Pottery, Harappan Civilization, 2700-2000 BC
The Harappan pottery is bright or dark red and uniformly sturdy and well baked. It consists chiefly of wheel made wares both plain and painted. The plain pottery is more common than the painted ware. The plain ware is usually of red clay with or without a fine red slip. The painted pottery is of red and black colours. Several methods were used by people for the decoration of pottery. Geometrical patterns, circles, squares and triangles and figures of animals, birds, snakes or fish are frequent motifs found in Harappan pottery. Another favourite motive was tree pattern. Plants, trees and pipal leaves are found on pottery. A hunting scene showing two antelopes with the hunter is noticed on a pot shreds from the cemetery H.A jar found at Lothal depicts a scene in which two birds are seen perched on a tree each holding a fish in its beak. Below it is an animal with a short thick tail which can be a fox according to S R Rao. He also refers to the presence of few fish on the ground. Harappan people used different types of pottery such as glazed, polychrome, incised, perforated and knobbed.
The glazed Harappan pottery is the earliest example of its kind in the ancient world. Polychrome pottery is rare and mainly comprised small vases decorated with geometric patterns mostly in red, black and green and less frequently in white and yellow. Incised ware is rare and the incised decoration was confined to the bases of the pans. Perforated pottery has a large hole at the bottom and small holes all over the wall and was probably used for straining liquor. Knobbed pottery was ornamented on the outside with knobs. The Harappan pottery includes goblets, dishes, basins, flasks, narrow necked vases, cylindrical bottles, tumblers, corn measures, spouted vases and a special type of dish on a stand which was a offering stand or incense burner.
Artifacts from the Indus Valley Civilization gallery of National Museum, New Delhi India.
The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilization (3300–1300 BCE; mature period 2600–1900 BCE) that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly present-day Pakistan and northwest India.Flourishing around the Indus River basin, the civilization extended east into the Ghaggar-Hakra River valley and the upper reachesGanges-Yamuna Doab; it extended west to the Makran coast of Balochistan, north to northeastern Afghanistan and south to Daimabadin Maharashtra. The civilization was spread over some 1,260,000 km², making it the largest ancient civilization.
The Indus Valley is one of the world's earliest urban civilizations, along with its contemporaries, Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. At its peak, the Indus Civilization may have had a population of well over five million. Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed new techniques in handicraft (carnelian products, seal carving) and metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin). The civilization is noted for its cities built of brick, roadside drainage system, and multistoried houses.
The Indus Valley Civilization is also known as the Harappan Civilization, as the first of its cities to be unearthed was located at Harappa, excavated in the 1920s in what was at the time the Punjab province of British India (now in Pakistan). Excavation of Harappan sites has been ongoing since 1920, with important breakthroughs occurring as recently as 1999. There were earlier and later cultures, often called Early Harappan and Late Harappan, in the same area of the Harappan Civilization. The Harappan civilisation is sometimes called the Mature Harappan culture to distinguish it from these cultures. Up to 1,999, over 1,056 cities and settlements have been found, out of which 96 have been excavated, mainly in the general region of the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra river and its tributaries. Among the settlements were the major urban centres of Harappa, Lothal, Mohenjo-daro (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Dholavira, Kalibanga, and Rakhigarhi.