Around the Indus in 90 Slides Essay 3

Around the Indus in 90 Slides Essay 3

Research and Misconceptions

Research on the Indus Valley Tradition has been going on since the first discovery of inscribed seals at Harappa in the late 1800’s, and scholars from all of the major countries of the world have been involved in this research.

Major excavations were begun at the larger sites in the 1920’s and numerous excavations at smaller sites have broadened our understanding of this unique culture.

However, there are still many misconceptions about this culture that have resulted from the theoretical and cultural biases of the earliest excavators.

Some of these misconceptions are that the Indus urban society was the result of colonization from Mesopotamia to the west (in modern Iraq); that it appeared suddenly from unknown origins; that is was a strictly uniform culture ruled by a priest-king from two major capitals; and then disappeared, leaving no influence on later cultural developments.

One of the major misconceptions is that invasions of so-called Aryans destroyed the Indus cities and established a totally new culture and language in the subcontinent.

It should be noted that most scholars have rejected the invasion hypothesis for the end of the Indus cities because there is no archaeological, biological or literary reference to support this theory.

An important reason for the perpetuation of these misconceptions is that the general public and academic community have had very little exposure to information about this ancient culture or the later cultures that developed Pakistan and western India.

This series of slides is an attempt to provide the general public with recent discoveries of the early cultures and brief discussions about various aspects of the Indus Valley Civilization.