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Daily News Analysis


21st February, 2024 History


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The discovery of the Harappan-era fortified settlement near Dholavira, named Morodharo, is a significant archaeological find that sheds light on the ancient civilization's expansion and influence in the region.


  • Location and Discovery:
    • Morodharo is located near the village of Lodrani, approximately 51km from the World Heritage Site of Dholavira in Kutch, Gujarat, India.
    • Local villagers initiated a dig around five years ago based on a legend suggesting the presence of buried gold. However, instead of gold, they uncovered remnants of a Harappan settlement.
  • Characteristics of Morodharo:
    • Initially dismissed as a large stone-rubble settlement, further examination revealed a flourishing Harappan-era settlement dating back approximately 4,500 years.
    • The site yielded a significant quantity of Harappan pottery, similar to those found at Dholavira, suggesting cultural and trade connections between the two settlements.
    • The settlement appears to have thrived during the mature (2,600-1,900 BCE) to late (1,900-1,300 BCE) phases of the Harappan civilization.
  • Significance:
    • Morodharo's proximity to the sea and its location near the Rann of Kutch suggests that the area was navigable during ancient times, contributing to trade and connectivity.
    • The discovery of Morodharo adds to our understanding of the extent and influence of the Harappan civilization in the region and highlights the importance of local initiatives in uncovering archaeological treasures.
  • Historical Context:
    • Earlier surveys conducted in 1967-68 by archaeologist J.P. Joshi hinted at the presence of a Harappan site in Lodrani, but concrete evidence was lacking at that time.
    • Despite previous false starts, the recent discovery underscores the value of ongoing archaeological research and community involvement in uncovering India's rich antiquity.

About Dholavira

  • Dholavira is an ancient archaeological site located in the state of Gujarat, India.
  • It represents one of the five largest Harappan sites in the Indian subcontinent, belonging to the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished around 2500–1900 BCE.

Historical Background:

  • First discovered in 1967 and excavated by R.S. Bisht in 1985.
  • It gained prominence due to its:
    • Stepwell, large water reservoirs, dams, and a chariot sculpture.
    • Three-part city division, advanced water management, and a signboard.


  • Dholavira is situated on the Khadir Bet island in the Kutch district of Gujarat, India.
  • The site is located within the larger Rann of Kutch, a seasonal salt marsh in the Thar Desert.

Urban Layout and Architecture:

  • Parts: Dholavira is divided into three parts: The Citadel. The Middletown. The Lower town. The Citadel is a fortified area where the ruling elite possibly resided, while the Lower Town housed the general population.
  • Water Management System: One of the most remarkable features of Dholavira is its sophisticated water conservation system, consisting of reservoirs, dams, channels, and stepwells. The site had several large reservoirs to store rainwater, ensuring a sustainable water supply for its inhabitants.
  • City Planning: The city was divided into multiple sectors, each with its own specific functions, such as residential, commercial, and industrial areas. The streets were laid out in a grid pattern, suggesting careful urban planning.

Archaeological Finds:

  • Seals and Script: Like other Harappan sites, Dholavira yielded numerous seals made of steatite and terracotta, often depicting animals like unicorn and bull. The site also has examples of the Harappan script, which remains undeciphered.
  • Artifacts: Various artifacts such as pottery, beads, jewelry, tools, and figurines have been excavated from Dholavira, providing insights into the material culture, trade, and daily life of its inhabitants.
  • Large Public Structures: The site contains large public structures, including the Great Bath, which is similar to the one found in Mohenjo-Daro. The Great Bath is a large water tank built with finely cut stone blocks, likely used for ritualistic bathing or other ceremonial purposes.


  • Dholavira has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2021.

About Harappan Civilisation

  • The Harappan civilization, also known as the Indus Valley Civilization, was one of the world's earliest urban civilizations.
  • Flourishing around the Bronze Age, roughly from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE, it spanned across what is now modern-day Pakistan, northwest India, and parts of Afghanistan and Iran.

