Sometimes it feels like we know history. Yeah, we understand what comes from what, which things happened when, and to whom, and who did what and so on… But imagine writing a history about what is happening today. It would be quite different from what would be written if a historian would try to create a depiction of this time, 2000 years in the future.
We also forget that there are still many mysteries in the world yet to be discovered or understood. Sometimes it is interesting to imagine yourself standing in Mohenjo-daro, thinking in language that was long forgotten and still undeciphered, looking at the enormous bath in the city square. Reading a script that will never be understood again…
A really old (but really cool) civilization is the Indus valley civilization. Very little is known about it since the writing and language were never deciphered. It was partially due to the fact that there are no bilingual scripts from which to compare and also because the writings that were found were way too short to create a pattern.
The most famous part of the indus civilization is the great bath of Mohenjo-daro. We don’t really know what the great bath was used for, historians believed it was used for religious reason like purification.
“I’m gonna take a sick bath, gots myself some grains, play some tunes and chill. It will be lit!” Chances are that the bath was just that: a bath.
The Indus Valley civilization was located in the area of modern day Pakistan and India around the Indus river. It had all of the symptoms of a “real civilization” : Specialization of labour, Trade, Writing, Social stratification, , Centralized government, Religion, Surplus production and cities
Two main cities were discovered: Mohenjo-Daro (mound of the dead men) and Harappa (same name as nearby village), not their original names of-course.
The cities had remarkable planning and engineering with multi-storied buildings, drainage systems and the great bath. Which sounds crazy, when some modern cities seem to lack these basic things. Especially a great bath. Someone needs to bring that back.
Another pretty cool fact about the Indus valley civilization is that they did not have weapons. None were found anyway. From what historians understand, they were a very peaceful people. We do know however, that they have traded with Mesopotamia because archeologists found Indus valley seals all the way in that region.
“Dude, but what happens if, like, people invade and stuff. I’m pretty peaceful too but you know, stuff happens man.”
True, and stuff did happen, one belief is that conquest by the Aryans was the way the Indus Civilization ended. Others on the other hand believe that it was environmental factors contributed to their demise, for example: floods and drying up rivers. Whatever it was, we will not be able to say for sure until we are able to decipher their texts.
I want to take a moment and appreciate how much rivers have done for the human race. All civilizations started on rivers, the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates, the Indus river and countless more. We still heavily rely on river systems for transport and calories. So let’s take a moment for those meandering bastards and be glad that we have them around to push the human race forward with the rapids.
Ps. Pyramids are next.