Ancient history has to be developed from the two historical accounts popular in India Ramayan and Mahabharat and the ancient philosophical and religious literature of India, Vedas, Puranas and the associated works. Then there are many classic works written by Kalidasa and others.
From an archaeological point of view, Harappa in Punjab (now in Pakistan) was noticed in 1826. General Cunningham, a British officer is given the credit for preliminary excavations at Harappa.
Further investigations were carried out by two officers of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Mr. R.D. Bannerjee and Mr. R.B. Daya Ram Sahni. They carried out excavations in the Larkana district of Sind and Montgomery district of Punjab. Mr. Sahni in his excavactions discovered the ruins of Harappa in 1921. Mr. Bannerjee found and dug out the ruins of Mohen-jo-daro in 1922. As the sites of excavations were in the valley of Indus river and its tributaries, historians name it 'the Indus Valley Civilization'. It is called as Harappan civilization or culture as the first site at which evidence was found was Harappa.
Some more sites with cultural artifacts bearing similarity to those of Harappa and Mohenjodaro were found at Chanhu Daro in Sind, Lothal near Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Kali Banga, in Rajasthan, Alamgir near Hastinapur in U.P., and Ropar in the Punjab.
Perod of Civilzation
John Marshall estimated that the Indus Valley Civilization belonged to the period 3250 B.C. to 2750 B.C.
The City Construction
Harappa and Mohenjodaro are considered as cities. The ruins indicated that the main streets and roads were set in a line. They sometimes were straight for a mile and the width varied from 4 metres to 10 metres. Many of these roads were paved with fire burnt bricks. The main streets intersected at right angles dividing the city into squares.
The Drainage System
There were street drains and houses had pits in which heavier parts would settle down and sewerage water would flow into steet drains. This elaborate drainage system showed that the Indus valley people were aware of the principles of health and sanitation.
Palatial houses as well as one or two room houses were located in the ruins. Great bathing places, granaries and assembly halls were located.
Number of statues, figurines of men and women in terracotta, stone and metal were found in the ruins. Number of seals were found.