Historical Background:

  • The Harappan civilization was named after the city of Harappa, one of its major urban centers discovered in the 1920s.
  • It was contemporaneous with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, and it rivaled them in terms of urban planning, trade, and technological advancements.

Economy and Trade:

  • Agriculture: The civilization was primarily agrarian, relying on the fertile floodplains of the Indus River and its tributaries. Wheat, barley, and domesticated animals were staples of their diet.
  • Trade Networks: Harappan cities engaged in long-distance trade, evidenced by the presence of artifacts such as seals, pottery, and beads from distant regions like Mesopotamia and Central Asia. The civilization had access to resources like copper, tin, and precious stones, facilitating trade.

Culture and Society:

  • Social Structure: The society was likely organized hierarchically, with evidence suggesting the existence of ruling elites, craftsmen, traders, and laborers.
  • Religion and Art: The Harappans worshipped various deities, as evidenced by figurines and seals depicting human-like and animal figures. They produced distinctive pottery and seals, often adorned with intricate motifs and symbols.
  • Language: The Harappan script remains undeciphered, so little is known about their language or writing system.

Technology and Achievements:

  • Urban Planning: Harappan cities were meticulously planned, with well-defined residential and commercial areas, public baths, and drainage systems. Mohenjo-Daro's Great Bath is a testament to their advanced engineering skills.
  • Metallurgy: The Harappans were skilled metallurgists, producing copper and bronze artifacts using advanced techniques like lost-wax casting.
  • Seals and Script: The civilization produced thousands of seals made of steatite, featuring intricate designs and inscriptions that remain undeciphered.

Decline and Disappearance:

  • The reasons for the decline of the Harappan civilization are still debated among scholars.
  • Some proposed theories include environmental factors such as climate change, floods, or earthquakes, as well as socio-political upheavals or invasions.
  • Whatever the cause, the civilization gradually declined around 1900–1300 BCE, leading to the abandonment of urban centers and a shift to smaller, rural settlements.

Harappan sites:


  • Discovery: Excavated in 1921 by Daya Ram Sahni and his team.
  • Location: Sahiwal district of West Punjab, Pakistan, along the banks of the River Ravi.
  • Key Findings:
    • Two sandstone statues depicting human anatomy.
    • Granaries, workmen quarters, and bullock carts.
    • Pottery with Indus script, terracotta figurines, and faience slag.


  • Discovery: Discovered in 1922 by R.D. Banerjee and his team.
  • Location: Larkana district of Sindh, Pakistan, along the banks of the River Indus.
  • Key Findings:
    • Great Bath, Citadel, and a Bronze statue of a dancing girl.
    • Steatite statue of a bearded priest and seals like the Seal of Pashupati.
    • Great granary, assembly hall, and cylindrical seals.


  • Discovery: Excavated in 1929 by a Flint blades archaeologist named Stein.
  • Location: Makran district of Balochistan, Pakistan, along the banks of the Dast river.
  • Key Findings:
    • Stone vessels, pottery, shell beads, and clay bangles.
    • Citadel and defensive wall, indicating trade route significance.


  • Discovery: Excavated in 1931 by N.G. Majumdar and his team.
  • Location: Nawabshah district of Sindh, Pakistan, along the banks of the River Indus.
  • Key Findings:
    • Bead maker’s factory, usage of kajal and lipstick, and an inkpot.
    • Impression of a cart with a seated driver, suggesting urban life details.


  • Discovery: Unearthed in 1953 by Archaeologist R. Rao.
  • Location: Near the Gulf of Cambay/Gulf of Khambhat in Gujarat, India, along the Sabarmati river.
  • Key Findings:
    • Port and dockyard, single citadel, and unique house entrances.
    • Couple burial, seals depicting a fox story, Mesopotamian seals, and rice husks.


