Most city dwellers appear to have been traders or artisans, who lived with others pursuing the same occupation in well-defined neighbourhoods. Materials from distant regions were used in the cities for constructing seals, beads and other objects. Among the artefacts discovered were beautiful glazed faïence beads. Steatite seals have images of animals, people (perhaps gods), and other types of inscriptions, including the yet un-deciphered writing system of the Indus Valley Civilisation . Some of the seals were used to stamp clay on trade goods and most probably had other uses as well. Although some houses were larger than others, Indus Civilisation cities were remarkable for their apparent, if relative, egalitarianism . All the houses had access to water and drainage facilities. This gives the impression of a society with relatively low wealth concentration , though clear social levelling is seen in personal adornments. The prehistory of Indo-Iranian borderlands shows a steady increase over time in the number and density of settlements. The population increased in Indus plains because of hunting and gathering.  Authority and governance [ edit ] Archaeological records provide no immediate answers for a centre of power or for depictions of people in power in Harappan society. But, there are indications of complex decisions being taken and implemented. For instance, the extraordinary uniformity of Harappan artefacts as evident in pottery, seals, weights and bricks. These are the major theories: • There was a single state, given the similarity in artefacts, the evidence for planned settlements, the standardised ratio of brick size, and the establishment of settlements near sources of raw material. • There was no single ruler but several: Mohenjo-daro had a separate ruler, Harappa another, and so forth.
• Harappan society had no rulers, and everybody enjoyed equal status. Technology [ edit ] Further information: Indian mathematics – Prehistory Unicorn seal of Indus Valley, Indian Museum Elephant seal of Indus Valley, Indian Museum Indus Valley seals, British Museum The people of the Indus Civilisation achieved great accuracy in measuring length, mass, and time. They were among the first to develop a system of uniform weights and measures. A comparison of available objects indicates large scale variation across the Indus territories. Their smallest division, which is marked on an ivory scale found in Lothal in Gujarat, was approximately 1.704 mm, the smallest division ever recorded on a scale of the Bronze Age . Harappan engineers followed the decimal division of measurement for all practical purposes, including the measurement of mass as revealed by their hexahedron weights.  These chert weights were in a ratio of 5:2:1 with weights of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 units, with each unit weighing approximately 28 grams, similar to the English Imperial ounce or Greek uncia, and smaller objects were weighed in similar ratios with the units of 0.871.
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