Floodplains of Indus & Sarasvati rivers

S.Kalyanaraman kalyan99 at NETSCAPE.NET
Sun Jan 17 00:02:53 EST 1999


Here's a news item datelined:
Reuters, Islamabad, Jan. 16: ON THE TRAIL OF A CIVILISATION.... Cunningham
found no temples or traces of kings... instead he reported the recovery of
some pottery, carved shells and a badly damaged seal depicting a one-horned
animal... That seal was a mark of one of the world's great ancient
civilizations... The Vedas, the oldest texts of the subcontinent, dating from
some 3,500 years ago, made no mention of it, nor did the Bible... Yet 4,600
years ago, great cities arose along the floodplains of the ancient Indus and
Sarasvati rivers in what is now Pakistan and northwest India... (Harappa)...
the key to urbanisation was its location at the crossroads of several major
trading routes... "What we're finding at Harappa for the first time is how the
first cities started," says Mark Kenoyer, an archaeologist at the University
of Wisconsin in Madison. Kenoyer, who was born in India to missionary parents,
has been excavating at Harappa for the past 12 years...Kenoyer thinks the
walls were created to control the flow of goods in and out of the city. "To
get into the city, you had to pay a tax," Kenoyer explains. "If you produced
things, you had to pay a tax to take goods out of the city. This is how a city
gets revenues."... Indus Valley rulers... did leave behind elaborately carved
stone seals, used to impress tokens or clay tabs on goods bound for market.

In a conference held in Baroda University in December 1997, many geologists
and other scholars, reviewed the palaeo-drainage systems of the Sarasvati
river basin. Their findings seem to indicate that when the Harapan
civilization was flourishing, ca. 2500 BC, Kalibangan was accessible by road
from Harappa since the Sutlej river, the anchorage river of Sarasvati, had
joined the latter at Shatrana, Punjab; hence, Ravi river was running closely
parallel to Sarasvati river, both generating their floodplains...

Kenoyer's observations on goods are interesting; these seem to jibe with a
possible interpretation of the inscriptions (hieroglyphs: both pictorials and
signs)as bills of material of bronze-age weapons
(http://sarasvati.simplenet.com)

Best regards,

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