  • Discovery: Excavated in 1953 by Amala Nanda Gosh.
  • Location: Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan, India, along the banks of the River Ghaggar.
  • Key Findings:
    • Double citadel, burnt bangles, fire altars, and ploughed fields.
    • Camel bones, lower fortified town, earthquake evidence, and copper ox.


  • Discovery: Excavated in 1964 by J.P. Joshi.
  • Location: Kutch district of Gujarat, India, along the Shadi Kaur river.
  • Key Findings:
    • Actual remains of horse bones, stone fortifications, and residential complexes.
    • Fortified Harappan site with horse, elephant, and wolf bones.


  • Discovery: Excavated in 1974 by R.S. Bisht.
  • Location: Fatehabad district of Haryana, India.
  • Key Findings:
    • Well-constructed fort town with burnt brick kilns.
    • Barley grains, toy plough, burnt pottery, ivory comb, and human figurines.


  • Discovery: Excavation began in 1963.
  • Location: Hisar district of Haryana, India.
  • Key Findings:
    • Bronze toys, terracotta statues, granary with rectangular chambers.
    • Traces of cotton cloth, indicating urbanized sewage systems.



Key Findings


Sahiwal district, West Punjab, Pakistan

Sandstone statues, granaries, pottery with Indus script, terracotta figurines


Larkana district, Sindh, Pakistan

Great Bath, Citadel, dancing girl statue, Seal of Pashupati, great granary


Makran district, Balochistan, Pakistan

Stone vessels, pottery, shell beads, citadel and defensive wall


Nawabshah district, Sindh, Pakistan

Bead maker’s factory, usage of kajal and lipstick, inkpot, cart impression


Gulf of Cambay/Khambhat, Gujarat, India

Port and dockyard, citadel, seal with fox story, Mesopotamian seals, rice husk


Hanumangarh district, Rajasthan, India

Double citadel, burnt bangles, fire altars, ploughed fields, camel bones


Kutch district, Gujarat, India

Horse bones, stone fortifications, residential complexes


Fatehabad district, Haryana, India

Well-constructed fort town, barley grains, ivory comb, human figurines


Hisar district, Haryana, India

Bronze toys, terracotta statues, granary, traces of cotton cloth


Kutch district, Gujarat, India

Stepwell, water reservoirs, dams, chariot sculpture, signboard


Dadu district, Sindh, Pakistan

Evidence of Harappan settlements and artifacts


Meerut district, Uttar Pradesh, India

Remains of pre-Harappan and Harappan settlement, pottery, artifacts


Kaithal district, Haryana, India

Pottery and artifacts indicating Harappan presence


Udaipur district, Rajasthan, India

Urban planning, craftsmanship


Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India

Bronze chariot, urban settlement, artifacts


Kutch district, Gujarat, India

Harappan-era remains, pottery, artifacts


West Punjab, Pakistan

Harappan-era structures and artifacts


Hanumangarh district, Rajasthan, India

Harappan-era remains, urbanization, trade


Fatehabad district, Haryana, India

Pre-Harappan and Harappan settlements, urban planning

Kot Diji

Khairpur district, Sindh, Pakistan

Fortified town, craftsmanship, urban life

Kot Bala

Lasbela district, Balochistan, Pakistan

Artifacts and structures from the Harappan period


Kachi district, Balochistan, Pakistan

Earliest agricultural settlements in South Asia, predates mature Harappan period


Muzaffarnagar district, Uttar Pradesh, India

Harappan presence, pottery, structures


Kutch District, Gujarat, India

Harappan-era remains, pottery, structures


Ahmedabad district, Gujarat, India

Harappan-era settlement and artifacts


Rupnagar district, Punjab, India

Harappan presence, pottery, structures


Baghpat district, Uttar Pradesh, India

Harappan-era artifacts, evidence of burial practices


Kutch district, Gujarat, India

Harappan-era remains, pottery, structures


Q. The Harappan Civilization stands as a remarkable example of early urbanism and human achievement, offering valuable insights into the development of complex societies in the ancient world. Discuss. (250 words)