recurring image of a male figure with leafy headdress and horns, often seated in a posture associated later in India with yogic meditation, has been likened to the Vedic Aryan “Lord of All Creatures.” He has features in common with the H...
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